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posted by awelborn

From Nat Hentoff in the Washington Times, Reclaiming Pro-lifers

Quiet as it’s kept, the diminishing Democratic majority in Congress for the past quarter of a century equals the rate at which pro-life Democrats have been abandoning the party. This was the message given to Terry McAuliffe, head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), when he was visited on March 8 by members of Congress on the National Advisory Board of Democrats for Life of America. Among them were Reps. Bart Stupak of Michigan and James Oberstar of Minnesota.
These are the illuminating statistics — ignored by the media — that were presented to Mr. McAuliffe: In the 95th Congress (1977-78), Democrats had a 292-seat majority in the House of Representatives, which included 125 pro-life Democrats. Now, as a minority, Democrats are down to 204 seats, with 28 pro-life Democrats.
At the meeting, Mr. McAuliffe was told that in certain congressional districts, a pro-life Democrat would be able to win a Republican-leaning seat. Sen. John Kerry and the DNC, said Mr. McAuliffe’s visitors, would be well-advised to look hard at those districts. Mr. McAuliffe told them to talk to Mr. Kerry and the DNC Executive Board.



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freds

posted March 29, 2004 at 4:20 pm


This makes all the sense in the world to me. I, was, in fact, a precinct captain in the Ann Arbor Democratic party. I was very liberal, and I was pro-life, which I really felt was in line with the rest of my liberal thoughts. Here’s today’s trivia question: Who ran against Jimmy Carter in the Democratic primaries, and what was her (a lttle hint) platform. Answer: Ellen McCormick, on a pro-life platform. Even I didn’t vote for her, because she wasn’t qualified to be president by any stretch of the imagination. But what people don’t remember was that shortly thereafter the Democratic Party had it’s own “Night of the Long Knives” (as it felt to me) and the pro-lifers were quickly purged from the party, or made so uncomfortable that they fled.



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freds

posted March 29, 2004 at 4:20 pm


This makes all the sense in the world to me. I, was, in fact, a precinct captain in the Ann Arbor Democratic party. I was very liberal, and I was pro-life, which I really felt was in line with the rest of my liberal thoughts. Here’s today’s trivia question: Who ran against Jimmy Carter in the Democratic primaries, and what was her (a lttle hint) platform. Answer: Ellen McCormick, on a pro-life platform. Even I didn’t vote for her, because she wasn’t qualified to be president by any stretch of the imagination. But what people don’t remember was that shortly thereafter the Democratic Party had it’s own “Night of the Long Knives” (as it felt to me) and the pro-lifers were quickly purged from the party, or made so uncomfortable that they fled.



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PMC

posted March 29, 2004 at 4:59 pm


The excellent Human Life Review just published the conclusion of its 2-part history of “Democrats for life” (part I is available in the archives): http://www.humanlifereview.com/
BTW, some people don’t think Carter was qualified to be president by any stretch of the imagination either.



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Mark Shea

posted March 29, 2004 at 5:29 pm


They don’t know what’s killing them.



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AB

posted March 29, 2004 at 6:19 pm


Freds:
Shouldn’t that be, “Night of Long Forcepts?”



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Michael

posted March 29, 2004 at 6:53 pm


PMC: that’s ok. Many people know GWB isn’t qualified to be president. Certainly he’s less qualified than President Carter was.
OK, snarkiness aside, I’m glad to see Nat Hentoff writing on this, and I’m glad to see pro-life Democrats making some noise at the national level. Maybe we can reclaim the party. Of course, if that happens, Republicans will be a minority in national politics for a very long time.



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tom faranda

posted March 29, 2004 at 7:07 pm


Here’s the other long term problem for the Democrats. The Supreme Court did decide the 2000 election – however it was the Supreme Court in 1973 with Roe v. Wade. Abortion strikes minorities, the poor, and secular liberals disproportionately. So there are fewer young members of what Democrats consider their “natural” constituencies. The so-called “Roe Effect” is real and probably cost the Democrats some closely contested States in 2000. And it’s only going to get worse for them. I’d be happy to email some links to anyone who is interested.



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Peggy

posted March 29, 2004 at 10:33 pm


I find it very interesting that I’ve seen numerous articles in the past 6+ months which, coming from the left, the authors recommend that the Democratic party back off its morally liberal positions, particularly on abortion. Their own writers are noting that the Democratic left is indeed out of the mainstream of American values and beliefs, even of their own rank and file. They’ve gone too far.
I happen to prefer GOP positions on most other issues and would not necessarily welcome any closer positioning on morality between the two parties which would muddy the waters of choosing between the left and right in the US. OK, the GOP is all that firmly in the right in many areas. Both parties are generally in the mushy middle on most issues. Only abortion, national security, taxes (used to be spending, too!), and now homosex “marriage” provide some opportunity for differentiation between the major parties.



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Michael

posted March 29, 2004 at 10:47 pm


Given the revelations coming out of Washington these days, it’s clear that the Republican Party is not interested in national security except as an election issue.



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Peggy

posted March 29, 2004 at 10:49 pm


Should be “the GOP is NOT all..”



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kyle

posted March 30, 2004 at 11:30 am


Anytime the Dems want to start fighting to protect preborn human life they will find themselves competing for my vote and for the votes of many others. I will certainly welcome that day.



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Sage

posted March 30, 2004 at 11:51 am


Won’t happen any time soon. The Democratic party is cravenly beholden to its abortion lobby. They rest on a very thin platform, actually, which is why extremists dominate their agenda.
If they lose the abortion lobby, they’re toast. If they at any time recieve fewer than 85% of the black vote nation-wide, they will cease to be a national party overnight. If the teachers’ unions withdraw even a third of their support, they’re gone in a puff. The list goes on and on.
The point is, the Democrats will literally disappear if they don’t hold on to every last drop of their present electoral base. They stand on a cobbled-together coalition of often mutually antagonistic left-wing reactionaries. This isn’t the case with Republicans, which results in two things: Republicans are often accused by supporters of diluting their agenda and betraying their base. Democrats are accused of being slavishly responsive to the whims of their special interests, no matter how unreasonable the demand. Both are true.



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SiliconValleySteve

posted March 30, 2004 at 1:04 pm


Nothing would make me happier than to see the democrats develop a strong pro-life wing. I am a registered republican but faced with a choice between a pro-abortion republican and a pro-life democrat, I would vote for the democrat every time. This is regardless of position on all other major issues (exception for racist kooks like David Duke of course).
Abortion is the largest issue in the country today. When confronted with an aggressive pro-abort republican running against an aggressive pro-abort democrat I have voted third-party protest.
The only exception I make is if the republican candidate indicates that he will support Pres. Bush’s judicial nominees. Cause remember, the courts have us locked out of this issue and only a constitutional ammendment (not bloody likely) or a new supreme court majority will get the pro-life forces back in the game.



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