Joe Carter makes, what I think, is an unfair comparison between two speeches. First he quotes at length from from a speech President Bush made at the March for Life about his opposition to abortion and federal abortion funding. Then he says this about the State of Union address:
Here is what President Bush said tonight, to the American people, about human dignity and protecting life:
What changed since yesterday, Mr. President?
Of course, the answer is "The Audience." Joe seems to be implying (although I could be wrong) that there is some sort of inconsistency between the President making a big deal about his opposition to abortion at an anti-abortion event and not mentioning it at all in the State of the Union address.
I simply don't believe this is true. When addressing pro-life activists, there is no doubt that they want to hear the President's views on abortion. However, the purpose of the State of the Union is to:
... from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient ...
In the first speech Joe quotes, Bush makes three main points:
- His opposition to abortion in general and his desire to "expand legal protection to every life, including early life."
- His opposition to partial birth abortion.
- His opposition to public funding for abortion.
Unfortunately, the President there are limits to how much the President can say in a speech and he has to prioritize. Like it or not, he obviously felt that there were other matters more important to the State of the Union than these. I personally don't like it, but I find nothing inconsistent between saying he holds these positions and not including them in the State of the Union. That's not entirely unreasonable since, as I understand it, the federal government does not currently provide funding for abortion and the chances of passing laws to expand legal rights to fetuses or ban partial birth abortions with the current Congress are nil.
I don't like it, but I don't believe the dichotomy Joe implies exists. Joe is usually ruthlessly logical, so I find this jump of reason strange on his part.
Or maybe I'm just missing something.