The WaPo’s Ruth Marcus weighs in, worried that Democrats might go too far in wooing evangelical voters. A snippet or two will give the flavor:
The risk is that, in the process of maneuvering, Democrats’ reframing and rebranding could edge into retreating on core principles. It was unsettling to hear Dean -- in the process of cozying up to evangelicals -- mangle the party platform, saying, incorrectly, that it states that "marriage is between a man and a woman." In fact, while deliberately silent on marriage, the platform supports "full inclusion of gay and lesbian families . . . and equal responsibilities, benefits, and protections."
This would be the Democratic Party whose President in 1996 signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law, and 118 of whose House members and 30 of whose Senators (including such luminaries as Joe Biden, Christopher Dodd, Tom Harkin, Herbert Kohl, Patrick Leahy, Harry Reid, and, yes, even the late Paul Wellstone) voted for it. In 1996 taking this stance was the expedient thing to do; now expediency can be served just as well by silence.
But wait, there’s more:
Likewise, it’s fine for Hillary Clinton to talk about the "tragedy" of abortion, or for Democrats to emphasize the importance of reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies. But I get awfully nervous when Redeem the Vote’s Brinson says of abortion, "As long as the national Democratic Party makes that a centerpiece of their platform or something they’re advocating, as long as that’s front and center and they’re saying women have a right to do this, it’s going to turn off religious voters."
So, by all means, let Democrats woo evangelicals and cast the message in a way that speaks to religious voters. But in doing so, keep in mind: What does it profit a party to gain a demographic but lose its soul?
Read that last sentence again: support for abortion is the "soul" of the Democratic Party. Ramesh Ponnuru, call your office.