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The election of Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania represents the smallest sliver of daylight appearing between the Democratic Party and the footsoldiers for Planned Parenthood.
It isn’t that Lamb is a pro-life Democrat. He isn’t. But he was very willing to be perceived as such. In other words, like Obama pretending to believe that marriage should be limited to the straight to get elected, Lamb is a hypocrite.
True ideologues are not hypocrites. Politicians seldom manage (or even bother) to hide who they truly are, relying on the moderating forces of denial and projected hope to mask unpopular agendas from a credulous and inattentive public. This is why, for example, fears of Trump being a stealth dictator are so absurd — Hitler was wholly and recognizably (and revoltingly) Hitler from the get-go, with Mein Kampf available if anyone wanted to see what he had in mind for the world.
Lamb might not be a hypocrite about everything, but he is a hypocrite about abortion. When it comes to abortion, there are plenty of true believers on the left. Lamb, it appears, is not among them. Though he doesn’t seem to believe that, for example, a 20-week-old fetus is deserving of protection from excruciating pain and death, he doesn’t not believe this either. If the wind-that-carries-cash began blowing a smidge harder in the other direction, he would bend, just as Obama got bent (!) about same-sex marriage. Does anyone doubt that Obama would have failed to “evolve” on this if the public hadn’t?
Lamb’s election demonstrates that the wind could (and perhaps has begun to) shift. People voted for him not only because he allowed them to believe he was more socially conservative than he has explicitly committed to being. He even, consistently, dressed to appear more socially conservative — he looks like a Republican. He also looks to me to be an “evolver” on this issue.
The market for genuinely moderate, pro-life democrats is revealed by the squeaker-election of an ersatz moderate, pro-life Democrat.
Yes, I know. It doesn’t sound all that hopeful. But if a Pennsylvania district that went for Trump in ’16 had elected an open social progressive who enthusiastically endorsed killing unborn babies right up to the moment the cord is cut, if they had elected Pennsylvania’s equivalent of Kamala Harris … things would look very, very rosy for Cecile Richards’ political ambitions, and even lousier for the next generation of unborn kids.
Cheer up! It’s not exactly glass-half-full, but the bottom of the glass is … damp.