"Slarrow" refers to the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" from Hamlet's soliloquy. Here are the chronicles of such darts and whatever attempt there may be to take arms against such a sea of troubles.

Location: Ozarks, United States

Friday, October 08, 2004

The Sleeper Question

I think there was a sleeper question at the end of the debate which will really hurt Kerry, and that's the abortion question. First of all, the woman who asked it almost seemed in tears to me. She also asked a very simple question: what do you say to someone who doesn't want her tax dollars to fund what she considers murder?

Kerry led with a very cautious (almost stammering) insistence of how much he respected her opinion. He claimed that he was on the same side personally, but he just couldn't make others follow his personal beliefs. So as president of all the country (except possibly those who don't want tax money used to fund murder), he'd have to say he supported the funding.

Now, I've got a degree in philosophy and am pretty good at following the stuff that comes out of politicians' mouths, so I knew the answer. But I imagine most of what he said will just glide past most folks...except this bit.

"I'm Catholic."

I'm picturing solid, blue-collar union people in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Wisconsin, who just sat up at that and said, "He's what?" Because they're Catholic, or at least were raised that way, and maybe they didn't know that Kerry was Catholic (why should they?) But they've just listened to his answer, and it sure don't sound like what the priest back in the old neighborhood had to say about killing little babies.

It was absolutely the worst way to bring out his Catholic status, and I think Bush's straightforward clarity on the question will do some big-time damage to Kerry.

UPDATE: Instapundit thinks Kerry did a very good job on this question. But then again, he appreciates the answer. Most folks, however, don't like to even think about abortion, and I don't think the hair-splitting will impress them. Besides, the bottom line will still be: Catholic. Against partial-birth abortion ban. Against treating baby as murder victim. That won't sit well with people.

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