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Can Democrats be pro-life? ^ | 1/10/05 | Doug Bandow

Posted on 01/10/2005 10:55:54 PM PST by kattracks

WASHINGTON - Election losses wonderfully concentrate the minds of politicians. As did November 2004.

Many Democrats seem to realize that "it's the values, stupid." Candidates such as presidential nominee John Kerry don't share the views of the majority of Americans on cultural and social issues. Worse, many liberal elites demonstrate ostentatious contempt for those opinions.

As with the issue of abortion.

Being pro-life has been political death for any Democrat with national aspirations. Many on the left are unable to even contemplate a legitimate argument against legal abortion.

For instance, the Web log "BlameBush!" recently opined "that the bizarre creature brutally extracted from" Bobbie Jo Stinnett, the pregnant woman apparently murdered by another woman who wanted a child, "was a fetus." Yet, complained the author, "the anti-choice crowd still insists on referring to the damned thing as a 'baby.'"

Nevertheless, wrote the blogger, the obvious human characteristics of the fetus don't "make it any more human than a baby-shaped intestinal parasite." Thus, "we must protect a Woman's Right to Choose and err on the side of inhumanity." That's precisely the problem with the pro-abortion lobby: it errs "on the side of inhumanity." Which is a strange position for a party that claims to speak for the poor and disadvantaged.

A fetus is not a parasite, but a genetically unique developing human at most nine months away from full physical independence. More to the point for Democratic politicians, polls find an 8-point margin for the pro-life perspective.

The continuing success of pro-life candidates like President George W. Bush has caught the attention of some liberal thinkers and Democratic politicians. For instance, Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, recently observed: "those committed to the right to choose have felt forced to defend what appears to be an absolute right to abortion that brooks no consideration of other values - legal or moral. This often means a reluctance to even consider whether or not fetal life has value."

Alas for the pro-choice movement, "as the fetus has become more visible," notes Kissling, "this stance has become less satisfying as either a moral framework or a message strategy."
Kissling still supports legal abortion, but admits: "The fetus is indeed a wondrous part of our humanity."

Another abortion supporter worried about the absolutist rhetoric of the pro-choice movement is Sara Blustain, deputy editor of the American Prospect magazine. Although she doesn't discuss the value of fetal life, Blustain worries about the stridency of liberal rhetoric about abortion. Indeed, she allows, "Abortion is a right that ends in sorrow, not celebration."

Leading Democratic politicians are focusing more on changing political strategies. The new U.S. Senate Minority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, has voted against abortion and criticized the seminal abortion case, Roe v. Wade. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., seems to be backing former Rep. Tim Roemer of Indiana for Democratic National Committee Chairman despite the fact that he has explicitly called for banning late-term or partial birth abortions.


Former Vermont governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean, also running for DNC chairman, says: "We ought not turn our back on pro-life people." Simon Rosenberg, another DNC chairman candidate, contends that "we have to explain our position that we want to make abortion safe, legal and rare" - President Bill Clinton's classic formulation.

  Party strategist Donna Brazile, who managed Al Gore's 2000 campaign, admits: "Even I have trouble explaining to my family that we are not about killing babies." Democratic consultant Howard Wolfson works with pro-abortion groups yet acknowledged that "Either we're going to begin talking about this a different way and making our arguments effectively, or we're going to keep losing."

  Some Democratic activists are now debating the wisdom of accepting popular restrictions on abortion - banning partial-birth procedures and requiring parental notification. A number of Democrats even advise against filibustering pro-life judicial nominees.

  The Democrats might be serious. Kerry recently told a meeting of Democratic activists that they had to demonstrate they didn't like abortion. Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, reportedly observed: "There was a gasp in the room."

  But that gasp exemplifies the Democrats' problem. Many activists still don't understand what there is about abortion not to like.

  As Kissling points out, "Abortion is a profoundly moral question and any movement that fails to grapple with and respect all the values at stake" won't win voter support. Some Democrats are listening, encouraging Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life.


But Democrats must walk the walk. It is not enough to talk about the unborn as life. Democrats must treat the unborn as life.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections

1 posted on 01/10/2005 10:55:54 PM PST by kattracks
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To: kattracks
Leading Democratic politicians are focusing more on changing political strategies

Actions are louder then word

Get ride of Roe v. Wade and then lets talk about how Dems are really changing

They won't do it though cause they'll lose their base

2 posted on 01/10/2005 11:02:39 PM PST by Mo1 (Does the distinguished Sen from VT wish to act as our treaty rep. for negotiations with Al Queda?)
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To: kattracks

DemocRATS: Pro-abortion, anti-Christian, anti-2nd Amendment, pro-gay marriage,pro-confiscatory taxation, pro-government run health care, anti-defense, anti-military, anti-capitalist. Sounds like a winning combination to me why do they think they should change? heh heh.

3 posted on 01/10/2005 11:06:09 PM PST by Mogollon
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To: kattracks
There is just too much here for me to comment on in just the couple of minutes I have before I must go to bed.

The Dems don't realize that we 'pro-lifers' actually believe what we say. That a 'fetus' is a human being from the moment of conception and that killing it, ie 'abortion' is wrong no ifs ands or buts.

There is no middle ground IMO. If a 'fetus' is indeed a human being, then killing it is murder plain and simple. I believe that a fetus is a human being from the moment of conception.

Therefore, it logically follows that 'terminating' it is an unjust act of violence against an innocent person. There is absolutely no legal or moral justification for it.

I have lots of reasons for not liking liberals, but their staunch support for murdering the unborn is the thing that (may God himself forgive me) feeds my absolute hatred of them.

I'll disagree peacefully on almost any other issue, but killing children is beyond the pale as far as I am concerned. Once I learn that someone is pro-infanticide, our relationship is over. I can no longer even speak to such a person.

I can't write any more in response to you friend kattracks. If I did, I would break the rules of our esteemed founder, and be banned.



4 posted on 01/10/2005 11:08:19 PM PST by Lurker ("I answer to you, 'F*** you-I shall die on my feet.!" Oriana Fallaci.)
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To: kattracks
I listened to the candidates running for DNC chairman last night on Cspan.

What a wonderful group they have, especially the likes of Howard Dean and company.

These idiots are talking about strengthening their position's on left loony fringe. Their ideas are not coming to the middle.

To hear these so called leaders talk would scare a sane person, well it shocked me.

Of course the Jessie Jackson delegate was more concerned about getting more minority business from the Dimorats.
Also they did not miss a beat about how they would keep paying off blacks to keep them down on their respective plantations.

The Dimorat leadership is starting to point fingers now that the shine has worn off their latest loss at the ballot box.

John SKerry came in for a share. The biggest blame was placed on the ignorant religious right.

These guys think that with their loony ideas that they are going to make big inroad's into the coming elections in 2006 and take back the White House in 08.

God, help us if they ever do get in charge. I believe that the current crop of Dimorats would end this country as we know it.
5 posted on 01/10/2005 11:14:51 PM PST by OKIEDOC (LL THE)
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To: Lurker

I couldn't have said it better, or more passionately, myself.

Thanks for your post.

6 posted on 01/10/2005 11:15:03 PM PST by SweetPilotofCanuckistan
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To: kattracks

Sure, they lie all the time.

7 posted on 01/10/2005 11:17:55 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Dan Rather's got to go!)
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To: SweetPilotofCanuckistan
You're more than welcome.

Please allow me to be the first to welcome you to the forum.

I for one am glad to have you about.



P.S. Don't worry about all the 'newbie' crap. Your have just as much right to post your opinions as anyone else around here. I don't know how to speak Canadian, but if they don't like it, F*** 'em, eh?

8 posted on 01/10/2005 11:22:34 PM PST by Lurker (Caution: Poster is too old to give a s*** anymore.)
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To: kattracks
Yes a Democrat can be "pro-life" and politically successful as long as they use the correct jargon and state that it is a "personal matter," but they have strong feeling based on personal experiences.

Tonight in the TV news we heard about either the arson fire at "an abortion clinic" or at a "women's health center" depending on the political motivation of the reporter.

What was almost comical was on one report the Barbie and Ken talking heads looked at each other with one saying our next field report is about an arson from an abortion clinic and the other reporter (talking head) stated thank on that story about the terrible crime of arson at the women's health clinic.

As can be demonstrated by this example the concept of Pro-life is filled with jargon and code words to the various sides.

9 posted on 01/10/2005 11:38:31 PM PST by Robert357 (D.Rather "Hoist with his own petard!"
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To: kattracks

They're catching on to George Stephenapolis' observation that the Democrat Party needs to APPEAR to have values and principles.

Their souls are dead like piles of dry bones.

Pray for revival.

10 posted on 01/10/2005 11:39:47 PM PST by Blue Collar Christian (Take someone shooting with you every time . ><BCC>)
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To: Mogollon

spme of these remind me of a certain california governor.

11 posted on 01/10/2005 11:43:09 PM PST by isom35
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To: kattracks



(Apologies for shouting)


12 posted on 01/10/2005 11:49:09 PM PST by Jack Deth (Knight Errant and Disemboweler of the WFTD Thread)
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To: kattracks
Being pro-life has been political death for any Democrat with national aspirations.

The flip side of the coin is not much different. Try being a "pro choice" Republican, which I am not.

13 posted on 01/11/2005 12:11:19 AM PST by Angry Republican (Screw the Sun! Ehrlich in '06!)
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To: Mo1

I don't know, you've got some pro choice Republicans and then you have some pro life Democrats. I think most politicans are just a political checklist which places them clearly in one camp but not exclusive to that camp on every issue. And it's more about the individual than the checklist, as long as the person is fairly mainstream as a whole. After all Howard Dean is more socially conservative than both Giuliani and Schwarzenegger, he got an A rating from the NRA and was endorsed by them 8 times, but he's hailed as the Liberal messiah or something. While the other two are featured speakers at the RNC.

14 posted on 01/11/2005 12:41:50 AM PST by grizzly84
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To: kattracks

To say you're pro-life and then vote pro-death would make one a hypocrite of the highest order, complicit in murder.

15 posted on 01/11/2005 12:48:54 AM PST by Manic_Episode (I don't lose my composure in a high speed chase)
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To: kattracks
Liberals are the classic cynics who love humanity but hate people. That is why they are for abortion. Babies get in the way of their fun. They want to love people from a distance. And if you don't believe me, just try to knock on Babs Streisand's front door, and see how close you get. You only have to watch one lib Hollyweird movie to understand that to libs, patriotism, defense of traditional marriage and religious family values, traditional male bravery and military virtues are all subjects of ridicule.

At core todays liberals are not only out of touch with average Americans, they are profoundly disconnected from everything that has shaped America and made her great.

16 posted on 01/11/2005 2:50:54 AM PST by driftless ( For life-long happiness, learn how to play the accordion.)
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To: kattracks

No. They cannot. In today's report that howard dean is running for the post of DNC chair, there are a number of quotes stating that they will not compromise on the fact that they are pro-abortion. If they did, there would be a huge split in the party. Many of their big $$ supporters are pro-abortion (Jay Leno's wife for example) and they would never win a presidential race or gain control of the congress.

17 posted on 01/11/2005 4:58:14 AM PST by Trainer (9/11...Never forget, never forgive.)
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To: kattracks
Many activists still don't understand what there is about abortion not to like.

The simple fact that this is true, is truly the saddest axpect of our culture.

18 posted on 01/11/2005 7:12:53 PM PST by wagglebee (Memo to sKerry: the only thing Bush F'ed up was your career)
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