Whenever a Democrat tells the public what his party “is not” he’s revealing to them what it is. John Kerry fell into this habit often, saying the Democratic Party “was not” weak on national defense which only succeeded in reminding voters of the party’s historic uselessness on security issues.
On Meet the Press last Sunday, Howard Dean returned to this poisoned well, protesting a little too much at what the “party was not.” He said, “We’re not the party of abortion,” and “We’re not the party of gay marriage.” An appropriate response from moderator Tim Russert would have been a loud and sustained chuckle.
Who launched America on one of its first major steps toward gay marriage? Howard Dean. He signed the nation’s first gay-marriage-by-other-means, civil unions bill. Who would have been the first Planned Parenthood doctor to win the Democratic presidential nomination? Howard Dean. Should Dean become the head of the Democrats, its status as the party of gay marriage and abortion would be cemented.
“I have long believed that we ought to make a home for pro-life Democrats,” said Dean on Sunday. That’s not the tone he struck during the primaries when he proudly appeared at the National Abortion Rights Action League’s presidential forum.
As Vermont pro-lifers know well, Dean is pro-abortion to the hilt and has no use for pro-lifers. During the Democratic primary I interviewed Mary Hahn Beerworth, the executive director of the Vermont Right To Life Committee. “There is no abortion that Governor Dean doesn’t think is a good idea and doesn’t think the government should pay for,” she said. “There is no more pro-abortion a politician in America.” She recalled the time Dean refused to talk to Vermont pro-lifers because, as he put it on a Vermont talk show, he didn’t want to meet with common criminals.
Under Dean, Vermont climbed to the top of the nation in rate of abortion. In 1992, Vermont averaged 359 abortions for every 1,000 live births. Dean instituted a “Dr. Dynasaur” program — which he would tout on local televisions ads with a stethoscope around his neck — that had a sickening provision in it: low-income mothers could claim their unborn child for eligibility in the program, then once eligible they would receive funds with which to abort that same child.
Dean tried to pass a government-run health care plan that included “$5 co-pay” abortions. He gave $350,000 a year in taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood. He supported partial-birth abortion, opposed parental notification laws, and would mock pro-lifers at the drop of a hat. “I am tired of people in the Legislature thinking that they have an M.D. when what they really have is a B.S.,” he has said.
Dean represents the closest the Democrats have ever come to naming a Planned Parenthood doctor the presidential nominee of their party. Dean worked an OB/GYN rotation at Planned Parenthood in the 1970s. Later he was “proud” to serve on the executive board of Planned Parenthood New England, thus helping to oversee the largest abortion provider in the region. He ended up receiving its Margaret Sanger award. Of course, Dean, with weasely self-protectiveness, made sure to deny to the press that he ever performed any abortions himself — a matter too messy for his pristine hands busy filling out paperwork in the executive boardroom a few floors up.
As Tim Russert might have reminded him, Dean used to take pride in abortion referrals. In his attempts to wow a NARAL dinner audience with his pro-abortion credentials and score a debating point against parental notification laws, Dean retailed a blatantly false story about lending a sympathetic ear to a 12-year-old victim of incest. Under questioning from Russert during the primary, Dean eventually acknowledged that his crowd-pleasing NARAL incest speech was bogus, and he knew it at the time. The girl’s father wasn’t involved. Russert: “…when you told the story, you knew otherwise.” Dean: “That’s right.” Russert: “Why didn’t you say that?” Dean: “Because it didn’t make any difference.”
Which was yet another lie. It would have made an enormous difference to the sophistical point Dean was trying to make. He needed the incest fabrication to punctuate his NARAL speech with the line, “You explain that to the American people who think that parental notification is a good idea.”
Now Dean adds one more lie to the pile when he says, “We’re not the party of abortion.” Howard Dean is proof that the Democrats are the party of abortion. It is precisely because it is the party of Planned Parenthood that a former Planned Parenthood doctor like himself could rise to the level of leading it.