Wednesday, February 16, 2005

For Democrats, Rethinking Abortion Runs Risks

For Democrats, Rethinking Abortion Runs Risks

"Emily's List and other groups have also sounded alarms about the direction the party leadership is taking over all. During the search for a national Democratic chairman, Karen White, political director of Emily's List, posted a rallying cry on the group's Web site: 'We fought like mad to beat back the Republicans. Little did we know that we would have just as much to fear from some within the Democratic Party who seem to be using choice as a scapegoat for our top-of-the-ticket losses.'"

Rethinking rhetoric is one thing (the headline should STILL say "Choice", however). I'm never going to hear the rhetoric I want to hear. You either believe a fertilized egg is a human being or you don't. I don't and I'd like to hear people say that; like Chairman Dean says I'm tired of fundamentalist preachers trying to run our lives.

The right's rhetoric bugs me less than the Deomocrats, though. Democrats are supposed to advocate for freedom, not back away and somehow imply it's a bad thing.

So what's the trade-off? Look at this Pennsylvania poll:

Sen. Rick Santorum trails State Treasurer Robert Casey, Jr., a possible Democratic challenger, 46 - 41 percent, in an early look at the 2006 Senate race, according to a Quinnipiac poll released today. Another 11 percent are undecided.

Santorum would top other possible Democratic challengers:

  • 47 - 39 percent over former State Treasurer Barbara Hafer...

  • A primer for the unfamiliar:
  • Santorum is a flat-out religious conservative
  • Casey, very much his father's son, is a moderate Democrat but anti-choice
  • Hafer, who has Emily's List's backing is a former GOP nominee for governor who switched parties over choice.

    In these circumstances, what's a win? An anti-choice Senator Casey is a vote for control of the chamber, for pro-choice committee chairs, but would buttress the argument that choice is A Problem.

    It seems that rhetorical retreat is inevitable. But we can't surrender on substance, letting choice slip away a notice and a waiting period at a time. We need to be as relentless as the gun nuts are - hey, anyone notice how they've completely won their argument, pushing the issue off the table? And that was with a MINORITY viewpoint. Think what unapologetic pro-choicers can do with our MAJORITY.

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