Dems Ditch Pro-choice Litmus Test; Secret Thoughts of Many Laid Bare

Well, that’s probably wishful thinking on both counts. We’ll see if it’s really true that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will now be willing to support pro-life democratic candidates. Yesterday,

Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) said there will be no litmus tests for candidates as Democrats seek to find a winning roster to regain the House majority in 2018.

“There is not a litmus test for Democratic candidates,” said Luján, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman. “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.”

I’m under no illusion that there will be a sudden, widespread softening of hearts toward the unborn in the Democratic party. This is pure strategy. They finally figured out that they’ll never get Congress back if they don’t at least crack the door for pro-lifers. (I could have told them that twelve years ago, but I’m just a voter in a swing state, so who listens to me?) They’re not even pretending there is some kind of actual ideological shift. They’re just trying to keep up with the tide.

Pro-choice dems are already furious at this softening of the DCCC stance,  predictably. For many Democrats, abortion truly is the holy grail, and if you compromise on abortion, then you’re treyf.

But guess what? Republicans are also furious, because their free meal ticket is suddenly not their exclusive property. I’ve long since shed the illusion that the Republican leadership is rife with tenderness and compassion toward the unborn. “Vote for me or the baby gets it,” as Mark Shea frequently puts it, has been a quick ticket to success for republicans for decades now. All a republican candidate has to do is say, “I’m kinda pro-life, and the other guy isn’t,” and good-hearted Catholics and evangelicals will believe (and tell others) they have a moral obligation to vote for him, and will turn a blind eye to every other hideous personal and ideological flaw that would normally be intolerable in a paperboy, never mind a governor, a congressman, or president.

If Republicans were truly pro-life, they’d all be rejoicing at the idea that Democrats are rejiggering their platform to let in even the possibility of more pro-life representatives.

But they’re all . . . not. LifeNews reprinted a column that gives a pretty balanced assessment of the dem strategy and reactions from the left so far; but the comments on social media are filled with mockery and jeers. “Yeah, right! Don’t fall for their LIES!!!” We’re too smart to vote for some lying politician just because they say they’re pro-life!

Yeah, right, indeed. We’re too smart for that.

Meanwhile, as Fr. Pavone bids us “rejoice” in our “pro-life victories” following the 2016 election, Planned Parenthood is still fully funded, and it’s only sheer incompetence that’s saved Medicaid, the go-to source of prenatal care for poor women and their unborn children, from being axed by a “pro-life” Congress. Hoo-ray, we have a conservative on the Supreme Court. So far, he’s oh-so-pro-lifely refuse to stay the execution of eight guys who had to be executed right away for the very serious reason that the lethal injection drug was about to expire, so.  Even LifeSiteNews is not terribly impressed at Gorsuch, who was not so long ago touted as the reason Catholics not only can but must vote for Trump. (I actually like Gorsuch; but I liked Merrick Garland, too. Remember, SC justices aren’t supposed to be pro-life or pro-choice; they’re supposed to be pro-Constitution.)

The part I’m interested in is twofold:

First, I want to see just how many Democrats really are pro-life, even a little bit, but they haven’t felt free to say so. I know there are some, and I know they’ve been treated like crap for far too long. I expect to see more of it among young up-and-comers, because young people in general are increasingly pro-life. Decades of 4D sonograms’ll do that to you, I guess.

Second, I want to see just how many Republican voters will suddenly recall they care deeply about other issues besides abortion. I cannot count how many times during the election I heard: “Abortion is the only issue that matters. I’m a one-issue voter. If a candidate even just says he’s pro-life, then I have to vote for him, no matter what else he says or does.  And you also have to, or I’m telling your bishop.”

This is why we got Trump: Because he was smart enough to flick the pro-life worm right into the spot where all the conservatives were biting, and then he reeled them in, easy peasy, no actual action necessary. Throw ’em in the cooler, flick again.

So what happens when Democrats are allowed to say they’re pro-life, eh? Will that be enough for Christian voters, since it was enough when Trump was the candidate? Will they say, “Well, this democratic candidate is spouting all kinds of crap that I find personally repugnant, but he says he’s pro-life, and the other guy isn’t, so I guess I have to vote for him“?

We’ll see.

Maybe I’m just dreaming here, but if the Democrats will eventually maybe be allowed to admit that some of them are not crazy about infant dismemberment, will it eventually come about that our Republican overlords will feel more free to admit that some of them care just as little about unborn babies as they do about post-womb babies?

The renegade numbers are small on both sides. I get that. Most dems do harbor pro-choice ideas as a core part of their beliefs, and most republicans do feel pretty strongly that murder is wrong. But there is a hell of a lot less purity in both parties than we’ve been led to believe.

I am a conservative. I’m no longer a Republican, but by every sane and rational measurement, I am a conservative. If you think I’m crazy to say so, you need to make friends with the late William F. Buckley (if you can make him stop spinning in his grave long enough), or my pal Winston Churchill, because you MAGAs don’t even know what a conservative is.

I and most of my truly conservative friends haven’t had the luxury of voting for someone we actually believe in for years and years and years. Could it be that, maybe in the next election, or the next one after that, we’ll be allowed to assess and elect a candidate based on his individual principles and merits?

All I want is someone I can vote for without dying inside. I’ll probably never get it. But if we’re moving toward an era when “pro-life” or “pro-choice” lose their magical power to summon campaign funds and principled votes, then maybe at least we’ll see who really believes in what, and why.


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40 thoughts on “Dems Ditch Pro-choice Litmus Test; Secret Thoughts of Many Laid Bare”

  1. Just food for thought, but I wonder if it has ever occurred to the author that the Democratic Party routinely uses issues like health care and education in the same fashion that she notices Republicans using the abortion issue. Democrats have a terrible record of actually making anything better in either area, but that does not matter, because it’s really just about getting elected and getting power so they can do other things to further their power and get reelected. They clearly give a rip about actual health or care or education. It’s a game, on both sides. We are all being played. Surely you can see that.

  2. People have no idea how much the world is changing right under their feet. Yes, the Democrats are getting nervous. Both Democrats and Republicans know that our present system as it stands is unsustainable. I wish I could say more about it. It’s changing more rapidly than people who *should* understand, care to face.

    When I was a little girl, my father explained to me that the liberal agenda was to create a huge dependent class that would continue to vote the power elite into office.

    I don’t think the liberals ever had such a nefarious agenda, it just turned out the way it did because greed follows a predictable course, and nobody needs to share notes about it. The power elite have never had the game rigged so spectacularly–by liberal Democrats.

    None of our squabbling about privilege, bleeding heart liberals, meanies or anybody’s work ethic changes the fact that we exist in a global economy now, and our present system has a ticking clock on it. They don’t get what’s going down.

    We need to grow up and get ready for the lean cows.

  3. Hello from a 27 yr old Pro-Life Democrat. I was quiet about political views in public for years, because from age 17-24 I was chair of our diocesan youth council, VP or President of my college’s Catholic Student Association, and then taught at a Catholic school. I felt voicing my political opinions would have been inappropriate, but I also felt they were not welcome.
    I’m seeing more and more Catholics, especially young Catholics come out of the woodwork recently to admit that they align more with the Democratic Party, on many issues, while disagreeing with its stance on abortion.
    If nothing else, the despicable words and actions of our current president have emboldened Catholics who lean Democratic to speak out more.

    1. But not the despicable actions and words of Hillary, I suppose? Or Pelosi? Or Obama? Or Kaine? Or Bill Clinton? Oh I suppose you forgot about him. Or that Sanders guy. Seriously? And what exactly is so appealing about the Democratic Party that makes it superior to the Republican Party?

      1. nor the despicable words and action of nixon, or agnew, or cheney? or GWB? oh i suppose you forgot about him.
        you’re not very fair or balanced.

        1. I’m not sure whether you are replying to me or A.H. but I will answer for myself. I was 7 years old when Newt Gingrich pushed for Clinton’s impeachment, while himself having an affair with Callista Brisek. That and anything before it I’ve only seen from a historical perspective, rather than the experience of living through it.
          I wasn’t trying to defend any politician, my point is that the despicable words and actions are of President Trump a different magnitude.
          There’s something very different about the lack of civility in a man who advocates violence at his rallies, uses a presidential debate to insist that the size of his penis is sufficient, complains publicly that the police are being too nice to protestors, and when caught on tape bragging about potential sexual assault, half heartedly apologizes by saying, “The other guy said worse.” It’s harder to uphold him as the moral choice.

          1. None of that stuff is actually bad with the exception of the access hollywoood tape comments. Feminists hate trump because he’s a man and teases and talks like a truck driver despite being a billionaire. Feminists hate truck drivers and the like because they hate men and masculinity and also they hate femininity. So they’re shocked and appalled when girls act feminine and when men behave like men using violent rhetoric and so forth in reference to irritating “protestors” or anything else.

            1. FYI…there are plenty of traditionally feminine women who identify as feminists, many of whom are married to traditionally masculine men. Masculinity is not synonymous with vulgarity. Expecting both men and women to speak and act courteously & considerately goes beyond feminism.

            2. Trump behaves like a pig, not a man. And if that’s how “typical” men are, then “typical” men are completely unfit for the office of President.

          2. “I’m not sure whether you are replying to me or A.H.”

            to the tendentious A. H.
            but the blog needs to add that label that points to whom one is responding.

          3. @ Krankenschester
            I disagree, all three examples I provided were of behavior that is not fitting for our President. There are many more I didn’t add in the interest of length.
            Feminism is a big tent, and not at all similar to what you describe. Check out Feminists for Life, or New Wave Feminists, or heck, just talk to someone who identifies as a Feminist! One basic definition of a feminist, is someone who thinks that women and men both deserve to be treated with respect, have agency over their own lives, and have equitable opportunities and access to service. Nothing about hating truck drivers, masculinity, or femininity.
            I had a lovely conversation with a truck driver last weekend while waiting for a sandwich. He told me about having skin cancer 3 times, how he’s thinking about buying books about local history for his girlfriend, and we both talked about how special a nearby shrine dedicated to Saint Anne is to both of us.

            @Petey, Thanks for the clarification! The blog does indent to indicate replies, but it’s subtle, and I couldn’t see it earlier on mobile, so I decided to respond to both of you. My apologies.

          4. “FYI…there are plenty of traditionally feminine women who identify as feminists”

            No, there aren’t. Look a centimeter deeper and their worldview is not remotely traditionally feminine.

            “Trump behaves like a pig, not a man.”
            You should try to meet some men who aren’t self-policing, polite feminists.

            “One basic definition of a feminist, is someone who thinks that women and men both deserve to be treated with respect, have agency over their own lives, and have equitable opportunities and access to service.”

            There’s only one base definition of feminism that fits every innocuous definition feminists spin up: the belief that the sexes are equal. Which is a lie. It follows necessarily that men are oppressive, and that we need all kinds of measures to end male oppression (which is what your definition attempts).

          5. @Krankenschwester:

            This thread has derailed from the topic of pro-life democrats to your inability to comprehend women.

            It’s also futile to argue against someone who doesn’t think I exist, simply because I espouse both femininity and feminism. If you want to continue this discussion of feminism and femininity without thread-jacking Simcha’s blog, you can dm me, I’m on twitter as jlhyacintha.

          6. Were not thread jacking anything. We’re the only ones still talking here.

            Women don’t understand reality. Most especially feminist women who honestly believe the sexes are equal. I’ll see I can find you on twitter

  4. Of course being pro life is not just about abortion. There are five Catholic non negotiables…..abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning and homosexual ‘marriage’. Being that the liberal political ideology of the Democratic party pretty much lays waste to all of them I’m guessing you will not find too many actual pro life Democrats. So any anyone that calls themselves Catholic that voted for Clinton under the guise of being pro life is really jumping through some hoops. It seems they place more importance on their political ideology than on the teachings of Jesus.

      1. Lol…..oh yeah especially when it comes time to vote. Then liberals come up with all kinds of ‘non negotiables’ and somehow form their conscience to vote for a political ideology that lays waste to Jesus’ teachings on life. Hey what about the spotted blue tooth iguana? We gotta save them. So I’m voting for candidate climate change who also just happens to support the planned parenthood that you’ve seen in the latest baby parts videos.

        1. Your unchristian hatred for liberals aside, there really are more than five. For instance, the requirement that employers pay a living wage. Given that poverty is the most effective abortifacient, it would seem wise to ensure the poor are paid a living wage so that they don’t have to abort their children.

          Furthermore, climate change could threaten far more than the unborn, and given that man has a moral obligation to care for the earth (this is another non-negotiable), it would seem an issue worthy of consideration when voting.

          Lastly, these are actually Catholic positions I’m advocating; not some regurgitated DNC nonsense. If it happens to sound liberal, so be it.

          1. Aww…..someone’s feelings are hurt lol. Hey you forgot some key name calling out of the liberal name calling tool box…..uncharitable, hater….oops no you did get that one in there, homophobic…..intolerant….don’t forget that one…..that’s a good un.

            1. At no point did I call you a name. I described your hatred of liberals as unchristian. That’s a judgment on your actions, not you personally.

              However, instead of engaging my points, you responded by disrespectfully mocking me. How is that behavior worthy of a Christian?

              Oh, and you keep assuming I’m a liberal. I’m not. I oppose abortion in all cases, am against gay marriage, euthanasia, and human cloning. I also believe that contraception is immoral. No liberal would ever hold those positions.

    1. The five non-negotiables have zero standing in actual magisterial teaching. They come from a voting guide cooked up Catholic Answers in 2004. They were well-intended but the unintended effect has been to give Catholics the impression that as long as you pay lip service to them you can make open war on all the rest of the Church’s teaching in good conscience.

      1. Zero standing huh? After eight years of an anti Catholic supporter of the Planned Parenthood that you’ve seen in the baby parts videos administration we now have a pro life administration. I’d say the message got out there. That and Cardinal Burke’s 54 day Novena for the Nation leading up to the elections. 🙂

        But you are right in one aspect. Those eight years did show us that among liberals the teachings of Jesus are indeed negotiable.

  5. Exit pollsters in 1992 discovered that 35% of voters said that they “would have” voted for Ross Perot, if only he had had a chance to win.

    Of course, in a three-way race, 35% is a plurality.

    Today, a third of American voters are consistently pro-life — against abortion, for universal health care, against our unjust wars. If all of these people vote for the American Solidarity Party, it would become a tremendous force in Congress.

    Please vote ASP! This isn’t about “throwing your vote away” so you can be “pure”. It’s about actually electing candidates who care about the born and unborn alike.

  6. But really democrats and Republicans are the basically the same thing. It’s like a time warp. Or a 30 year time lag or something. Try to find a conservative that opposes women’s sufferage. It was a big deal back then and conservtives didn’t want it but today is a conservative foundational principle and they would be appalled if they encountered their great or great great grandparents’ views in someone today.

  7. “Support Obamacare or the baby gets it! You arent pro-life! You think a mother shouldn’t be allowed to choose to murder her child with no consequences! This is basic stuff people! Of course a mother can have her baby killed with no legal consequences, that’s what pro-life MEANS.”

  8. All Catholic Bloggers need to give up politics. It doesn’t help anything. Teach us about the Catholic Church, please. Teach Catholics about being Catholic and the politics will work out someday.

    1. How is teaching Catholics about the political implications of Catholic teaching *not* teaching them about the Catholic Church? Also, there’s an entire branch of theology dedicated to social application of Catholic morality. This Catholic social teaching is necessarily political, as it concerns the Church’s teaching on society and the common good, and specifically on the proper functions of the state and the economy in relation to these things. Far too many Catholics get their political formation, not from the Church, but from Rush Limbaugh and Rachel Maddow.

  9. Well, I think you made a lot of this up in your head. This is what it sounds like when you talk to yourself? We didn’t get Trump because lots of folks were convinced he was super prolife….maybe you just weren’t listening? I get that you think prolife Catholics are super stupid, but it just so happens I don’t. They largely voted for Trump not because he was our perfect role model but because Hillary was/is horrendous and offered no better and probably worse. You clearly have issues with Fr Pavone, but who cares? He does way more than most people in our time to actually work for change for the unborn. What can you put up Miss?
    As for Republicans suddenly discovering that they are not one issue voters…again, I think you’re just not listening. But yeah, if I believed that the Democratic Party wasn’t going to offer utter immoral stupidity aiming our culture toward a suicial death spiral, I think that might help.

  10. I am probably the most avid abortion rights supporter you will ever encounter, in real life or online, and I am also non-partisan — a registered independent. I’m watching these developments with great interest.

  11. Gorsuch alone justifies Trump. The citing of the LifeSiteNews article is completely disingenuous. It’s from March. Here are more currrent and accurate assessments of Gorsuch: or http :// or

  12. But if we’re moving toward an era when “pro-life” or “pro-choice” lose their magical power to summon campaign funds and principled votes, then maybe at least we’ll see who really believes in what, and why.

    That could be a better case scenario. Another is that it allows Republicans to abandon the issue altogether and the issue loses more resonance in the culture.

    1. I don’t know about that. I’ve seen a lot more pro-life friendly stories in the media recently. And not just FOX either, but big name mainstream newspapers.

  13. As a pro-life democrat, I can definitely say I am unable to tell fellow democrats (I live in the deep south, so they are veeeeeeery few and far between) that I am pro-life and I am unable to tell the majority of my conservative, pro-life friends that I generally vote Democrat. I believe the main issue is that neither side will have an actual conversation about abortion. It’s a non-starter to nearly every person who has a strong political or social opinion.

    I have to respectfully disagree with the comment that “most republicans believe that murder is wrong” in the context it is used- as in democrats think that it is ok to murder people. I’ve met very few people on either side that believe murder is a-ok. I believe most democrats have been mislead about what abortion is and that they also are against legislating it. Most of them don’t actually want to kill babies. I also think they have been very mislead about Planned Parenthood. There are undoubtedly militant pro-abortion voices out there who unfortunately get the bulk of the media coverage. I stopped voting republican when they too were overtaken by their militant wing, so it happens to the best of ’em.

    I no longer assume because someone votes for a party that they espouse the beliefs of every other person that votes for that party or even of the people who represent it. If I did, I would have to believe that nearly every single one of my friends is a racist homophobe that supports deporting the people who do work that no one else will and wants to deny basic human rights to just about everyone but super love their guns. I instead have chosen to take the view that doesn’t destroy my faith in humanity- that they vote for who and what they believe to be the lesser of evils. I would hope the same courtesy is bestowed on me by them, though I’ve rarely found that it is.

    I view the recent announcement by democrats with a good deal of skepticism but I am hopeful that it may lead to an actual conversation about abortion between the two sides. Maybe we could even come to a place where we address the underlying issues that lead to it (like poverty, lack of education and being mislead by a few nefarious groups) instead of just screaming at each other that one side enjoys killing babies while the other doesn’t.

    Thanks for you take on another sensitive topic- I always enjoy reading what you have to say.

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