Wednesday, 20 May 2009

What about Obama?

Sarah Posner has a cogent and profound perspective regarding the complicated relationship that the US president has developed with religious institutions and their role in public life. She highlights the challenge involved:

On reducing the need for abortions, Obama's own preference is a commonsense public policy to fund comprehensive sex education and contraception to reduce unintended pregnancies. This has been the position of mainstream reproductive-health advocates for decades. This has also been the position of religious organizations like Catholics for Choice, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and the Religious Institute for Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing. But Obama hasn't reached out to those voices for a public, religious imprimatur for his own policy positions.

Instead, Obama has focused his outreach efforts on more conservative religious groups (you know, the ones who haven't been voting Democratic). He claims to honor their position on moral issues. But when the dust settles on the Notre Dame controversy, he'll have to figure out what to do with the policy advice he has sought from the council. How Obama reacts to that advice will demonstrate whether the council is mere window dressing to shore up support from swing constituencies or whether Obama will yield to conservative religious dogma on reproductive-health issues.

It's worth reading. Go have a look.


jj said...

I'd be willing to bet the farm that Obama won't yield to wingnuttery. He knows that's not his base.

As much as I'd like it if he came right out and said "Back off, assholes, this is a woman's right, end of story", he's not about to do that. He's a pragmatic politician, not a "with us or against us" type.

deBeauxOs said...

Indeed JJ, those recent Gallup Poll results - available at your latest blogpost - demonstrate how well that Bush/Cheney/Palin absolute stance has been working for the Republicans. Not.

fern hill said...

Yabbut, JJ, women are a big part of his base. He'd better be careful not to piss us off.

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