I remember watching the second presidential debate in 2004, pissed with John Kerry. “Why?” someone asked.
“Because his answer to the abortion question fits right in line with the image of him as a flip-flop.” I replied. “He doesn’t have to answer the question about spending itself, and sure there are nuances to that issue you can’t address in the debate, but he can answer with strong language the morals that guides his decisions; the commonality we all have to minimize unwanted pregnancies. Some pro-lifer is going to see that answer and their perception of Catholicks and think he’s a hypocrite.”
Four years later, we have Obama:
He tackles the abortion issue head on. His stuttering and pausing is very noticeable when he starts off, but toward the end he really finds his rhythm…
And finally, when they reached an impasse in Louisiana, Father Ted flew them all to Notre Dame’s retreat in Land O’Lakes, Wisconsin — (applause) — where they eventually overcame their differences and hammered out a final deal.
And years later, President Eisenhower asked Father Ted how on Earth he was able to broker an agreement between men of such different backgrounds and beliefs. And Father Ted simply said that during their first dinner in Wisconsin, they discovered they were all fishermen. (Laughter.) And so he quickly readied a boat for a twilight trip out on the lake. They fished, and they talked, and they changed the course of history.
I will not pretend that the challenges we face will be easy, or that the answers will come quickly, or that all our differences and divisions will fade happily away — because life is not that simple. It never has been.
But as you leave here today, remember the lessons of Cardinal Bernardin, of Father Hesburgh, of movements for change both large and small. Remember that each of us, endowed with the dignity possessed by all children of God, has the grace to recognize ourselves in one another; to understand that we all seek the same love of family, the same fulfillment of a life well lived. Remember that in the end, in some way we are all fishermen.
After W, I continue to be amazed we elected this man. As one commenter put it:
Uniting the country is exactly what the anti-Christ would do.