March 20, 2005


The senate, abortion and Jim Langevin: Abortion rights will be at the forefront if Democrat Langevin decides to challenge Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee. (JOHN E. MULLIGAN, March 20, 2005, Providence Journal)

When Rep. James R. Langevin showed his political muscle at a $100,000 fundraiser here last month, his establishment boosters touted the Democrat as a great bet to seize a Senate seat next year -- and help the party mend its image on the painful topic of abortion.

Democrats will keep losing middle-of-the-road voters, declared Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, so long as their party signals that "people who have a problem with 'partial-birth abortion' are somehow not fit to serve as Democrats." The election of abortion-foe Langevin to the Senate would be "a statement of the respect that we have for all the people's views," said Lynch, an anti-abortion Democrat from South Boston.

Is this the kind of cold-eyed pragmatism that will restore the Democratic Party to majority power in the Senate -- and to the good graces of the moderate voters who usually decide presidential elections?

Not if Kate Michelman has anything to say about it.

A heroine of the abortion-rights camp, Michelman will headline another show of force in Washington this week: a fundraiser to support Secretary of State Matt Brown's Senate candidacy -- and perhaps help to keep Langevin out of the race.

It'll be pretty amusing if the lone bright spots for the Democrats in the '06 midterm are two pro-life Senators (Bob Casey over Rick Santorum in PA as well), one knocking off a pro-abortion Republican.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 20, 2005 10:02 PM

They'll never let it happen. The Culture of Death--oops, excuse me, I meant to say "the national Democrat leadership--will stop at nothing to beat down Langevin, unless he pulls a Kucinich and abandons his pro-life position.

Posted by: Mike Morley at March 21, 2005 6:32 AM

I don't see the Langevin campaign. There are limits to how far people will vote for someone just because they feel sorry for him.

There will be a 3d party challenger in the race should Langevin make it through the primary. There is no way the Democratic Party establishment will allow someone who is not down the line loyal to hold a safe seat.

Posted by: bart at March 21, 2005 8:56 AM