Thursday, October 14, 2004

Another Kerry win...

My only complaint is that Kerry could have exploited the "flu vaccine" question better.

Here's how Kerry should have approached the issue:

1. There's going to be unplanned for events in a presidency. Like 9/11.

2. We're going to restore the nation's public health infrastructure. Here is where he could have sneaked in his health plan, but public health is more than just insuring everyone. It is, in effect, a matter of national security if we cannot get a vaccine distributed quickly and safely to most Americans.

3. He should have looked at Bush when he was from Mars when he said, "tort reform." That's a non-sequitur if ever there was one. (Also, I should note that the FDA wanted to import the vaccine, but the UK wouldn't export it, I understand.) He should have- even if it was piggybacking on another question- mentioned that if this were the 1918 pandemic, it wouldn't be a really good idea for a president not to get a flu vaccine.

On the religious faith issue, Kerry hit the ball out of the park though.

KERRY: I respect their views. I completely respect their views. I am a Catholic. And I grew up learning how to respect those views. But I disagree with them, as do many.

I believe that I can't legislate or transfer to another American citizen my article of faith. What is an article of faith for me is not something that I can legislate on somebody who doesn't share that article of faith.

I believe that choice is a woman's choice. It's between a woman, God and her doctor. And that's why I support that.

Now, I will not allow somebody to come in and change Roe v. Wade.

The president has never said whether or not he would do that. But we know from the people he's tried to appoint to the court he wants to.

I will not. I will defend the right of Roe v. Wade.

Now, with respect to religion, you know, as I said, I grew up a Catholic. I was an altar boy. I know that throughout my life this has made a difference to me.

And as President Kennedy said when he ran for president, he said, I'm not running to be a Catholic president. I'm running to be a president who happens to be Catholic.

My faith affects everything that I do, in truth. There's a great passage of the Bible that says, What does it mean, my brother, to say you have faith if there are no deeds? Faith without works is dead.

And I think that everything you do in public life has to be guided by your faith, affected by your faith, but without transferring it in any official way to other people.

That's why I fight against poverty. That's why I fight to clean up the environment and protect this earth.

That's why I fight for equality and justice. All of those things come out of that fundamental teaching and belief of faith.

But I know this, that President Kennedy in his inaugural address told all of us that here on Earth, God's work must truly be our own. And that's what we have to – I think that's the test of public service.

And I'd have mentioned Belgium and the Netherlands; if conservatives really wanted to stop abortions, they'd want strong public services, and easy access to contraception.

Of course, not being a Catholic, especially a Catholic politician, I can say that.

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