February 3, 2020 - Monday
All Eyes on Hawkeyes
February 03, 2020
It's the question on everyone's minds: "Which brand of crazy will prevail in Iowa?" That's how the Daily Caller's Derek Hunter framed the official kickoff to the 2020 primary season. And based on the wild positions of this crop of Democratic candidates, "crazy" might be putting it mildly.
From climate change to immigration, the 11 candidates vying for Donald Trump's job couldn't paint a more striking contrast. But there's one issue in particular that might just turn the Hawkeye tide. Believe it or not, reports say, "abortion" -- not climate change, not gun control, or income equality -- was Iowans' most searched-for topic ahead of Monday's caucus. Like most Americans, voters in the state want to know where the hopefuls stand on the most basic humanitarian issue of our time. And what they found probably shocked them: Almost every Democrat running for president thinks there shouldn't be a single limit on killing an unborn child.
Moderates, the Washington Post points out in a surprisingly candid article, simply no longer exist. "In a recent survey of all the Democratic candidates, [we] asked whether there should be restrictions on abortion at any point during a healthy pregnancy. Six of the candidates, including [Pete] Buttigieg, [Sen. Elizabeth] Warren and [Sen. Bernie] Sanders, said they support no restrictions." Former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) weren't much better, agreeing only to the bare minimum: third-trimester limits. But even that, the Post argues, is a far cry from "safe, legal, and rare." Or, reporter Sarah Bailey points out, even Barack Obama -- who at least said he wanted to reduce the number of procedures.
This group doesn't bother with those formalities. In four years, they've gone from checking the box to full-throated abortion advocacy -- with no apologies. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is so beholden to the industry that she's even promised to turn her inauguration wardrobe into free advertising. During a campaign stop in December, she told the crowd, "...I'm gonna be wearing that [Planned Parenthood] scarf when I'm sworn as president of the United States."
As for the liberals pretending to walk the line, even they've been forced to fess up. Last Sunday, during a Fox News townhall, Democrats for Life president Kristen Day asked Pete Buttigieg whether he wanted pro-lifers' support. In a poignant op-ed for USA Today, she talked about how she'd thought he'd be the most likely candidate to welcome Democrats like her. She was wrong. "I finally had the chance to ask Buttigieg directly whether he would support more moderate platform language to include pro-life Democrats. He refused -- twice -- to even answer that part of my question and instead focused on his unyielding support for abortion..."
"As much as today's candidates talk about ending big money in politics, they make one major exception: the family planning and abortion lobby, a $3 billion industry that pads the wallets of political candidates to protect its own interests..." Maybe, Day shrugs, the candidates find it "pragmatic to reject [pro-life Democrats]." But "it won't be pragmatic, though, when in November the Democratic Party loses a swath of pro-life states to President Donald Trump."
Because, as most pollsters will tell you, abortion extremism isn't where the American people are -- and, come this fall, it may not be where their votes are either. Even using the data from liberal-leaning organizations, the Washington Post argues that the American people aren't nearly as "absolutist" on abortion -- unless the subject is regulating it. A clear majority of people in this country (69 percent, based on the Kaiser Family Foundation's numbers) agree abortion should be severely limited. "Majorities of Americans also support laws that require women to wait 24 hours between meeting a health-care provider and getting an abortion (66 percent) and laws requiring doctors to show and describe ultrasound images to them (57 percent)."
When it comes to outlawing abortion altogether or a no-holds-barred expansion of it at taxpayers' expense, Kaiser's Ashley Kirzinger says the public "falls somewhere in between." But unfortunately for them, there is no "in between" in this year's Democratic Party.
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.