Overall the President did a fine job in his speech last night. I have many quibbles with the laundry list of programs mentioned at the start of the speech, especially the bigger government parts. The second half of the speech was much better and it was no surprise that the focus would be on the war on terror. He delivered it well and it was a positive note to the end of a mostly well done convention. I am pretty much in agreement with Kevin Miller’s opinion of the speech. There has not been much red meat for social conservatives in the convention and in fact we could easily have become PETA members by the lack. The President though did say:
Because a caring society will value its weakest members, we must make a place for the unborn child. … Because the union of a man and woman deserves an honored place in our society, I support the protection of marriage against activist judges.
This seemed to me more like bullets in a presentation to satisfy the pro-life movement. I really wish he would have emphasized the Partial Birth Abortion ban as an accomplishment instead of the No Child Left Behind program. Or he could have mentioned in in the segment where he ridiculed John Kerry for calling himself a conservative. He mentioned Kerry vote’s against DOMA which Clinton signed and Kerry’s vote against PBA would have fit nicely into that segment.
Defend the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban – President Bush will vigorously defend the Federal law banning the violent and brutal practice of partial birth abortion.
Prevent Federal Funding for Abortion – President Bush will continue to enforce restrictions that prevent the expenditure of Federal funds to support or promote abortion.
Support Parental Notification – President Bush supports the right of parents to be involved in the decisions of their minor daughters.
Emphasize Abstinence Education – President Bush will develop research-based best-practices education curricula; will increase funding for abstinence-only education; and will work with faith and community groups to encourage parents and children to communicate about these issues.
Prevent Human Cloning – President Bush will work to pass a law banning all human cloning.
Support Ethical Stem Cell Research – President Bush, the first President to provide Federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research, will continue to explore the potential of adult and embryonic stem cell research without encouraging the further destruction of human embryos.
The stem-cell part is rather muddled, though the rest of the items are good. I am not sure how you explore embryonic stem-cell research without destroying human embryos. Ethical ESCR requires no research on embryonic stem-cells. While I have no doubt that Mr. Bush has done more to support the pro-life movement then any president before him it does not mean that I do not pray for him to become more fervent in this regards. I have less problems with someone who doesn’t talk much about abortion but votes against it and works to stop programs that fund abortion then a candidate who says they believe life begins at conceptions and then votes every time against this very life.
In related news. Patrick Sweeney also has some good information on the the Republican Catholic Outreach Event. Father Rutler also delivered a great sermon at the Church of our Savior on Sep 2nd to the President and his guest.
Update: Barbara Nicolosi has some commentary on the speech in both its contents and delivery. I especially enjoyed the analysis at the beginning of the post.
I was actually fairly impressed with W’s speech last night. Judging from the lack of focus that the major networks are giving to the speech on this, the morning after, I have to conclude that my impression is correct. I’ve been sitting here flipping between Katie, Matt, Al and Anne, Charlie and Diane and the Ted Turner team, through three different news updates, and I haven’t seen one mention of the speech yet. That absolutely qualifies as high praise, I think. You have to contrast this kind of sulking with the ad nauseum analysis of Kerry’s lip-licking speech last month.