Asks E.J Dionne, in response to these recent comments by John Kerry on abortion, and the Democratic Party's position on life issues:
I think we have been guilty in the party and individually at times of being overly pro-choice and this is the way it is and we’re not going to do x, y or z, without honoring the deeply held beliefs that are legitimate that go to the question of the killing of a human being, depending on what you believe. And I understand it depends on what you believe. But if you believe it, I think you do have an obligation to say so in terms of wanting fewer abortions, of trying to say abortion is not good, it’s not a good alternative, and what we need to do is make sure people have other alternatives and other options. That’s where you can find a lot of common ground because there are 1.3 million abortions in this country, and I don’t think anybody would disagree that that is too many.
As Bill Clinton framed it, I thought so effectively, in 1992, it ought to be rare, legal and safe. Rare has been missing from the debate. I think we need to figure out how we’re going to do that, and do it in a more effective way.
I still remember vividly that third debate between Kerry and Bush, when he answered that question on abortion. It was like watching an animal being tortured. I felt literal pain watching that. This is still somewhat nuanced and clunky, but a quantum leap from the fall of 2004. It's much too late at this point (which was Dionne's point), but he does get a lot closer to full coherence this time.
UPDATE: I should mention that for all intents and purposes I am a pro-life Democrat, so I still have some issues with this position, but I still think it is a big step compared to his last statement on the issue.