As to the question when human life begins, the answer to which is above Mr. Obama’s pay grade, let’s go on a little tear. You know why they call it birth control? Because it’s meant to stop a birth from happening nine months later. We know when life begins. Everyone who ever bought a pack of condoms knows when life begins.
To put it another way, with conception something begins. What do you think it is? A car? A 1948 Buick?
If you want to argue whether legal abortion is morally defensible, have at it and go to it, but Mr. Obama’s answers here seemed to me strange and disturbing.
Mr. Obama’s upcoming convention speech will be good. All Obama speeches are good. Not as interesting as he is—he is more compelling as a person than his words tend to be in text. But the speech will be good, and just in case it isn’t good, people will still come away with an impression that it must have been, because the media is going to say it was, because they expect it to be, and what they expect is what of them will see.
But Mr. McCain provided, in 2004, one of the most exciting and certainly the most charged moment of the Republican Convention, when he looked up at Michael Moore in the press stands and said, “Our choice wasn’t between a benign status quo and the bloodshed of war, it was between war and a greater threat. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. . . . And certainly not a disingenuous filmmaker who would have us believe that Saddam’s Iraq was an oasis of peace.” It blew the roof off. And the smile he gave Mr. Moore was one of pure, delighted malice. When Mr. McCain comes to play, he comes to play.