Leon Kass is entitled to his opinion, bizarre as it may seem:
“At present we have a President as friendly to the concerns of human dignity as we have had in a long time, or are likely to have for a long time to come,” he tells the magazine of his current employer, the American Enterprise Institute. “We have a Congress that is equally sympathetic.”
I suppose when you’re a former professor at the University of Chicago and former chair of President Bush’s Council on Bioethics, you can think about human dignity without worrying about small things like civil liberties, extraordinary rendition, and respect for the Geneva Conventions. Let’s narrow our vision to match his for a minute, and consider his response when his interviewer asked him about the Terri Schiavo case. “Since I did not have the facts I stayed out of the Terri Schiavo case,” he says. “The facts were very hard to get. But I regret very much that it became the political controversy that it did.”
Excuse me? If “the facts were very hard to get,” how did Bill Frist–leader of the supposedly sympathetic-to-human-dignity Senate–manage to diagnose Schiavo’s condition by video?
And if Kass does “regret very much” that it became a political firefight, why can’t he say who started the fire and poured gasoline on it for political advantage? Which President does he think urged Congress to pass a special law that literally made a federal case out of a family decision?
Kass has always been impressed with his own moral seriousness. You’d think he could have traded it for more than a gig as a Republican hack.