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Saturday, July 08, 2017

I'll take ancient losing battles for a thousand Alex

by digby

So, once again we seem to be on the verge of opening up the Big Tent to anti-abortion politics, thus giving the 100% unified Republicans an ability to make bipartisan deals with Democrats to deny women's rights. It was ever thus. Whenever Democrats lose they go right to abortion rights as the first place to start compromising. It certainly works to keep the feminists in their place which is always good. They tend to get uppity and the next thing you know they'll be demanding all sort of things.

Anyway, it's happening:

Republicans in Kansas say Josh Svaty is the Democrat they most fear in a general election for governor next year. But because of Planned Parenthood, his candidacy could be doomed.

He’s an “extremist,” the group says of the charismatic, 37-year-old farmer from Ellsworth, Kansas with an anti-abortion voting record. Laura McQuade, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, has vowed to stop Svaty “from gaining even the slightest political foothold in Kansas.”

Svaty’s predicament is a case study of the dilemma facing Democrats: Should the party make issues such as abortion a litmus test for candidates, even if insisting on ideological purity could cost it at the polls?

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez waded into the heated debate earlier this year when he said all Democratic candidates must support a woman’s right to make choices about her own health.

“That is not negotiable,” Perez told the Huffington Post. The DNC later said it doesn’t believe in litmus tests. Anti-abortion Democrats say the damage was done.

Svaty warns the party risks losing voters in rural communities if it applies a one-size-fits-all approach on social issues.

“It is important to have healthy diversity of opinions,” he told the Kansas City Star in an interview. “A Democrat in Baileyville, Kansas is not the same as a Democrat in Brooklyn, New York. They just aren’t … the worlds from which they come are wildly different.”

That's true. They are different. A lot of those folks don't believe in climate change and hate public schools and support right to work and tort reform too. Big tax cuts are a huge winner with them. I'm guessing that repealing environmental regulations and affirming "religious liberty" and all that implies are also popular in Kansas. Latino immigration is a big problem for many of them and some undoubtedly think that affirmative action has "gone too far" and they'd be happy to see a Democratic politician condemn Black Lives Matter as an extremist organization. The NRA agenda is super popular too.

There are many issues which divide us. So why is abortion the go-to compromise over and over again?

I happen to think all of those things are defining issues for the Democratic Party and that Democratic politicians need to do a better job of convincing swing voters why it's in their interest to support the party that believes in social justice and economic fairness instead of "every man for himself." I also think that human rights are fundamental and as some awful old biddy once said, women's rights are human rights. Or, at least, I thought they were. They seem to be expendable when the need arises.

We'll see what happens. the Democratic party has an awakened interest group and it's huge:

Clinton won women on Tuesday by 12 points and lost men by 12 points: a total 24 point gap. The 2012 election previously held this record with a 20-point chasm, when President Obama won women by 12 points and lost men by eight.

The gender gap widened this year for the same reason Trump took the White House: men, especially white men, surged right.

Since white men are the holy grail of politics, we're going to see if forced childbirth is enough to assure them that all those women in Democratic politics won't make them feel inadequate and they'll come back into the fold. But I doubt it. They all voted for Trump because he treats women like shit, which is what they admire about him. I suppose some of them might be lured back by the idea that the Democrats are sticking it to the female majority of their own party but it's hard to see how many of them will do it. Maybe some anti-choice women will vote for the Democrats instead, who knows?

One thing they can always count on is that the mainstream Democratic women will swallow their concerns and their pride and at least vote against the worst of the two evils. What else are they going to do? Vote for the pussy grabbers?  But it's a hell of a way to treat your most loyal voters. I'm going to guess a lot of people who don't vote for Democrats (or just don't vote) see that the Dems don't have a lot of respect for their base, the vast majority of which is composed of women and people of color. Why would they ever believe that a Democratic politician would care about them?