Search This Blog

Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Abortion, Identity Politics, and the Democratic Party

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 election, pointing out that the Democratic Party has moved to the left, particularly on social issues such as abortion.

At The Atlantic, Emma Green spoke with Michael Wear, former director of Barack Obama’s 2012 faith-outreach efforts, who said:  "The Democratic Party used to welcome people who didn’t support abortion into the party. We are now so far from that, it’s insane."

Mr. Sanders and the new leadership of the Democratic National Committee touched a party sore spot this week when they took their “Unity Tour” to Omaha to rally for a mayoral candidate who opposes abortion rights. Mr. Sanders, repurposing the themes of his presidential bid, told a crowd of about 6,000 on Thursday night that the candidate, Heath Mello, 37, would be a future star in the Democratic Party who could help break the grip of big money on the nation’s politics.
Identity politics reared its head, and pro-abortion forces attacked, forcing party chair Tom Perez to backtrack.
By Friday afternoon, Mr. Perez had issued a far more strongly worded statement. “I fundamentally disagree with Heath Mello’s personal beliefs about women’s reproductive health,” Mr. Perez said. “It is a promising step that Mello now shares the Democratic Party’s position on women’s fundamental rights. Every candidate who runs as a Democrat should do the same because every woman should be able to make her own health choices. Period.”
In an interview on Friday, Mr. Perez further toughened his language, saying he respected those Democrats who “have personal beliefs” against abortion rights but warning them not to pursue such policies in office. “If they try to legislate or govern that way, we will take them on,” he said.