Pelosi pushed Dems to downplay abortion in midterm election strategy: New York Times
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WASHINGTON, D.C., November 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi may be an ardent proponent of legal abortion, but she recognized that emphasizing the issue would be hazardous for Democrats trying to take over the House of Representatives, according to a recent report in the New York Times.
Republicans kept the Senate while losing the House in last week’s midterm congressional elections, ensuring that pro-life judicial nominees will continue to be confirmed while pro-life legislation will be at a standstill for the next two years. In a November 7 post-mortem on the election, the Times details how Pelosi helped retake the chamber, and possibly her old title of Speaker.
“Nancy Pelosi did not want to talk about Planned Parenthood,” the Times’ Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin write. Instead, she and her subordinates advised House Democrats in the early days of the Trump administration to stick to a narrow set of talking points about health insurance, pre-existing conditions, and a provision in one of the GOP’s failed Obamacare replacements Democrats claimed would constitute an “age tax.”
She admitted this would require “restraint” against the left-wing base’s demand for fights such as continuing to send tax dollars to Planned Parenthood. “Those things are in our DNA, but they are not in our talking points,” Pelosi reportedly said on multiple occasions.
Pelosi’s priorities reflect a wealth of data from mainstream polling firms such as Gallup and Marist, which consistently finds that a majority of Americans would ban most abortions, while larger majorities oppose late-term abortions and public funding of the practice. Over the years, pro-lifers have argued it would be politically advantageous for Republicans to take a more aggressive pro-life stand, but the GOP tends to share Democrats preference for predominantly-economic messaging.
The incoming Majority Leader, who claims to be Catholic, has amassed a 100% pro-abortion voting record and supports a party platform that favors largely-unregulated, taxpayer-funded abortions at virtually any point before birth. But this isn’t the first time she’s shown a willingness to put ideology on the back burner for long-term gain.
In April, she defended her support of “pro-life” Democrats like Illinois’ Rep. Dan Lipinski on the grounds that his election would count toward a “pro-choice gavel when we win the Congress.” While individual lawmakers are technically free to vote however they want on legislation, their party affiliation decides which party holds leadership positions, controls committees, schedules votes, and sets procedural rules.
During the campaign, Pelosi also downplayed Democrat calls to impeach President Donald Trump and/or Justice Brett Kavanaugh, but conservative suspect such assurances were merely meant to hide Democrats’ true intentions so as not to provoke GOP voter turnout.
After the election, Pelosi declared the House would devote itself to “checks and balances to the Trump administration.” Neither Trump nor Kavanaugh could actually be removed from office without a two-thirds Senate vote, but Democrats could bog down months of government business and media coverage with investigations and proceedings.