In the midst of an anti-climactic roll-out of a wan new ‘economic’ message, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Ben Ray Lujan dropped a bombshell on supporters. He announced the Democratic Party was spreading out the welcome mat to anti-choice candidates, betraying its committment to a woman’s right to reproductive freedom. This is not the message progressives were waiting for. Here’s what they should say instead.
We the Democratic Party of America would like to apologize for this flagrant display of ethically-challenged stupidity. We suddenly seem to vaguely recall there was a march back in January, the biggest in history, that represented millions of American women and men who are looking for strong moral leadership on progressive values. Our bone-headed attempt to court the anti-choice minority at the expense of our core supporters was obviously a mistake and we hereby rescind all talk of financial backing for those who don’t honor a woman’s rights over her own body.
Clearly, we still don’t understand why we keep losing elections and think the answer is for us to move to the center or to the right. But we’ve considered how the GOP keeps winning elections even though they’re horrible at governing and we realize it has something to do with always playing to their base and sticking to their core values.
Given the rampant misogyny of the Republican Party, it also occurred to us that slapping half of the human race in the face might not be our best tack. We know that we have to court the young generation in order to secure lifelong loyalties, and we know that most millennials have embraced the Obama-era freedoms and equality they grew up with. Young women are already having a hard enough time generating enthusiasm for our aging, unsexy party. We would never want to alienate them and send them running to start their own party, to which we won’t be invited. If the resistance has taught us anything, it’s that we need them more than they need us.
[Bernie Sanders steps up. “Uh, me too. What they said. When I said we just can’t exclude people who disagree with us on one issue, I wasn’t thinking how this ‘one issue’ was one of the left’s core values, as important as economic equality. But now I realize how old and male and privileged this makes me sound, and I take it back.”]
So while we’re out touting our new, wan ‘economic’ message, we’ll bear in mind that you can’t separate a woman’s right to reproductive freedom from her economic opportunities, or her children’s. And we want to make it clear we would never say to progressive women, as had been said to them many times in the past, “Support us now on the important work we’re doing courting white men, and we’ll get to your stuff later–what was your issue-thingy again? And, oh yeah, get me some coffee while you type up this memo, would you?”
Here’s how we’ll address this issue instead. If you want fewer abortions, you should vote Democrat. Abortions go way down when Democrats are in charge because we ensure access to birth control and pregnancy prevention information. We also make it easier for women to continue with unplanned pregnancies because of access to health care, education and the social safety net.
Most of all, we want to reassure our despairing supporters that we understand why they’re upset. It’s because we keep acting like we have no idea what we’re doing, as though we’re a bunch of quivering, spineless jellyfish stumbling over each other in the dark. We’d like to course-correct and step into the role of moral leadership that the left so desperately craves right now. We promise not to do anything this short-sighted, anti-woman, and morally cowardly again.
Yours in progressive values,
The Democrats #TheBestDeal
(Oh, and we also realize trumpeting a slogan that isn’t even a superlative is bad messaging so now it’s #TheBestDeal, or something even better if you can think of it. We’re completely unable to read a book on moral messaging. Send help.)