It wasn't a fancy app or electronic wizardry that delivered the first real results of 2020. It was good, old-fashioned paper ballots. "Try to hack that!" a New Hampshire official joked a couple years ago, holding up a pencil. After the embarrassment of Iowa, Granite State voters sat down, hand-colored their bubbles, and declared the Democrats' winner: Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). If you're wondering how badly Democrats are hurting, a man who doesn't even belong to the party is now the front-runner in a race that is anyone's to win.
To a lot of Americans, the idea that an open socialist with a heart for ruthless dictators won any delegates is shocking. Or "terrifying," as Brad Polumbo calls it. Maybe this was bound to happen, the National Review editors muse. With the party's "decades-long march to the Left," where else could they go? And while Sanders may have a clearer path to the nomination than past years, the general consensus -- even from people like Joe Biden -- is that America isn't ready for a communist sympathizer as president.
"He calls himself a Democratic Socialist," Biden pointed out in a chat with ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "Now you've been around George... [who's] going to win with that label? ...You're going to win in North Carolina? You're going to win in Pennsylvania? You're going to win in those states in the Midwest?" President Trump, USA Today's Gabriel Schoenfeld agrees, has to be salivating at the chance to expose Bernie's wacky views in a general election. And there are plenty to choose from.
So naturally, heading into South Carolina and Nevada, the attention -- at least internally -- is turning to the Democrats' other options. Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have been spectacular flops out of the gate, and while Mayor Pete Buttigieg enjoyed an early edge, there's a lot of concern about how he'll do in more diverse states. That leaves the door wide open, and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) knows it. Finishing an impressive third on Tuesday, the likeable Minnesotan's star is rising. But as the media rushes to embrace her as the experienced "moderate" the race has been missing, take a good long look at her record before you buy it. She's about as much of a centrist as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
Klobuchar was shrewd, though. While the rest of the party was telling pro-lifers to drop dead, she saw a chance. "There are pro-life Democrats, and they are part of our party," she said, "and I think we need to build a big tent. I think we need to bring people in instead of shutting them out." It was a smart move, politically. Pro-lifers make up as much as 29 percent of the party, Gallup points out. So rudely showing them the door, as Bernie and Pete suggest, never made much sense.
Unfortunately for voters, that's what Klobuchar's policies have been doing all along. She may welcome pro-lifers to stay, but for what? A front-row seat to the party's national campaign for infanticide? Bills, like the one she just co-sponsored, that take away states' rights to limit abortion -- limits that 60 percent of Democrats want? Klobuchar may say pro-lifers are welcome, but her views certainly won't make them feel that way.
The senator has a 100-percent rating from NARAL, has vowed to "reverse Trump's abortion policies in [her] first 100 days," promised to never nominate a person to the bench who isn't sold-out to Roe v. Wade, and when people suggest that late-term abortion is radical, she fires back, "I'm okay with it." She wants Planned Parenthood to run our country's sex ed, force taxpayers to write checks for birth day abortion, and calls any restriction on killing the unborn a "violation of civil rights."
But if you want to know where Amy Klobuchar really stands, one vote ought to say everything. It happened February 25th of last year. That's the day this so-called "moderate" walked onto the Senate floor and told Melissa Ohden, Claire Culwell, Josiah Presley, and an entire generation of abortion survivors: you don't have a right to live. It will be remembered as one of the most shocking votes in the history of Congress: the moment 44 Democrats voted to infanticide the new "choice."
We're talking, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) reminded them, "about an infant who has been born, who is alive, who is breathing, who is crying, who is outside the womb... [And] the idea that it would be somehow debatable what to do with that child, that there would be another [option other than treating her]," he said passionately, "is a remarkable statement..." But it's a statement, Americans need to know, Amy Klobuchar is willing to make.
A woman who won't welcome a newborn into the world cannot welcome pro-lifers into the party. It's as simple and as tragic as that.