Thursday, October 13, 2005

First thing we do, let's dismantle all the parties!

Michael Reynolds has posted what sounds like an excellent plan for re-branding the Democratic party. However, there is at least one plank that isn't going to be accepted by the party any time soon:
We commit ourselves to reducing the occurrence of abortion by a) supporting reproductive education which includes teaching abstinence, b) banning near-term abortions except when the life of the mother is in serious jeopardy, and c) endorsing parental notification but not parental consent. We maintain the right of women to choose abortion up to the point of fetal viability.
I would love to see the a major politician take up this plan. Anti-abortion groups are doing some frightening overreaching, fighting access to even Plan B. The problem is that no Democratic candidate can get past the primaries without the support of hard-core abortion rights types, who refuse to stop at the point of fetal viability.

I used to feel strongly that 3rd-party types are dreamers and that the two-party system is a necessary evil. Primaries, I figured, act as a substitute for a run-off voting system, and perhaps avoid some problems of the system. Issues like these make me wonder. Moderation may help in the general election, but go too moderate, and you risk pissing off the activists that make up your base. Often, these groups tilt at windmills to make themselves look important to supporters (the reflexive attacks on John Roberts are arguably an instance of this).

What we may need for moderate success in elections is to abolish the party system. That, however, may be even harder than getting the Democrats to abandon their stance on abortion.

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