Shockingly, the source of the quote, “Democrats in the heartland are at war among themselves over choice,” is the Washington Post.
Writing for the Post,
Had the drafters stopped there, they would not have caused the firestorm they did. Instead, they went on to “recognize the diversity of views as a source of strength, and welcome into our ranks all Missourians who may hold differing positions on this issue.”
This amendment sounded more reasonable to the average Missourian than it did to Alison Dreith, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri. Dreith, who might want to reconsider the “pro-choice” part of the NARAL name, called it “sickening.” She clarified, “I think it’s a slap in the face to the base voters of the party.”
In Kansas, as the Sentinel has documented, the Democratic Party is shaving a hard time swallowing gubernatorial candidate Josh Svaty’s much too recent wooing of his “pro-choice” fellow travelers.
Laura McQuade, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood of New York, wants no part of Svaty. She has denounced him as an anti-abortion “extremist.” McQuade explained, “Our supporters, a list that grows by the thousands each month, will not tolerate any party or candidate whose platform does not advocate for Planned Parenthood and its patients.”
Lest one think the Post has actually embraced political balance, Von Drehle, a twice-weekly columnist, uses this particularly column not to scold the Democrats but to suggest a winning strategy for November. He urges them to reach out to voters “looking for alternatives to the increasingly harsh and frantic Republicanism of President Donald Trump.”
Abortion, you see, is “a nuanced and challenging issue.” Voters, Von Drehle is convinced, “are looking for a party that reflects this truth through open and humane discussion.” With so little to lose in the Midwest, he argues, Democrats might as well try out the strategy of nuance.
Some 160 years ago Democrats in Kansas and Missouri were at war with themselves, not to mention with Republicans, over another divisive issue. Aware that his fellow northern Democrats “were broken into fractions,” Michigan Sen. Lewis Cass took a position on slavery not unlike Von Drehle’s on abortion.
Cass proposed “to sit still and wait the developments of public opinion, rather than seek to guide them.” He figured that if he advocated the position of one faction, the other was “sure to oppose him.” Like Svaty, Cass acknowledged that should the Democrats nominate choose to nominate him for president, he would adopt the position most amenable to his constituents. And he did just that when nominated in 1848.
Say what one will about Planned Parenthood’s McQuade or NARAL’s Dreith, at least they are willing to fight for what they believe in.