Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Amy Welborn: "Again…get that straw out of my face!"

Amy Welborn refutes another straw man argument (namely, that anti-abortion voters are “cultural warriors ... all about making abortion a wedge issue for the GOP and nothing more”):
... The assumption behind the questions about anti-abortion activity and the GOP is often strained and incorrect, though, because the assumption is that, absent a 3rd-party option, that the anti-abortion movement actually has a choice regarding its frequent alignment with the GOP. That the Democrats are just, you know, waiting to welcome them with open arms, but the stubborn, unthinking, loyalists just won’t budge. Because it’s really not about abortion for them - it’s about the Republican party. Which they love, blind to the possibilities of the Dems.

Forgetting the inconvenient truth that in 1972, the Democratic party embraced the abortion rights cause as its own, and hasn’t let go since.

It all came to a head in 1972, as most of us know, but even if you do know, [Mark] Stricherz’s account [in Why the Democrats Are Blue] of the 1972 convention is helpful and even riveting at times. What’s most interesting to me is that the abortion issue more or less came out of the blue. It was only the feminists who wanted it and McGovern’s people were actually rather frantic that it not become a part of the platform, knowing full well what it would do to the traditional party base.

It really is quite amazing to consider the transformation in the priorities of the Democratic party in just those few years - who in 1964 could have imagined that gay rights and abortion rights would become such a focus just a decade later.

In 1980, Carter and his supporters worked against pro-gay rights and pro-abortion rights planks in the platform but were handily defeated, on the latter, by a margin of 2-1 voting in support of planks supporting unrestricted abortion and taxpayer-funded abortion, the vote achieved in great part by maneuverings and decisions made over the previous years to enact a quota requiring a 50-50 female-male split on delegates.

And then came Reagan.

Gee. I wonder why the pro-life activists starting doubting the Democratic party was open to their concerns.


Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Amy Welborn: "Back to the Future" on Abortion

Creative Minority Report: "Save the Straw Men"

Debate Over at Amy's: Should Catholics Work for Legal Restrictions on Abortion?

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At 10/29/2008 9:41 AM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

What if the abortion issue were off the table?

How many people vote Republican solely -- or primarily because that issue?

If the rights of the unborn were to be recognized in this country, how many people who are now called "pro-lifers" might consider voting Democratic?

And how many people are there who vote Democratic primarily because of the abortion issue? Might there be some of these who would sometimes consider voting Republican?

If the abortion were finally banned, what sort of political shift might we see?

At 10/29/2008 2:30 PM, Anonymous crankycon said...

I guess it wouldn't come as a surprise to learn that I'd be no fan of the Democratic Party even if we remove abortion as an issue. There is absolutely nothing about the current party that has any appeal to me, whether it be social, economic, or foreign policy concerns.

But I wonder - can we really divorce abortion from liberalism? To put it another way, what makes the Dem Party so repellent is its underlying left-wing ideology. It seems that support for abortion rights would naturally be part of a progressivist mindset. Whenever I think of left-wing/progressive politics I think of C.S. Lewis's That Hideous Strength and N.I.C.E. If you haven't read it, well, you should. But essentially Lewis shows the connection between the progressive suit of perfection and the ways in which science can be perverted in the interests of building up a utopian society. It seems to me that someone of the progressive bent who also is very much enamored of science would naturally be drawn to abortion as a procedure which would advance those interests.

This is a long way of saying that abortion can't be divorced from the Democratic Party as long as the left is in control of it, because the left itself will never divorce itself from abortion

At 10/29/2008 3:44 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

Exactly Cranky.

And, along those same lines, it's not as if abortion was the only thing objectionable about the left and the Democrat Party. Abortion is the gravest sin, but I am also put off by the militant secularism and hostility to traditional religion and religious values that has been part and parcel of left-liberalism since at least the French Revolution.

Secularism pervades leftism.

At 10/29/2008 3:45 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

And that's a theme the Regular Guy has hit on several times with his posts re: liberalism inevitably turns into religious persecution.


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