Being Pro-life and Democrat

I agree with the premise put forth by Bowers here, that most Americans are pro-choice, but adding on a secondary privacy clause does not shift the debate, because the Republicans still sit on their moral high ground untouched. They say pro life, in favor of life, culture of life, on the side of life, choose life, and well, that is a winner. It says nothing about the means, only the ideal. And it frames the Democrat on the side of death.

It reminds me of the quandry that Republicans were in over environmental issues in the early 90's. As the pro-business party, Republicans are against regulation of business as a rule. Standing against the enviromental laws being put forward by the Democrats, Republicans were losing the debate because caring about the environment, being a steward of the earth, is a winner. So, Frank Luntz told the Republicans to say that they too were for the environment, that they too were environmentalists. The Democrats snickered, but it worked, and has served to nuetralized that issue ever since. The Democrats said, no you are not. And the Republicans replied, yes I am, I just don't want the government to stifle economic growth through regulation.

Boom. The debate was immediately re-framed over the issue of government intrusion, and Democrats were left holding the bag-- arguing that governmental regulation of the environment doesn't deter capitalism.

In dealing with the issue of abortion, more and more, it seems that "pro-choice" is a slogan that has out-lived its usefulness. It doesn't work any longer as a frame, because the Republicans are not playing by it, and the press, not wanting to choose sides, gravitates toward the issue, making Democrats the pro-abortion party and Republicans the anti-abortion party. Even though we win handily on the issue of abortion rights, we lose a lot of votes because we've lost the battle of slogans. Choice means choosing, Republicans choose life, and where does that leave the Democrat?

We have to strip that language advantage over the issue of abortion away from the Republicans. That is, we can stay where we are, winning handily on the issue of pro-choice but losing over the issue of regulating abortion, or we can totally take the issue away from the Republicans, and put them on the defensive.

Stripping away the slogans will get people to pay attention to the debate over the legislative action taken on the issue of abortion. Politicians get paid to do this, it can be done quickly, and the reporters always follow. Very few people are pro-abortion, and neither is the Democratic Party pro-abortion. We value life just as much as Republicans do, and we value our freedom and privacy from governmental intrusion even more.

So if a politician says I am pro-life and Democrat, lets hear them out. The Republicans will snicker and respond, no you aren't. And if the politician responds by saying yes I am, I do not like to see abortions, but will not legislate or have the government intruding into this private decision between a woman, her family, and her doctor. That's a politician that belongs in the Democratic Party. And boom, this is a politician that's going to put the Republicans on the defensive.

Tags: Culture (all tags)

Comments

76 Comments

Tikkun article
I am about to leave for work, so I can't discuss, but I just saw your post and wanted to share the link to an article from Tikkun:

Pro-Life Democrats: We're Here, We're Sincere. Get Used to It.

http://www.tikkun.org/magazine/tik0505/document.2005-04-22.8728576767

by Renee in Ohio 2005-05-25 03:43AM | 0 recs
Well let's make the Democratic party 100% Pro-lfe
and together come up with a position of what that means.

To me it means:

  • Valuing the life of the mother

  • Leaving medical descisions in the hands of the woman and her doctor

  • Ensuring that children that are born alive are given equal opportunity to thrive in the United States as proclaimed in the Preamble of the constitution

These are just my suggestions...

Then I think we should get every Senator and Congress person to sign a delcaration proclaiming the Democratic party to be PRO-life.

Any one running for Senate or Congress as a Democrat must agree to these terms if they refuse to agree then they can still run but are not allowed to get one penny from the DSCC, DCCC or DNC.

by Parker 2005-05-25 03:52AM | 0 recs
Not bad but not quite
I will actually say that your first and third statements are good.  The second statement is iffy becasue of abortions so I can not support it.  Also the DSCC and the DCCC are seperate organazations and I do not think the party should get involved with how they support candidates.
by THE MODERATE 2005-05-25 04:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Not bad but not quite
Also the DSCC and the DCCC are seperate organazations and I do not think the party should get involved with how they support candidates.

Then this is useless if the DSCC and the DCCC keep supporting pro-life Dems that women do not trust to protect their right... ie Casey and Langevin.

I know it is like herding cats... but if we do this by 2007... we will have 90% of the womens vote.

by Parker 2005-05-25 04:26AM | 0 recs
It is 'iffy' to intervien in medical decisions
Leaving medical decisions in the hands of the woman and her doctor
[this is] is iffy because of abortions so I can not support it


Yes that is exactly what the Republicans will say.  So what is the answer? 

I think we need to respond by turning your statement over.  We are saying we should "leave" those decisions to individuals and the doctors they select.  You are saying this is "iffy" (nice word that) because the decision may be abortion. 

Saying that it is "iffy" to leave the decision where it is (without suggesting exactly how you want government to intervene in that decision)  to puts the onus of abortion on those disfavoring government intervention without the burden of talking about specific proposals to change that. 

Of course if you ever tried to say just exactly what laws you want to impose on medical decisions of others, what exceptions you will grant, how you will decide who fits into those exceptions, and what you will do to enforce these rules, you would quickly find that it was you who were in the "iffy" situation.

It is precisely this the sort of verbal jujitsu that the Republicans used to get us flat on the matt in the first place in a debate where we ceded them "life" at the start.

We let that happen because our leaders listened to consultants that said just avoid the issue as much as possible and change the subject except when you are talking to "special interest" groups (like women).

by Fred in Vermont 2005-05-25 05:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Not bad but not quite
The second statement is iffy becasue of abortions so I can not support it.

So what you're saying is that you think I'm incapable of arriving at any medical decision that affects me in consultation with my physician.

I didn't realize you knew so much about me or my medical history.

You don't support abortion?  Don't have one. BUT if I'm ever in a position where I face that decision, you won't be in the room.

by KimPossible 2005-05-25 05:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Not bad but not quite
"I didn't realize you knew so much about me or my medical history."

I do not know you, but I do not believe anyone should have an abortion unless there is a medical reason involving a the life of the mother.  I do not know if you have children, but if you do not you will find that is not more than just a tissue it is a life, and since I do not believe in taking a life without reason, then I oppose abortion.

by THE MODERATE 2005-05-25 05:47AM | 0 recs
Criminalization vs. Proactive Reduction
It always amazes me the absolute gall of a person who wants to enforce the physical demands of pregnancy on another person.

Maybe because I can't imagine having the nerve to tell a woman that she must carry in her body for nine months a baby she doesn't want to mother. It is stunning the audacity that a stranger feels they can make that demand on a woman they don't even know nor are interested in her circumstances.

This is not to get into an argument about the begining of life... but to flat out state that you want to rule over another persons body is mindboggling. To me, it is like telling you that you must donate your organs to science when you die...and  that you have no say over your own body.

Pro-choice...took the power out of mens hands. The rates of divorce skyrocketed in a advent of the pill and access to abortion...women began to make their own descisions and told men to go to hell if they were not happy...whereas before children literally trapped women in unhappy relationships.

Your beef is not about abortion and I really doubt you could give a shit about kids considering your other political views... you just want control over womens bodies.

Most pro-life "women" may be against the idea of having an abortion themselves... but they rarely are of the mind as opposed to men who want to put women in jail for having abortions... ie Criminalization of abortion... this is where most women will draw the line.

It is up to the Democratic party to separate the pro-criminalization pro-lifers from the non-criminalization pro-lifers. The Non-criminalisation pro-lifers have the most in common with pro-choice. That is to say, neither want abortions therefore they should make perfect allys in reducing the number of abortions by taking pro-active steps in education and contraception.

This will also weed out the wingnuts who see all forms of sex outside of marraige between a man a a woman as evil... At the moment, non-criminalization pro-lifers are erroneously inflating their numbers.

Non-criminalization pro-lifers are the perfect "swing" group Dems should target.

by Parker 2005-05-25 06:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Criminalization vs. Proactive Reduction
As my mother says it is better and easier prevent an unwanted pregancy then to kill one.

In this day an age of sex education, birth control pills, surgeries for both men and women, spermacide disk, not to mention the old fashioned condoms that you should be using anyway for other reasons.  If people do not have the good sense to use any of those preventions then you ought not have sex.  In the end though killing the child is not the answer.  

by THE MODERATE 2005-05-25 06:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Criminalization vs. Proactive Reduction
So it is the woman's fault because she is a stupid whore...
by Parker 2005-05-25 06:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Criminalization vs. Proactive Reduction
JESUS PARKER, STOP PUTTING WORDS INTO PEOPLE'S MOUTH!!! HE NEVER SAID THAT!
by yitbos96bb 2005-05-25 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Criminalization vs. Proactive Reduction
I agree with you that people who don't use birth control shouldn't have sex (outside of marriage).  But looking at the Bush policies of abstinence only education, how can we expect people to have the knowledge to do it.  The best way to end abortion is through the education of people and easy access to birth control.  Personally, I would rather have my kids having sex more often (the GOP arguement for Abstinence only education) and being safe, then them taking the chance of them having sex infrequently and unprotected.  With the number of people who are virgins when they get married, dwindling, this is something that needs to be taken into account.  Unfortunately, many Theocons selectively ignore the reality of most of it.  

As far as abortion, I agree that abortions shouldn't happen.  No one likes abortion.  But even if you made abortion punishable by death, it will still happen.  The rich will be able to get rouge surgeons to do it easily and the poor will get jabbed with coat hangers.  Death won't be a deterrent because the risk of getting caught will be minimal, since the majority of people wouldn't know they were pregnant.  So the question becomes do we force people to get it done using substandard care with germs etc, that might make the woman sterile.  OR do we allow it in a hospital even if we personally despise it, in order to keep it healthy.  I choose #2.  And I also choose to go for education.  We can make the abortion numbers in this country go down a significant amount through education and better access to contraception.  Isn't that the best way to go?

by yitbos96bb 2005-05-25 09:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Criminalization vs. Proactive Reduction
Sorry to interrupt here... don't know if you were checking other comments you made...  in response to a previous question...
-----------------------------------------
I am VERY VERY sorry... I somehow linked to the wrong article...  Try this.  It's under the "lifetime experiences" subheading of the "Results" section.  
2nd-to last paragraph of the results section, last sentence.  Also, see table 4 in the columns for "Cumulative Abortion Rate"

https://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3002498.pdf

again... sorry for the mix-up.  

The orignial "thesis" still stands... these are not including miscarriages, as the author makes plainly clear.

by NCDem 2005-05-25 01:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Criminalization vs. Proactive Reduction
You still didn't answer my question though.  Should women be forced into back alleyu abortions or should we keep it legal to protect the health of people that will do it anyway.

Although it is a crappy comparison, I always said the same thing about prostitution.  People are gonna do it regardless.  Isn't it better to keep the women protected and make sure they are clean, than to leave things on the street?  

by yitbos96bb 2005-05-27 04:20AM | 0 recs
you weren't
talking about that with me... You're thinking of someone else.  You questioned (rightly) the findings of a paper to which I linked (incorrectly).  You asked me something like, "Where the hell do you see 43% on this paper."  to which I responded... "OH... Whoops... Wrong paper.  Here's the correct one."  

To answer your question...  I'm 100% pro-choice, or pro-anti-government-interference, or whatever the fuck Bowers et al. want us to say now...

so, the answer is "yes"... I would have never gotten into such an argument with you, as we're both 100% in agreement.

by NCDem 2005-05-27 05:09AM | 0 recs
Do you own stock
"If people do not have the good sense to use any of those preventions then you ought not have sex."

This cracks me up. If people don't have the good sense to use modern contraceptive techniques, you expect them to be able to resist the fundamental biological imperative? That's really rich.

And, having failed to stifle the urge, you expect these totally-lacking-in-good-sense individuals to be on their best behavior for the months required to bring a baby to term, let alone the years of follow-up?

I don't think killing the infant is the answer, either, but neither to I think that criminalization solves anything. Do you?

Or do you own stock in a coathanger company?

by catastrophile 2005-05-25 04:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Criminalization vs. Proactive Reduction
Interesting you would give me a 1 for something that agrees with what you post.  Hmm, retaliatory grading on MyDD.  That is pretty sad, Parker.  How old are you?  High School... Early college maybe?  I hope so, because if you are older than 23, then that kind of juvenile crap is just plain sad.  
by yitbos96bb 2005-05-27 04:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Not bad but not quite
Un-fucking-believable.

You have just asserted your right to control my reproductive health decisions when they are none of your business.

You are not in control of the decisions that I make--I am.  

You do not have that right nor did I cede that right to you.

I have two children.  They are both planned.  

49% of pregnancies among American women are unintended; 1/2 of these are terminated by abortion. 24% of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion.

On average, women give at least 3 reasons for choosing abortion: 3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities; about 2/3 say they cannot afford a child; and 1/2 say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner. (The Guttmacher Institute, 5/18/05)

And are you willing to step up to the plate and help these women raise these children?  What are you doing to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies in this country?

by KimPossible 2005-05-25 06:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Not bad but not quite
And are you willing to step up to the plate and help these women raise these children?

Are you kidding?... not if it means raising taxes...

To these people women who have unwanted pregnancies are whores... fallen women and therefore should be shamed and ostracized... like the high school senior who was forbidden to graduate with her class because she was pregnant...yet the father of the baby was allowed to walk. Okay it is a Catholic school but she didn't have an abortion and they still punished her.

That is what these people who want to re instill shame on women. THE EXTREMIST could careless about children. This is why NARAL is stepping up its fight...cuz the wingnuts are coming out of the woodworks.

by Parker 2005-05-25 06:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Not bad but not quite
"And are you willing to step up to the plate and help these women raise these children?  What are you doing to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies in this country?"

It is our duty to help these women out as well as the children.  There are so many programs out there to help young mother's from medical assistance, child care, job training, housing all one has to do is look.  

Yes having a baby is going to krimp your style and even in the best of times it is a life change, as for unwanted pregnacies I know it well I went though one,  what have I done I pay my child support and do the best to be party of a childs life.  The minute it hit us, her mother and I we knew our lives would never be the same, and it has caused a change in my material life but now I have a twelve year old daughter as well as two boys with my current wife.  To both women and men if you are not ready for this then DO NOT HAVE UNPPROTECTED SEX, but if you do accept the price, and that is not running down to abort the pregnacy becasue you are worried about criming you style.

by THE MODERATE 2005-05-25 07:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Not bad but not quite
all one has to do is look

you are a joke...

by Parker 2005-05-25 07:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Not bad but not quite
Being called a joke from someone who claims to be a Democrat but it pulling for Frist on the neucler option is somewhat of a joke itself.
by THE MODERATE 2005-05-25 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Not bad but not quite
you didn't read it...
by Parker 2005-05-25 07:18AM | 0 recs
a-ha...
ok, so you had unprotected sex and your girlfriend bore a child out of wedlock. i congratulate you on paying child support and trying to be a father.

what i don't understand is your hypocrisy. you practised the same behavior that you now decry in others.  you seem to think that everyone should make the same choice that you did.

well, it doesn't work that way. maybe you were capable of taking responsibility, but not every single person who finds themselves in that situation has the same fortitude. and you seem to have a holier than thou stance towards abortion: "if i had to give up my material wealth then everyone else should be able to do the same".  

and then you have the audacity to suggest that people have abortions because it'll crimp their style. speaking as a woman who's been there done that, let me just say: you insensitive bastard. how dare you assume that I or any other woman had an abortion because it would fuck up our lifestyle.  how dare you!  i am aghast at your insensitivity.  do you really think anyone WANTS to have an abortion?  nobody wants that.  if we get pregnant of course we would LOVE to be able to carry the child to term and raise them. but it just isn't possible for everyone.

look man, i'm glad you were able to do it.  i wish i could have as well, but life is funny sometimes. it tosses shit at you and you have to deal, and you learn and grow and try to be a better human being. i made a choice and i live with it every day, as did you. but unlike you, i am sensitive to the fact that not every couple who gets pregnant has the means, drive, or fortitude to become parents. and i am not going to judge anyone for owning up to that fact.

by annatopia 2005-05-25 08:38AM | 0 recs
Re: a-ha...
You give me credit I may not be due.  That was along time ago at that point in my life it was truly something I was not ready for, and thier have been bumps in the road since then, but I would not trade her for anything.  Yes, I was glad she asked me my opinion but the truth of the matter is legaly she was going to do what she wanted.  She could have said she was having an abortion and I could not have stopped her, I could have told her to get one and she could have refused sued me for childsupport and she would have won.  At the time it was a setback both finicaily caused a huge heartache and did some of my family has not accepted it to this day.  But its no excuse, what ever you went through I do not know, but I know it can be done.  I do not know what you went through nor what advise or moral support you had at the time, but I can say that through all the pitfalls this event set off, and I am well aware of what they are, I have absolutly no regret about having the child.  I am a better person for it and it taught me a lesson in life that I never forgot.  It has also had a great affect of how I feel today about this subject.  What is interesting is that your events affect your's also.  You are as equally entitled to fight from changing the law as I am in trying to have it changed.  I even respect your opinion in fighting the change which is something you do not have the courtesy of giving me.
by THE MODERATE 2005-05-25 09:16AM | 0 recs
Re: a-ha...
not true.

i give you a lot of credit for being able to make it. ideally, we'd all be able to do that.

and i do respect that you want the laws changed.  but i don't think you realise that what you are asking for is basically impossible.  as yitbos said upthread, abortions are going to happen whether they are legal or not.  if they become illegal, more women will die, period. i can't support restricting abortions further because of this simple fact.  

and on top of all that, as i'm sure you realise by now, i think that abortion is a choice that is best left to the prospective parents and their doctor. it's a medical decision and i don't believe the federal government has a right to regulate things like that.

by annatopia 2005-05-25 09:27AM | 0 recs
So many programs out there?
Hi Moderate,
I've been reading this thread and regret some of the heat directed against you.  Good for you for sticking with the conversation!

I believe, however, that you are misinformed about there being "so many programs" out there for mothers.  This year I have consulted to reproductive counseling and health care agencies in several states, and my contacts have talked about how the limited services available have been cut back severely.  What state are you in?  Have you checked on the services available?  You might be surprised.

Finally, my two cents on this issue: the rate of teen pregnancy is EIGHT times higher in the United States than in the Netherlands and the rate of teen abortion is SEVEN times higher here.  Abortion is legal and accepted there - and, compared to us, rarely used.  In the United States, furthermore, it is the states and counties with the highest proportion of fundamentalists that also have the highest teen pregnancy rates (and divorce rates).  

The reason why people don't use contraception has little to do with common sense and everything to do with a culture that does not value and will not talk about loving, respectful, pleasurable sexual relationships.

by Frisbeedog 2005-05-26 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: So many programs out there?
Let me start here,http://www.dhhs.state.nc.us/dma/babylove.html

This program here is a great start with an unmarried pregant women, what it does it takes care of the medical needs for unisured expecting mothers.  As well as first six months of the childs medical needs.  The next program one needs to look to is the community college program, in North Carolina they have a program that will pay for day care of full time students who can not afford it, of course it is up to the individual to sign up for it, they are neither going to do it for you nor will they ask you if you need it.  Also you probably are going to need to go back to school to get a better job.  WIC of course helps you get your food.  I also would recommend anyone to contact their local Church about what programs churches can give, while they will not pay you money, our church has a progam to help out young mothers who need it, ie daycare, jobsearcect.  I am not trying to make this easy becasue it is not, but search avenues and many times their are answers that one did not know existed.

by THE MODERATE 2005-05-26 12:55PM | 0 recs
Um, having you been following the news?
Bush is slashing WIC
"For instance, the projected cuts in this area suggest that, in 2010, some 670,000 fewer women, infants, and children would be served under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)."
http://www.cbpp.org/2-22-05bud.htm

We could start examining the other programs - and you will find the news is worse.  

I think you have proved my point.

by Frisbeedog 2005-05-26 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: So many programs out there?
Call them and see what the availability it really like. No doubt progams "exist" but they do not meet the needs of the population of mothers who need them.
by Parker 2005-05-26 09:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Not bad but not quite
"I do not know you, but I do not believe anyone should have an abortion unless there is a medical reason involving a the life of the mother."

well you are welcome to believe what you want.  but you are not welcome to use the federal government to force your personal beliefs on ME.

if you don't believe in abortion, then don't have one. if you don't believe in abortion, donate your time and money to adoption agencies or crisis centers. support birth control so that people DON'T HAVE TO have abortions. do something positive.  but don't dare try to force me to live up to YOUR moral standards.

by annatopia 2005-05-25 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Not bad but not quite
We do that all the time, we pass laws restricting smoking in private restranuts that we do not eat in, we all sorts of of banned medicines, we have a drinking age, movie ratings, speedlimits, the list goes on and on becasue someone feels it is in the best interest in society to do that.  You could make the arugument that you wish to live in a purely libertarian society, but I bet you do not.  You just want this issue.  Abortion restrictoins are coming weather you like it or not, some are already here.
by THE MODERATE 2005-05-25 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Not bad but not quite
none of the examples you mentioned have anything to do with the right to make your own medical decisions.

nope, i'm not going to burn down that straw man you just erected.

by annatopia 2005-05-25 08:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Not bad but not quite
This is why the Republicans won, people!

There is a discussion on morality and religion and ethics around the country, yet everyone seems convinced they're right.

Any woman has a right to an abortion, still.
No man, except maybe a husband, maybe parents, has anything to say about it.
The real argument, that the DCC-chiefs seem to be running away from, seems to be demand. Republicans are supply-siders on many many issues, democrats demand-siders.

Anyone who uses a religious doctrine as a litmus test for writing or executing laws has no right to hold office, if you ask me. A truly religious person wouldn't burn his hands on the legislative sausage-works. But that's my progressive, libertarian point of view. The rest of the country disagrees, and no sound-byte will change their mind, it just won't be internalized.

When do we say that abortions are on the rise since the Republicans entered office? When do we say that stem cell research and abortion are allowed by Genesis 2:19, and use of marijuana is allowed by Genesis 1:29?

If you're anti-abortion, fine. Obviate its need. Promote contraceptives, demand tax breaks for foster homes, teach real sex-ed in schools, and instill a desire to produce heirs who will inherit a strong America with patriotic citizens. But you have NO RIGHT to tell anyone else how to behave, no matter how big your majority is.

Abortion is horrible, yes. Democrats agree. We shouldn't want it, ideally. But if it's illegal, or difficult it will still be sought. Either give mothers who commit abortion a death penalty or shower her with love and support, and good pre-natal care, then adopt her baby.

These WWJD people, especially politicians, are 10 hypocrites per one real christian. Can we frame the issue to expose their duplicity?

by LandonG 2005-05-29 07:35AM | 0 recs
It is not good enough
to say that "even though so and so is pro-life that doesn't mean he is going to vote against Roe"... oh yeah?.. where is the proof?

A Democratic Reid pro-lifer is vastly different than a Democratic Langevin Pro-lifer who is staunchly against even contraceptives. This makes a hell of a difference when now all of a sudden we have activist pharamacist.

Who the knows what a Democratic Casey pro-lifer believes in ... he has already said that he feels independent from the party line in this regards.

Things are getting too dicey for the Democratic party to just tell women... TRUST ME as soon as we get the majority we will listen to your concerns... meanwhile women see the DSCC stacking the Senate with pro-life Democrats. That dog don't bite.

If they want the confidence and loyalty of women then they have to put up or shut up.

It is very sad to elect "Democratic" congressmen and not have a clue as to how they will vote once they get to Washington.

Women have seen the GOP erode their rights with the complicity of the Democratic leadership. That is why I salute NARAL they have shown more balls than most of the Democratic male leadership.

And once we come to a general agreement on pro-life then we need to do the same for all those "special interest groups" the DLC hates so much.

It seems to me the problem is not the special interest groups but the not knowing where the party stands on ANY isssues... then to see the pro-torture and pro-credit card "special interest groups" get to the front of the line while the rest are still waiting ... this is what causes the friction.

The New Donkey was actually good today... Bullmoose is always bull shit:

Here's pretty much, I gather, how the thing was put together. Cultural Right leaders, growing angrier for years about the excuses being made by D.C. Republicans for failure to make progress on their agenda, finally started getting fed up after the 2004 elections created the great judicial opportunity of a second Bush term, and the largest GOP majority in the Senate since 1930. Tired of hearing that Republicans couldn't do anything about the godless judges without 60 votes, they basically said, "Figure something out." And that's where the Nuclear Option came in.

Funny how Kilgore is completely blind to the fact that the same thing is happening in the Democratic party... The so-called Corporatists Centrist of both parties are beholden to corporate "special interests" and berate everyone elses "special interest" as being inferior" and both parties are about to be bitched slapped by their bases cuz corporations don't vote... people do.

...And guess what? People have issues just like the corporations do and they want the government to respond... just like the corporations do.

by Parker 2005-05-25 04:23AM | 0 recs
I agree with this completely.
I thought during the Presidential campaign, I think it was the second debate, Kerry should have turned to Bush and said something like, "you know, I really like the phrase that the President uses, that he wants to build 'the culture of life.'  I want to do that too."

From there he could have riffed on Clinton's abortion being safe, legal and rare, plus add some domestic ideas like health care, anti poverty efforts, etc that would add to the "culture of life."

by Andy Katz 2005-05-25 03:58AM | 0 recs
The direction we can go
Jerome is right, and we should build from here.

We have  seen the chinese snakehead fish
cost us large to  burn entire lakes with
toxic chemicals to try to contain the error.
It is a slow disaster, one you may not
notice until its too late, this is the
danger of genetic experimentation.

The life we're talking about here, is
the life of our children. We're at
war with the superbugs.

One bad mutation of the common cold or
the flu - thats it for the entire human
race. Dosing antibiotics like June cleaver to the beaver for 30 years now has yielded four
strong candidates : Multi Resistant Staph,
first that comes to mind. Very dangerous.
Hong Kong had a mutant, strongly resistant
form of the flu called SARS. It turned
the entire country into a wasteland for
a month.

We're involved in a deep
environmental catastrophe that is slowly
unfolding before your eyes.

  1. The swiss alp glaciers are melting.
  2. Most of the heat sensitive orchids in florida
   have died off, sensitive to just a few degrees
  1. 75% of the boreal forest is now sick and dying
  2. entire california and arizona treesides zeroed
  3. 90% of the forestation of india is gone
  4. Last year alone, 40% of the tigers disappeared
  5. Last year, midwinter, polar bears nursed

The world gets out of balance, we all die.
They will ask us what it was like.
People exist right now that are fascinated
with death..

The moral issuesthat will burn a woman
are punishment enough for abortion
They are severe and lifelong -
she should be warned of the consequences
of her decision to tamper with the
thread of life.

And we should be the people who can understand
how that thread weaves itself into
a fabric that encompasses the entire world

by turnerbroadcasting 2005-05-25 04:10AM | 0 recs
It is about laws not life
They say pro life, in favor of life, culture of life, on the side of life, choose life, and well, that is a winner.

Frank Luntz told the Republicans to say that they too were for the environment, that they too were environmentalists . . . The Democrats said, no you are not. And the Republicans replied, yes I am, I just don't want the government to stifle economic growth through regulation.

Yes.  That is the way we need to frame it.  We are pro-life too, we just don't want to support life with an intrusive unfunded government  mandate that puts most of the burdens of "life" on some of the most vulnerable among us.


Stripping away the slogans will get people to pay attention to the debate over the legislative action taken on the issue of abortion.

Yes that is the key.  Sure we are all pro-life.  But since this is a political discussion (not a religious or philosophical one remember) the issue is what sorts of legislation and public spending we want to take to support life. And we have a core principle in favor of a less intrusive, but more supportive, government.  All "life" issues need to be examined in specific detail as to how the legal mandates or spending choices fit  with those core Democratic principles.

by Fred in Vermont 2005-05-25 04:24AM | 0 recs
Re: It is about laws not life
The three most important pro-life issues liberals should be arguing (I did and it seems to have worked, see my post on 05/27/05) are unjust war (in Iraq), unjust war (in Iraq) and unjust war (in Iraq), simply because the war -- by far --poses the  greatest moral consequence for humanity (human life) of all the pro-life issues.  The argument can be made in either a religious or non-religious context.  Once we liberals get others to realign their values we can win some respect and numbers, and hopefully an election.    
by johnrohio 2005-05-27 05:52PM | 0 recs
What Kerry said
It seems like every couple days, somebody starts talking about a "new" way to frame an issue, and all I can think is "deja-vu".

"...I do not like to see abortions, but will not legislate or have the government intruding into this private decision between a woman, her family, and her doctor. ..."

That's almost verbatim what John Kerry said about abortion during the second debate.

DEGENHART: Senator Kerry, suppose you are speaking with a voter who believed abortion is murder and the voter asked for reassurance that his or her tax dollars would not go to support abortion, what would you say to that person?

KERRY: I would say to that person exactly what I will say to you right now.

First of all, I cannot tell you how deeply I respect the belief about life and when it begins. I'm a Catholic, raised a Catholic. I was an altar boy. Religion has been a huge part of my life. It helped lead me through a war, leads me today.

But I can't take what is an article of faith for me and legislate it for someone who doesn't share that article of faith, whether they be agnostic, atheist, Jew, Protestant, whatever. I can't do that.

But I can counsel people. I can talk reasonably about life and about responsibility. I can talk to people, as my wife Teresa does, about making other choices, and about abstinence, and about all these other things that we ought to do as a responsible society.

But as a president, I have to represent all the people in the nation. And I have to make that judgment.

Now, I believe that you can take that position and not be pro- abortion, but you have to afford people their constitutional rights. And that means being smart about allowing people to be fully educated, to know what their options are in life, and making certain that you don't deny a poor person the right to be able to have whatever the constitution affords them if they can't afford it otherwise.

That's why I think it's important. That's why I think it's important for the United States, for instance, not to have this rigid ideological restriction on helping families around the world to be able to make a smart decision about family planning...

And the third debate:

SCHIEFFER: Senator Kerry, a new question for you.

The New York Times reports that some Catholic archbishops are telling their church members that it would be a sin to vote for a candidate like you because you support a woman's right to choose an abortion and unlimited stem-cell research.

What is your reaction to that?

KERRY: I respect their views. I completely respect their views. I am a Catholic. And I grew up learning how to respect those views. But I disagree with them, as do many.

I believe that I can't legislate or transfer to another American citizen my article of faith. What is an article of faith for me is not something that I can legislate on somebody who doesn't share that article of faith.

I believe that choice is a woman's choice. It's between a woman, God and her doctor. And that's why I support that...

Bush's responses revolved around his "culture of life" schtic, and about all the ways he thinks government SHOULD regulate abortion (parental notification laws, "partial-birth abortion" bans, etc.) and how Kerry opposes all those restrictions.

Transcripts:
Debate two
Debate three

This also echos Clinton's "safe, legal and rare" frame, which is very good and not used often enough.

by fwiffo 2005-05-25 04:42AM | 0 recs
Re: What Kerry said
Kerry stance on abortion is great. But, Kerry is a perfect example of what drives women away from the Democratic party.

Actions speak louder than words...

Women voted for him in record numbers...but then he felt the need to bitch-slap women to curry favor with the wingnuts by sponsoring a anti-women's bill with the most misogynistic Goper he could find ... Sanatorum... in the promotion of the pro-wingnut pharmacists bill.

Ditto: Gays (betrayal)

Ditto: African Americans (abandoned)

This is the problem... our politicians don't know how to take a stand...and keep it

by Parker 2005-05-25 04:57AM | 0 recs
Re: What Kerry did not say
This isn't about position, it's about words.  The article isn't advocating changing out position, it's advocating that we call ourselves "pro-life" while keeping the same position we already have.  As an example, it talks about how Republicans reoriented themselves as "environmentalist" while keeping the position they already had on environmental regulation.

The one thing that Kerry did not do is say he was "pro-life".

I've been meaning to write a post for over a year now, titled "I am pro-life", and post it on dailykos to see what reaction the title gets.

Pro-life means I want to see us work hard to prevent wars.  It means we should not have a death penalty.  It means universal access to comprehensive health care.  It means lifting people out of poverty should be a major national goal.  It means we ought to make sure pregnant women have pre-natal care, and new parents get help with things like parenting skills, counseling if needed, post-natal care, pre-school, and so on, along the lines of Vermont's "Success by Six" program.

Pro-life does not mean that we believe the government should, under pain of criminal law, force any human being to use thier body as a life support system for something that has the potential to become a person.  We don't even force people to donate organs to save the lives of fully formed adult humans.  The idea that we should force a woman to continue a pregnancy she does not want, is not in the least bit "pro-life".

by cos 2005-05-25 06:40PM | 0 recs
Pro-life = Bob Casey, Sr.
Pro-life also means anti-death penalty.  It also means opposing unjust wars.  It also means interventionism when necessary (Bosnia, Rwanda, etc.).  It also means supporting social programs that ensure you have a life.  

The GOP is just talking shit when they claim to be pro-life.

by jcjcjc 2005-05-25 06:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Pro-life = Bob Casey, Jr.
With all due respect to Chuck P., I can't wait until Casey Jr. wipes the smirk off of Rick Santorum's face. Casey can out pro-life and out-Catholic Mr. "I'm a good Catholic boy" Santorum, and he's a good Democrat on the economic issues. The irony alone makes me smile.

Santorum recently came out against the death penalty. Either he really did have a change of heart, or he's running scared.

by wayward 2005-05-25 07:05PM | 0 recs
Santorum
I don't know if you've had the chance to see any of the PA locals cover Santorum, but he's been really agitated.

The big issue is going to be his essentially non-resident statuds.

Santorum gets really pissed off over this.  He takes it as a personal attack, and an attack upon his family.  However, he refuses to say as much, even though his face looks like it going to pop.

Santorum is well aware of the dangerously thin line he is now balancing on.  He has more support outside the state than he does in it.

A fight-to-the-death campaign against Casey will simply shred him.  I don't think he has the nerve for this sort of fight.

He's just not cut from the same cloth as piss-and-vinegar types like DeLay.

A Casey-Rendell top of the ticket is going to make a lot of hell for PA GOPers.

by jcjcjc 2005-05-25 08:57PM | 0 recs
Hmmm
Let me throw this into the mix:
I am pro-life leaning. What that means is that I am against abortion as a rule (with the usual exceptions: health of the mother, incest, rape) . However, I do not believe that abortion should be illegal, since we have seen  the measures that people will take to get an illegal abortion, and that climate jeopardizes the health of both mother and fetus. I guess this is CLinton's "safe, legal and rare " stance taken one step further.
Now, about the reframing debate. It seems that pro-choice Dems want to say 'pro-life' but that's not going to get votes because the thinking hasn't changed.
Pro-choice Dems needs to understand that the concept of 'choice' when it comes to human life will NEVER win. Someone posted earlier about this being a political debate and not a religious one. That's incorrect, because EVERYONE has a  feeling on this  (by virtue of being alive) and it may not be religious for everyone, but it sure is personal, and Republicans know that.
Finally, Dems need to stop overlaying their feelings on other issues on this.  Yes, we are the party of equal rights for women. But many people don't feel that abortion is about equal rights for women for the mere fact it concerns an interdependent part of a woman's  body. A part that from the beginning has it's own life. Agree or disagree this aspect of  personalization has to be addressed if we are to 'reframe the issue.

Abortion is an emotional issue. If the Dems want to gain any real headway on this, they will have to address the fact that a fetus has an independent heartbeat at 6 weeks, and the sex can be identified as early as 14 weeks.
All this hypothetical back and forth about it's a medical decision between a woman and her doctor just makes the Party sound cold and detached, especially to any mother and father out there who loved raising their kids. Believe me, having a child was not a 'medical decision' to them.

That's a whole lot of people to alienate.  

by Bruticus 2005-05-25 06:45AM | 0 recs
Question about 'LIFE'
But many people don't feel that abortion is about equal rights for women for the mere fact it concerns an interdependent part of a woman's  body.

Does the government have the right to demand that you give up a kidney to save another life? You will still live... and so will another life.

by Parker 2005-05-25 07:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Question about 'LIFE'
Parker, you're proving my point. That's the type of hypothetical logic.(which I don't think is applicable here) that has proven to be ineffective in the abortion arguement.
I mean, did you just compare a human fetus to a kidney?
by Bruticus 2005-05-25 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Question about 'LIFE'
no the right to ones own body
by Parker 2005-05-25 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Question about 'LIFE'
But that's my point, the fetus arguement is unique in that it's questionable whether it's really part of the female body, like a kidney , liver, etc.

The human fetus originates in the  woman, but it is not of the woman wholly. It technically should belong to both the mother and father, as the DNA of both are present.
This also springboards to another arguement on how much  does the fetus belong to the woman, if legally she can sue someone else (the father) to help her raise it.
While many pro-choice women would like to keep access to abortion, I don't think they would like a world where they couldn't sue a man for child support.
And if the fetus is half ownership of the father, why does he  have no say if the woman is going to keep it?

by Bruticus 2005-05-25 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Question about 'LIFE'
You've entirely missed the point.  The comparison isn't between a kidney and a fetus, it's between a fully grown adult and a fetus.

The idea is, using your body, you can save someone's life.  Should the government be able to require you to do so?

In the organ donation case, the other life is a mature person.  Nobody disputes that we're talking about a person here.  And yet, nobody would stand for letting the government require you to undergo any medical procedure to save that person's life.

In the pregnancy case, the other life is a fetus or an embryo.  If it's an embryo, most people don't think it's a person, and even if it's a fetus, many if not most people still don't think it's a person.  It has the potential to become a person if allowed to develop, but it's not a person yet.  An embryo can't think.

And the use of your body being proposed, is not something that will be over with in a few days, and you'll fully recover in a few weeks.  It's going to take nine months, and end with an extremely painful and rather risky event.

And yet, somehow, people seriously believe the government ought to be allowed to force you to undergo it.

The phrase we need to use here, is "forced labor".

by cos 2005-05-25 06:51PM | 0 recs
abortion
IMHO, we have the Right over the philosphical barrel on the question of abortion.

The decision to have a child is one of the most important issues that one is ever likely to face.  If we are going to allow government intrusion into something so personal and sacred, then we have opened the door to unlimited government intervention in our lives.  You can't complain about government snooping on your e-mail or your finances if you have already conceded that government has a legitimate role in the most intimate aspects of your life.

The SCOTUS got it right in Roe v. Wade--  it's a privacy question, and we ought to frame it as such.

by global yokel 2005-05-25 07:24AM | 0 recs
Democrats For Life
I wish there would be less emphasis by pro-life groups, Catholic Churches on Roe v Wade which will not make abortion illegal but just revert it back to states.  Instead more emphasis on supporting politicians who have concrete plans to decrease the rate of abortions.  
Emphasizing Roe v Wade just makes religious groups a tool for Republicans to bring forth a corporate agenda that is anathema to Christs teaching on Social Justice.

  Dean said the difference of pro-life Repubs and pro-life dems is that democrats are also concerned about life after birth.

The link to Democrats for Life website:
http://www.democratsforlife.org/

snip
Democrats for Life of America
Introduce the 95-10 Initiative

The 95-10 Initiative is a comprehensive package of federal legislation and policy proposals that will reduce the number of abortions by 95% in the next 10 years.

While both Democrats and Republicans talk about reducing the number of abortions, Democrats for Life of America offers real solutions to make this goal a reality.

With bold new ideas, sound research and policy arguments, the 95-10 Initiative contains proven policy suggestions to dramatically reduce the number of abortions in America.

end snip

by jasmine 2005-05-25 07:32AM | 0 recs
If truly successful
You have to do both.  Legaly restrict abortion and give show the ways to help the young family.  I think it is only a matter of time before the Democrats begin adopting a more pro-life stands on the restrictions but I think that their will still be differences between Democrats and Republicans on the issue.
by THE MODERATE 2005-05-25 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: If truly successful
I wholeheartedly agree. A more Pro-life Democratic Party will NEVER be confused with the Reds, for the reason that Dean said.
It has been argued that outside of abortion, the Democratic Party is the natural party of Life, given our track record of caring about social issues and improving the quality of life of everyone.
It's the Republicans that want to make all the babies and then not care about them once they get here. Hell, when I think about all the times the Repugs tried to cut Headstart and breakfast programs for underpriveledged children, I wonder why everyone else can't see the hypocrisy.
by Bruticus 2005-05-25 09:32AM | 0 recs
Disappointed!
I gave you a 3 and hit the link.  What I read there was very disappointing.  These initiatives - including parental notification and lots of pro-adoption anti-abortion regulations - will do nothing to reduce abortion.  And a 5 year study on why women choose abortions?  Hello!  The studies have been done.

In the Netherlands, the rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion were similar to ours in 1970, and they have dropped 90 per cent since then, mostly in the period 1970 to 1980.  During that decade, there was a nationwide campaign to educate doctors about sexuality and contraception (and how to talk about the issues respectfully with patients), and to make sure that contraception was cheap and widely available.

http://thewelltimedperiod.blogspot.com/2005/01/must-we-fear-adolescent-sexuality.html  

By the way, Dutch, German and French kids now begin sexual relationships LATER than American kids - and they use contraception.  

by Frisbeedog 2005-05-26 12:16PM | 0 recs
Jerome and Roemer find common ground?
Mr. Armstrong,

Your final paragraph is a synopsis of Tim Roemer's Op-Ed:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A12488-2005Feb9.html

Interesting, I do not recall you making such a bold conclusion in January/February 2005?

Perhaps you had a shot of courage after your boy spoke about a South Carolina woman on Meet the Press?  

And maybe our hard work on encouraging Dean to commit to a values clarification is now paying off.  

by Bill70 2005-05-25 09:15AM | 0 recs
There is a difference
In my opinion there is a big difference between.

This I agree with 100%:

And if the politician responds by saying yes I am, I do not like to see abortions, but will not legislate or have the government intruding into this private decision between a woman, her family, and her doctor.

Whereas Roemer reinforces ALL of the GOP pro-choice wedges and does not agree to non legislation which makes it difficult to trust him to protect womens reproductive rights.

We can agree that abortions should be extremely rare, and we should work hard to reduce their number by supporting family planning programs, funding for the Women, Infants and Children program, and adoption tax credits. During the Clinton administration, we reduced abortions by 11 percent by focusing on such efforts. And I would hope we could eventually find agreement on wider Democratic support for banning late-term abortions and supporting parental notification for young teenagers.

Roemer uses all the GOP wedge points: "banning late-term abortions" is a Straw man and he knows this... no woman walks into a clinic and ask for an abortion 2 days before birth. Roemer is very disingenous and not trustworthy.

That is difference with Roemer position I do not see him saying this "I do not like to see abortions, but will not legislate or have the government intruding into this private decision between a woman, her family, and her doctor"

Bascially, it comes down to a matter of trust...women do not trust Roemer with their reproductive rights.

Whereas, many women would trust Reid to do the right thing. Women don't trust Casey and really didn't trust Langevin as far as they could throw him.

The bridge that must be formed between pro and anti choice voters has to be based on trust not empty rhetoric, hollow wedge issues or bullying.

Women are willing to have an open honest conversation but not if this issue is treated condescendingly... ie compared to Spotted Owls.

by Parker 2005-05-25 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: There is a difference
"Women are willing to have an open honest conversation but not if this issue is treated condescendingly"

I tried to have an open and honest conversation with you last January on this matter.  Frankly, you were more closed-minded then.  Pehaps your zeal for Dean and dislike for Roemer got in the way of considering a values clarification.

I politely ask you to re-read Roemer's again.  The small democratic minority who support this position is proof that a small number of independents and moderate conservatives who do vote may now vote Democratic if we have the right person running for President in 2008.

You want to be open about it now:  GREAT!  I am glad.  Please re-read the Op-Ed.  Perhaps you and I may find common ground.

by Bill70 2005-05-25 10:26AM | 0 recs
Re: There is a difference
I just quoted from Roemers op-ed.

He brings of straw men like late term abortions... a fabricated GOP wedge issue. You also must remeber that just as pro-choice gets funding from NARAL and such so do these pro-lifers. Langevein was funded considerably by GOP conservative groups.

So far I do not see good faith shown in men like Roemer and Langevin however there are pro-lifers like Ried that I am assured would not legislate against women ... cant' say the same about Roemer, Casey or Langevin

by Parker 2005-05-25 01:14PM | 0 recs
Re: There is a difference
Ah Straw Men, the political buzzword of the day.  Anyone else getting tired of this one?  (Not bashing you Parker... many people are using this way to often now).
by yitbos96bb 2005-05-27 04:33AM | 0 recs
by Parker 2005-05-27 06:32AM | 0 recs
honestly
I think something that is even better than pro-privacy is pro-liberty.  If you think about it, abortion is the ultimate wedge between life and liberty.  If you force life, it restricts the liberty of the mother.  If you force the liberty, it ends the life of the embryo.

Liberty is the one democratic concept that really can arguably stand up against life.

by tunesmith 2005-05-25 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: honestly-- pro-liberty
I agree. Being pro-liberty is the positive frame of this progressive value.
by Jerome Armstrong 2005-05-25 01:00PM | 0 recs
Misogyny
Though it may get ignored down here, I have to suggest that abandoning "pro-choice" is a mistake. There is a giant divide in this country between men and women politically. The pro-choice plank is extremely important in maintaining and growing our female members in the Party. Further, if you look at the Senate, you will see that even among Republicans...there are no ardent anti-abortion supporters.a

In other words, most men, myself included fancy themselves "pro-choice" because do they really want to compell their wife or girlfriend to have a child at the wrong time? Children are an expensive and time-consuming proposition for both men and women, but females always feel because of the whole "nine months of pregnancy and days of labor" that they suffer more. It should not be that way, but the perception of unfairness underscores a belief that these policies are indeed, misogynistic.

That the Party has run from a pro-woman platform recently encouraged some of the migration among poor Christian mothers to Bush despite his terrible record with them. The Democrats cannot take women for granted anymore.

by risenmessiah 2005-05-25 01:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Misogyny
The idea is to abandon the words, not the idea.  He's not at all suggesting the Democrats should abandon women, or abandon their commitment to keeping abortion legal.  What he is suggesting is that using the phrase "pro-choice" is no longer working politically, and we need to find new ways to talk about it.

He's absolutely right.

I've have had discussions with people who told me they were not "pro-choice" but then also said they were against criminalizing abortion.  There are a lot of these people.  They're on our side, but many of them don't know it.  Some of them find "pro-life" a very appealing idea, and want to identify with it.  Others think they're neither pro-choice nor pro-life, but somewhere in between.  Really, they're what we call "pro-choice", but as long as that's all we call it, we're gonna have a very hard time reeling them all in.

If we could send an articulate, persuasive representative to have a one on one conversation with each of these people, we'd probably get most of them to understand that the "pro-choice" side is the one they side with.  That's not going to happen.  So we need to find some new language, put it out there in the press and the word-of-mouth networks, and get these people to take a second look and find something they can identify with.

And, of course, we need to do that without abandoning our commitment to keep abortion legal, safe, and accessible to those who need it.

by cos 2005-05-25 06:58PM | 0 recs
Non-criminalization pro-lifers
Non-criminalization pro-lifers are the perfect "swing" group Dems should target.

It is up to the Democratic party to separate the pro-criminalization pro-lifers from the non-criminalization pro-lifers. The Non-criminalisation pro-lifers have the most in common with pro-choice. That is to say, neither want to criminalize abortions therefore they should make perfect allys in reducing the number of abortions by taking pro-active steps in education and contraception.

This will also weed out the wingnuts who see all forms of sex outside of marraige between a man a a woman as evil, it also debunks the abstinence myth... At the moment, non-criminalization pro-lifers are erroneously inflating their numbers.

 

by Parker 2005-05-25 10:04PM | 0 recs
Gun rights "me too" strategy also?
Can it actually work for Dems to say "I'm for gun ownership rights too, but I don't want the police to be out-gunned by the bad guys."  Oh, wait.  They've already tried that and are still taking a beating from gun owners.
by AntiCliche 2005-05-26 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Gun rights "me too" strategy also?
That's a very different issue.  Democrats are genuinely split on whether or not there's a Constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and on whether or it would be a good thing to have such a right.  The split seems to follow population density.  There is no nearly universal Democratic position on gun control, so thinking of better ways to explain it to the public doesn't make sense.

Dean's approach to this is the right one: Gun control is not one of our top priorities, so let's make it a state or local issue and agree to disagree nationally.  What your stand on gun control is, should not affect whether or not you're a Democrat, because there are other much more important things for the Democratic party to focus on.

by cos 2005-05-26 09:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Gun rights "me too" strategy also?
What this will do is to seperate the non-criminalization pro-lifers from the wingnuts.

It will not turn Evangelist no sex before marriage pro-lifers into Democrats. But it will give pro-lifers who do not want to criminalize abortion an alternative.

We are always looking for "swing voters" well here are natural allies to pro-lifers.

Let the GOPERS...keep the wingnuts.

by Parker 2005-05-26 09:53AM | 0 recs
Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong
For two reasons :

1)And if the politician responds by saying yes I am, I do not like to see abortions, but will not legislate or have the government intruding into this private decision between a woman, her family, and her doctor. That's a politician that belongs in the Democratic Party.

Unfortunately that is NOT the position of any Democrats who describe themselves as "pro-life" - they frankly mean that they WILL legislate to have the government intrude.

and more imprtantly:
2)In dealing with the issue of abortion, more and more, it seems that "pro-choice" is a slogan that has out-lived its usefulness. It doesn't work any longer as a frame, because the Republicans are not playing by it, and the press, not wanting to choose sides, gravitates toward the issue, making Democrats the pro-abortion party and Republicans the anti-abortion party.

But the issue is NOT abortion, and it IS about free choice - freedom, not slavery. This is conceeding that the debate should be about abortion whether or not we "allow" a woman to chose to have one.

A losing frame - mainly because it is not true.

I am not fighting FOR abortion or AGAINST life - I am fighting for the right of a woman to decide for herself, and not the government - or YOU.

THIS is the true frame.

by tiponeill 2005-05-26 10:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong
Unfortunately that is NOT the position of any Democrats who describe themselves as "pro-life" - they frankly mean that they WILL legislate to have the government intrude.

Disagree...

Most pro-lifer do not want to send women to jai.

by Parker 2005-05-26 10:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong
Many pro-lifers would rather send the doctor to the chair.

Many pro-lifers would send the mother to the chair for killing a 2 year old. Either it's the same for a 2 week old, or it isn't. If it is, it's aggravated capital murder, and that's a position no pro-lifer would take. They're trying to have it both ways.

You have the right to your beliefs. Your beliefs are relative. Relative laws are unconstitutional.
You have the right to protect yourself. With a gun, an ax, a cellphone call to 911, whatever.
You have, sort of, a right to life starting at the moment the umbilical is tied off.

Death is not always a penalty. Euthanasia is a right, attempted suicide is a cry for help. Successful suicide is an indictment of the community. Abortion can be good global and environmental policy.
Our entire legal system was set up to ensure details dictate the trial. Grand statements about pro-life or pro-choice are so simplistic as to be treasonous.

by LandonG 2005-05-29 08:01AM | 0 recs
Not Wrong
Unfortunately that is NOT the position of any Democrats who describe themselves as "pro-life" - they frankly mean that they WILL legislate to have the government intrude.

Irrelevant even if true (and it's not quite true).  We're talking about changing what the term "pro-life" refers to, not about what people who currently use it mean.  We want Democrats who are dead-set against criminalizing abortion, and who currently identify as pro-choice, to start calling themselves pro-life (while continuing to also call themselves pro-choice).  We want to break down the artificial divide between "pro-life" and "against criminalizing abortion", by showing that the two are not contradictory, and that most pro-choice people are also pro-life.  This is a very worthy goal.  And to do that, people who are anti-criminalization ought to start calling themselves pro-life.  That will deny that right wingers exclusive use of that term - because they don't deserve it.

by cos 2005-05-26 12:19PM | 0 recs
How about "Anti-Choice"
The main problem with the movement that crusades against womens rights and medical science is that they are falsele garbed in the positive frame of "pro-life."   Their stance has some relation to the preservation of life, but what they are fighting for is a reduction of freedom.  It's not about being pro or anti abortion,  and it's certainly not a question of being for or against "life."  You are either anti-choice or you are pro-choice.  You could be anti-freedom or pro-liberty.  

Call a spade a spade, and never ever use the term "pro-life" to refer to the freedom haters who seek to destroy the rights of American women.

by jk2004 2005-05-26 03:03PM | 0 recs
Just War and Pro-life
"Opponent of war would rather not have religious parity with conservatives" is my letter that appeared in Canton (Ohio) Repository on 05-24-05.  Here is link (though there is no fee, you will have to register at Web site to view letter): www.cantonrep.com/index.php?ID=224361&Category=7
John Reinier
by johnrohio 2005-05-27 07:17AM | 0 recs

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