Los Angeles Times reports today that "after long defining itself as an undisputed defender of abortion rights, the Democratic Party is suddenly locked in an internal struggle over whether to redefine its position to appeal to a broader array of voters." This as abortion foe and former Indiana Rep. Tim Roemer (who should be disqualified for his frightening looks alone) gets ready to challenge Howard Dean for the Chairmanship of the DNC.
This alarmaing shift in Democrat thinking couldn't be more wrongheaded. At its heart it presumes that if we simply opened the door and were more tolerant of the anti-abortion crowd, we would swell the number of Democrats and defeat the opposition.
But that presumes that you would not alienate the pro-choice crowd in the bargain, and that if their only other option were to vote Republican you would get their votes anyway.
The anti-abortion movement is first and foremost about fear and hatred of women, their bodies, their sexuality, and their right to choose their own destinies. It is a movement designed to keep them chained to the oppressive roles of the past. If anyone actually CARED about reducing pregnancies in this country, and therefore abortions, RU-486 would be available over the counter for the price of Advil, and would effectively decimate the number of abortions needed. Instead it is embattled over notions of "women's health," as if anyone who brings that up (Chimp and Co.) actually gives a shit about women's health. The risk of dying in childbirth is far greater than any risk brought on by the "morning after" pill, but you don't hear anyone crowing about the mother's "right to life." The underlying conceit? She dropped her drawers and spread her legs, let her live (or die) with the consequence of her actions..
So we find ourselves in a nation who has brought the discussion over "right to life" down to the level where we must count blastula so small you can't see them in a Petri dish as "life" so as to continue to chain women to their biology and punish them for engaging in sex. If anyone thinks for ONE MINUTE that a party which tolerates this kind of ideology, which implicitly seeks to make women second class citizens, is one that is going to continue to be embraced by intelligent, educated, progressive thinking MEN AND WOMEN then they need to stop hitting the crack pipe.
Such a policy shift is doomed to backfire. It will instantly eject the backbone of progressive liberalism that the party depends on for is best ideas and morality compass, trading them for a bunch of ignorant yahoos who have been duped by poor education and an expensive Republican advertising budget.
Foolish. Just foolish.