By Dave Andrusko
Let me be clear: I will skim but never read What Happened, Hillary Clinton’s 512-page-long apologetic for her disastrous 2016 presidential campaign. Every carefully choreographic leak that preceded today’s official publication tells us what anyone who has followed Mrs. Clinton for more than a minute would have predicted: everyone not named Clinton is responsible for a defeat virtually no one saw coming.
In her review Emily Jashinsky, writing for the Washington Examiner, addresses what Clinton writes about abortion.
Remember: when it comes to abortion, Clinton is the True Believer’s True Believer. There is never an abortion that is unacceptable and, she fervently believes, the beneficence of abortion should be exported to the four corners of the globe–all paid for (at home and abroad) with our tax dollars.
Judging by the excerpts Jashinsky quotes, the book is more of the same. To be sure there is a nod in the direction of opening the party to pro-life candidates (nothing new there) which is immediately qualified out of existence (nothing new there, either). For example,
The former secretary of state also clarifies that she “[believes] there’s room in our party for a wide range of personal views on abortion.”
She even touts how her vice presidential running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, was “a Democrat personally opposed to abortion because of his Catholic faith…” Then the “but”
but supportive of women’s rights as a matter of law and policy.”
Get it? You can personally be pro-life and a Democrat as long as you do not carry those convictions into the public square.
There’s more score-settling on the abortion issue, according to Jashinsky:
“After the election,” she writes, “Bernie [Sanders] suggested that Democrats should be open to nominating and supporting candidates who are anti-choice. Other topics, such as economic justice, are sacrosanct, but apparently women’s health is not.”
“I don’t mean to criticize only Bernie here,” Clinton continues, “a lot of progressives join in thinking that reproductive rights are negotiable. ….
“But,” she concludes, “when personal views on abortion become public actions– votes on legislation or judges or funding that erode women’s rights– that’s a different matter.”
“We have to remain a big tent, but a big tent is only as strong as the poles that hold it up. Reproductive rights is central to women’s rights and women’s health, and it’s one of the most important tent poles we’ve got,” Clinton adds, transitioning into a full-throated defense of her pro-choice values.
Two quick concluding thoughts. First, Clinton is just more brutally honest than others in the uniformly pro-abortion leadership of the Democratic Party. They also make gestures in the direction of widening the base to include pro-lifers but most aren’t nearly as blunt as she is in driving home the point that the only role a “personally opposed” Democrat could serve is to follow the orders of pro-abortion Rep. Nancy Pelosi and pro-abortion Sen. Chuck Schumer.
Second, the more Democrats wish Mrs. Clinton would go away (and the list is endless), the more determined she will be to remain highly visible in the public eye. For a party that has tossed overboard pro-life voters in pivotal states by the millions, this is bad, bad news.