In another thread, "liberalrob" calls women's reproductive rights "ideological purity." He's not alone.
What liberalrob doesn't seem to realize is that what he dismisses as "ideological purity" is actually a matter of life and death. liberalrob and friends seems to think that the Democrats must avoid taking stances, even in matters of women's survival.
The problem is that when reproductive rights are positioned as "special interests" -- one of several Republican-forged labels that so many Democrats and party-line supporters have adopted without question -- then they can be dismissed as not important, down at the level of tax breaks for ball-bearing manufacturers and pork-barrell contracts for rubber companies.
It's a way of dismissing human rights -- or at least women's human rights -- as unimportant.
Of course, one of many possible explanations for this kind of attitude is that these ostensibly well-intentioned folks simply cannot see the implications of their attitudes due to male privilege. They have not had to negotiate their rights over their own bodies with the government. They have not had to consider legal implications over healthcare choices. And they certainly have not had to weigh the decision of whether or not to abort a pregnancy.
Other folks like to consider abortion as "something other people do" -- until it comes to their own lives and own decisions. And so it's easy to say, "Icky," and then judge all others who have to face such situations.
What's striking is how the Democratic retreat from reproductive rights has been part and parcel of a larger flight from any stances at all that might get labeled as "liberal" or "progressive." It's been going on for at least 18 years, since when Michael Dukakis ran away from George Bush the Elder's accusation that the Democrat was "a Liberal!"
And the Democrats have been losing ever since.
Now liberalrob and friends offer a profound prescription to reverse this trend: More of the same, only with more vehemence, employing right-wing frames, right-wing labels, and right-wing ideology.
What they miss is that the real lesson to take away from the "conservative revolution" is that "conservatives" engaged in the war of ideas. They offered up ideas, plans, visions of the future. And they have offered up simplistic, unrealistic and even delusional "moral values" frames for social issues. And the Democrats have refused to respond, refused to engage in this war of ideas.
And now we have a Democratic Party that cannot stand together for much of anything. They are so diluted that they cannot agree. They come out with a tired slogan, something like "Together America can do better" (I honestly cannot remember), and call it a plan. And whenever someone stands up and takes a moral stance, a dozen others go onto talk shows to say, "So-and-so doesn't speak for me."
And so the Democratic Party does not speak for me. And it's been that way for quite a while now. Oh, I tend to vote Democrat more than Republican, mainly because the Republicans have become modern-day fascists in love with authoritarian government, but I could not stomach registering as Democrat, and I sure won't be donating to them.
What's ironic is that while the Democrats are stampeding towards forced pregnancy laws and anti-choice candidates, the Republicans are running into resistance to their own state-run-breeding agenda:
HB1216 would have allowed women to sue abortion doctors for negligence if they later developed problems that they believed were linked to their abortions and felt they had not been fully informed about those problems.
The bill, which was killed 8-5 by the House Judiciary Committee, also would have required an abortion doctor to have patient admitting privileges at a nearby hospital if a woman needed emergency care.
The bill is legally questionable because it would set up two classes of doctors in South Dakota, said Dave Gerdes, lobbyist for the South Dakota Medical Association.
"It's completely unreasonable and unworkable," he said.
If heart surgeons had to meet the same requirements as those proposed for doctors who do abortions and had to worry about later getting sued for failure to inform patients of some potential risks, heart surgery would stop in South Dakota, he said.
"Not only is it illegal, but it's grossly unfair," he said of the bill.
Kate Looby, state director of Planned Parenthood, characterized HB1216 as a bill designed to harass those who do abortions.
"It's about forcing abortion doctors out of South Dakota by passing laws that are nearly impossible to comply with," she said.Democrats should take note. Forced-pregnancy candidates are not a winning plan. And further retreat from progressive values embracing civil and human rights is not going to win anything but sour grapes and resentment.
And come November 8th, we'll be having this same conversation.