The biggest fuss was made last week over the Democratic National Committee's campaign stop for Omaha mayoral candidate Heath Mello. Progressive and pro-abortion groups fumed that Sen. Bernie Sanders dared to step onstage with Mello - all because he once voted for pro-life legislation. The DNC is now insisting that the event was all Sanders's idea.
The whole situation really sheds a light on how radical the Democratic Party has become. DNC Chair Tom Perez, eager to distance himself from Mello, said abortion rights are non-negotiable.
“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” he said in a statement. “That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”
Other high profile Democrats like Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) are also insisting the pro-life position is not one that squares with their platform. While he acknowledges his fellow Democrats are entitled to their own personal opinions, all Democrats must be prepared to defend Roe v. Wade "unequivocally."
"When it comes to the policy position, I think we need to be clear and unequivocal," Durbin said. "We need to be understanding of those who take a different position because of personal conscience. But as long as they are prepared to back the law, Roe. v. Wade, prepared to back women's rights as we define them under the law I think they can be part of the party."
Yet, ask House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and she'll tell you "of course" pro-lifers are welcome in the party. During her appearance on "Meet the Press" Sunday she explained that she's worked side-by-side with pro-life Democrats for years.
Pro-life Democrats (or at least those willing to vote for pro-life legislation), like Mello and Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, are not extinct. The party would do itself a service not to distance itself from such Democrats during its "unity tour."