During their Party’s convention in Charlotte, N.C. last week, the Democrats eased the ebullience for a few moments to feature a few former Republican politicians in an effort to convince this election’s fence-sitters that the Republican Party has been hijacked by the reactionary right.
Charlie Crist, whose senatorial aspirations in Florida where dashed by the GOP’s Tea Party transformation, and Lincoln Chafee, who lost his Rhode Island Senate seat in the 2006 Democratic midterm massacre, joined together to denounce their former party’s perceived extremism.
While the Republican platform’s bluster deserves a few jeers, as I mentioned in last week’s column, it pales in comparison to what took place in Charlotte last week. It seems the Democratic Party has moved to the far-left end of the bell curve on cultural issues.
For three nights in a row, left-wing culture warriors took turns defending President Barack Obama’s extreme record on abortion. And yes, it is extreme. As an Illinois state senator, Obama voted four times against a bill that would have mandated life-saving care for infants born alive as a result of a botched abortion. He has also consistently supported lifting the federal ban on the brutal practice of partial-birth abortion.
A populist politician like Obama should know that these positions are not in alignment with mainstream America. Only 25 percent of Americans, according to a recent Gallup poll, support allowing abortion in all cases. On the other end of the spectrum, only 22 percent are anti-abortion in all cases, except when the pregnancy is a threat to the mother’s life.
This leaves an enormous middle ground on the issue of abortion and it is where most Americans place themselves. About 39 percent of Americans oppose legalized abortion with a few exceptions: most notably rape and incest.
From President Bill Clinton’s coronation in 1992 until Obama’s 2008 nomination, the party platform has cannily called for abortion to be “safe, legal and rare.” This moderation was absent in Charlotte. Not a single speaker suggested that there should be any restrictions on the availability of abortion at any period during a woman’s pregnancy, even though 71 percent of Americans oppose abortion in the second trimester, and 86 percent oppose it in the third.
Diversity of opinion seemed impossible to find at the Democratic convention. Not a single anti-abortion Democrat was given a chance to speak, not even former house representative for Michigan, Bart Stupak, the congressman who feverishly worked to save Obamacare in the House.
Abortion wasn’t the only culture war issue on the menu. The Obama administration’s contraception mandate was repeatedly toted as well. This law mandates that all taxpayers subsidize healthcare plans that cover contraception. It also forces private employers to purchase plans that cover contraception for their employees, even if it violates their religious convictions.
In short, the federal government will force taxpayers and employers to pay for a product, even if they’re morally opposed to it. This should be seen for what it is, a naked infringement on the American freedom of religion.
Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student made famous by Rush Limbaugh’s noxious “slut” derisions, was anointed to defend the president’s policy at the convention. However, her plea sounded petulant and entitled, and it is not hard to see why.
Fluke, who is set to graduate from Georgetown with an estimated starting salary of $160,000, is demanding that taxpayers pony up for a product that is already cheap and easily available. A generic version of the pill is available at Wal-Mart for $9. A year’s supply of condoms is available on Amazon.com for less than $100. Both products are given out for free at Planned Parenthood clinics. The demand for free contraception by a future one-percenter, and from current one-percenters, like Kathleen Sebelius, is woefully out-of-touch and narcissistic.
So why are the Democrats so eager to drag sticky social issues into the presidential election? The answer is obvious: Obama needs to divert attention away from his anemic economic recovery, the pitiful job numbers in August and that he’s added $6 trillion to the national debt.
Charlotte’s culture warriors fatuously tried to paint Mitt Romney as an anti-abortion extremist, but they are ignoring the facts. The Republican nominee is of the 39 percent of Americans that supports allowing abortion in certain cases. A Romney administration would not usher in an era where “pregnant women would be forced to die preventable deaths in our emergency rooms,” as Sandra Fluke asserted in her speech.
A Romney administration would also not control access to contraceptives, it would return to the status quo where people purchased their own. Even before the mandate, contraception was cheap and conveniently available.
So, if Romney sits on top of the cultural bell curve and Obama hangs off the left end, who’s the real extremist?