Libs Flood Brooks on Abortion
How badly does the Left want to retake control of Congress? Not badly enough to rethink its strategy on abortion, apparently. If Democrats’ obsession with the issue is costing the party elections, they don’t want to hear it. Even from their own.
Late last week, New York Times columnist David Brooks tried to wake liberals up to the dangers of their abortion fixation — and became a punching bag instead. The Left unleashed on Brooks for focusing on the party’s greater good, responding with all sorts of vile, profane-laced tirades for committing the unforgiveable sin: questioning its abortion orthodoxy. Tracing the pro-life movement back to the years before Roe v. Wade, Brooks reminds Democrats that the fight for unborn rights used to be led by their own party. “The first pro-life rally on the National Mall was organized by the National Youth Pro-Life Coalition, which a co-founder described as ‘an extremely liberal group,’” he points out with some irony. Now, he writes, liberals don’t just fight for the unrestricted killing of unborn children, they subordinate their entire agenda to it.
“How much is our position on late-term abortions hurting us?” Brooks asks in a nod to the growing clamor for legal limits. “How many progressive priorities are we giving up just so we can have our way on this one?” The life issue, he argues, was probably single-handedly responsible for electing Donald Trump. “Do we want late-term abortion so much that we are willing to tolerate [this president]? Do we want it so much that we give up our chance at congressional majorities? Do we want it so much that we see our agendas on poverty, immigration, income equality and racial justice thwarted and defeated?” It’s time, he warned Democrats, to take a step back.
“We need to acknowledge our vulnerability here. Democrats support the right to choose throughout the 40 weeks of pregnancy. But babies are now viable outside the womb at 22 weeks. As Emma Green wrote in The Atlantic, scientific advances ‘fundamentally shift the moral intuition around abortion.’ Parents can see their babies’ faces earlier and earlier. I’m asking us to rethink our priorities.” But that request didn’t just fall on deaf ears — it fell on angry ones. Feminists, militant abortion advocates, and other fringe Democrats unloaded on Brooks with a fury that’s largely unprintable. Tamer liberals called his column excrement, “rubbish,” a “waking nightmare,” or “lazy as [redacted].” Some called for a ban on his columns. One even offered a cash reward to anyone willing to lock Brooks out of his office.
The message was simple: Dissent over abortion won’t be tolerated. It was a telling, but not altogether surprising, response. Since 2016, the days of the centrist Democrat have been numbered. From overturning the Hyde Amendment to supporting abortion right up to birth, the party’s platform language reads more like an eviction notice for heartland voters than a statement of policy. No wonder Middle Americans think Democrats are “out of touch with mainstream America,” relying on “too much identity politics” where “winners and losers are picked by their labels.” “If we call ourselves a big tent party,” one Indiana pro-life Democrat told Politico, “then we should act like it.”
Rather than respond to a warning from their own or pausing for a moment of political introspection, Democrats are digging in deeper, firing back at Brooks that what America needs is actually looser laws on abortion. “Make it easier to get [one]…” Dawn Laguens fumed. “Make it more affordable… Repeal the Hyde Amendment.” Otherwise, the Planned Parenthood executive told Brooks, “Take a seat.”
In between, she was trying to prop up phony arguments about female voters. “[C]onsider that one in four women in the U.S. have an abortion, and that women are currently the most potent political force in this country.” It might surprise her to know that a majority of these women regret their decision. Not to mention that women from both parties are some of the fiercest supporters of abortion limits. Even if we left morality out of the equation, you’d see that Brooks’s advice is backed up by national trends. Three in four Americans want stronger restrictions on abortion — including 60 percent of self-identified “pro-choicers”! Then there are Millennials, who are “more likely than other age demographics to support a ban on abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation.” Brooks’s warning isn’t ideological betrayal; it’s good political sense.
That doesn’t matter to feminists like Jessica Valenti, who made the most sexist argument of all when she said that Brooks’s advice didn’t make sense because he’s “never been pregnant.” So now you have to be pregnant to understand the difference between right and wrong? Give me a break. Abortion is one of the weakest links in the Democratic Party. And until it stops letting a small core of radicals drive them, Brooks is right: It’s a political suicide mission.
Originally published here.
Are Republicans Out of the Doghouse With Voters?
Americans might miss summer, but Republicans sure don’t. Six months ago, the GOP was starting down a bitter defeat on its biggest issue — Obamacare — and wondering how to climb out of the political basement. A half-year later, that’s exactly what it’s done. Thanks to a president who refused to chase polls, congressional Republicans finally have reason to feel optimistic.
As the tax cuts start to take effect, the White House’s approval ratings aren’t the only thing looking up. Record employment, a growing economy, and a slate of judicial confirmations may be fueling a GOP resurgence. “I just looked at some numbers,” President Trump told Republican lawmakers at last week’s retreat, “you’ve even done better than you thought.” In a matter of a few weeks, Democrats’ advantage on the generic ballot had shrunk to just two points — down significantly from the 15 percent edge they enjoyed in December. According to Reuters, more Americans are starting to trust the GOP with issues like jobs, giving them a much-needed bump heading into spring campaigning.
The biggest change, experts say, is the country’s view of the president’s tax plan. At Christmas, Americans were highly skeptical of the IRS overhaul, with only 26 percent in favor. Monmouth University shocked everyone last Wednesday when it released the results of its latest survey, showing that support for the law had jumped 21 percent. Now, the number of people who approve and disapprove is dead-even — a huge accomplishment for the GOP, which struggled to fight the media’s propaganda. Turns out, fewer people are buying the spin now that reality is setting in. Only 36 percent now fall for the line that their taxes will go up, compared to a whopping 50 percent in December.
“Republicans Are Winning the War over the Tax Law,” headlines like Business Insiders’ now declare. And not a moment too soon. While others debate the GOP’s fate, this is a lesson in more than perseverance. It’s an example of the kind of leadership conservatives need more of. One of the benefits of President Trump’s unorthodox style is that he refuses to be driven by the prevailing political winds. Instead of being led by the people, he does the leading — pushing his party forward to do what it promised. Tuning out the Left’s lies and media bias, the president checks off his policy goals, patiently waiting for Americans to see the significance of what Republicans are trying to accomplish. And so far, they have. If the GOP wants to win in November, it’ll use this as an example for tackling other issues.
Originally published here.
The Costa Isn’t Clear on Same-sex Marriage
Americans aren’t the only ones struggling to come to terms with same-sex marriage. Two and a half years after the Supreme Court forced a new definition of marriage on the U.S., Costa Ricans are reeling from a similar nightmare — only this time, from an international court with no respect for national sovereignty. For the overwhelmingly religious country (90 percent identify as either Catholic or evangelical), last month’s decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to unilaterally rewrite Costa Rica’s marriage law was an outrage. Citizens everywhere railed against the ruling, which was so surprising it caught the attention of even U.S. senators like Mike Lee (R-UT).
“Given that the United States is the predominant funder of the Organization of American States (OAS), it is of great concern that one of its international courts has issued an opinion recommending Costa Ricans to change their law,” he said. As the main supporter of the OAS (the U.S. provides about 60 percent of its budget), Sen. Lee thinks it’s unconscionable that American tax dollars would be used to undermine the values and laws of Latin Americans. Adding to the uproar, as many as 20 countries will be affected by the decision demanding that same-sex marriage receive the same benefits and recognition as natural marriage.
If there is a silver lining, it’s the impact this rogue court is having on the Costa Rican presidential election. As reporters all around the world watch with amazement, the race has been turned upside-down by January’s ruling. “What had been a conventional campaign in Latin America’s most enduring democracy — with debates over corruption, crime and the economy — was suddenly upended four weeks ago when an international court decision required Costa Rica to legalize same-sex marriage,” The New York Times explains. “Fabricio Alvarado, 43, who was first elected to the Legislative Assembly in 2014, made his opposition to the ruling the centerpiece of his campaign and suddenly emerged from the crowded field of 13 candidates to finish in first place in the first round of voting.
"The pastor and Christian singer is an outspoken evangelical, whose open opposition for same-sex marriage and the court’s decision have fueled an unprecedented rise in support. As one woman told the Associated Press, the issue is important enough to determine her vote. "For me the issue of values and principles is very important for all of society, because family is the basis of society. … You ask yourself what will happen to Costa Rica if Christian values are lost.”
Although Alvarado will still face a run-off with his next closest contender if he doesn’t win 40 percent of the vote, it’s a powerful illustration of how potent the issue of marriage is, even now as the Left argues it’s “settled.” “Mr. Alvarado called the decision a violation of Costa Rica’s sovereignty, and he threatened to pull the country out of the court if he is elected.”
Either way, Alvarado’s surge sends an important message to the world: the courts can make same-sex marriage legal, but they can’t make it right.
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.