By Dave Andrusko
Last week we wrote “The Democratic National Convention: “Five Takeaways we can predict in advance” This followed “Five takeaways” written after the Republican National Convention.
It took no particular power of prophecy to anticipate that the mainstream media would do everything possible to marginalize the pro-life team of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and exaggerate—read grossly distort—the party’s platform plank on abortion and other life-related issues. Likewise is anyone surprised that the Democratic convention was a hotbed of abortion advocates whose platform plank proudly,even defiantly, espoused abortion for any reason, or no reason, up to the moment of birth—paid for by your tax dollars?
What IS surprisingly, however, is that Democrats would hammer abortion advocacy(dressed up in their rhetorical best for primetime) in speech after speech after speech. This is a very, very risky strategy for it strikes at the heart of the strategy abortion advocates have employed for years: that THEY are the“moderates” on abortion, not to be confused with those pro-life absolutists.
This full-throated, in-your-face abortion advocacy, also brought to light President Obama’s own unyielding, all-curettes-on-board embrace of the most militant form of pro-abortionism. After all this was his convention.
“Never have I heard as much talk about abortion as at this convention, where speech after speech highlights how wrong I’ve been to wince every time Barack Obama is referred to as ‘the abortion president,’” lamented Washington Post columnist Melinda Henneberger.
Even pro-abortion-to-the-hilt columnist Margaret Carlson paused momentarily from her life’s work of clobbering pro-lifers with a vengeance to ask, “Why has the Democratic Party removed the sentence ‘Abortion should be safe, legal,and rare’ from its platform? It was in the 2004 document but not in 2008’s or this year’s. Can’t Democrats just throw a crumb to the many millions who are pro-choice but not pro-abortion?”
In fact the sentence was/is in both platforms, only in a truncated form. The word “rare” is gone. Why? Simply because abortion proponents have demanded it be excised.
In the words of Katie Stack,writing on the pro-abortion site Rhrealitycheck.org, “rare” reinforces “the idea that abortion, though permissible, should be shameful and undesirable. Nobody wants to have an abortion, after all.“ That sentiment is absolutely verboten.
“Winning the moral, cultural, and political debate surrounding abortion rights means that we must not give the other side the upper hand on any aspect,” Stack said.“Suggesting that nobody wants an abortion or that nobody should be willing and happy to talk about her experience reinforces the idea that it is shameful–andit gives the other side the moral advantage.”
But this remains a fringe position, held by a tiny minority. Regardless of their overall opinion on abortion, overwhelmingly Americans want fewer abortions and do not see abortion as a “successful”outcome.
Carlson’s use of the word “crumb” is highly revealing. When Bill Clinton conjured up the safe, legal, and rare formulation, he didn’t mean for a second that he (or his party) was dialing back on his/its support for abortion. It was a “crumb”—a meaningless gesture– intended to hide all-out support for abortion. Passing itself off as middle-of-the-road which was and is key to winning over the vast majority of Americans uncomfortable with the Democrats’ abortion, now and forever, stance.
Weaving abortion into the convention fabric is symptomatic of a party that believes support for abortion—if disguised as resistance to a “war on women”—is a winning issue. The problem is, for Obama and other pro-abortion advocates, that this imaginary war is already growing tiresome and at odds with the endless emphasis on abortion, however camouflaged.
It would go too far to say that strategy came unglued over the past three days. But it is true to say that people could rightly come away from what they saw in Charlotte, North Carolina, wondering if the Democrats—read Obama’s—real position isn’t “more safe, legal, without apology abortions.”
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