Telling pro-lifers to drop dead isn't the smartest political strategy, but that hasn't deterred the Left. Now, apparently, the Democratic Attorneys General Association has decided to make it official -- formally picking abortion as the official test of candidates. Support the procedure, and you'll be eligible for our support. Refuse, and go it alone.
"Attorneys general are on the front lines of the fight for reproductive freedom," New York's Letitia James argued in a video defending the group's decision. "They have the power to protect your rights." They also have the power, apparently, to make a party outcast out of anyone who dares to side with the majority of Americans on the issue. As the New York Times points out, the policy isn't going to affect any current officeholders right away. Only one of the 27 Democratic AGs -- Mississippi's Jim LaHood -- is pro-life, the paper explains, and he will soon be replaced after Mississippi elected a new attorney general. Where it could have an effect, the Times warns, "is in the Democratic ecosystem, reflecting the changing mores of a national party that has moved sharply to the left in the Trump era and embraced a set of purity tests on divisive social issues."
Of course, drawing a hard line on radical abortion is nothing new for Democrats. Back in 2017, DNC Chairman Tom Perez stunned plenty of people with his exclusionary message. "Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman's right to make her own choices about her body and her health. That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state..." he argued. "At a time when women's rights are under assault from the White House, the Republican Congress, and in states across the country, we must speak up for this principle as loudly as ever and with one voice."
And he proved it, leaving good people like Rep. Dan Lipinski (R-Ill.), Heath Mello, and others twisting in the political wind. Ultimately, Perez -- and now this association -- are just carrying the wishes of the party's 2016 platform, which staked out extreme ground in its embrace, not only of taxpayer-funded abortion, but abortion up to the moment of birth. That position has already hurt liberals in the heartland, where the words "pro-life" and "Democrat" have never been mutually exclusive. "I'm a pro-life Democrat who believes in individual rights and personal freedom," Indiana voters like Terry Goodwin told Politico. Like a lot of people, he wonders if there's any room left for him in the Democrats' "big tent."
It's been a difficult quandary for Catholic voters too, who've watched Democrats turn their political home into a virtual satellite office of Planned Parenthood. After the Obama-era attacks on conscience, taxpayer-funded abortion, and faith-based groups like Catholic Charities, the defection of white Catholics from the Democratic Party to the GOP has been quick and astounding. Today, the Republicans' share of the white Catholic vote is 54 percent, compared to 45 percent two and a half decades ago. If more voters feel unwelcome, it spells major upheaval in the candidates' race for 2020.
Even now, people like former senator Heidi Heitkamp are calling the attorneys' general decision "wrongheaded." She should know. She lost her Democratic seat in North Dakota over the confirmation of pro-life Justice Brett Kavanaugh last year. "There are very principled people, who are Democrats, who feel very strongly about this issue for religious reasons and when you say you're not welcome in our party I think it is exclusionary," she said. "You have to look at the totality of a candidate."
By almost everyone's estimation, (including Speaker Nancy Pelosi's, D-Calif.), the Left's extremism on issues like abortion and transgender bathrooms cost them the White House. How many more elections will they have to lose before they understand that the right position -- supporting life -- is also the winning one?