President George Bush wants someone to go to the moon again. Then he wants a mission to Mars. Many scientists think we will find signs of life there. In the near term, a cheaper but more difficult mission would be to find life in the Democratic Party. Take presidential hopeful General Wesley Clark for instance; he has a hard time identifying life on earth.
Not life as in zeal and fireworks; plenty of that out on the campaign trail. I mean life as in human life or at least living cells or whatever pro-choice folks call people before they are born. As far as I can determine, no democratic candidate supports any restrictions on abortion, save possibly Senator Joe Lieberman.
In the case of General Clark, I don’t think I would want him to lead the Martian search for life because he can’t seem to find it here on terra firma. Witness his remarks to a reporter’s question about when life begins:
“Life begins with the mother’s decision.”
My first thought was did he mean the decision of the mother to have sex and create a life? Then I realized he was really attempting to find his “inner democrat” and delineate an abortion policy that would generate headlines. For General Clark, abortion is not about ending a pregnancy, it is about not beginning a life.
General Clark is not a physician like his opponent Howard Dean but one would think he would know the difference between life and not-life. What does he think is going on inside a mother during pregnancy?
Now I understand that he likely meant legal recognition of the person begins with a mother’s decision to bring the baby to term. However, words are important and their use by people says something about their thought processes. Talk about viability of the fetus, talk about ending a pregnancy if you want to describe your views on abortion, but don’t shade the truth that there is life to be found in a pregnant womb.
Perhaps General Clark knows but doesn’t care. As a military man perhaps he recognizes that some people must pay a price to win a war. He currently is in a fight for the democratic nomination and preborn people are just casualties in the war. If Clark can shore up his support among pro-choice issue voters by sliding right over the complexities of biology, then do it and go right for the kill. To put words in his mouth: I want the pro-choice vote and I will say anything to get it.
Not only is he prepared to say outrageous things but promise outrageous things. General Clark says he wants politics kept from interfering with the decision of a woman and her doctor. However, he wants to insert politics between the people and the judiciary by ruling out appointments of jurists who are perceived to be pro-life. Following an interview with the Manchester (NH) Union-Leader, Clark said, “I’m not going to be appointing judges who are pro-life.” He has a hard time finding life but he knows a litmus test when he sees one.
As outrageous as that is, General Clark no doubt won some territory in his battle to show off his liberal side to party regulars. One hopes however, that whatever gains in the battle he made, he will not win the presidential war. Someone who stumbles in finding life on earth should not find the White House.
If General Clark wants to serve the country, there is that search for life on Mars… well maybe not.