a must-read TAP piece
in December, but also just this week in an excellent Nicholas Kristof column
* in the New York Times:
"The Democratic Party commits seppuku in the heartland by coming across as indifferent to people's doubts about abortions or even as pro-abortion. A Times poll in January found that 61 percent of Americans favor tighter restrictions on abortion, or even a ban, while only 36 percent agree with the Democratic Party position backing current abortion law.
That doesn't mean that there's no middle ground on abortion. In fact, most of America is standing, conflicted, on middle ground. Many people are deeply uncomfortable with abortions, but they also don't want women or doctors going to prison, and they don't want teenage girls dying because of coat-hanger abortions.
What has been lethal for Democrats has not been their pro-choice position as such, but the perception that they don't even share public qualms about abortion."
Kristof is dead right: Democrats have to get a little more ambivalent about abortion or be way out of step with other Americans (and for that matter people around the world). But we Democrats have to deal with a lot of cranky one-issue prochoice "fundamentalists" who talk of bolting the party if there is the slightest retreat from the militant position they espouse. My fear is that they are going to be a millstone around our collective necks if we don't watch out. (The same is true, by the way, of the militants on the other side: if the "life begins at conception" crowd gets too visibly powerful, the GOP can't win national elections.)
*[There's also an interesting paragraph concerning Howard Dean in that column, but it's a little off topic for this diary so I'll leave it aside.]
Comments are closed on this story.