Sounds like it's time for another 'show of hands' question for 2020 Democrats on the debate stage: Raise your hand if you agree with Rep. Ilhan Omar that American taxpayers have a responsibility to fund abortions for illegal immigrants. We know this will not be asked, alas, because CNN has agreed to the DNC's demand of eliminating this question format entirely, following complaints from candidates who found themselves in sticky situations last time out. But that doesn't mean that every candidate can't be asked for on-the-record responses to this emerging policy litmus test:
No one should fear receiving medical care because they are undocumented. We must ensure that all people in our country have access to reproductive health care.https://t.co/bGuaS64HkL— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 22, 2019
When I described this as a clarion call for free abortions for illegal immigrants, some people objected that Omar wasn't making that explicit argument. But she was. Omar is unequivocally in support of repealing the Hyde Amendment barring taxpayer funding of most abortions, she's actively in favor of the State paying to terminate pregnancies for women who can't afford abortions, and she opposes popular measures to restrict late-term abortions. Combine those stances with her tweet above, and there's no doubt that she believes US taxpayers should bankroll abortions for women who lack legal status. Also, this notion is already gaining steam on the Left, even becoming law via radical legislation in places like Oregon.
There is zero doubt that if there were an active GOP primary this cycle, the field would be pressed repeatedly on controversial abortion measures passed in states like Georgia and Missouri (heartbeat laws), as well as the more restrictive regime adopted in Alabama. Shouldn't Democrats be asked about specific provisions of similarly controversial new laws in Oregon (free abortions for illegal immigrants), Illinois (repeal of the partial-birth abortion ban), and New York (reduced charges for assailants who kill 'wanted' babies during assaults against pregnant mothers)? As for the Omar-prompted question proposed above, are any of the Democrats running for president likely to push back against the idea? After all, 'moderate' Joe Biden just abandoned his decades-old "conviction" in defense of the Hyde Amendment, and all ten Democrats on the second night debate stage affirmed that their healthcare plans would cover illegal immigrants.
It's now an article of faith on the Left that abortion is "healthcare," so it would follow that the Omar position is widely accepted by the 2020 field, even if it's broadly unpopular among the electorate. Alienating middle-of-the-road voters has been a staple of Democratic politics in recent years, to the alarm of many Democrats interested in winning elections in places that are not painted deep blue. At a recent confab of Democratic governors, several elected members of the party issued warnings that wheeling the party off a left-wing cliff at the national level could have negative electoral consequences at the state level:
Some of the governors gathered for an annual fundraising retreat in Nantucket... told The New York Times that in addition to being too extreme, they think some of the policies are bad for the country, particularly on health insurance...“I don’t think that’s good policy or good politics,” Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said. She chairs the Democratic Governor’s Association. “We cannot become the party of the checklist,” she added, referring to what The New York Times described as “cultural flash points.”...“I think it scares people,” New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham told The New York Times, referring to the proposal to eliminate private health insurance backed by Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders...Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined Grisham and Raimondo in warning the party’s approach to immigration could also be perceived as too extreme for voters.
Even the liberal, Democrat-aligned Center for American Progress released an analysis admonishing the party that their knee-jerk extremism on immigration is becoming an asset for President Trump's re-election campaign:
SCOOP — the Democratic Party’s top think tank has authored a major immigration memo warning the party and the 2020 candidates that they are losing the messaging war to Trump https://t.co/5bjGYbhkoy— Sam Stein (@samstein) July 22, 2019
Voters deserve to know whether the Democrats running for president -- in addition to several of them favoring decriminalizing illegal border crossings, and virtually all of them backing taxpayer-funded healthcare for illegal immigrants -- believe that their tax dollars should be directed to pay for the abortions of women who entered the country by violating our immigration laws. And if any candidates think not, how can they square that belief with the rest of the leftist orthodoxy they've ingested? I'll leave you with a reminder that decriminalizing unlawful border crossings would be "tantamount" to "open borders" (Mother Jones agrees), according to the Obama administration's DHS Secretary. And with the relentless border crisis still underway, and the opposition party endorsing policies to make it far worse, voters are paying attention:
Gallup:— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) July 23, 2019
27% of voters say immigration is the top *problem* facing the country
3% say the same of the economyhttps://t.co/EQzMRiZMhX