There were lots of interesting tidbits in Melinda Henneberger’s August 7 Washington Post piece, “Democratic abortion foes push for change in platform.”
Democratic dissenters on the issue of abortion have made their case to the platform committee, arguing that the party should change its language enough to allow for some diversity of opinion on the matter and return to the “big tent” approach of the Clinton years.
[Democrats for Life president] Janet Robert, who founded Minnesota’s progressive talk radio station AM 950… was given seven minutes… to argue that the party simply cannot win back Congress without Democrats who differ from the ’08 platform on this one issue. She cited a slew of stats, including a Gallup poll from last year in which 44% of Democrats said abortion should only be legal “in a few circumstances.”
But with NARAL president Nancy Keenan on the platform committee, it ain’t gonna happen. Plus, the abortion lobby has more power than ever with ally Barack Obama at the helm.
Kicking the dogs
There’s no question that Democrats won the House in ’06 by running more moderate candidates in districts the party would otherwise have lost to Republicans….
[But] Democrats no longer see outreach to social moderates – the Blue Dogs, many of whom were turned out of office in ’10 – as the path to regaining a House majority.
This year, the face of Democratic diversity is a pro-trade, pro-business fiscal conservative running to take back the suburbs.
Too big to buck
I give Henneberger’s piece a B+ for fairness. But she could have earned an A, had she made an observation she came thisclose to here:
But the abortion rights lobby writes big checks and wields such unlimited power that I’ve long thought abortion rights have become to the Democrats what the Second Amendment is to Republicans – who are so terrified of the “slippery slope” that even the most common-sense gun restrictions are out of the question. Nobody wants to buck the lobby with bucks.
On that point Ken Shepherd at NewsBusters.com noted:
Henneberger’s pro-gun control beliefs aside, it is a fascinating contrast, particularly given how every four years in the convention season the media insist on pushing Republicans to become more liberal on social issues like abortion but fail to question the Democrats’ unwavering dedication to abortion-on-demand.
If the media want to insist that the GOP are captive to special-interest, single-issue lobbies like the right-to-life movement and gun-rights groups like the NRA, fairness and balance dictates that journalists would similarly worry that the Democratic Party is too beholden to special-interest groups on the opposite end of the spectrum.
But there is a major difference between abortion proponents and pro-life and pro-Second Amendment proponents that shows the Democrat Party’s fusion to its pro-choice lobby even more fraught with trouble.
And the difference is that pro-lifers and pro-2Aers don’t kill over a million of their future supporters every year.
But pro-choicers don’t beget – or if they do they don’t beget at replacement level.
Back to Nancy Keenan, I have a feeling she knows what’s really up, that her movement is in decline if for no other reason than attrition.
But she’s apparently so used to leading people to slaughter she can’t stop herself from carrying on.