Friday, January 23, 2009

That's a Good Question. Dems for Life, What Say You?

A commenter at this InsideCatholic article on shifting the pro-life strategy poses an excellent question:
I have not kept up perfectly with dems for life who hold office. I wish them well in changing their party. But I have to admit to a negative opinion overall. Let's start with Bob Casey Jr. D-Pa. He is a dem for life. He won partly because his dad was the honorable Bob Casey Sr., who was ostracized by the DNC for suggesting a prolife platform. Jr. also won due to the media negativity of the Iraq War. This was focused on a courageous prolife republican, Rick Santorum. Santorum is a devout catholic who constantly fought for the unborn. He deserved that seat more than Casey. It was a cheap dirty victory in that one prolifer was run by dems against the more dedicated prolifer: Santorum. Santorum lost. Net pro life victory zero. But at least Casey will typically vote party line.

Here in Cincinnati, prolife dem Steve Dreihaus won over prolife republican Steve Chabot. Chabot was weak due to the housing situation, I believe. But again Chabot was always a dedicated prolifer. Net prolife victory zero.

So when do the prolife democrats, and by that I mean dedicated ANTI ABORTION, pro traditional marriage democrats plan on challenging proabort democrats in democrat cities and democrat states? Like, Mikulski in Maryland? Pelosi in California, or Markey and Frank in Massachusetts? How and when do prolife dems actually plan on changing THEIR party, and working with prolife republicans?
My Comments:
I suppose this could be consigned to the status of rhetorical question, because I don't expect to receive a satisfactory answer.

It does appear that Democrats for Life (with a nod from the powers that be in the Democrat Party) are satisfied with running allegedly "pro-life" Democrats solely for the purpose of knocking off pro-life Republicans - net prolife victory: zero.

Indeed, when DO we get to see allegedly "pro-life" Democrats knocking off some pro-abortion ... sorry, "pro-choice" ... Democrats? Isn't that how you "change the party from within"?

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At 1/23/2009 10:03 AM, Anonymous AnPiobaire said...

Hello Jay,

The article illustrates a fact which seems obvious to me, but is not often addressed: Abortion (pro or anti) is dead as a political issue. It's nice that those Democrats mentioned who won their elections were pro-life, but that's not the reason they won.

All the talk at the beginning of Bush's second term to the effect about "values voting" and a supposed upsurge in people voting pro-life was far off the mark.

In that election year people voted on the "war" issue, even if they said otherwise. It was patently clear that those same voters, if faced with a choice between a pro-life, anti-war candidate vs. a pro-abortion, pro-war one would have voted for the latter.

The voters who elected the pro-life Democrats elected them based largely on the same issues which motivated the majority of other voters, including us Catholics, the war, the economy and a desire for change.

At 1/23/2009 11:38 AM, Anonymous m.z. said...

In fairness, Republicans are not offering pro-life alternatives in many of these contests. The New York GOP is pretty weak on abortion, as is California.

Getting to specifics, Santorum wasn't going to win re-election regardless of the opposition. Pennsylvania actually has a pacifist tradition.

Ideally DFL helps strengthen local parties. In particular, they need to provide a viable option on the funding side. Then they can move on hopefully getting leadership positions within the party so that pro-life candidates aren't looked over. I know that doens't sound very sexy, but that is the game plan as best I can tell. Pro life dems will first appear in very pro life areas because that is the easiest place for them to appear.

At 1/23/2009 12:23 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

"In fairness, Republicans are not offering pro-life alternatives in many of these contests."

You get no argument from me there.

There's a part of me that sees Santorum's loss as just desserts because the GOP (with Santorum's help) actively opposed a pro-life alternative who ran in the Pennsylvania GOP primary against Specter.

At 1/23/2009 2:22 PM, Blogger Christopher Michael said...

Yeah, how dare the Democrats proffer a pro-life candidate! This post makes no sense whatsoever. You are insisting that pro-life Democrats stop challenging pro-life Republicans and run against pro-choice Democrats in the primaries instead. Has it occurred to you that pro-life Democrats don't do this because most Democrats are pro-choice and they would lose such a primary?

Instead, they run where their pro-life stance will not hurt their chances as much, such as against another pro-life candidate. It doesn't make for a pro-life gain in Congress, no, but that isn't the Democrat's fault.

You can't say on one hand that Democrats need to stop being the party of death and then whine when pro-life Democrats beat the Republican candidate. All this post proves is that your differences with the Democratic Party go beyond life issues and that you are a staunch Republican. Do you want a pat on the back or something?


At 1/23/2009 3:54 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

Please. Tone down the indignation, the jerky attitude, and the knee-jerk jumping to conclusions.

For what it's worth, I'm NOT a Republican. And I would LOVE for the Democrats to become a pro-life party. And if a more solid pro-life Democrat beats a pro-life Republican, then more power to them.

But, again, what is the net gain? Especially when the pro-life Democrat will still vote for a power structure in Congress that empowers the pro-abortion side?

You want the Democrat Party to become pro-life? Then the way to do it is the same way the Republican Party did it. Start organizing and taking over at the local level by challenging the pro-choice leadership, beat them, and then run pro-life candidates against pro-choice incumbents.

All your comment proves is that you know absolutely NOTHING about me and that, based on one post, are willing to label me ... a political independent (albeit a fairly conservative one) ... a "staunch Republican". I suppose I would be equally justified on the basis of your comment, alone, of labeling you a staunch Democrat Party hack perfectly willing to live with the pro-abortion status quo as long as that party supports your "other important issues". Do you want a pat on the back or something?

By the way, you've also proven yourself to be a staunch asshole. I suppose you'll want a pat on the back for that, as well?

At 1/23/2009 9:37 PM, Blogger Christopher Michael said...

Wow, that's harsh. Haha...

No, you would not at all be justified in making any such assumption about me because my comment didn't say anything about me. I was talking about you, not me, so you wouldn't be justified in making any assumptions about me. I don't like anything about the Democrat Party at all. I'm a staunch monarchist. I believe in Catholic monarchy, friend. Liberal democracy is a sham.
I was simply pointing out what I saw to be an inconsistency in your post. You have a right to object to a politician's policies and not to vote for them accordingly. But it is the height of folly to object to a politician because you think they don't run against the right people. Just think about that: you are objecting to a politician for no other reason than because you don't like that they are running against Republican pro-life candidates (who you then must wish to win for other reasons since both candidates are pro-life; hence my assumption that you are a staunch Republican) rather than attempting to unseat other politicians that you don't like. That is ridiculous. Either you like their policies or you don't. Either you vote for them or for somebody else. But you certainly don't get to complain that they aren't running against the right people. A politician's choice to run for a seat should be totally without regard to whoever else is running for that same seat. One runs for office in order to win, not just to make sure the other candidates don't.



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