Dean Urges Dems to Court Pro-Life Voters
Democrats need to reach out to voters who oppose abortion rights and promote candidates who share that view, the head of the party said Friday.
Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told a group of college Democrats that their party has to change its approach in the debate over abortion.
"I think we need to talk about this issue differently," said Dean. "The Republicans have painted us as a pro-abortion party. I don't know anybody in America who is pro-abortion."
Dean's approach echoed similar arguments advanced in recent months by former President Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.
"We do have to have a big tent. I do think we need to welcome pro-life Democrats into this party," said Dean.
This statement tells me that the people who are currently in charge of the Democratic Party are fucking morons. I'm sorry for the harsh language, but there it is: they're fucking morons. They may complain that Karl Rove is some sort of "kid genius", but only because their corresponding Democratic Karl Roves are still trying to understand the function and purpose of toilet paper.
Previously I wondered if the leaders of the Democratic Party were morons or simply caught up in two twin movements that they couldn't extract themselves from. Those twin movements are the Daily Kos blogger phenomena and the related anti-war movements. The Daily Kos and the Democratic Underground, both highly popular democratic meeting areas, are constantly populated not by the thoughtful liberal left, but by the extreme fringes, are also visited by some fairly well-placed illuminati of the Democratic Party, such as Barbara Boxer and Ted Kennedy--who have also written some essays for both sites.
I had assumed previously that these two movements, both intertwined, have served to give the Democrats the mis-impression that the kooky fringe left were the heart of the Liberal movement, rather than the crusty fringe. It would have been as if the Republicans had started taking their cues from the fringe Right folks moving to Montana to build fortified compounds to protect themselves from an invasion of black U.N. helicopters. Looking at many of the fringe movements of the Left, however, and it's easy to confuse them with the more thoughtful liberals, moderates and libertarians (who are liberal on social issues while conservative on economic and military issues) who also used to be under the Democratic "big tent" in the 1950's and 1960's.
Trapped in the halo of the Daily Kos and the anti-war lights, I just assumed the Democratic Party started chasing what they thought was their core audience, and had allowed themselves to be out-triangulated by a Republican Party who--after 9/11--was more appealing to life-long Democrats such as Victor Davis Hanson and Zell Miller.
But now I know, with Dean's statements, that the Democratic leaders are just fucking stupid.
Let me spell it out for you. Regardless of everyone's machinations, abortion rights are here to stay. All the squabbling over abortion rights won't cause a significant shift in where women can get abortions: regardless of Federal rulings, they will always be legal in California, and pressure against them will always prevail in Mississippi--where abortions are seen on the same level as murder by the majority of the population there. And regardless of who is selected to the Supreme Court, they will not rule on overturning Roe v. Wade unless they get a court case which allows them to revisit that ruling--and whose facts permit them to examine the core ruling.
So it's safe to say that regardless of the politics, the ability of women to get abortions (and the social pressure against them in many areas) will remain more or less stable for the next couple of decades at least.
If the practical upshot is that abortion rights are, for all practical intents and purposes, stable, then why does everyone scream about abortion rights being under attack, or about the death of babies and the moral decay of our nation?
Because Abortion is a fund raiser issue.
In politics, there are many issues which are fund raiser issues. Bush's judicial nomination process has been exploited as a fund raiser issue: issues which are magnified and distorted for the purpose of igniting the passions of the core, so they donate large amounts of cash to their political party. (That's why suddenly, after being told by the Democrats that Judge Brown's nomination to the DC court of appeals was the next sign in the coming of a U.S. Republican-controlled Theocracy, the Democrats in the senate almost unanimously voted for her to assume the judgeship: they were using her as a token for fund raising efforts, not because they believed she was in fact a problem.)
Fund raiser issues tend to be issues which can be emotionally spun, and they tend to be issues which can scare the voters, but which have little practical result: it's possible for either side to "lose ground" on some emotionally charged--but meaningless--issue, then scream in fund raising flyers about how they need more money to "take back ground."
By undermining the abortion issue by reaching out to pro-lifers, Dean's Democrats have made a strategic error: they have in a sense negated their fund raiser flyers by reaching out to the other side. They no longer can write in their fund raising flyers "we must take ground back from those who would take away your right to choose"--because they're now courting those who would "take away your right to choose."
Absolutely stupid. Dean just shot the Democrats in the foot.