I watched President Obama’s commencement speech at Notre Dame with some interest this afternoon (see video and transcript below). I was curious (along with everyone else in the country) about how he would address the protests surrounding his appearance at a Roman Catholic (and ostensibly pro-life) university. The buzz leading-up to the speech was that the President would address the issue head-on while attempting to transcend the old “culture war” debates about abortion.
The only thing transcendent about the speech, however, was the rhetoric. The President can turn a phrase with the best of them. But at the end of the day, he did not transcend the debate (or the “culture war” for that matter). He held fast to the the radical pro-abortion position that he has always held while calling for people on opposite sides of the issue to be nice to each other.
What concerns me most about this whole event was the sheer pathos of it. President Obama is a gifted communicator, and his persona alone may compel the casual observer to think that the pro-abortion position is as reasonable and respectable as its most articulate defender appears to be.
In the battle for the hearts and minds of a nation, this is what makes President Obama so dangerous. The Roe vs. Wade status quo, which the President heartily supports, has presided over the legal killing of nearly 50 million human beings since 1973. This reality is neither reasonable or respectable, and the President (and the administration of Notre Dame) sadly obscured that fact today.