Kerry: Altar Boy or Alter Boy?

Have those mean old bishops misunderstood the former altar boy who would bepresident? The Kerry campaign has confirmed the candidate's support for a ban on late-term abortions. This is said to be based on Kerry's backing ofa 1997 proposal by Sen. Tom Daschle that supposedly would ban most abortions offetuses after "viability."

Is this a new position, or was Kerry a closet supporter of limits on abortion all along (who finds it convenient to mention this just as some are saying that pro-life Democrats in Pennsylvania could save George Bush's U-Haul bill)?

This time Kerry is not flip flopping--he did support such a ban. But the 1997 bill (in my opinion and that of pro-life experts) was an utterly meaningless piece of legislation. That is why it won no backing from genuine pro-lifers. "Debate might be less about abortion than politicking," noted a USA Today headline at the time (available in the USA Today archives).

According to the story, questionedwhether such a ban would be constitutional, most legal experts agreed that it would have relatively little impact because doctors would get to determine viability. "For many politicians, it's become a fight for political cover,"the story said.

There is a reason the pro-life community rejected the Daschle amendment. "Thebiggest loophole [in the Daschle proposal]," Douglas Johnson of the NationalRight to Life Committee explained to me, "is the one that the press usuallyentirely ignores--they would not have applied at all before provable'viability.' Most partial-birth abortions are performed in the fifth and sixthmonths. Thus, these amendments would have left the great majority ofpartial-birth abortions subject to no restriction at all, not even a phonyrestriction. After the point of provable viability, these amendments would haveempowered the abortionist to perform an abortion based on any degree of 'risk.'"Risk applies to any pregnancy, and normal risk could be used and exaggerated asa reason for an abortion.

"While it is important to understand that the Daschle language was reallycompletely hollow," Johnson added, "it is also important to know that Kerryvoted for other substitutes that would have codified a right to third-trimesterabortions for mental 'health' in a more naked fashion."

Oh, We Can Do the Reporting Later

Well, there's nothing like breaking a story and then having the reportingdone--as CBS and the New York Times seem to be doing these days. I refer of course to the forged documents and 380 tons of death escapades. As I write, themunitions story is unfolding, with a U.S. Army officer stepping up to say thathis unit removed 250 tons of munitions from Al-Qaqaa. (Here are two reports ofthe press conference: Fox News and The Washington Post.)

These escapades are just one more indication that big media is arrayed against George Bush, along with Hollywood, George Soros, and all the supposedly intellectual citizens. I agree with Gerald Baker, who writes in the Weekly Standard that George Bush deserves to win because ofwho is enemies are:

"The list of those whose world could be truly rocked on Tuesday is just too longand too rich to be ignored. If you think for a moment about those who wouldreally be upset by a second Bush term, it becomes a lot easier to stomach.