Saturday, August 16, 2008

Reacting to the Rick Warren Saddleback Presidential Forum

So what did you think about the Saddleback forum with the Presidential candidates?

Kudos to Pastor Rick Warren who asked lots of hard questions. Like, "What's your greatest moral failure and what is America's greatest moral failure?" and "What Supreme Court justices would you have not nominated?" and "Who is rich? Give me a number." and "What would you do to end religious persecution around the world, like in China?" If there's a big question Warren overlooked, it was the issue of immigration. But hey mainstream media, take note.

Barack Obama was relaxed, smooth, and elegant. And he scored a funny when he teased Warren about rich guys being those who sell millions of books.

He gave honest answers. He's pro-choice. The rich make over $250,000. He wouldn't have nominated Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court.

But as Obama said in response to one question, "the devil is in the details."

He's pro-choice, but seeks to "reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies." That sounds good, but Obama wouldn't even vote to protect the life of a child born alive during an abortion.

He would commit troops to protect "national security." Apparently, Iraq isn't a national security issue since Obama has opposed the war throughout. I'm still wondering, when does Obama commit troops?

John McCain didn't look quite as comfortable. He was a bit stiff, his voice was monotoned compared to Obama, and he seemed to offer more canned political sound bites. But McCain gave substantive answers. His reputation was on display-- a straight shooter. He told good stories. And, he got more passionate as the interview went on.

McCain said a baby is entitled to life at the moment of conception. Marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Evil? Defeat it-- naming it radical Islamic terrorism. All the liberal judges? He wouldn't appoint any of them. Parental choice in public education. "I don't believe in class warfare." He doesn't want to raise anyone's taxes. The Russians must respect that territorial boundaries of Georgia.

McCain ranted about Washington's failure over the years in big spending and not drilling for oil. I appreciate the argument, but I'm not sure how much McCain has been part of the solution, especially on spending.

In total, both candidates displayed character and strength-- they looked Presidential. And to the discerning listener, the differences between Obama and McCain on the issues were clear.

If there's a "winner," it's probably Obama. He woos to his Democratic side evangelical Christians who otherwise vote Republican. But McCain inspired and reassured teetering evangelical Republicans who are tempted to stay away from the polls because of McCain's moderate views.

2 comments:

A Man from Issachar said...

Ted:

My guess is that we now await to see if McCain is consistent in his convictions as he moves to pick a running mate. I still think McCain pulled out the "win," for a (future)President cannot portray inconsistency between his personal beliefs and political agenda, as did Obama on abortion, marriage, and war.

Clearly, when it comes to justices, I agree with McCain on who should not be on the bench. He and Obama made it clear that there is no middle ground on Supreme Court appointments. However, the fab five who made the majority judgment in the DC handgun case also legislated from the bench rather than simply enforcing the Constitution. This is up for interpretation in the minds of many legal scholars. However,when interpreting the Scriptures, evangelical Biblical scholars would not use the hermeneutic employed by the justices to come to their conclusions about bearing arms. So if McCain is hoping to appoint justices who will not legislate, he had also better explain Scalia and Roberts - my two favorites - on hand guns. But even without the explaination, his position is more Presidential than Obama's.

A Man from Issachar said...

Ted:

My guess is that we now await to see if McCain is consistent in his convictions as he moves to pick a running mate. I still think McCain pulled out the "win," for a (future)President cannot portray inconsistency between his personal beliefs and political agenda, as did Obama on abortion, marriage, and war.

Clearly, when it comes to justices, I agree with McCain on who should not be on the bench. He and Obama made it clear that there is no middle ground on Supreme Court appointments. However, the fab five who made the majority judgment in the DC handgun case also legislated from the bench rather than simply enforcing the Constitution. This is up for interpretation in the minds of many legal scholars. However,when interpreting the Scriptures, evangelical Biblical scholars would not use the hermeneutic employed by the justices to come to their conclusions about bearing arms. So if McCain is hoping to appoint justices who will not legislate, he had also better explain Scalia and Roberts - my two favorites - on hand guns. But even without the explaination, his position is more Presidential than Obama's.