By Dave Andrusko
Lindy West is a recent addition (July 1) to the stable of New York Times opinion writers who are so far out to sea they make Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders look like Republicans. Let me confess: I am old enough to remember the days when although I thoroughly disagreed with the Times on virtually everything, I sort of admired the caliber of their writing and ability to turn a phrase.
Not to put too fine a point on it, everything West writes SHOULD BE IN ALL CAPS. It is not an exaggeration to say that her columns read as if she has cobbled together her ugliest tweets and in lieu of editing was told by her editors to “go for it.”
Her background for becoming “the feminism and popular culture contributing opinion writer for The New York Times”? According to Wikipedia, “She was a staff writer for Jezebel where she wrote on racism, sexism, and fat shaming.”
So the last thing you would expect is cool reason and an appeal to common norms. And your expectations would be fulfilled, judging by her first two Times’ columns.
Her contributing Op-Ed Writer column this week is titled “Of course Abortion should be a litmus test for Democrats.”
The genius, in a manner of speaking, of writers such as West is that what they pen is such a mishmash of free-associated impulse that it is silly to even try to debunk it. It’s just venom, mixed with disgust, and baked in hatred for the usual pretend suspects–knuckle-draggers and White Supremacists.
West’s exaggerated sense of grievance–it is clear that virtually everything and anyone not associated with her brand of identity politics on steroids sends her over the edge–was stoked when Ben Ray Luján, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told the Hill, “There is not a litmus test for Democratic candidates.” Adding insult to injury, Luján also said, “As we look at candidates across the country, you need to make sure you have candidates that fit the district, that can win in these districts across America.”
We wrote about this yesterday–“Time again to pretend Democratic Party does not have an abortion ‘litmus test’ for candidates.” In one paragraph, here was my take.
It is preposterous to think that even if the Democratic leadership were to fund pro-life candidates in an attempt to win the House of Representatives, never in a blue moon would they allow that handful of pro-lifers to have even a scintilla of influence on the party’s agenda. Democrats might fund vaguely pro-life candidates but they would be expected without question to support and promote the party’s agenda of abortion on demand, at home and around the world, using your and my tax dollars.
So with this obvious truth in mind, what deep, dark impulse led West to write
What kind of cringing, bewildered invertebrates roll over and capitulate to the losing side of a debate at a time when they’ve never had more leverage?
Quickly: (1) West knows that the party is in a deep hole. Her solution is to dig deeper. Her advice is to separate a party that lost the last presidential election because it was completely out of touch with Middle America even further from the people they need to compete. Her op-ed ends, “Come on, Democrats. Be something. Unite and move left. The center will follow or lose.”
(2) Even an insincere profession of making room for pro-lifers suggests “anti-choicers” are not one of the main components of the “basket of deplorables,” the characterization Clinton assigned to half of Donald Trump’s supporters. Never forget, the more people like West attribute ugliness to others, the more this liberates them to say and write the most horrible things about people who disagree with them.
West should not worry for a nanosecond. Her party has one use and one use only for pro-lifers: a lever to help them take back the reins of power and then to discard as quickly as possible.