Pelosi and the pretence that there is room for pro-lifers in the Democratic Party

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-abortion House Minority Leader

Pro-abortion House Minority Leader

It is unfair on many grounds to expect pro-abortion House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) to offer a cogent, or even coherent, explanation of her position on abortion. She’s been at this a long time, so when the topic comes up she reflexively touts her Catholicism and the fact that she had five children in six years, and then floats (usually unchallenged) into a logjam of head scratching non sequiturs.

She gave an interview to assorted reporters at the Washington Post yesterday. Unfortunately the video the Post posted online [] not only jumps around, it also only touches on some of the issues the news stories address.

So taken together, let’s see what sense we can make of the video and the stories.

First, we are to believe that with regard to abortion, “This is the Democratic Party. This is not a rubber-stamp party.” Pelosi talked about her extended family which includes members who are not pr-choice. “You think I’m kicking them out of the Democratic Party?” As if that had anything to do with anything.

Does that mean that a pro-lifer could “get the nomination” [presumably a reference to a pro-lifer being endorsed for any office]? Well, Pelosi responds, “I don’t think so. It depends on where you are talking about.” Hmmm. Hold that thought.

Second, referring again to abortion, “It’s kind of fading as an issue. It really is.” Later, when a reporter asks her to “clarify,” Pelosi says yes, she is talking about the Democratic Party. “I don’t think you’ll see many candidates going out there and saying ‘I am running as a prolife candidate.’”

[That’s when she told reporters, “But let’s not spend too much time on this,” switching to her five children in six years response and how could anybody say anything to her about abortion with that track record.]

Third, immediately after she said the abortion issue was fading among Democrats, Pelosi remarked, “It’s not fading in the hearts and minds of the people who are that way.” (“That way”?)

Warming to the topic, Pelosi then riffs about what did in Democrats/Hillary Clinton in 2016.

That’s why, you know what? That’s why Donald Trump is president of the United States — the evangelicals and the Catholics, anti-marriage equality [slaps her hand on the table], anti-choice [slaps her hand on the table again]. That’s how he got to be president.

Pelosi then bitterly adds, “Everything [else] overlooked,” referring to other issues. “Everything was trumped, literally and figuratively by that.”

Fourth, since this is not on the video, you have to piece the discussion together. Referring to the “diversity” within the party and the unwillingness to “kick out” pro-lifers, she pointed to “Bob Casey — you know Bob Casey — would you like him not to be in our party?”

“Bob Casey” was the pro-life Governor of Pennsylvania. Pelosi, by contrast, is referring to Robert Casey, Jr., the senator from Pennsylvania who is uniformly on the side of pro-abortionists, including most specifically Planned Parenthood, yet calls himself “pro-life.”

But Pelosi has an answer for that, hidden in the garbled answer about whether pro-lifers can get the party’s “nomination.”

[I]t’s not usually pro-life or not. It’s how far you are willing to go on the issue.

But if you are willing to go anywhere “on the [abortion] issue,” you go nowhere in the Democratic Party. Robert Casey, Jr. will run for re-election as a “personally opposed” pro-lifer next year with a record free, or virtually free, of any pro-life votes.

One other quick point, courtesy of the Post’s Karen Tumulty.  Democrats are eager to make gains in the 2018 elections, which, of course, is the reason they are stonewalling any and all initiatives coming out of President Trump and the Republican leadership in the House and Senate. Tumulty writes

But the opposition party is also gripped by an internecine battle for its own identity, moving leftward with calls for ideological purity by portions of its activist liberal base while also trying to reach out to the rural, working-class Americans who turned against Democrats last year.

Abortion has become a flash point.

So we get ying and yang, back and forth, between the likes of DNC chair Tom Perez who announces that support for abortion is “non-negotiable” and pretend openness to pro-life Democrats when, in truth, there is only “room” for Democrats who keep their pro-life convictions and their voting records totally compartmentalized.

Anyone who thinks the Democratic Party is inching over from its abortion-on-demand posture is in for a rude awakening.

So headlines that talk about Pelosi saying “Democratic candidates should not be forced to toe party line on abortion,” are blatantly misleading.

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