Following day one of the Democratic National Convention, the consensus on the part of most political observers is that Democrats are risking alienating themselves and hurting President Barack Obama’s re-election chances because of their focus on abortion.
The Washington Examiner put the problem font and center in a new editorial noting that Democrats are spending considerably more time promoting abortion than focusing on the beleaguered economy.
“If you thought the nation’s 8.3 percent unemployment rate and $1.3 trillion budget deficit were the top two issues of the 2012 election, then congratulations, you share the same priorities as the vast majority of Americans,” it noted. “Also, that means you are probably not one of the Democrats in Charlotte, N.C., who have been drafting the Democratic Party’s 2012 national platform. The platform mentions abortion more times (four) than unemployment (three).”
“For all the attention the Republican Party platform’s abortion plank received last week (the GOP is against it), the liberal mainstream media has completely ignored what the Democratic platform says on the matter,” the Examiner continues. “The Democratic platform endorses “a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay.” That last phrase, “regardless of ability to pay,” was not inserted by accident. This platform calls for taxpayer-funded abortions, a policy that almost three-fourths of Americans oppose. It is a fringe position. So where are all those “mainstream” reporters who made such noise last week?”
“The document that the Democrats released in the dead of Monday night reveals a party devoid of any new economic ideas, in denial about where its current ideas have gotten the country, and desperate to distract voters with culture war issues like abortion on-demand,” the newspaper added.
Conservative writer Matt Lewis, at the Daily Caller, opined that Democrats “risk losing their narrative by turning convention into ‘Abortion-palooza’”
“As a rule, Democrats win when they run as mainstream conservatives — not as radicals,” Lewis observed. “Thus, a born again Christian from Georgia named Jimmy Carter was elected president in 1976 — and a “new” Democrat from Arkansas named Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996. Even Chicago’s Barack Obama — who made sure you knew he wasn’t against all wars (just the bad one) — was able to pull off the maneuver.”
“But if the first night of the Democratic Convention is any clue, the ruse might be up,” Lewis added.
“During the 10pm EST prime time hour, of course, they trotted out the TV-friendly marquee speakers — who furtively stressed conservative values. This is to be expected,” Lewis writes. “But it was clear that during the other hours, the Republican Party was much better at presenting speakers who would appeal to middle America.”
“We’ve seen this show before. When Democrats get power, it isn’t long before the liberals — tired of being dormant — demand attention. At some point, they forget that most Americans aren’t really with them (or maybe they just believe the world has changed?). Regardless, unless they adjust and push the liberal fringe elements from the stage (Bill Clinton had to recalibrate several times during his career), wearing their liberalism on their sleeve has historically spelled electoral doom,” he adds. “One gets the sense that we are nearing that point again.”
“Last week, Stephanie Cutter said the Democratic convention wouldn’t be about “rallying the base.” That prediction looks silly today. It’s unclear to me whether the Obama team cannot — or will not — keep the more unseemly parts of this disparate coalition of grievances off stage. But this could be a real problem if it is a harbinger of things to come,” Lewis concludes.
CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!
Both the Examiner and Lewis have a point. An August CNN poll showed a majority of Americans want all or most abortions prohibited — a clear pro-life majority.
The survey asked: “Do you think abortion should be legal under any circumstances, legal under only certain circumstances, or illegal in all circumstances?” Some 62 percent want abortions illegal in all cases or legal only in certain instances while just 35% want abortions legal for any reason.
The poll is terrible news for Democrats and Obama. Their position supporting abortion on demand without any limited and financed at taxpayer expense? Just 35 percent of Americans agree with that position — meaning independent and moderate voters will not be attracted to the hard sell on abortion the Democrats are trying to make in their convention.