Politics

Are the Dems All About Abortion When It Comes to The High Court?

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Columnist Ron Hart writes:

While they try to mask it in coded language that's only understood, like a dog whistle, by the likes of James Carville and Wolf Blitzer, the Democrats are all about abortion. It is hard for them to lead with a slogan like "Democrats: We like abortions and it shows," but it is implied. They would also like to tell you that they are selfless in this endeavor since a vast majority of abortions are sought by the undereducated, urban poor—or better said, the future Democratic voter base. On the other side of the irony coin, the GOP hates having to pay taxes for the underclass Democrat base and say they are about freedom, yet they fight pro-choice issues to their detriment.

When it comes to Supreme Court politics, is abortion the be-all and end-all for Democratic nominees? The cover charge that gets you in the door? Does it work the other way in reverse: Do Rep noms need to be pro-life, or at least vague on the topic (at least during the nomination period)?

Whole column here.

Demographic info on who gets abortions from Alan Guttmacher Institute here.

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  1. When it comes to Supreme Court politics, is abortion the be-all and end-all for Democratic nominees?

    When the Congress is Democrat this is the case. Otherwise, it does not seem to be the biggest thing.

  2. Yes, but by supporting abortions for the uneducated, aren’t the Democrats preventing the birth of more Democrats?

  3. [Democrats] are selfless in this endeavor since a vast majority of abortions are sought by…the future Democratic voter base

    The GOP…fight pro-choice issues to their detriment.

    Not that they really deserve the title but doesn’t that make the Republicans more about the principle and the Democrats the expediency?

  4. Yes, but by supporting abortions for the uneducated, aren’t the Democrats preventing the birth of more Democrats?

    Yes, they are preventing the birth of more Democrats.

    I believe that is part of their motivation for illegal immigration amnesty.

    Also, I am too lazy to look it up now, but I read an article stating that if abortion had not been legal, Al Gore would have won the 2000 election (there would have been more democrats in Florida).

  5. Didn’t some Dems including Joe Biden get in trouble a while back for suggesting aborting more black babies? Anybody else remember that?

  6. Actually the statistics I’ve seen show college graduates as fleeing the GOP in droves.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/118528/gop-losses-span-nearly-demographic-groups.aspx

    In fact the only groups that seem to be attracted to the GOP (as it exists today) are religious nuts and hillbillies. Not exactly “educated” in my opinion.

  7. Both sides use abortion for fundraising and little else.

    The vague nature of the procedure–legal but with constant nibbling away around the edges–serves the coffers of both parties far more than the outragemunition out-right bans and full legalization/access would give to their respective opposites.

  8. KTC2,

    You poll assumes that the 2008 election’s trend will continue forever into the future. Considering Obama’s war on the productive, that is doubtful. YOu could go back to the 80s and mid 90s when Republicans were winning elections and find the same dire predictions for the Democrats’ future. Trends hold up until they don’t. You can’t just project the past into the future.

    “In fact the only groups that seem to be attracted to the GOP (as it exists today) are religious nuts and hillbillies”

    What a wonderfully tolerant and open mind you have.

  9. college graduates as fleeing the GOP in droves

    But that is a rejection of big-government neo-conservatism, which Bush/Cheney effectively blackeyed.

    Limited-government-ism seems like it’s making a comeback on campus, e.g. Ron Paul.

  10. From THE STRANGE CASE OF JUSTICE BREYER AND MR. B:

    Back when the Court “over-emphasized the importance of constitutional protections of property,” liberals embraced this [majoritarian] ideology as a weapon against such “over-emphasis.” However, by 1987, liberals feared — quite rightly, let there be no doubt — that this same weapon would endanger many liberties sacred to the coalition of advocacy groups that by then defined “liberalism.” Think about it: How many feminists would sacrifice the “importance of constitutional protections” of privacy to “the Constitution’s protection of the citizen’s freedom to participate in government”? How many would oppose those “constitutional protections” for women that “denied legislators the ability to resolve social problems” such as overpopulation or “population contraction” (take your pick)?

  11. In fact the only groups that seem to be attracted to the GOP (as it exists today) are religious nuts and hillbillies. Not exactly “educated” in my opinion.

    Yes, but apparently “educated” means having absolutely no knowledge about the incredible failure that government central planning has been every single place it has ever been tried.

    If being “educated” means knowing things that are not true then count me with the “hillbillies”.

    Funny how the “educated” can’t make reasonable arguments, only throw the ad hom. Some “education”.

  12. “When it comes to Supreme Court politics, is abortion the be-all and end-all for Democratic nominees?”

    They don’t call it the party of death for nothing.

  13. Hey! Don’t assume I’m educated! LOL.


  14. They don’t call it the party of death for nothing.

    How is it death because the fetus isn’t alive unless it is wanted.

  15. Janet,

    I don’t want you.

  16. “Considering Obama’s war on the productive”

    But the productive like him because he can pronounce nuclear like they do.

  17. We Hillbillies have developed a healthy fear of the state. Unfortunately, today’s “educated” class have been taught the opposite.

  18. But that is a rejection of big-government neo-conservatism, which Bush/Cheney effectively blackeyed.

    Limited-government-ism seems like it’s making a comeback on campus, e.g. Ron Paul.

    Boy is that not what the polls say at all.

    The generation in college and in their twenties right now said that:

    In 2008, the nonpartisan National Election Study asked Americans whether “the free market” or “a strong government” would better handle “today’s complex economic problems.” By a margin of 78 to 22 percent, Millennials opted for “strong government.”

    The numbers for people over 30 were very different. Other polls say exactly the same thing; the younger generation that voted overwhelmingly for Obama is overwhelmingly in favor of big government, and by a much greater margin than previous generations when that age.

    People in their twenties in general are pro-gay and don’t care about social issues, though several polls have shown them trending pro-life.

    On the other side of the irony coin, the GOP hates having to pay taxes for the underclass Democrat base and say they are about freedom, yet they fight pro-choice issues to their detriment.

    It’s not really “irony” if he’s arguing here that the GOP is encouraging more poor people to be born. And obviously the freedom issue is complicated; depending on what one believes about the status of a the fetus, abortion is about freedom in the same sense that allowing slavery is.

  19. Abortion has been the leading issue in selecting supreme court nominees since Roe v. Wade, for both Republicans and Democrats. Roe v. Wade did and end run around the amendment process to make abortion a “constitutional right.” There were only two ways to reign in this right: pass an amendment or get more of your guys on the court. Neither side has the political capital to pass an amendment.

    Republicans tried to stack the deck, and it looked like PP v. Casey would reverse the decision but Souter, O’connor, and Kennedy didn’t vote as most anticipated. This close call still raised the stakes for Pro choicers.

    Kennedy is the only swing voter left from the PP v Casey court. Barring a mass die-off of the other justices, Roe’s fate is decided by his replacement. If he’s replaced by a pro-lifer, Roe will likely be overturned. If he’s replaced by a pro-choicer, Roe stands.

  20. When it comes to Supreme Court politics, is abortion the be-all and end-all for Democratic nominees?

    There are other sacred Dem cows, e.g. affirmative action, that are deal breakers. As Mr. Balko pointed out yesterday, if you go by the questioning that Ms. Sotomayor was given, the rights of the accused and limits on police powers aren’t on the list.

  21. The long term trend is toward more and more independents as both major parties lose those groups loyal to them.

    I would also note that the more education a person has, the more (on average) they look like a libertarian (though they may not be libertarians).

    John Thacker,

    One election does not make a trend.

  22. But the productive like him because he can pronounce nuclear like they do.

    I’m still trying to understand why “nukular” is funny when George Bush says it but isn’t when Jimmy Carter does.

  23. One could be the most perfect Democrat candidate or elected official, but if they are not for abortion, they are very, very limited on what they can do or what they can rise to in the party.

    As for SCOTUS nominees, a Democrat who happened to be a pro-life candidate would never make it to committee.

    The other side of the aisle requires defining between conservatives, and Republicans.

    To conservatives, pro-life is a must because to them – right or wrong – it’s a life or death situation. They believe that abortion is the taking of an innocent life so it stands to reason that they’re going to be more than adamant on the issue.

    Ironically their main GOP candidates are agnostic on the matter. They’re still the main candidates for the party, but because of their stance on abortion (or rather their lack of a strong or reliable stance) they’re not strong enough to pull the party together and thus we have the present day GOP.

  24. I would just note that Sen. Harry Reid (still Senate Majority Leader) is pro-life: http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/12/20/reid_paul/

  25. Sure, but it is for Republicans, too.

    The whole “originalist” movement is based on the desire to overturn Roe v. Wade. The argument that the constitution says nothing about abortion (never mind the 9th Amendment, which conservatives agree is null and void) coupled with the notion that the Framers were all Christian zealots forming a more perfect Christian Nation Under Christ for the Blood of Christ in Christ Praise Be Jesus Christ (which is inconsistent with the express words of the framers who pretty much universally despised religion, particularly Christianity), and thus would never intend a right to abortion.

    This reasoning is behind the entire “originalist” doctrine. And “activist judge” is a term, while meaningless, that at the very least is used to describe a judge who rules in favor of the right to abortion. Since, you know, the word abortion doesn’t appear in the wording of the Constitution and the framers were all Evangelical Christians who wouldn’t stand for abortion.

    What shocks me is Obama’s willingness to nominate an arch-conservative (despite being a woman and having tan skin) ex-prosecutor who is Catholic with no clear stated position on abortion, and who swore under oath that the President never asked her about her position on abortion. You can believe that Sotomayor and Obama had a private conversation about her opinion on upholding or overturning Roe v. Wade, but WE don’t know that and I don’t trust Obama at this point to have done that.

    Sotomayor will be horrible for protecting our rights under the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 14th Amendments. The one area where she does side with the classic liberals is the one place where I adamantly disagree with them – gun control. She’ll happily conclude that the 2nd Amendment is not incorporated into the 14th Amendment and thus does not apply to the states. If the states can ban guns, that makes the 2nd Amendment meaningless.

    I hate everyone.

  26. Kreel,

    My high school Calculus teacher made fun of Carter’s pronunciation of “Nucular” all the time. This was 85-86.

  27. There are lots of very educated people who grew up in Texas who pronounce nuclear just like Bush does. It is a regionalism. Do we consider everyone from New England stupid because they can’t pronounce “car” without dropping the “r”.

  28. W: “foreign handed foreign policy”

    Partisan Dems: IDIOT!

    Sotomayor: “eminent”

    Partisan Dems: WELL QUALIFIED!

  29. he one area where she does side with the classic liberals is the one place where I adamantly disagree with them – gun control. She’ll happily conclude that the 2nd Amendment is not incorporated into the 14th Amendment and thus does not apply to the states.

    Your classical liberals are all in favor of the right to keep and bear arms.

    Its your lefty liberals who want to do away with it.

  30. Do we consider everyone from New England stupid …

    Yes.

  31. RC Dean: you’re right about the nomenclature, but I think we need to re-do that nomenclature. It’s gotten to the point where I’m saying “classic liberals” to mean lefty big-government liberals because that’s what I think of as a “classic liberal.” I realize “classic liberal” has a specific meaning… but it should no longer mean what it does.

  32. Didn’t some Dems including Joe Biden get in trouble a while back for suggesting aborting more black babies? Anybody else remember that?

    ___________________________________________–

    I thought Bill Bennett said that

  33. Do we consider everyone from New England stupid because they can’t pronounce “car” without dropping the “r”.

    I do, unless the speaker’s last name is Kennedy.

  34. I regard “nucular” roughly the same way I do “Febuary”, i.e. sloppy but not life-threatening.

  35. All I can say, then, robc, is that more than likely your high school Calculus teacher was not a Democrat.

  36. kreel sarloo, even I know that dems don’t teach Real classes.

  37. This seems all assbackward to me. I get the impression Dems would love for the abortion issue to go away forever. It’s not a winning cause to be in favor of killing fetuses, however much of a moral necessity the right to an abortion is.

    It’s the Repubs who’ve been salivating for decades at the thought of getting enough fundie nuts on the court to overturn Roe.

  38. ‘Didn’t some Dems including Joe Biden get in trouble a while back for suggesting aborting more black babies? Anybody else remember that?’

    Are you thinking of some recent remarks by Justice Ginsburg in a New York Times interview?

    (of course, Justice Ginsburg is nonpolitical, above the fray of squabbling parties. That’s probably why she talked to the NY Times)

  39. Tony, Tony, Tony.

    Like all highly polarized issues, activists on both sides definitely don’t want the abortion issue to go away. Fundy nuts and feminazis both use it to motivate their respective bases.

  40. One election does not make a trend.

    Sure, but one election and also two or three polls (and I can give you more) asking general philosophical questions and saying nothing about candidates? Enough polls does make a trend.

    The idea that kids in college are trending libertarian is incredibly silly and completely belied by the evidence. Kids in college, and all those in their twenties are incredibly statist. The difference in economic issues in polling between them and older cohorts (either now or when polled at a similar age) is much greater and more statist than the differences on social issues outside of gay marriage and gay issues in general.

  41. YOu could go back to the 80s and mid 90s when Republicans were winning elections and find the same dire predictions for the Democrats’ future.

    For an extreme example, you could go back to the 1910’s when Democrats were making the biggest comeback since the Civil War.

    There was a complete reversal of fortunes by the end of that decade.

    One could be the most perfect Democrat candidate or elected official, but if they are not for abortion, they are very, very limited on what they can do or what they can rise to in the party.

    How did the abortion lobby take over the Democratic Party?

    The numbers for people over 30 were very different. Other polls say exactly the same thing; the younger generation that voted overwhelmingly for Obama is overwhelmingly in favor of big government, and by a much greater margin than previous generations when that age.

    Wait ’till they find out what big government is like.

    We all know what big government did to Timothy Cole.

  42. SF coverd the issue well:

    Both sides use abortion for fundraising and little else.

    The vague nature of the procedure–legal but with constant nibbling away around the edges–serves the coffers of both parties far more than the outragemunition out-right bans and full legalization/access would give to their respective opposites.

    In my humble opinion, if:

    1. The Dems are willing to give up late term abortions, with late term being defined as at the point that a fetus is viable on its own with “heroic care” (we can argue at what week that is*), except when the need for the abortion is for the health of the mother.
    2. The Dems are willing to agree that parental involvement is required for children under the age of fourteen, except when informing the parents might result in physical harm to the child (physical harm, not just the child being mad that her parents for taking her cell phone away. We can argue about just how we go about protecting the child from abuse)
    3. If Repubs are willing to accept that there will be abortions, no matter what the law states
    4. If the Repubs are willing to accept that abortions should be allowed even late term when the need for the abortion is for the health of the mother.

    Then,

    Abortion would become a non-issue

    However, this will never happen; fund-raising trumps all. See SF comment above.

    * My eldest son was six weeks early, now 24 & a healthy 6’4″, He only needed to be kept warm and put under the sun lamp, hardly “heroic” medical care – Full-term minus 6 weeks is definitely too late for an abortion.

  43. The abortion issue gives republicans the ability to seem like they care about human life while they’re off bombing civilians somewhere.

    I’ve never fully understood the obsession. Religious nuttiness hasn’t held this as an issue historically. Forcing poor mothers to have children just creates more Democrats. And it’s not like Republicans give a damn about poor children once they’re born. I just don’t get why it’s always been such a huge deal except as a wholly fabricated means of distracting people into voting for you, the whole “values” con.

  44. ‘Like all highly polarized issues, activists on both sides definitely don’t want the abortion issue to go away. Fundy nuts and feminazis both use it to motivate their respective bases.’

    And as evidence of the insidious, covert power of the fundantalists, they engineered the *Roe v. Wade* decision just that they could stimulate fundraising. Just like the Jews engineered 9/11 to encourage American inteference in the Middle East. And how the libertarians started the Drug War so that they could raise money from wealthy potheads.

    ‘I get the impression Dems would love for the abortion issue to go away forever. It’s not a winning cause to be in favor of killing fetuses, however much of a moral necessity the right to an abortion is.’

    You’re quite right with respect to sensible, intelligent Democrats, not to mention Democrats (and there are some) who actually dislike abortion.

    One might think that these Democrats would try to remove the abortion issue from politics by eliminating Roe v. Wade and restoring legal protection to the unborn. Presto – the Republicans wouldn’t be able to exploit the issue any more, and the country could ‘move on to the real issues.’

    But this brings me to Michael Ejercito’s question:

    ‘How did the abortion lobby take over the Democratic Party?’

    Kristen Day explains this in Democrats for Life: Pro-Life Politics and the Silenced Majority. There have always been pro-lifers in the Democratic Party; they used to be quite prominent and influential. These pro-life Democrats saw abortion as an attack on the type of vulnerable populations that Democratic idealists go into politics to oppose. Other, less idealistic Democrat politicians saw opposition to abortion is necessary if you wanted the ethnic Catholic vote.

    A determined pro-abortion lobby took over the Democrats, not only making abortion the party’s official position but deligitimizing all intra-party dissent on the subject. There was no natural, inevitable evolution – the pro-aborts simply made the Democratic Party their headquarters and either wrote off or bought off the prolife Democrats.

    Under these circumstances, a modern Democratic leader would have to possess a lot of courage to stand up to the pro-aborts in his own party. It would even take some . . . audacity.

  45. And it’s not like Republicans give a damn about poor children once they’re born.

    How so?

    Have any of them argued that people have a right to kill poor children once they are born?

  46. Mad Max,

    There’s nothing incongruous about Democrats supporting abortion rights, however bought off they may be. No one likes abortion but if it’s forbidden then only rich women will have access to it safely. That’s really the argument, and it’s perfectly in line with Democratic party values.

  47. Tony,

    No-one likes bribing judges, but if it’s forbidden then only rich people will be able to afford the bribes.

    No-one likes people who move to the Bahamas to escape justice, but if it’s forbidden then only rich people will be able to afford it.

    So let us legalize these kinds of behavior, and provide subsidies to the poor so that they have equal opportunities with the rich.

  48. Have any of them argued that people have a right to kill poor children once they are born?

    Only passively, like through not favoring social services that could give poor children a greater chance of doing something with their lives besides getting shot or going to prison. Or denying them equitable health care. Or enlisting them in the armed forces to fight bogus wars.

    As far as I know the only person advocating the right to abort children post-womb is me. Until they reach the age of majority, it’s all so arbitrary when they become autonomous agents, so I say let the mothers have at the little shits.

  49. That abortion kills lots of black and brown babies is a feature, not a bug for most Democrats.

  50. Only passively, like through not favoring social services that could give poor children a greater chance of doing something with their lives besides getting shot or going to prison. Or denying them equitable health care.

    And who has argued that parents have the right to neglect their children?

    This is the dumbest argument ever used in any debate

  51. But the productive like him because he can pronounce nuclear like they do.

    But he can’t pronounce Orion and he thinks the Austrians speak Austrian. Anyone who calls Obama smart is showing his own retardedness.

  52. ‘Demographic info on who gets abortions from Alan Guttmacher Institute here.’

    Surprise, surprise, it’s poor people and minorities.

    That means that a poor child in the womb is more likely to be aborted than some other child.

  53. The abortion issue gives republicans the ability to seem like they care about human life while they’re off bombing civilians somewhere.

    While being pro-“choice” gives liberals the ability to argue that they believe in the right to do with one’s body as one chooses, provided that it does not include:

    Selling your body for sex,
    Selling your body parts for fun and profit,
    Selling your labor below an arbitrary wage,
    Putting drugs in your body,
    Drinking, smoking or eating fatty foods,
    Having a right to kill yourself.

  54. Tony, social services are going to give people a “greater” chance to do something with their lives? Isn’t it more likely they will expect entitlements for the rest of their lives? And why do they deserve a “greater” chance? How about they just be given the the right to life, liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness?

  55. “While being pro-“choice” gives liberals the ability to argue that they believe in the right to do with one’s body as one chooses, provided that it does not include:

    Selling your body for sex,
    Selling your body parts for fun and profit,
    Selling your labor below an arbitrary wage,
    Putting drugs in your body,
    Drinking, smoking or eating fatty foods,
    Having a right to kill yourself.”

    Speaking as a registered democrat (in California no less!) and liberaltarian, you are 100% correct. It sucks.

  56. Just for the record, the statements

    “Abortion should be legal.” and

    “There is no constitutional right to abortion.”

    are not contradictory. This is an issue that legislatures, not judges should be deciding.

  57. I love the way Hart writes. He is in our paper here in California and is a big hit with his PJ O’Rourke like style. He is much needed to spread to message.

  58. The idea that kids in college are trending libertarian is incredibly silly and completely belied by the evidence. Kids in college, and all those in their twenties are incredibly statist. The difference in economic issues in polling between them and older cohorts (either now or when polled at a similar age) is much greater and more statist than the differences on social issues outside of gay marriage and gay issues in general.

    Why? Not only is this the answer I never get to statements about social trends in these comments, it also seems nobody but me here even seeks answers to those questions. Is that because they’re too hard? Come on, somebody must have some guesses as to why young people in this country think differently from the way young people in this country used to about these things.

    OK, lemme prime the pump by throwing out some guesses even if they’re stupid shots in the dark. Does it have something to do with the fall of the Iron Curtain? (Possible mechanism: people here can now see what eastern European countries and the USSR were recently like, and conclude that they weren’t as bad as the negative hype about them when they were more mysterious.) Does it have to do with the much larger amount in student loans this cohort owes compared to previous ones? (Possible mechanism: a desire to repudiate debts and thus to fuzz ownership & obligations generally.)

    Seems people here are interested in what people should think and to some extent in what they do think, but not in why they think what they do think. I’m taunting as hard as I care to in this company.

  59. Tony,
    Social services increase the chances that a human subject to the “services” will become a domesticated human…similar to a wild hog who is treated to the food “services” of his local friendly farmer.

    The “education” receives from the government will primarily teach him that it is a honor to be killed in a war and that he should keep doing mindless busy work until the bell rings.

  60. While I’m a Ron Paul supporter, I also do my best not to look at things with rose-colored glasses. That’s how I can read this article and applaud its honesty, even if I don’t like the words from my biased perspective. Oh who am I kidding? I actually have my own idea why he lost like he did.

    Aside from the reasons listed (since they’re good reasons), one reason I didn’t see what something that happened at the ABC debates. While I read comments from co-supporters deploring the verbal attack on Paul during the war discussion, they failed to realize that Paul dug himself in a bit in his retorts to the attack. He didn’t defend his stance well and I think that was a key factor in the end result.

  61. While I’m a Ron Paul supporter, I also do my best not to look at things with rose-colored glasses. That’s how I can read this article and applaud its honesty, even if I don’t like the words from my biased perspective. Oh who am I kidding? I actually have my own idea why he lost like he did.

    Aside from the reasons listed (since they’re good reasons), one reason I didn’t see what something that happened at the ABC debates. While I read comments from co-supporters deploring the verbal attack on Paul during the war discussion, they failed to realize that Paul dug himself in a bit in his retorts to the attack. He didn’t defend his stance well and I think that was a key factor in the end result.

  62. good topic for share
    thanks!

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