There’s a reason the Obama clan wanted to get rid of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the Democrat National Committee chair, and that reason is she’s an immoderate clown with nonexistent political skill and severely lacking judgement, and her performance in creating a message for her party cost them dearly in last fall’s midterm elections.
She hasn’t learned much since.
Wasserman Schultz directed her minions in the DNC press office to blast out the transcript of an interview an AP reporter conducted with Sen. Rand Paul earlier today, in which Paul was quoted as saying that he has supported pro-life legislation that contained exceptions on an abortion ban in certain cases and pro-life legislation without exceptions; so long as the legislation would move public policy in a pro-life direction he’s for it. This, said the DNC, is an “extreme” position on the issue – though more Americans in most polls call themselves pro-life than say otherwise.
Paul’s response was masterful. Asked about the DNC’s attack and put to the question whether he’s for exceptions being built into an abortion ban or not, he asked what the DNC’s position was and demanded to know whether Wasserman Schultz was in favor of killing a seven-pound baby in the womb. Few Republican politicians seem on the ball enough to flip the question over onto the Democrats and point out how extreme that party’s pro-abortion position actually is, but Paul did exactly that.
And then Wasserman Schultz swallowed his bait and put herself on a very long hook. The Daily Caller has the quote of her response…
“Here’s an answer. I support letting women and their doctors make this decision without government getting involved. Period. End of story. Now your turn, Senator Paul. We know you want to allow government officials like yourself to make this decision for women — but do you stand by your opposition to any exceptions, even when it comes to rape, incest, or life of the mother? Or do we just have different definitions of ‘personal liberty’? And I’d appreciate it if you could respond without ’shushing’ me.”
You can see some rudimentary political skill amid the idiocy here; Wasserman Schultz makes a point of trying to flip the question back on Paul, and she takes a crack at his nascent pattern of combativeness with female reporters who snarl at him – there’s a whiff of “War On Women” going on in the crack about “shushing.”
Nevertheless, it’s a colossal mistake. You can’t take an absolutist pro-abortion position as the DNC chair without driving away voters in droves.
Here’s a Quinnipiac poll from August 2013, courtesy of the Washington Examiner’s Lachlan Markey on Twitter…
You’ll notice that across the board voters think having abortion be legal at 24 weeks, or basically at the end of the second trimester of pregnancy, is a crappy idea – even while they’re generally OK with it being legal up to 20 weeks.
You’ll notice that support among women drops 35 points from 20 weeks to 24 weeks, 25 points among blacks and 39 points among Hispanics. And 33 points among independents.
This is over a mere four weeks.
When you enforce a pro-abortion position all the way to the full nine months you’re taking a completely extreme position. From the same Q-poll, which actually showed far higher support for abortion than many others you’ll see, here’s how poorly the absolutist pro-abortion stance fares…
Even among Democrats Wasserman Schultz’ position only gets 31 percent. Among blacks, she’s catching just 19 percent and among Hispanics it’s only 18 percent. Among independents, just 17 percent.
Those are disastrous numbers, and it’s a terrible overreach for her to put herself so deeply inside them just to try to put Paul in the absolutist pro-life camp. If nothing else she’s scaring away Hispanic voters, who actually break for the hard pro-life stance by a 24-18 count, and she’s also giving away black voters (19-13 for the pro-abortion side is nothing like the 95-5 margin black voters are going for Democrats these days).
And what’s more, Paul has already said that he’ll go for abortion bans containing exceptions. He doesn’t have to say anything in response to Wasserman Schultz. He can drop the mic after saying “She’s for killing seven-pound babies in the uterus, America, and she runs the Democrat Party. If you’re for killing seven-pound babies in the uterus, the Democrat Party is for you. If you’re not, join us and we’ll make some sort of reasonable arrangement that protects human life where we can.”
And that’s not even including the next phase of this, which is to bring up the question of the federal government paying for it and whether Wasserman Schultz’ statement that she wanted government out of that decision means she’s willing to stop providing funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. That line of inquiry is gold, because government subsidies for abortions polls worse than almost anything out there; not to mention Wasserman Schultz looks like a hypocrite and a dolt by trying to say government involvement in abortion isn’t appropriate while she supports funding abortions with tax dollars.
It’s one of the most eye-popping political own goals in recent times, and she was maneuvered into it almost effortlessly. Paul deserves credit for earning his victory, but the magnitude of the mistake belongs to Wasserman Schultz. At some point relatively soon she’s going to have to give up her position heading up the DNC, because this is a Todd Akin-style disaster.
Even the New York Times and the alphabet-soup networks can’t sweep this one under the rug.