A Killer Strategy

by James C. Sherlock

Democrats in Virginia and nationally plan to ride abortion to victory in elections as far as the eye can see.

The herald of this strategy was a piece in New York Magazine by Rebecca Traister.  It was titled, unsubtly, “Abortion Wins Elections.”

She is probably right, if her positions are presented in a softened way.

She is right if progressives can set the terms of the debate and avoid the hard questions which the press will try feverishly to help them bury.

But I hand it to her. She is straightforward. She advocates boundless abortions. In that she is probably making the wrong bet.

In the progressive vision:

  • There are no fathers, no husbands in the brave new world. Reproductive choice does not apply to men;
  • Babies don’t exist until the moment of birth. Some would like the opportunity to take a look after birth — about which Dr. Northam spoke — before deciding;
  • They insist on tax money — from everyone — paying the bills.

The far right counters the left’s list of demands with its own. No abortions ever, under any circumstances.

I suspect Virginians are unprepared to go to either extreme. But there are questions directly applicable to Virginia politics.

  • Will abortion drive education and parents rights from the front of Virginia voters’ minds?
  • Will killing — sorry — terminating babies prove more important to voters than how the survivors are raised and educated?

In either case, it will be about children.

Who don’t get a vote.

The absolutist left. In a 9,300 word article on babies, Ms. Traister somehow never used the words “father,” “husband,” or “adoption.”

I would say she had to work at it, but I don’t think that is true.

She wrote:

Spending time with Michigan’s newly elected governing majority is a little like landing on a planet where no white men are in charge.

Good to know.

No limits:

Now that it (Roe) is gone, those mourning its demise can strive to build a more expansive, less vulnerable model dependent not on legally precarious notions of privacy, and not tied to gestational age in a way that permits restriction, and not as exposed to limitations that hurt the poor most.

Abortion, as described by Ms. Traister, is free of physical and emotional risk, free of regret — and free of fathers.

The article’s reference to children cites how expensive they are. The reference to family is dismissive about how conservatives campaign on family values.

But I never doubt the ability of modern progressives to set the agenda for the entire Democratic party and silence doubters.

The absolutist right. I also never discount the ability of some Republicans, amplified by the progressive media, to tar the entire party with their own dogma.

The far right is as absolutist on abortion as the far left.

  • It does not want the abortifacient mifepristone (morning after pill) sold in Virginia pharmacies. That is a flat out loser;
  • It wants no abortions ever, even in the cases of rape, incest or life of the mother. Another loser;
  • Governor Youngkin has said he will sign a 15- or 20-week ban that preserves those exceptions if it reaches his desk. That makes him anathema to some in his own party who accept no abortion at all. That is their right, but they should learn to love being beaten at the ballot box.

The fall elections. I am sure neither extreme on abortion reflects the views of the majority of Virginia voters.

In the fall, only the views of the left will be softened by the dominant media, but most Virginians have come to understand and discount that.

Voters will be left to consider the actual positions offered by actual candidates, not the cartoon characters and slogans favored by the press and opponents on both sides.

In many cases, voters will have to choose the least offensive position rather than one they support.

Then they can determine whether abortion is their own dominant issue.