Stanek weekend question: Should Republicans engage on abortion or just let Democrats hang themselves?
It’s a strategy question.
Jonathan Last at The Weekly Standard has written a great piece, “The Party of Abortion,” beginning with:
The Democratic party underwent an ideological evolution in Charlotte last week. They are no longer a pro-choice party. They’re the party of abortion.
As if to prove his point, the pro-abortion group Feministing posted this tweet last night…
which linked to this gif (featuring drag queen RuPaul, btw)….
What’s strange is that the Democrats have moved one way on abortion as the country has moved the other. In surveys since 2009, Americans have been increasingly identifying themselves as “pro-life,” as opposed to “pro-choice.” In Gallup’s last poll on the subject, the gap between the two was 9 points in the pro-life direction, the widest it’s ever been.
The Democrats’ new position on abortion is probably good for the Republican party. Doubly so because Republicans didn’t even have to draw the contrast – there was barely a word said on the subject in Tampa – the Democrats eagerly drew the contrast for them.
But what’s good for the GOP will not be good for the fight against abortion in the long term. Moving away from America as a land of abortion-on-demand requires national consensus, which can only be built through moral persuasion. Moral persuasion is possible in an ideological contest. Yet once the debate over abortion passes from the ideological to the partisan, persuasion becomes more difficult. Still, the only alternative now is for the pro-life party to win, and then successfully to advance a pro-life agenda….
Last seemed to be saying Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan should continue to focus on Barack Obama’s weak spots – jobs and the economy – win the election, and then promote the cause.
Do you agree?