A video of Virginia State House Delegate Kathy Tran has spread through social media – mostly in conservative circles, but it is essential that Democrats take a close look at – and listen closely to – this critical dialogue between Delegate Tran and Delegate Todd Gilbert, the chairman of the Virginia House Criminal Law Subcommittee.
After I watched the video, I honestly felt a little sorry for Delegate Tran. You could tell she was a little uncomfortable with her answers – and she should be. As a new mother herself, she has a good grasp of fetal development and should know that it is just not a good idea to allow a woman in labor to decide to end her pregnancy. I think we can all – or at least we should – agree on that premise.
When Chairman Gilbert asked Delegate Tran, “Where it is obvious that a woman is about to give birth,” and gave a specific example – “she’s dilating” – “could she request an abortion under your bill?” The only answer she could give was an uncomfortable, “My bill would allow that, yes.”
Pro-life Democrats attend the March for Life every single year but should we?
Every year, we march because we believe that our message is vital for both the pro-life movement and our society as a whole. Our message is that we as a country must be pro-life for the whole life. We must protect the life and dignity of every single person from the womb to the tomb. This includes not only direct threats to human life, such as abortion, euthanasia, and the death penalty, but also indirect threats, which are nevertheless grave and can also end up killing millions of people around the world each year, such as poverty, inadequate access to health care, and environmental degradation.
Some see our whole-life approach as a distraction and believe that we are taking our eyes off the ball. Of course, some of these critiques are offered in bad faith by people who have tried to tie the pro-life movement to other issues, such as their personal opposition to same-sex marriage or various other conservative causes. But others sincerely believe that the focus should just be on the immensely important issue of abortion.
There is an important election coming up that will determine the balance of the U.S. Senate and the future of the U.S. Supreme Court. The election could also determine whether or not there will be impeachment efforts to rid the White House of Donald Trump. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) is in a very close battle, and all Democrats would like to see her continue her tenure in the U.S. Senate.
Missouri Party Chairman Stephen Webber thinks that the best way to support Senator McCaskill and other Democrats in Missouri is to create an unnecessary battle over abortion.
A few weeks ago, there was a meeting to amend the Missouri Democratic Party platform. A vote took place, and the amendment was accepted. The Missouri Democratic Party then said that they welcome Whole Life Democrats in the party. The “conscience language” to include pro-life Democrats did not dilute the abortion-rights plank in the Democratic Party platform.
Unfortunately, it does not appear that the acceptance, along with the compromise language, lasted. Party Chairman Webber held a meeting this morning to strip the inclusive language from the platform because nothing says “We we want your vote” more than overturning a fair process of debate and approval. It is very unusual to remove language unilaterally after a platform has been ratified. It makes you wonder about the kind of pressure supposedly “progressive” groups exerted and why. They know that this removal will cause chaos. Continue reading
The March for Life never fails to inspire me and give me hope for our future. It is such an uplifting experience to be around thousands of people who have compassion for human dignity. We received some much-needed encouragement and support for our message “pro-life for the whole life” and also for remaining in our Democratic Party to fight for those most vulnerable.
Our morning started off with breakfast and an incredible presentation by Tammy Ruiz about perinatal hospice. You can learn more about perinatal hospice by clicking here. I challenge you to keep a dry eye while watching this video. One of the most emotional parts of her speech involved a woman Tammy worked with after she received a prenatal diagnosis. The woman had everything in place and was prepared to deliver a child who would not survive. Fortunately, a medical diagnosis is not always correct, and her child is now six years old and healthy.
When Republicans nominated the most unpopular candidate for president since Barry Goldwater, pundits believed it was a sure thing that Democrats would retake the United States Senate. Rather than appeal to independents and soft Republicans, Democrats continued with a losing strategy.
They nominated a slate of U.S. Senate candidates – many of whom lost their own re-elections just six years ago – who believe in late-term abortion and taxpayer funding of abortion. The national Democratic message stressed the importance of nominating pro-choice Supreme Court justices and repealing the Hyde Amendment. It once again backfired in purple states.
Our party should not be content being a coastal party and needs to recognize that the bi-coastal messaging does not play in the heartland. Candidates matter. And if the Democratic Party continues to run radically pro-choice candidates in pro-life states, we will never win a majority of seats in the U.S. Senate.
Working inside the bubble of Washington, you grow used to the idea that sound-bites, raising money for the next election or strategizing on how to win the majority back from your opponent are the most important things. If you stop and listening to the work of amazing women around the nation, you will realize that, while our work here in Washington is important, there are people on the ground who are providing support, love, and assistance to women facing unplanned pregnancies or healing from abortion. These women are heroes to me.
They are on the ground, working tirelessly to give women a choice and a chance to be a mother or a birth mother. They provide options, not just while the women are pregnant, but they make sure that they have the tools and the skills to take care of their babies or help prepare the mothers for the greatest gift of adoption. They don’t demonize the abortion industry or dehumanize the women or prenatal child. In fact, some receive referrals from abortion clinics for women who don’t want an abortion.
The common thing among all these women is that they do not talk about pressure or hate or shame. Their stories all speak of support, love, and empowerment. Women are strong and we can face any “obstacle” particularly if our sisterhood is along for the ride to lift us up instead of knocking us down. And, these sisters are doing just that!
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.
*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.
*** The following ran in the LA Times on October 7, 2015
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.