The Spectacle Blog

Jimmy Rethinking

By on 11.4.05 | 7:27AM

Former President Jimmy Carter sort of has a problem with abortion, he told reporters yesterday:

"I think abortion is wrong and that the government ought never do anything to encourage abortion," he said during that campaign. "But I do not favor a constitutional amendment which would prohibit all abortions, nor one that would give states [a] local option to ban abortions."

Looks like his abortion problem is with his thinking: it's wrong, but let's avoid confronting it. Still, he also said Democrats overemphasize abortion and that "I never have felt any abortion should be committed."

Despite the headline, the tone doesn't differ greatly from the flawed thinking that plagues the liberal/Clinton position on abortion: it's a tragedy. Tragedies are unfortunate events. In literature it's difficult to pin down the responsible party -- and often events unfold in spite of the character's best efforts. So liberals choose a word essentially devoid of moral content. It's not a terrorist attack, but a tragedy. It's not murder, but a tragedy. That's why Carter isn't willing to see the state lift a finger. It's unfortunate, but hardly an affront to the basic right to life.

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