Democrats burned by blowback in America’s culture wars
The US Democrats’ lurch towards extreme leftism has been well charted — their increasing flirtation with socialist economics; their sanitising or embrace of black power ideologues and their demonisation of Jews and Israel; the blind eye they turn towards the censorship, threats or outright violence used by so many of their supporters against their political enemies.
But now Democrats have revealed a brutalised contempt for life itself.
In the Virginia assembly, Democrat delegate Kathy Tran proposed a law loosening restrictions on abortion in the final stages of pregnancy. She later confirmed that this would permit the termination of a pregnancy up to the very moment of delivery, in other words after labour had started.
The capacity to keep premature babies alive at an ever earlier stage in pregnancy has produced a fraught debate about the need to reduce the abortion time limit. But if a baby is in the process of being born, it is by definition capable of life. It is not longer a foetus; it is indisputably a baby on its way into the world. The suggestion that it might be killed at the very moment of its birth is grotesque – and it’s hard to understand how in practice this could be done without committing infanticide.
The Tran bill failed to pass, but not before it was defended by Virginia’s Democrat governor Ralph Northam, who is himself a paediatric neurologist. He told a WTOP radio show that Tran’s comments were “blown out of proportion” and said third-trimester abortions were rare.
These were done, he said, “in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that’s not viable. If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen.The infant would be delivered. The infant would be comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother. So I think this was really blown out of proportion”.
Northam was immediately accused of promoting infanticide, an accusation he vehemently denied. His spokeswoman said he had been “talking about prognosis and medical treatment, not ending the life of a delivered baby”; his words were being taken out of context by Republicans, she said, and the notion that he would approve of killing infants was “disgusting.”
But what else would any such resuscitation “discussion” be about? Moreover, Tran’s proposed measure wasn’t about non-viable foetuses or catastrophic deformities or allowing terribly sick newborns to die. It was instead about third-trimester abortion, the deliberate extinction of any viable infant life, in circumstances where continuing with the pregnancy was deemed to threaten the mother’s life or her physical or mental health.
Purported threats to the mother’s “health” provide opportunities for a very loose justification and can lead in effect to abortion on demand. The Tran proposals would have loosened the current requirement under Virginia’s law to show that the continuation of the pregnancy is likely to “substantially and irredeemably impair the mental or physical health of the woman” by striking out the words “substantially and irredeemably”.
The proposals would also have loosened the existing requirement to keep an aborted baby alive. While the law currently states that “measures for life support for the product of such abortion or miscarriage must be available and utilized if there is any clearly visible evidence of viability”, the Tran amendment would have replaced “must” by “shall”.
So either Northam was being disingenuous, or he didn’t understand what Tran’s proposals actually were.
What then happened, however, graphically demonstrated how the Democrats are now being sucked into a woke vortex of their own making. It was revealed that in 1984 Northam had featured, on his medical-school yearbook page, a photograph of a man in blackface and a man in a KuKluxKlan hood. Northam immediately apologised for appearing in the picture; then said that neither person in the photograph was him; then he said he had put on blackface decades ago to look like Michael Jackson for a dance contest.
All hell then broke loose and Northam’s future as Virginia’s governor – an office he won after accusing his opponents of racism – is now in jeopardy.
But Virginia’s Democrats then descended into yet another circle of politically correct hell. Virginia’s Attorney General, Mark Herring, admitted that he also had worn blackface in the 1980s. And Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who was poised to succeed Northam if he was hounded out of office, was suddenly accused by a fellow Democrat of sexual assault.
It gets better. The Atlantic reports:
“Fairfax has emphatically denied any wrongdoing and says he had a consensual sexual encounter with his accuser, Vanessa Tyson, a professor of politics at Scripps College. (He has also accusedLevar Stoney, a rival Democrat who is mayor of Richmond, of spreading the story. Stoney denies doing so.) This week, Tyson hired the same law firm that represented Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Justice Brett Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her in high school. Fairfax has also refused to resign.”
So now Virginia’s top three Democrat officials are simultaneously accused of advocating infanticide, displaying racial bigotry and committing sexual assault.
These allegations, however, are either unproven or questionable. What’s more, the racism accusation against Northam reportedly originated from someone who took issue with his comments about abortion.
So it would seem that conservatives opposed to abortion deliberately weaponised the left’s own neuralgic issue of racism in the knowledge that this had the potential to destroy Northam within his own Democratic side.
What’s happened in Virginia is that the cultural firebombs that the left repeatedly throws at its opponents over race, sexual violence and abortion have suddenly blown back at them and are setting their hair alight. As Rich Lowry writes, in the coming primary season no Democrat will be safe.
“Any lapses will be interpreted through the most hostile lens, made all the more brutal by the competition of a large field of candidates vying for the approval of a radicalized base. The Democrat nomination battle might as well be fought on the campus of Oberlin College and officiated by the director of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion”.
You’d have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.
Meanwhile, over a sickening culture of institutionalised dehumanisation no liberal progressive turns a hair. Why should they? They created it.
Virginia already permits abortion in the third trimester: Tran simply aimed to remove some of its pesky restrictions. All states permit abortion into the ninth month in certain exceptional cases. Eight states and Washington DC allow abortion until birth for any reason; New York recently joined this list when its Democrat governor, Andrew Cuomo, signed a law allowing abortions until the end of pregnancy in cases where not just the life but the health of the mother is threatened – and “health” under a Supreme Court ruling, can be defined so broadly that it may include what the mother merely wants or feels at the time.
“This evening is sweet because we won!” declared Cuomo to ecstatic supporters who stood and cheered before he ordered the spire of One World Trade Centre to be lit up in pink to celebrate.
Unborn babies capable of being born alive are being killed, and the city of New York is turning pink with pleasure at now being able to add to the carnage.
The Democratic Party is brutalised and degraded, perhaps irrevocably. And millions of decent Americans are watching this political and cultural death spiral, and drawing their own horrified conclusions.