fair-minded words

obama has always struck me as a powerful speaker. that or he at least has a great speechwriter. my only disappointment has been his inability to translate this into equally impressive actions. his call to renewal keynote on the 28th did not fail to impress, of course, but the best part was the letter he quoted:

I sense that you have a strong sense of justice…and I also sense that you are a fair minded person with a high regard for reason…Whatever your convictions, if you truly believe that those who oppose abortion are all ideologues driven by perverse desires to inflict suffering on women, then you, in my judgment, are not fair-minded….You know that we enter times that are fraught with possibilities for good and for harm, times when we are struggling to make sense of a common polity in the context of plurality, when we are unsure of what grounds we have for making any claims that involve others…I do not ask at this point that you oppose abortion, only that you speak about this issue in fair-minded words.

the writer was responding to a section on obama’s website that said he would fight “right-wing ideologues who want to take away a woman’s right to choose”. strong words. party words. they’d probably get cheerleaded on dailykos. i’ve probably said them a hundred times in conversations with others. i know i’ve written more than a few articles along those lines as well. [goodness, i just thought about this blog.] i’ve certainly mocked the anti-choicers more than once.

but responding to the letter, obama took down those words. and felt a certain sense of shame.

i have to say, i do too.

[update: i went through the archives, and found a link to this. i can’t say which is the better path to walk. i’ll puzzle, and hopefully add an entry later]
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