It was just another ho-hum piece by another liberal columnist. Hillary Clinton should get out now because staying in hurts Barack Obama against McCain. Yada yada yada.
But in his column of today, Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, almost in passing, makes what is, on reflection, a telling disclosure of what is truly the fundamental value, the uniting principle of the Democratic party: abortion. After first fretting that many Hillary supporters will sit on their hands or vote for McCain, Kristof offers this countervailing fact:
It’s true that most of Senator Clinton’s supporters presumably will flinch if they contemplate a McCain Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
So what is it that brings Dems together? The imperative to end a war in Iraq over which they have expended endless fury? The desire to help those salt-of-the-earthers who work hard and play by the rules to whom they've demagogued shamelessly? Nah. At the end of the day, it's abortion. Abortion is the central, organizational value of the Dem party, the one that will unite it regardless of who is its candidate.
The GOP has its serious problems. But what does it say about a party if its single most sacred principle, the shared value that will make factions set aside their antipathies, is the preservation of the right to end innocent life?
(Photo: Fred R. Conrad, NY Times)