A Democrat is Always Better (Redux)

Sally Albright
Oct 24, 2017 · 5 min read

Read my original essay: A Democrat is Always Better

After listening to all the arguments, it’s clear that most objections to supporting “pro-life” Dems stem from misconceptions. Let’s address some here:

First, this is not a new policy. Recently DCCC announced they would not be adding a litmus test. There’s never been one. Pro-life Dems have always been part of our caucus, and the party has always supported them.

Yes, DNC has a platform, but it is determined by the Membership, not vice versa. The platform is not imposed top down. The Democratic party is a big tent, and Democrats come in many forms. A Democrat is a Democrat, even if they take positions that deviate from the party platform.

In a general election, there are two choices. We just went through this with the Berners. If you don’t support the Democratic nominee or stay home, the Republican wins.

It’s fallacious to think if it’s not a pro-life Democrat it would be a pro-choice Democrat. No. In these CD’s, it would be a Republican. So there’s no “compromise” — a pro-life Republican would vote the same on those issues, and vote with GOP on everything else.

Who makes that determination? Well, why don’t we leave it up to locals and professionals to decide what kind of candidate they need. No, pros don’t always get it right, but they’re more likely to be right than some novice misinterpreting irrelevant polling cross tabs.

There is no Democratic “pro-life” agenda. The Democratic party is pro-choice, and our leadership is pro-choice. Having a few dissenters doesn’t change that. If these members were on a mission, they’d join GOP and fight from the majority. I assure you, there is no one sitting over at DCCC or AlaDems plotting and scheming how to put more pro-lifers in office

People seem to think the party has the power to overrule Democratic primary voters as to their nominee. This is ludicrous. I don’t know why the party would want to overrule the voters, since they need them to win the general election. And shouldn’t red state Democrats decide what they want in a leader? We have to recognize their agency. They are Democrats and their needs matter too.

And there’s no mechanism for overriding a primary. They only way to enforce a pledge or a litmus test would be to withhold funds in the general elections. That would be a betrayal of red state Democratic voters, and their nominee would lose. The party should support Democratic nominees based on viability, not ideology. Leave those decisions to the voters.

Most of these pro-life Democrats can’t win without the party. GOP spent $8.9 mil against Collin Peterson #MN07 in 2014 but he won, because he had the full resources of the DCCC. Peterson is under constant pressure to switch parties. His biggest campaign challenge by far is his vote for Nancy for Speaker. But he stays. He stays with us because he is a Democrat. And because he stays loyal to the party, he deserves our full support.

WHATABOUT Reductio ad absurdum: With David Beasley, everyone KNEW what was up. If course Dem party didn’t support the Democrat. But that’s not about a litmus test. Ditto Sheriff Clarke.

Some of you say these districts don’t matter and we should cut them loose. In addition to being short-sighted politically, that’s unconscionably dismissive of red state Democrats who depend on the Democratic party to defend all of their rights.

You’d leave actual, vulnerable people to the mercy of GOP because you don’t like their chosen nominee. That’s not a Democratic value. And since in many cases red state Democrats are majority POC, that attitude is very Bernie-esque and more than a little bit racist.

It also seems many people don’t understand the importance of being in the majority, or at least closing the gap. We haven’t had a majority in awhile & GOP doesn’t operate under regular order, so it makes sense people don’t understand. We could do so much more as Majority party: introduce legislation, dictate policy in committee, decide what comes to the Floor. And we wouldn’t be playing defense all the time, combating whatever line of attack GOP takes up next. Even in the minority, ratio of Ds to R’s determines the makeup of committees, allocation of resources, a whole lot more. Numbers are important.

Worried about how pro-life Dems will vote? With a Democratic majority, there wouldn’t be a vote.

This is a settled issue. There’s no litmus test. But I realize the announcement was a shock if you’ve never thought about it before. I write about this because I want people to think through all of the implications, and hopefully feel better about the policy.

And there’s hope. These increasingly absurd WHATABOUT’s just means people have accepted I’m right 99.9% of the time.

Read the original essay: A Democrat is always better

Read about how Bernie is still wrong on this issue

More from Sally Albright on Medium:

Sally Albright

Written by

Comms Strategist, Organizer, Voter Advocate, Rock&Roll Girl. Unprofessional Writer. Don’t be alarmed if I mistake you for a hat. Mailing List: sallyalbright.com

Sallying

Sallying

sal·ly (‘sa-lE) def. 1. To Rush Forward; to Leap and Dance 2. A Sudden Outburst; a Witticism; a Quip 3. A Venture Off the Beaten Path

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