Pelosi: Maybe a purity test on abortion for Democrats isn’t such a good idea after all
It’s time to break out the popcorn again because the Democrats still seem to be engaged in a civil war following their 2016 losses. So great is the internal divide at this point that they can’t even come to grips with a political topic as old and entrenched as abortion. It used to be a fairly easy call for them: the party loved abortion and kept is as a standard plan in their platform, but if any Democrats were running in red states or districts they were free to swerve off the trail and do what needed to be done to win. Not so much anymore. The young bucks pushing the party to the hard left want an all or nothing approach.
They haven’t sold House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on it, however. She’s still clinging to the old ways and swimming against the tide, saying this week that her party should not force pro-life Democrats to toe the line. (Washington Post)
The Democratic Party should not impose support for abortion rights as a litmus test on its candidates, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday, because it needs a broad and inclusive agenda to win back the socially conservative voters who helped elect President Trump.
“This is the Democratic Party. This is not a rubber-stamp party,” Pelosi said in an interview with Washington Post reporters.
“I grew up Nancy D’Alesandro, in Baltimore, Maryland; in Little Italy; in a very devout Catholic family; fiercely patriotic; proud of our town and heritage, and staunchly Democratic,” she added, referring to the fact that she is the daughter and sister of former mayors of that city. “Most of those people — my family, extended family — are not pro-choice. You think I’m kicking them out of the Democratic Party?”
This is bad news for conservatives and Republicans because if the Democrats suddenly go back to listening to leaders who exhibit a bit of common sense and electoral pragmatism they just might start picking up a head of steam. But Pelosi will have quite the sales job in front of her if she wants to sell this idea. She’s going to be running athwart of Dick Durbin for starters. She’s also directly contradicting the new Chairman of her party who attempted what Pelosi is trying out in Omaha but quickly scurried back to toeing the line himself after he was smacked down.
And many of you probably remember the strange case of Thomas Groome not too long ago. He’s the professor at Boston College who wrote a piece in the New York Times suggesting that just maybe the Democrats couldn’t afford to be “the abortion party” anymore. That didn’t end well.
Imani Gandy of Rewire News tweeted that Groome should “f*** off.” CNN’s Keith Boykin said, “This is baloney. I’m pro-choice, and I’m not going to change my views to win an election. Nor should the Democrats.” The Huffington Post’s Emma Gray “To win, Democrats should ignore the needs and lives of women who vote for them.”
In a bizarre role reversal with the GOP from 2010, the Democrats are rapidly becoming the party of the purity test. It’s not just abortion. You have to agree with every line item on the liberal social justice warrior agenda and do so chapter and verse or risk being driven out of the party on a rail. Abortion is going to be a particularly tough battleground for them if they insist on abortion on demand loyalty from all their candidates. While a majority of Americans don’t want to see pregnant women or their doctors locked up in jail for planning an abortion, a solid majority of them are also in favor of at least some restrictions on the procedure, particularly once the baby reaches the point of viability. (Which happens earlier and earlier as medical technology advances.)
As I said, Nancy Pelosi has her work cut out for her. Let’s give her plenty of room to run and see where this goes.