Obama’s voting record on the Born Alive Infant Protection Act (BAIPA) bills in Illinois is atrocious (he opposed the legislation three times). It is considered extreme even by the standards of pro-choice legislators (Barbara Boxer, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and many others all supported the federal version of BAIPA, which passed the Senate 98-0). However, it is not very well known by the American public since the main stream media (MSM) refuses to cover it (just as they once refused to cover the John Edwards affair).
One of the benefits of the Saddleback Civil Forum last Saturday is that it allowed a wide range of viewers to hear Obama speak for himself on the question of when a baby gets rights (note that Warren did not say “fetus”). Obama’s now famous response is the subject of critique in John McCain’s weekly radio address, posted earlier today. John McCain:
Here was a candidate for the presidency of the United States, asked for his position on one of the central moral and legal questions of our time, and this was the best he could offer: It’s above his pay grade. He went on to assure his interviewer that there is a, quote, “moral and ethical element to this issue.” Americans expect more of their leaders. There seems to be a pattern here in my opponent’s approach to many hard issues. Whether it’s the surge in Iraq that has brought us near to victory, or the issue of campaign reform, or the question of offshore drilling, Senator Obama’s speeches can be impressive. But when it’s time for straight answers, clear conviction, and decisive action, suddenly all of these responsibilities are — well, as he puts it, “above my pay grade.” As mottos of leadership go, it doesn’t exactly have the ring of “the buck stops here.”
After giving a brief overview of BAIPA legislation, McCain notes:
At Saddleback, he assured a reporter that he’d have voted “yes” on that bill if it had contained language similar to the federal version of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. Even though the language of both the state and federal bills was identical, Senator Obama said people were, quote, “lying” about his record. When that record was later produced, he dropped the subject but didn’t withdraw the slander. And now even Senator Obama’s campaign has conceded that his claims and accusations were false.
McCain’s short radio address today was entirely about abortion — an issue McCain rarely seems comfortable discussing. Jennifer Rubin offers some thoughts on why McCain has now chosen to go after Obama on this issue.
1. He is forcing the MSM to cover the issue, since the MSM (naturally) has staff dedicated to covering the content of McCain’s speeches.
2. Obama’s contorted “above my pay grade” reply speaks beyond the pro-life/pro-choice discussion. It speaks to Obama’s honesty (calling others “liars”, when in fact, what you were saying was false?). It speaks to his failure to display leadership on tough issues. (To which I would add: It reveals a fear of man — a certain need to please everyone, rather than stick your neck out for what you believe, letting the chips fall where they may. McCain did that with his early support for the surge, for example.)
3. Obama’s position on abortion is so extreme that even many pro-choice moderates will find it repugnant.
4. McCain intends to rain on Obama’s Denver parade.
Read the whole thing. Listen to or read McCain’s ~five minute radio address.