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.
***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.”