awkwardly

Saturday

Which Internet Do You Use?

I know this topic is going to be torn all up and down by pundits and bloggers, and there's nothing much I can add. But it really makes watching the debates worthwhile when you can hear Bush say that there will be no draft while he's president, that the draft is just a rumor on the Internets. Apparently he was not the one who invented the Internets.

Another exchange from Friday's debate will help citizens compare their listening skills with Bush's. Audience member Sarah Degenhart asked, "Senator Kerry, suppose you are speaking with a voter who believed abortion is murder and the voter asked for reassurance that his or her tax dollars would not go to support abortion, what would you say to that person?"
KERRY: I would say to that person exactly what I will say to you right now.

First of all, I cannot tell you how deeply I respect the belief about life and when it begins. I'm a Catholic, raised a Catholic. I was an altar boy. Religion has been a huge part of my life. It helped lead me through a war, leads me today.

But I can't take what is an article of faith for me and legislate it for someone who doesn't share that article of faith, whether they be agnostic, atheist, Jew, Protestant, whatever. I can't do that.

But I can counsel people. I can talk reasonably about life and about responsibility. I can talk to people, as my wife Teresa does, about making other choices, and about abstinence, and about all these other things that we ought to do as a responsible society.

But as a president, I have to represent all the people in the nation. And I have to make that judgment.

Now, I believe that you can take that position and not be pro- abortion, but you have to afford people their constitutional rights. And that means being smart about allowing people to be fully educated, to know what their options are in life, and making certain that you don't deny a poor person the right to be able to have whatever the constitution affords them if they can't afford it otherwise.

That's why I think it's important. That's why I think it's important for the United States, for instance, not to have this rigid ideological restriction on helping families around the world to be able to make a smart decision about family planning.

You'll help prevent AIDS.

You'll help prevent unwanted children, unwanted pregnancies.

You'll actually do a better job, I think, of passing on the moral responsibility that is expressed in your question. And I truly respect it.

Does that make sense to you? I thought it was fairly clear, except maybe the part where he stumbles over what poor people can "afford" and what the constitution "affords" them. But if you understood his position, give yourself a star. Your listening skills are better than Bush's:
MODERATOR CHARLES GIBSON: Mr. President, minute and a half.

BUSH: I'm trying to decipher that.


Maybe he'd understand it a little better if he consulted one of the Internets.

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