Howard Dean was doing a decent job on Hardball reminding Chris Matthews that it was the White House, and not the Democratic Party, that first declared Samuel Alito's record as a prosecutor to be relevant to the merits of his nomination. But then Matthews brought up Alito's far-right position on spousal notification and instead of hitting out of the park the question of whether a woman should need a permission slip from her husband to decide what happens to her body, Dean got dragged into a losing fight over whether it was accurate to describe the Democrats as a "pro-choice party." Dean shied away from the characterization, even though it describes a plurality of Americans, on the grounds that calling the party pro-choice suggests that people with the party's position are not "pro-life." That would be the problem with the term "pro-life," not the term "pro-choice." Dean fumbled back and forth between describing his position as one supporting a woman's right to choose and one supporting a family's right to choose, and insisted that the Democratic party's position was not an "abortion rights" one. If the idea was to communicate that the party was open to abortion opponents, it's not clear what Dean accomplished towards that end. But for those looking to the Democratic party in hopes of figuring out what it stands for, it clear what the costs are of bristling and hedging over whether you should be called "pro-choice."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

More and more I think Dean should be using his DNC chair to organize and motivate the party, and lower his public flaming.

11/02/2005 03:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nonsense. He kept pointing out that we are the party that wants to keep the government out of our personal lives. He said it perfectly. You can be personally against abortion and be for the choice being left up the the woman and not the governmet.

11/02/2005 05:24:00 AM  

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