This discussion (as shown in the linked blog entry) is rhetorically dishonest (totally taking the word Joy out of context). I think that it is instructive (in how much it is a scorched earth approach) to see what coarse words are meant to be accepted as reasonable debate.
Jumping back to a bird's eye view, I'm not sure we saw a great deal of honor and rhetorical honesty in the statement Kerry made during the debates, which was along the lines that he respected the moral concerns of those who don't want the gov't funding abortion but the government had already decided that it's a issue of freedom of choice, and we shouldn't be trying to change that.
Here's the quote exactly:
SARAH DEGENHART: 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.
Of course, my sense of truth would have Kerry renouncing his Catholicism, and Christianity in general, so where would that leave his politcal fortunes?
Refocusing on what Kerry might have said: I would say Kerry is trying to discuss the subject at a much more detailed level than serves the purpose of winning a Pres. debate, which is just sad for a veteran office holder.
The Dawn Patrol