‘Tolerant’ Democrats Shun Their Own: Pro-Life, Catholic Rep. Dan Lipinski

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., campaigns for re-election in Illinois' 3rd Congressional District at a commuter train station in Berwyn, Ill., Monday, Jan. 14, 2008. Those challenging Lipinski portray him as too conservative and a pal of Republicans _ as well as a by-product of nepotism because his father, the …
AP/Brian Kersey

Far left organizations have banded together to fund a campaign against Illinois Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski, a longstanding Catholic and pro-life member of Congress, in the state’s upcoming primary election on March 20.

Lipinski, who has served as co-chairman of the congressional Pro-Life Caucus and voted against Obamacare, is being shown the door by organizations that claim to now represent the Democratic Party.

NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Emily’s List, LGBT activists the Human Rights Campaign, SEIU, and MoveOn are spending more than $1 million on a TV, direct mail, and digital ad campaign to oust Lipinski. The groups are endorsing his little-known opponent, Marie Newman, an advertising executive who is pro-abortion rights and pro-gun control.

At the Washington Post, columnist David Weigel observed that NARAL president Ilyse Hogue said about Lipinski, “He doesn’t have true Democratic values, and his record proves it.”

Weigel reports:

On Jan. 17, two of Lipinski’s liberal colleagues, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), endorsed Newman at a news conference in Washington. Gutierrez ripped into Lipinski for opposing the Dream Act, which would provide protections for immigrants brought illegally to the United States as children; Schakowsky asked why Chicago’s blue suburbs still had an antiabortion congressman.

“I assure you that this district is overwhelmingly pro-choice,” Schakowsky said.

“The nation has moved forward,” said Gutierrez. “He would be all right in Congress in 1996.”

“Dan Lipinski is way out of step with his constituents and has repeatedly voted against women’s rights, LGBTQ equality, workers and the basic freedoms that his constituents, and all Americans, hold dear,” said Mitchell Stille, NARAL’s national campaign director, according to WindyCityMedia Group. “This unprecedented coalition will work every day between now and primary day to ensure voters know Dan Lipinski’s real record.”

After his fellow Democrats endorsed Newman, Lipinski passed up his key address at the March for Life in January, as the Washington Free Beacon reported, stating he was in a “potentially morally compromised situation” because President Donald Trump also addressed the pro-life advocates from the White House.

Last week, the Chicago Tribune reported on a debate between Lipinski and Newman.

“He sponsored (the Religious Freedom Act) because he’s anti-LGBTQ, and I’m just going to play that exactly as it is, because he is,” Newman accused.

“A lot of things that Ms. Newman talks about, she plays that somehow it’s going to magically happen,” Lipinski responded. “What we need to do is sit down and work out some compromise. Compromise has become a dirty word in Washington.”

Lipinski referred to the Tea Party and the Freedom Caucus as “a major problem.”

“Having a Tea Party of the left that makes promises about all these things that can happen magically, it’s not going to work,” he said.

The Tribune noted the importance of the debate in the solidly blue district at a time of “broader polarization within the [Democratic] party.”

Newman has also received endorsements from New York Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and feminist Gloria Steinem. As Weigel notes, she is the first candidate endorsed by the Indivisible left-wing grass-roots organizations that have banded together in the wake of the 2016 Trump victory over Hillary Clinton.

“Dan Lipinski has rubber stamped the Trump-Pence agenda to undermine women’s control over their own lives and bodies,” said Deirdre Schifeling, executive director of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, according to WindyCityMedia Group. “Lipinski has voted time and time again to block his constituents from accessing birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing at Planned Parenthood, and wants to make abortion illegal.”

“Dan Lipinski has an abysmal record on LGBTQ equality and the shameful distinction of being the worst-scoring Democrat on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard,” Chris Sgro, Human Rights Campaign communications director, also said. “The Trump-Pence administration is attacking and undermining American values every day, and we need a leader who will stand up to their dangerous and hateful agenda — not enable them.”

In her book What Happened, failed presidential nominee Clinton said Democrats who personally oppose abortion must vote for abortion rights and pro-abortion legislation.

“[W]hen personal views on abortion become public actions – votes on legislation or judges or funding that erode women’s rights – that’s a different matter,” Clinton wrote. “We have to remain a big tent, but a big tent is only as strong as the poles that hold it up.”

In April 2017, Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez announced that pro-life candidates 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.”

Following Perez’s statement, Robert David Sullivan observed at the Jesuit magazine America, “Abortion is proving that the Democratic Party can outdo Republicans in self-destruction.”

The author continued:

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.

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has been hailed by national pro-life advocates as the “most pro-life president in modern history.”


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