Pro-Choice Extremism Is Holding the Democratic Party Back

By Robert Hay

In the past month, two high-profile incidents have shown how powerful a hold the pro-choice movement has on the Democratic Party, and its hope to “expand the playing field” and win more elective victories is imperiled as a result.

The first incident involved DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, an unabashed pro-choice politician and one of the architects of the “war on women” campaign strategy.  In a Q&A with The New York Times, the Chair when asked about abortion rights said, “Here’s what I see: a complacency among the generation of young women whose entire lives have been lived after Roe v. Wade was decided.”  The quote could have been a moment to examine within the Democratic Party its unwavering opposition to any abortion opposition, or at least a soul-searching about whether she was right, and the reason record numbers of abortion restrictions were being passed was because younger Americans didn’t know what life was like without unrestricted abortion.

Instead, the pro-choice machine went into full court press, going to the media declaring that Wasserman Schultz was wrong and that the younger generation was the most passionate and most open in their caring about this issue.  This despite the fact polls show the Millennial generation just as divided about abortion as previous ones.  Wasserman Schultz, faced with pressure, immediately back tracked from her comments and the party lost a chance to think deeply about itself and abortion.

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912 reasons for Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Step Down

 

 

Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s latest statements about young women voters and Roe v. Wade highlight again that she does not understand feminism, the Democratic Party, or how to build a winning coalition.

Rep. Wasserman Schultz has led the Democratic Party to our lowest numbers since the Hoover Administration.  Since 2010, we have lost 912 state legislative seats and 30 state legislative chambers.

Her recent statements and her continuation at the helm of our party could decimate us even further.

Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, recently told the New York Times Magazine that women in the Millennial generation, those in their 20s and 30s, are not committed to fighting for abortion rights because their “entire lives have been lived after Roe v. Wade was decided.”

No kidding. Women who have grown up seeing the full effect of abortion-on-demand on their lives, who have seen abuse of women and children facilitated by the abortion industry, who have seen medical advances such as enhanced ultrasound – which gives the lie to the claim that they carry just a clump of cells – these women somehow don’t support abortion.

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Democratic Revival Stresses Values, Messages in Promoting a Culture of Life

By Lisa Stiller

Getting our party back – and returning to values that support life – was a major theme of speakers at a Democratic Revival that took place in Washington, D.C. during the last weekend of September.  We must work to “change the values that need to be changed for a pro-life culture,” said Reverend Jennifer Butler, chief executive officer of Faith in Public Life.  The challenge, said Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life of America, is “How do we revitalize the platform?”

Pro-life Democrats with the same question came to hear several speakers give us their thoughts and suggestions for returning the Democratic Party to its roots.

Butler reminded us that our tradition as a nation is really one of community, but, she said, we have become a very individualistic culture: The days when communities had a “barn-raising” collective culture have given way to an individualistic, me-first culture, perpetuated largely by Hollywood.  “What we imagine our history to be is not what it really is,” she said.  Butler ended her talk by invoking words of Pope Francis when he spoke while in the U.S., emphasizing the importance of community and our tradition of caring for the most vulnerable.  DFLA board member Jeanne French reminded participants that the history of our country has “always been to be inclusive”.

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I am a Pope Francis Democrat

In September, Pope Francis spoke to all Americans, Catholic and non-Catholic. At the White House, Pope Francis told us to take care of our “common home,” the Earth. He asks “all men and women of good will in this great nation… to protect the vulnerable in our world and to stimulate integral and inclusive models of development.” Addressing Congress, he said “the fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly,” and he challenged us to “help others to grow.” At St. Patrick’s, he said that “there is no social or moral justification, no justification whatsoever, for lack of housing.”

These sound like Democratic Party ideals to me—helping those that are less fortunate in society, accepting and respecting individuals despite our differences, and protecting our environment. Pope Francis also says to protect the vulnerable—and surely we Democrats support this, standing up for children without health insurance, new immigrants seeking a better life, and social programs that provide a safety net to the elderly and those in poverty.

But we must no longer remain blind to the most vulnerable in our society: the 1.2 million people who are absolutely defenseless against the suction machine or the abortion pill each year. We can show compassion for the unborn child while still championing the cause of women. There really is a war against women—in the form of discrimination, lack of maternity leave, and a culture that still tolerates domestic and sexual violence. We need to support women, and we need to support children—not just until their birth but throughout their lives.

Democrats for Life of America invites you to support their “whole life” agenda that supports women and children throughout their lives. We Democrats should be a “big tent” party that welcomes those whose conscience differs on abortion. All Democrats can work together on initiatives that support women, support children, and protect future generations from further environmental degradation.

The theme of Pope Francis’ visit to America was: “Love is our Mission.” What is the mission of the Democratic Party? To win? Well, I think it is actually to help people, to achieve progress for everyday Americans, and to protect the vulnerable in our society. These are the ideals that make me a Democrat and that also make me a pro-life Democrat. I am a Pope Francis Democrat, and I’m not the only one.

Vibha Sazawal has been a member of Democrats For Life of America since 2007.

WHEN YOU CUT OFF A WING, YOU CAN NO LONGER FLY

*The following was published in The Hill: CongressBlog.

After yet another wave of GOP victories in the recent elections, it is time for the Democratic Party to face the fact.

We are losing.

Yet, some scoff at the idea, especially with the 2016 presidential election favoring a Democratic win. However, across the country, the Democratic message is being drowned in a red sea of Republican-controlled states.

Democrats have done well in the past two presidential races, but when it comes to the federal, state and local levels in the midterm elections, we are getting crushed.

Shockingly, we Democrats are at our lowest numbers since Herbert Hoover was elected president in 1928, almost 90 years ago. Since 2010, we have lost 69 U.S. House seats, 13 U.S. Senate seats, 912 state legislative seats, 30 state legislative chambers, and 12 governorships. Republicans now hold 33 vs. 16 Democratic state house chambers, 35 vs. 14 Democratic state senate chambers, 32 vs. 18 Democratic governorships, and the majority in both the U.S. House (246 vs. 188) and the U.S. Senate (54 vs. 44).

So why is the Democratic Party having such a hard time reaching the heartland of America? The recent Kentucky gubernatorial race offers a good narrative. The Democratic candidate thought he had an easy path to the governor’s office. He was ahead in the polls against a novice Tea Party Republican who even the Republican establishment thought would lose. Yet the Republican won by standing against Planned Parenthood and gay marriage. The Democratic Governors Association blamed the loss on “Trumpmania,” but it was more about moral values, such as abortion, an issue that has left the Kentucky State House as the only legislative chamber in the South under Democratic control. A change of just five seats in the Kentucky State House could end the last vestige of Democratic control in the South.

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California’s right-to-die law betrays the state’s progressive principles

*** The following ran in the LA Times on October 7, 2015

by Charles C. Camosy

What’s the calling card value of the National Rifle Assn. and other conservative organizations? Skepticism of government infringing on the autonomy and freedom of individuals, of course. But in yet another example of America’s incoherent politics, assisted suicide has been legalized in liberal California by appealing to precisely these conservative values.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that the best arguments against assisted suicide — especially advanced by such liberal icons as E.J. Dionne and Victoria Kennedy — are progressive. Liberals are generally happy for government to restrict individual freedoms to prevent violence and killing. They are also generally skeptical of the idea that choice leads to genuine freedom, especially for those without power on the margins of our culture.

Indeed, liberal states such as Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and, until this week, California had all recently rejected such legislation. Britain’s attempt to pass an assisted-suicide bill also went down to overwhelming defeat.

To get a victory in California, its supporters were forced to bypass the regular legislative process (which defeated the bill) and instead consider the bill in a healthcare special session, and under unusual rules. This context is as telling as it is disturbing.

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Democrats miss opportunity to support women

***The following was printed in The Hill – Congress Blog

A few weeks ago, I was teaching a class on the legislative process to some high school students. The kids were playing the role of House and Senate members in a conference committee, and I charged them with working out the differences between their two bills. The frustrated students came to a stalemateand looked to me for answers. They inquired if this is what really happens during the legislative process. Sadly, there has been very little compromising in this Congress. The students, however, were able to do what our own Congress is not doing. They negotiated, and each legislative chamber gave up something important to them in order to reach the broader goal for the common good.

The U.S. Senate had an opportunity to put this practice to use on Tuesday, when they considered H.36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban terminations of unborn babies at 20 weeks and later.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York wrote on his blog, “The late-term ban is a particularly interesting case. There are efforts to link it with other measures, such as an expansion of paid family leave after a woman gives birth, or an increase in assistance to teen parents. This strategy gives real substance to the inherent connection between the pro-life and pro-woman messages, and it reaches out to form coalitions across party and ideological lines.”

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