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Framing Abortion

Gonadal Politics and the Democrats

by JOSHUA FRANK

"I don’t do gonadal politics."

Ralph Nader, 1996, thus encountering the eternal wrath of pro-abortion progressives.

How can anybody reasonably consider the Democrats the party of opposition? I mean, what exactly do they oppose? Far too many Dems in Washington are reading whatever dyslexic cue cards George Lakoff flashes in front of their smug faces.

The one issue you’d think the Democrats would want to stand behind, as President Bush appoints a pro-lifer to the bench, is the right for a woman to get an abortion. But here we have commander in chair Howard Dean exclaiming that Democrats should drop their pro-choice shtick and do what they can to pull more pro-lifers into the fold.

"I think we need to talk about this issue differently," Dean said on June 20. "The Republicans have painted us as a pro-abortion party. I don’t know anybody in America who is pro-abortion."

Translation: "Abortion is murder, and nobody I know in America is pro-murder!"

The true motives of the Democratic establishment, on occasion, shine right-on through their repugnant rhetoric. As if you can really be "pro-woman" if you aren’t "pro-choice." As if the Democrats don’t already have enough anti-choicers calling the shots in DC.

Harry Reid, the Democratic Minority Leader in the Senate, is blatantly anti-choice. NARAL reports that Sen. Reid has voted against "choice" 70 percent of the time he’s been given a chance. And we’re supposed to believe that Reid and Dean can organize any sort of opposition to John Roberts?

Go on hoping. But you can hope in one hand and crap in the other. See which one gets filled first.

Senator Hilary Clinton, a likely presidential candidate in 2008, has recently taken the same anti-choice line Dean has authorized. It’s just one more fib in a laundry list of Democratic cant. Like, we’re "for labor" but we’ll pass NAFTA. Or we are "for the environment" but we’ll pass the Salvage Rider. Or "we want to uphold privacy" but love the infringing PATRIOT ACT. Or, like, we "oppose Bush’s foreign policy agenda" but want to keep thousands of troops occupying Iraq, and while we are at it why not bomb Iran.

The fact is the Democrats have absolutely no program that will build any alternative to the Republican onslaught. Their ineptness goes well beyond losing a few elections here and there; the Democrats can’t even win he hearts and minds of all those disenfranchised Americans who will never go to the polls, simply because they don’t see any reason to vote.

How long will we have to wait for the Democrats to embrace a living wage? How long will it be until the Democrats oppose the "war on terror"? How about supporting universal health-care? We can rest assured that we’ll be waiting for a long, long time. The Democrats are simply not the alternative to the conservative takeover of America. They are the enablers.

At a time when the Democrats can stand behind an issue that actually means something, like "choice," they fade into the shadowy ether, ever-increasing their transparent myopia. Go ahead. Sit back and watch the nomination of Roberts be affirmed by the overwhelming majority of the Democrats in DC, despite the fact that Roberts as deputy solicitor general under the first President George Bush argued to the Supreme Court, "Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled."

JOSHUA FRANK is the author of the brand new book, Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, which has just been published by Common Courage Press. You can order a copy at a discounted rate at www.brickburner.org. Joshua can be reached at Joshua@brickburner.org.