A new poll from ABC News/Washington Post reveals that two-thirds of Americans believe that the Democratic Party is out of touch with mainstream voters. And if the party was inclined to do something about that perception, they might begin by opening their doors to candidates and supporters who don’t necessarily buy into the full left-wing agenda.
Unfortunately (if you happen to be invested in the future of the party, that is), they seem to be moving in the opposite direction. Instead of widening their base beyond college kids, minorities, and coastal elites, the party is enforcing their ideology with ever more rigid rules. If you want to be a Democrat, they are saying, you MUST believe…
Well, to start with: You must believe in abortion.
In his campaign to become the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Tom Perez emphasized the need for the party to reach beyond its own insular boundaries. To go into deep-red districts and let working whites know that Democrats have an interest in their political concerns – something the Clinton campaign totally failed to do.
But after the DNC lent a helping hand to Omaha mayoral candidate Heath Mello last week, the story changed a bit. Because Mello has a history of voting for pro-life legislation, activists were outraged to see the DNC – and even Bernie Sanders! – support him in his bid for office.
Rushing to avoid the heat, Perez issued a statement insisting there was no room in the party for pro-life Democrats.
“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” he said. “That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”
Apparently sensing that this could quickly turn into an extremely poor political moment for Democrats, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi hardly wanted to address the issue on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. Asked about Perez’s comments, she said, “Why don’t you interview Tom Perez? You’re interviewing me.”
Pushed by Chuck Todd to say whether or not there was a place in the party for pro-lifers, Pelosi said, “Of course. I have served many years in Congress with members who have not shared my very positive, my family would say, aggressive position on promoting a woman’s right to choose.”
Most Americans already view the Democratic Party as the pro-abortion side of the aisle, but their leaders aren’t doing themselves any favors by turning it into a litmus test. There are plenty of big-government liberals who still think that abortion amounts to infanticide. If Democrats really want to mount a comeback in 2018, they would be wise to expand the tent.
But hey, if they would rather follow the extreme left even further down the rabbit hole, we’ll take our easy victories without any complaint.