Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Worse than Moral Abdication

That’s how Charles Krauthammer described the new "policy" revealed in our president’s recent stem cell speech. Charles, remember, is not religious, and he disagreed with President Bush on where the "moral line" should be drawn on this issue. But Obama replaces Bush’s decision with no moral line at all. Now we’re completely in the hands of "the integrity of science," and Charles reminds us that such scientific freedom hasn’t worked out so well in the past. He also reminds us that Bush’s famous stem cell speech was much more measured, more mindful of the real scientific evidence, and in every way many pay grades above Obama’s.

Discussions - 8 Comments

While this is fundamentally true, did you of all people ever deny that it was going to happen? Can we really doubt this new policy is anything other than the manifestation of the desire interlaced in all extreme health concern areas? the real truth resides in the whole lack of philosophic understanding that Obama puts behind said policy. Of course I embrace such policy as the manifestation of freedom while condemning it as the manifestation of that freedom gone so far array! Blessed are thou that embrace that ignobility of science for the singular good.

and according to a new study old age begins at 27 so will need that new biotechnology to save us!!!

According to Marx old age begins with birth, we are what we are as living instantaneously/thesis but also what we are potentially/antithesis death...so life is both life and death, and exists by virtue of a contradiction as both. I am not saying Obama is Marxist, I think he is Hegelian/German continental phenomenological...On some level if he is so optimistic about science one might be tempted to say that he follows Edmund Husserl...this would work in well with a sort of Hegelian statesman rescueing the radical left from the pitfalls of historicism and speaking of being able to know truth...in any case he has a definite phenomenological feel to his pragmatism...

Then again I think Obama leaves it open so that the left can spin it much in the way I do above...he is going to act and others are going to spin, while being idealistically naive, he is still clever enough not to want to bog himself down with specific moral arguments that can claim to structure his future actions...GWB may have tried to please bioethicists but just got hammered by all the competing interest groups for government science dollars...Which in some sense is why I don't feel sorry for CK, it is just plain ridiculous that he could be paid to apply the catagorical imperative...and really while I have nothing against the catagorical imperative, I also have nothing against the Kantian notion of perpetual peace...nothing except for the simple fact that the Hegelian version is wiser to the ways of the world...and nothing except the fact that when president Obama brings new modes and orders all CK can do is whine, and pen a protest calling it moral abdication...in addition to this I have absolutely no clue who is on Obama's team of ethical experts...but I would be suprised if at least one wasn't a Kantian or didn't borrow heavily from Kant...

What does CK do when a president rejects his Kantian metaphysical grounds...same thing all Kantians do hide out in universities, and warn of impending doom, unless they are compelled to warn of impending progress by virtue of it being the task of theoretical reason!

But there is a "moral" line for Obama. He is in favor of funding embryonic stem cell research because the public is supposed to be in favor of it. Thats why he is in favor of banning partial bith abortion - majority rules after all. Oh, wait a minute. Okay, its because he is in favor of unlimited scientific research. But that doesn't explain why he is against funding cloning.

In practice Obama is where the consensus of social liberals (rather than the general public) are on any given social issue. If the general public is on his side he will cite the general will, if not he will cite individual choice, science, whatever and if really pressed he will swear off reason altogether yet still stick by his position. We sould not be surprised. His combination of dogmatic operational social liberalism and rhetorical evasion has been clear since at least his interview with that pastor fellow. The challenge for conservatives is to dramatize the distance between Obama's claims of thoughtfullness, and majoritarianism with the reality of his social liberal dogmatism.

The country needs the twighlight zone back. Just do an episode where a scientist who has saved lives and the patients he saved are then haunted by the ghosts of the children who were murdured prior to birth to make that happen. I really think I can trace the path of this issue over the last century. Eugenics has to hide in genitics and other new sciences then through the use of feminism children are denegrated and their murder becomes socially exceptable allowing eugenics to surface again. In other words Eugenics= genetics+abortion.

I also think that it is a mistake for conservatives to fight Obama issue-by-issue on whatever ground he chooses. Sometimes he will set up a fight of science vs morality or majority rule vs. morality or individual rights vs morality. The purpose of all of these shifting rationales is to defend socially liberal policies without having to make socially liberal arguments. He has mostly succeded because conservatives are mostly fighting against his feints rather than his liberalism.

Obama has managed to be very consistently liberal while seeming above-it-all by making pro forma declarations of interest in his opponents objections and then going onto whatever nonideological seeming argument he can come up with the explain his forthcoming socially liberal policies. This has worked pretty well for him so far but this same approach has weaknesses. It is for instance a fraud, and their is alot of room for satire in the difference between reality and his pose. He is also a very consistent social liberal and conservatives have to do a better job of explaining that consistency while mocking (with a light touch hopefully) his shifting rationalizations.

Sooner or later, some comedian with the sufficient guts and political wit is going to have an absolute field day with his oh-so-lofty-and-oh-so-intelligently-measured speeches.

I wouldn't count on any pro comedians doing the job. But then conservatives shouldn't wait for them. This is just a guide, but conservatives should value one cutting, funny but good humored jibe about Obama over a thousand cliches about borrowing from our grandchildren ect. Not that the other stuff isn't important too. Its also worth pointing out how difficult and rare the kind of humor that is sharp and funny but not harsh is. The last conservative politicain to master it was Reagan. Maybe Huckabee could get there, but he has other problems. Huckabee comes across more glib than Reagan did. Reagan is best known for using humor to deflect attacks about his work ethic or his acting career but he was really sharp, populist and not at all mean with his ability to use humor to deflate his opponents. Ex. Whe he said that a recession was when your neighbor loses his job, depression when you lose your job and recovery when Jimmy Carter loses his job or in pointing out the absurdity of Carter's inflation analysis by pointing out that it is crazy to believe that it is inflationary to let people spend their own money but noninflationary to tax away their money and then spend it for them.

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