Comedian Rosie O’Donnell is slamming the Democratic Party’s congressional campaign chief’s announcement that his party will support pro-life candidates.
O’Donnell tweeted, “Women should form our own party” if the Democrats support pro-life congressional candidates:
— ROSIE (@Rosie) August 1, 2017
Regarding Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, O’Donnell also tweeted, “Not if she supports for the DNC bullsh*t of ending the pro choice platform”:
— ROSIE (@Rosie) August 2, 2017
This week, Democrat Party congressional campaign committee chairman Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) announced that “there is not a litmus test for Democratic candidates” on abortion rights.
The move comes as the party is struggling to win elections and is seeking to appeal to mainstream Americans and thereby take back control of Congress in 2018.
“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,” Luján said, according to The Hill.
— ROSIE (@Rosie) August 1, 2017
Luján’s statement, however, is in sharp contrast to the Democrat Party’s 2016 platform – its most pro-abortion ever – and to Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez’s announcement in April that pro-life individuals are not welcome in his party.
“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” Perez said, as the HuffPost reported. “That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”
The very different paths suggested in the respective announcements by Luján and Perez continue to highlight a Democrat Party that is in turmoil and may be attempting to negotiate on abortion rights.
Left-wing groups that embrace abortion are not likely to take to Luján’s “big tent” approach to pick up 24 congressional seats and thereby gain back control of the House.
“Throwing weight behind anti-choice candidates is bad politics that will lead to worse policy,” said Mitchell Stille of NARAL, The Hill reports. “The idea that jettisoning this issue wins elections for Democrats is folly contradicted by all available data.”
Following Perez’s statement, Robert David Sullivan observed at the Jesuit magazine America:
Abortion is now the single issue defining the Democrats, and Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, is the de facto head of the party. This gives the Republicans a major advantage in holding off electoral losses if the Trump administration continues to founder.
On Tuesday, former DNC Chairman Howard Dean announced he would not support the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) if it supports pro-life candidates.
“I’m afraid I’ll be with holding [sic] support for the DCCC if this is true,” Dean tweeted:
I'm afraid I'll be with holding support for the DCCC if this is true. https://t.co/gt5gs4erdq
— Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) July 31, 2017
Luján, however, is counting on a more inclusive approach to winning back the House. The Democrat Party has attempted to portray itself as built upon morally upright virtues – such as diversity and inclusiveness – yet Perez’s philosophy – shared by O’Donnell – clearly demands the opposite.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, said about the controversy:
Democrats have an enormous problem on their hands and one that a papered-over solution or postures will not fix. According to Gallup, 32 percent of rank and file Democrats consider themselves pro-life. Even more support compassionate, common ground policies like a limit on abortion after five months.
Rep. Lujan’s assertion, like Nancy Pelosi’s comments in May, are not the same as concrete policy endorsements. Only changes in the party platform that represent majority views and momentum, like that of the Pain-Capable bill, will signify true change.
Dannenfelser added some Democrats, like Luján, are beginning to realize their party’s vulnerability due to extreme views in favor of abortion-on-demand.
“While abortion lobby leaders are beside themselves over the mere suggestion that a pro-life Democrat be permitted to run, clearly, some within the party are starting to recognize the vulnerability here,” she said. “Democrat’s extreme pro-abortion platform has lost more votes than it has gained and led to defeat in the last two election cycles.”
Dannenfelser recalls that pro-life House Democrats “were swept out of office in 2010 because of their pro-abortion vote on Obamacare.”
“This led to a Republican majority in the House,” Dannenfelser explains. “They should have been allowed to vote their consciences on the healthcare bill. It is time to correct that error.”
A Marist/Knights of Columbus poll released in January found that 83 percent of Americans oppose the use of tax dollars to support abortion in other countries, with 61 percent also opposed to funding abortions in the United States with taxpayer dollars. These results include 87 percent of Donald Trump supporters and 39 percent of Hillary Clinton supporters.
Additionally, the poll showed 55 percent of Clinton supporters and 91 percent of Trump supporters approved limiting abortion to – at most – the first trimester of pregnancy.
“There is a consensus in America in favor of significant abortion restrictions, and this common ground exists across party lines, and even among significant numbers of those who are pro-choice,” said Knights of Columbus leader Carl Anderson.
“The majority of Americans in favor of abortion restrictions has been consistently around 8 in 10 for the better part of a decade.” Barbara Carvalho, director of the Marist Poll, also observed, “Though self-identification as pro-life or pro-choice can vary substantially from year to year, the support for restrictions is quite stable.”