For decades, Democrats have equated abortion with human rights and refused to moderate their position. In this past election cycle, their presidential nominee pledged to end the Hyde Amendment in future budgets, which would allow for direct federal funding of abortions, and refused to discuss any limitation on the procedure. Sensing that the extreme pro-abortion stance hurts them outside of their core urban/coastal core, the chair of the committee tasked with winning a House majority in 2018 has declared that abortion will not be a litmus test for party financial backing in the midterms.
Who wants to take bets on whether the DCCC ever spends a single dollar on a pro-life challenger?
Democrats will not withhold financial support for candidates who oppose abortion rights, the chairman of the party’s campaign arm in the House said in an interview with The Hill.
Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.) said there will be no litmus tests for candidates as Democrats seek to find a winning roster to win back the House majority in 2018.
“There is not a litmus test for Democratic candidates,” said Lujan, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman. “As we look at candidates across the country, you need to make sure you have candidates that fit the district, that can win in these districts across America.”
Lujan has been consulting with Rahm Emanuel, who understood that strategy and deployed it to devastating effect in 2006 and 2008. The problem for Lujan is that the recruiting field has narrowed considerably since then, and so has Democratic credibility on this point especially. DNC chair Tom Perez declared earlier this year that Democrats were obliged to support abortion on demand, declaring that “not negotiable, and should not change city by city or state by state,” a direct refutation of Lujan’s remarks.
Later, Dick Durbin tried to soften that stance slightly. He told CNN’s Dana Bash that it didn’t matter what other Democrats thought about abortion, as long as they didn’t act in concert with their consciences on the issue:
We need to be understanding of those who take a different position because of personal conscience. But, as long as they are prepared to back the law, Roe vs. Wade, prepared to back women’s rights as we have defined them under the law, then I think they can be part of the party.
Call me crazy, but that’s hardly a welcoming environment for pro-life politicians. Not to worry, though, because the Democratic Party’s activist base won’t let any of them get onto the ballot anyway. NARAL bitterly opposes any concession to pro-life voters, even as weak as Lujan’s sop:
“Throwing weight behind anti-choice candidates is bad politics that will lead to worse policy,” said Mitchell Stille, who oversees campaigns for NARAL Pro-Choice America. “The idea that jettisoning this issue wins elections for Democrats is folly contradicted by all available data.”
NARAL doesn’t really need to worry. Democrats haven’t allowed a pro-life politician into its leadership for decades, and the nearly-last of the pro-life Democrats got stabbed in the back by current leadership in 2010 over ObamaCare. Bart Stupak and his small caucus threw in with Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama with a promise to support the Hyde Amendment. How did that turn out, anyway?
In other words, don’t expect too many opportunities to test Lujan’s pledge in the 2018 general election. But to the extent that Democrats continue to struggle against their captivity by pro-abortion extremists, feel free to pass the popcorn.