Anyone who witnessed last year’s Democratic National Convention knows the issue of abortion is seen as a plus by Democrats. But the Gosnell trial has changed the dynamic. Suddenly pro-choice politicians are being asked questions and, in their fumbling responses, revealing to the world that they have no real answers.
Start with Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), former Speaker of the House, who was asked how by John McCormack of the Weekly Standard how, in the wake of the Gosnell trial, she draws a moral distinction between late term abortion and infanticide. The question was relevant since the House was considering a bill to prevent abortion after 20 weeks.
Rep. Pelosi first deflected by claiming McCormack was savoring the question. This brought belly laughs from the assembled media. When McCormack asked a second time, Pelosi responded “You’re taking the extreme case. You’re taking the extreme case.” Finally, Pelosi became indignant and said “I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics. And that’s where you’re taking it and I’m not going there.”
Pelosi’s answer was a muddle of arrogant snark and incoherent nonsense. More importantly, it was laughably at odds with her own party’s history of trumpeting of the issue of abortion as a political sacrament at every opportunity.
But Pelosi’s is not alone in her embarrassing failure to answer a simple question. On TuesdayRep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), the chairwoman of the House Pro-Choice Caucus, gave a press conference to oppose the House bill (which passed today). During the Q&A that followed, a reporter for CNS News asked DeGette, who is also a proponent of gun control, why the oft-stated desire to save one life did not apply in the case of late term abortion. DeGette gave the following response:
Rep. DeGette: Well, this is, this is. … We already have laws in many states of this country. This bill is…is blatantly unconstitutional. And, and if you look at the perceived–if you look at the stated reason of doing this legislation, the Kermit Gosnell case, that gentleman was convicted of murder and sentenced to life.
There is an answer hidden in this muddle. It’s the part about the the constitutionality of the legislation. But that’s really all she’s got. Everything else is the grinding sound of a pro-choice brain struggling to find the right gear and failing.
Fortunately for Pelosi and DeGette, the media is rife with true believers who are more than willing to overlook their abject failures to explain their position on the issue. On Tuesday, MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin hosted a discussion of the pro-life bill during which he admitted that “a great deal of people would agree that science and that public opinion is on your side.” But of course he didn’t want to talk about those topics. Instead he told Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) “I don’t want to get bogged down” discussing these issues. What he did want to discuss was whether the bill was “purely pandering.”
On Wednesday, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes devoted ten minutes to the passage of the pro-life bill. Hayes has been praised for offering opposing viewpoints on his show, but Wednesday his guests were a representative from NOW and pro-choice columnist Michelle Goldberg. They were there to help him circle the wagons not discuss the issues.
Hayes allowed the NOW representative to claim that “77 percent” of Americans support Roe v. Wade which of course has little to do with a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks given that 90 percent of which take place before 12 weeks.
At the last minute Michelle Goldberg pointed out that the polling on late term abortion suggested some people are “confused” or, scratch that, “ambivalent” or maybe just “uncomfortable” with it. You’d think that salient fact might come up sooner, but no. Hayes just runs out the clock and moves on.
Had Hayes been interested in a fair debate he would have pointed out that, according to Gallup, 80 percent of Americans consistently oppose 3rd trimester abortion (and 64 percent oppose it in the 2nd trimester). These numbers obviously includes lots of people who otherwise consider themselves pro-choice. That’s not confusion or ambivalence it’s a clear statement of disapproval for exactly the kind of abortion the bill under discussion is attempting to ban. It is the only relevant statistic and also the one Hayes made sure was left out.
The pro-abortion movement is wobbly in the wake of the Gosnell case.They don’t have answers for simple questions on things that 80 percent of Americans agree about. What they do have is a left wing media made up of folkslike Craig Melvin and Chris Hayes who are willing to stifle the factsand pretend not to notice that abortion proponents can’t defend or explain their views worth adamn.