Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. In Hypocrisy, There’s Hope

 

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.

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  1. Nick H Coolidge

    I heard him described more than once as being “moderate” on abortion. He certainly spoke in such a way that let people interpret his words however they wished.

    • #1
    • March 16, 2018, at 7:00 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. Kevin Schulte Member

    This will be the lefts strategy in the red-ish districts. However, there is an obstacle to this strategy. The rabid base will not choose such squishes in the primary. Lamb was a chosen candidate of the machine, if I am not mistaken. The base is not as shrewd as the machine.

    • #2
    • March 16, 2018, at 7:11 AM PDT
    • 16 likes
  3. Instugator Thatcher
    InstugatorJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Nick H (View Comment):
    He certainly spoke in such a way that let people interpret his words however they wished.

    How Trumpian of him. (or Obamian, depending on your genus/ phylum / voting preference)

    • #3
    • March 16, 2018, at 7:11 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. philo Member

    Kate Braestrup: It isn’t that Lamb is a pro-life Democrat. He isn’t. But he was very willing to be perceived as such.

    Finding hope in campaign strategies based on beliefs in mythical creatures and an electorate that, despite the conclusive evidence provided by the Stupak Gang (the science IS settled on this one), can still be made to believe in them…oh, what a country!

    • #4
    • March 16, 2018, at 7:15 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. Nick H Coolidge

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Nick H (View Comment):
    He certainly spoke in such a way that let people interpret his words however they wished.

    How Trumpian of him. (or Obamian, depending on your genus/ phylum / voting preference)

    It’s a rare politician of either side that will clearly tell you what they think. And, as Kate points out, the ones that do are usually the zealots.

    • #5
    • March 16, 2018, at 7:38 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. PHCheese Member

    I lived in PA-18 for fifty years. It is a District that is very difficult to understand from the outside. Democrats out number Republicans by 39,ooo. The district is 60% Catholic. Everyone is very socially conservative in almost every definition . There are probably as many Deer Rifles as there are cars. For the most part what causes people to be Democratic is the traditional labor union vote. There is that “ little guy “vs big guy mentality. It’s passed from generation to generation. It is also a very old population, something like the second oldest in the country. Lots of veterans. Lamb pushed his labor roots. I think Trump won so large there is because he was seen as the outsider , the little guy against the establishment. There was a Democrat that held that seat for quite awhile that lost it because of the abortion issue in the 70s. His name was Doug Walgren. He didn’t come out as pro choice. He refused to discuss the issue and that was enough for him to lose.

    • #6
    • March 16, 2018, at 7:41 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
  7. Quake Voter Inactive

    Nick H (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Nick H (View Comment):
    He certainly spoke in such a way that let people interpret his words however they wished.

    How Trumpian of him. (or Obamian, depending on your genus/ phylum / voting preference)

    It’s a rare politician of either side that will clearly tell you what they think. And, as Kate points out, the ones that do are usually the zealots.

    Trump doesn’t tell you what he thinks. He tells you what he thinks you think he should think. And then he offers a deal. And so far into his term he has kept up his end of the bargain more faithfully than most establishment “build the dang fence” “no new taxes” Republicans have.

    If Kate is right and we might approach a critical tipping point on our horrific abortion laws, the politician I would trust to lead the final assault is Rubio.

    Trump faithful? Trust Rubio? Politics is strange.

    • #7
    • March 16, 2018, at 7:52 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. TES Inactive

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    I lived in PA-18 for fifty years. It is a District that is very difficult to understand from the outside. Democrats out number Republicans by 39,ooo. The district is 60% Catholic. Everyone is very socially conservative in almost every definition . There are probably as many Deer Rifles as there are cars. For the most part what causes people to be Democratic is the traditional labor union vote. There is that “ little guy “vs big guy mentality. It’s passed from generation to generation. It is also a very old population, something like the second oldest in the country. Lots of veterans. Lamb pushed his labor roots. I think Trump won so large there is because he was seen as the outsider , the little guy against the establishment. There was a Democrat that held that seat for quite awhile that lost it because of the abortion issue in the 70s. His name was Doug Walgren. He didn’t come out as pro choice. He refused to discuss the issue and that was enough for him to lose.

    Very interesting. Why do you think Romney won it by so much? He won it by 17% I believe.

    • #8
    • March 16, 2018, at 7:58 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Fred Houstan Member

    Kate Braestrup:It isn’t that Lamb is a pro-life Democrat. He isn’t.

    But he was very willing to be perceived as such.

    I had the same thought. Given the need, on the left, to violently enforce groupthink, Lamb is very much in apostasy. That said, I’m enthusiastically ambivalent that his election is a bellwether of anything.

    • #9
    • March 16, 2018, at 8:01 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. PHCheese Member

    TES (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    I lived in PA-18 for fifty years. It is a District that is very difficult to understand from the outside. Democrats out number Republicans by 39,ooo. The district is 60% Catholic. Everyone is very socially conservative in almost every definition . There are probably as many Deer Rifles as there are cars. For the most part what causes people to be Democratic is the traditional labor union vote. There is that “ little guy “vs big guy mentality. It’s passed from generation to generation. It is also a very old population, something like the second oldest in the country. Lots of veterans. Lamb pushed his labor roots. I think Trump won so large there is because he was seen as the outsider , the little guy against the establishment. There was a Democrat that held that seat for quite awhile that lost it because of the abortion issue in the 70s. His name was Doug Walgren. He didn’t come out as pro choice. He refused to discuss the issue and that was enough for him to lose.

    Very interesting. Why do you think Romney won it by so much? He won it by 17% I believe.

    I love the people of W.Pa but they are racist in a strange way. I don’t have time to explain now but Obama was not a favorite.

    • #10
    • March 16, 2018, at 8:17 AM PDT
    • Like
  11. Quake Voter Inactive

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    TES (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    I lived in PA-18 for fifty years. It is a District that is very difficult to understand from the outside. Democrats out number Republicans by 39,ooo. The district is 60% Catholic. Everyone is very socially conservative in almost every definition . There are probably as many Deer Rifles as there are cars. For the most part what causes people to be Democratic is the traditional labor union vote. There is that “ little guy “vs big guy mentality. It’s passed from generation to generation. It is also a very old population, something like the second oldest in the country. Lots of veterans. Lamb pushed his labor roots. I think Trump won so large there is because he was seen as the outsider , the little guy against the establishment. There was a Democrat that held that seat for quite awhile that lost it because of the abortion issue in the 70s. His name was Doug Walgren. He didn’t come out as pro choice. He refused to discuss the issue and that was enough for him to lose.

    Very interesting. Why do you think Romney won it by so much? He won it by 17% I believe.

    I love the people of W.Pa but they are racist in a strange way. I don’t have time to explain now but Obama was not a favorite.

    Maybe they are just racist in a funny way:

    • #11
    • March 16, 2018, at 8:31 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Bob Wainwright Member

    I think his election is a worse sign for Trump than people think. Yes, Lamb appeared conservative. But if people truly wanted conservative, they could get that by voting for the Republican. The difference is that Lamb unlike his opponent will vote for a Democratic speaker and possibly to impeach Trump. So Trump voters who voted for Lamb must have done so for only one reason: to rebuke Trump.

    • #12
    • March 16, 2018, at 8:35 AM PDT
    • Like
  13. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):
    I think his election is a worse sign for Trump than people think. Yes, Lamb appeared conservative. But if people truly wanted conservative, they could get that by voting for the Republican. The difference is that Lamb unlike his opponent will vote for a Democratic speaker and possibly to impeach Trump. So Trump voters who voted for Lamb must have done so for only one reason: to rebuke Trump.

    Do you think so? That is, would they have voted for a candidate who was as obviously progressive, woke and pro-abortion as Hillary (“Trust Women To Have Abortions Tho’ Not To Vote”) if that was the choice on the ballot—just to rebuke Trump?

    To put it another way:

    Does the electorate in that district break down into groups like these?

    • progressive Democrats who didn’t vote for Trump and loathe him to this day. They would vote for anyone with a “D” after his name.
    • Republicans who voted for the Republican because they’re Republican.
    • People who voted for “Anything That Makes Life Difficult for Trump.
    • Old-School [Catholic] Democrats—pro-labor, pro-life— who will vote for a Democrat if he seems to share their values, even if they voted for Trump
    • #13
    • March 16, 2018, at 10:03 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. Bob Wainwright Member

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):
    I think his election is a worse sign for Trump than people think. Yes, Lamb appeared conservative. But if people truly wanted conservative, they could get that by voting for the Republican. The difference is that Lamb unlike his opponent will vote for a Democratic speaker and possibly to impeach Trump. So Trump voters who voted for Lamb must have done so for only one reason: to rebuke Trump.

    Do you think so? That is, would they have voted for a candidate who was as obviously progressive, woke and pro-abortion as Hillary (“Trust Women To Have Abortions Tho’ Not To Vote”) if that was the choice on the ballot—just to rebuke Trump?

    To put it another way:

    Does the electorate in that district break down into groups like these?

    • progressive Democrats who didn’t vote for Trump and loathe him to this day. They would vote for anyone with a “D” after his name.
    • Republicans who voted for the Republican because they’re Republican.
    • People who voted for “Anything That Makes Life Difficult for Trump.
    • Old-School [Catholic] Democrats—pro-labor, pro-life— who will vote for a Democrat if he seems to share their values, even if they voted for Trump

    I’m not sure. It’s just clear that a lot of people who voted for Trump voted Dem this time. These were not progressives, because progressives would never have voted for Trump. What made them switch parties this election? Merely a natural affinity for the traditional Democrat party? Meaning they would still vote for Trump again when they get the chance? There are a lot of voters, to be sure, who honestly believe they can “vote for the person, not the party” (which is an extremely naïve, almost childish, belief). We’ll see in two years.

    • #14
    • March 16, 2018, at 11:02 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor

    I’m always looking for positive glimmers. It will be interesting to see if there are any other indications at all that Dems will look for more moderation. The party elite continues to move left, but maybe for everyday Dems, it might be too far. Maybe there are moderate Dems lurking in the background. Thanks, Kate.

    • #15
    • March 16, 2018, at 11:08 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. Quake Voter Inactive

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I’m always looking for positive glimmers. It will be interesting to see if there are any other indications at all that Dems will look for more moderation. The party elite continues to move left, but maybe for everyday Dems, it might be too far. Maybe there are moderate Dems lurking in the background. Thanks, Kate.

    I disagree here. Of course, Susan is right by all standards of decency and common sense. But we are not in an era of decency and common sense.

    Trump is president!

    So long as Trump is president I hope Democrats remain full-throated pray-for-Mueller open borders leftists. If a large cohort of Trumpish Democrats are elected I fear that some of Trump’s now somewhat contained views on a major trade war, infrastructure spending, and private union friendly legislation will gain bipartisan momentum. Maybe even comprehensive immigration reform.

    If Trump has to deal with these Trumpy Democrats to forestall impeachment in the House, watch out! Pedestrian bridges to new opioid treatment centers across the Midwest.

    • #16
    • March 16, 2018, at 11:30 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Quake Voter (View Comment):
    I disagree here. Of course, Susan is right by all standards of decency and common sense. But we are not in an era of decency and common sense.

    But might Trump not be able to get more done with genuinely blu-dog, moderate Democrats? Of course, knowing they’re the real thing might be tricky . . .

    • #17
    • March 16, 2018, at 11:39 AM PDT
    • Like
  18. Scott Wilmot Member

    According to Alexandra Desanctis, Lamb is one of those gutless (my choice of word) catholic politicians who is “personally opposed” to abortion “but holds an extreme pro-abortion view most Americans, including most Democrats, do not share”. (I’ve got a post up today on what devolves from a “personally opposed to abortion” stance from a politician)

    Pro-life Democrat Party candidates have virtually disappeared, making it almost impossible for an orthodox Catholic to vote for them.

    As Miss Desanctis writes, the Democrat party must turn to falsehoods to get votes:

    As a result, Lamb made it appear as though he’s neatly balancing on a tightrope between pro-life Catholics and the pro-abortion stance of his party. In reality, he supports the most extreme pro-abortion positions even as he gestures toward the middle ground and his Catholic faith. This isn’t moderation; it’s dishonesty. And, as it has for pro-choice Catholic Democrats for decades, the ploy appears to have worked.

    • #18
    • March 16, 2018, at 12:14 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  19. JoelB Member

    I think that Connor Lamb is a handsome rock star that will be compared to JFK in the future (if he hasn’t been already). I think he will turn out more like Obama or Bill Clinton. I had the same feeling about him as I did when Bill Clinton was nominated to run against GHW Bush. Sorry, but his GOP opponent didn’t quite have the glam to pull it off. Man still looks at the outside.

    • #19
    • March 16, 2018, at 1:49 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. EB Thatcher

    “Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue.” – La Rochefoucauld

    • #20
    • March 16, 2018, at 7:11 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):
    As Miss Desanctis writes, the Democrat party must turn to falsehoods to get votes:

    Exactly. That’s a hopeful sign—not, by the way, a guarantee, or cause for a wild celebration. As I said, this is a tiny sliver of daylight, not a full-blown new dawn.

    Trump, obviously, is Trump. He represents the worst attributes of the sexual revolution, “winning” his own gratification through his casual willingness to risk disease (didn’t he say that avoiding STDs was his equivalent of fighting in Vietnam?) or the random siring of children who would either be aborted or raised fatherless. As winner, he claimed his prerogatives (“grab their ****) and his trophies—Melania being the most recent.

    All right.

    By a staggering irony, Trump (though Trump), by appointing pro-life (or rather, originalist) judges and openly supporting the RTL march, is joining forces with social conservatives against this most egregious fruit of the revolution he profited by (by his own lights). It is Hillary and the progressives who seek to preserve and extend the very practices that enabled Trump (and all the other sexual predators out there) to maintain his winning ways and achieve his victories.

    • #21
    • March 17, 2018, at 7:17 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  22. Scott Wilmot Member

    Kate Braestrup: The election of Connor Lamb in Pennsylvania represents the smallest sliver of daylight appearing between the Democratic Party and the footsoldiers for Planned Parenthood.

    If you haven’t listened to the most recent Liberty Files (Ordered Liberty) podcast, David French and Alexandra DeSanctis have a great discussion on this issue.

    • #22
    • March 17, 2018, at 12:38 PM PDT
    • Like
  23. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    Kate Braestrup: The election of Connor Lamb in Pennsylvania represents the smallest sliver of daylight appearing between the Democratic Party and the footsoldiers for Planned Parenthood.

    If you haven’t listened to the most recent Liberty Files (Ordered Liberty) podcast, David French and Alexandra DeSanctis have a great discussion on this issue.

    I shall, Scott! Thanks!

    • #23
    • March 17, 2018, at 2:49 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Chuck Thatcher

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):
    Trump voters who voted for Lamb must have done so for only one reason: to rebuke Trump.

    I have always had some difficulty with this type of reasoning. I just cannot see John Q. Public thinking, well I am disillusioned with Trump so to teach him a lesson, even though I don’t agree with this fellow and will do things I don’t like, he gets my vote.

    But I can see him not voting at all, or just falling back into old ways if he thinks the grand experiment was a catastrophe.

    • #24
    • March 17, 2018, at 6:28 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    You don’t have to be a hypocrite to be an opportunist, but it helps.

    • #25
    • March 17, 2018, at 7:33 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  26. RightAngles Member

    The Democrats now know that to win, you have to at least talk like a Republican. It’s probably driving them nuts. I hope

    • #26
    • March 17, 2018, at 8:26 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  27. Doctor Robert Member

    Kate, you’re missing the most important part of this. Mr Lamb has a “D” after his name. It doesn’t matter what he claims to feel or promises to do. He will vote 101% with the progressive machine.

    The glass has a crack in the bottom and can never be filled.

    • #27
    • March 18, 2018, at 3:37 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  28. I Walton Member

    Pa. gave us Senator Casey who ran as if pro life, but not only is he pro abortion he is a radical on all issues. Fascists are opportunists, that’s where fascism came from, socialists that use whatever works. We must establish the truth that Democrats are the party of super wealth, privilege and elite condescension married to mob rule and that Republicans are the party of small business, tradesmen and workers married to tradition. Trump did this but we have a century of Democrat propaganda and some real history to undo. We can’t wait for elections to establish this truth, this is the mission. The goal isn’t populism which the Democrats will always own because it means mob rule, rather it’s a shared perception of basic reality.

    • #28
    • March 18, 2018, at 4:49 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Suspira Member

    My biggest question is why a person like Conor Lamb chooses to be a Democrat. This is the type of guy that seems a natural, if moderate, Republican. What drove his choice? How can the conservative side win over other Lambs?

    • #29
    • March 18, 2018, at 6:17 AM PDT
    • Like
  30. Kevin Schulte Member

    Suspira (View Comment):
    My biggest question is why a person like Conor Lamb chooses to be a Democrat. This is the type of guy that seems a natural, if moderate, Republican. What drove his choice? How can the conservative side win over other Lambs?

    Democrats play for the Home Team. They are praised for being the white hats. Republicans are publicly maligned. Hard choice for the opportunist. ;)

    • #30
    • March 18, 2018, at 6:32 AM PDT
    • 2 likes

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