Obviously, the DNC and Planned Parenthood are choosing to attack Rand Paul on abortion because they believe that recognizing the inherent rights of all humanity — and not just born humanity — goes against the notion of supporting individual liberty. After all, what says “individual liberty” more than exercising your right to vacuum the “products of conception” out of your womb right up until the baby arrives, screaming, into the world?
Ugh, whatever. I’m getting carried away. But seriously, this morning, after Rand Paul answered a question from the Associated Press about his pro-life position and his subsequent support for “Personhood amendments,” the DNC shot of an email chastizing Rand for having opened a new front in the #waronwomen. Obviously taking the clear orders from his betters, a New Hampshire television reporter parroted the DNC’s talking points and tried to back Rand Paul into a corner over his views on abortion. His response probably won’t make it into the next DNC missive.
“Should there be any exemptions or not?” asked NH1 reporter Paul Steinhauser, citing the DNC attack.
“What’s the DNC say?” asked Paul. That landed like a joke — the room holding the press conference also contained some Paul supporters waiting for photos — but he was serious.
“Here’s the deal — we always seen to have the debate waaaaay over here on what are the exact details of exemptions, or when it starts,” said Paul, waving his hands to the left. “Why don’t we ask the DNC: Is it okay to kill a 7 pound baby in the uterus? You go back and you ask Debbie Wasserman Schultz if she’s okay with killing a seven pound baby that is not born yet. Ask her when life begins, and you ask Debbie when it’s okay to protect life. When you get an answer from Debbie, get back to me.”
I’m sharing this not because I agree with Rand — though I do — but because this is a classic example of what a political candidate should say when confronted with a “gotcha question” designed to make partisan headlines. Clearly, the DNC is working to establish a narrative designed to paint Rand Paul a particular way. There’s nothing wrong with that, really — that’s what the DNC is supposed to do, and the RNC, and the LNC, if one ever made it out of the beanbag chair it’s currently sitting in in its parents’ basement. Republican candidates, because they run upstream against the media’s natural bias, always seem to get caught even in obvious snares.
Here’s an example, though, of what Republican special interest groups have been trying to get candidates to do since the early days of Todd Akin, who demolished Missouri Republicans’ Senate hopes by waxing poetic on vaginal superpowers: focus on what abortion is and what and who it involves. Taking a humanistic approach, discussing the situations that lead to women choosing to terminate their pregnancies, and focusing on improving life so that those choices don’t have to be made — that’s the key to winning the argument.
And if you’re curious as to whether the insult provoked the right, hysterical response? Well, Debbie Wasserman Schultz fired off a statement to Bloomberg within the hour.
“Here’s an answer,” said Schultz. “I support letting women and their doctors make this decision without government getting involved. Period. End of story. Now your turn, Senator Paul. We know you want to allow government officials like yourself to make this decision for women — but do you stand by your opposition to any exceptions, even when it comes to rape, incest, or life of the mother? Or do we just have different definitions of ‘personal liberty’? And I’d appreciate it if you could respond without ’shushing’ me.”
As Rand Paul noted, the decision to do, well, what? Debbie doesn’t say. And she also doesn’t say where government begins and ends as far as the practice of abortion goes: certainly, Debbie is fine with forcing people to pay for abortions through taxation, has no problem with enforcing the availability of abortion services, and would certainly support the government getting involved in the process before women resort to the back-alley abortions she and others fear, but she fails to note whether she’d be interested in allowing the government to oversee or even regulate a process by which a viable fetus, capable of living outside the womb, is terminated. Because if she did, we’d be pretty grossed out.
It’s nice, though, that she ended with some pre-emptive accusations of rampant sexism in Paul’s remarks, as though every woman in the world voted lock-step with Debbie Wasserman Schultz. That’s not at all insulting to anyone’s intelligence, Debbie.
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