Unless you pay attention to the entire Democrat field for president (What is it now — 23? Twenty-four? Eleven billion?), you’re probably not familiar with Rep. Seth Moulton.
Moulton of Massachusetts served in the Marines, is young, energetic and has been solid on military issues.
This would make for a great backstory were it not the year of Mayor Pete, who also has all those things plus the ability to make the media swoon and a husband who’s a Twitter star. Sorry, Seth. As it is, Moulton doesn’t even get mentioned in RealClearPolitics‘ polling average, which includes strange also-rans such as billionaire universal basic income/anti-circumcision buff Andrew Yang and spiritual hokum guru Marianne Williamson.
However, defending the right to an abortion — particularly a taxpayer-funded one — is, at the moment, what reparations were two months ago: a good way to stand out to the activist base if you’re willing to chart a course to the point farthest left on the map. On this count, it’s easy to see how Moulton might be able to break through the muddle, since he apparently believes that getting a taxpayer-funded abortion is pretty much the same as paying our troops.
So, the backstory, in case you’ve not seen the news for a few days: Joe Biden, the front-runner in the Democrat field, has now said that he’s against the Hyde Amendment, the rule that bans federal taxpayer funds from being used for abortion.
“If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s ZIP code,” Biden said during a Thursday speech, according to CNN. “I can’t justify leaving millions of women without access to the care they need and the ability to … exercise their constitutionally protected right.”
This, you probably won’t be shocked to learn, happened after other Democrats began hammering for supporting the Hyde Amendment. It was also after a kerfuffle in which Biden told an activist he was against the Hyde Amendment, then said he was for it through his campaign and then said he was against it in his Thursday speech.
Rep. Moulton was on CNN in the lacuna between Biden’s first period of opposition to the Hyde Amendment and his second — and currently operative — period of opposition to the Hyde Amendment.
“I think it’s wrong,” Moulton said of the amendment. “It disproportionately attacks women who don’t have the private means to afford an abortion.”
And that’s when Moulton, like the Ernest Shackleton of liberal ideology, trekked and planted his flag at the left pole of public opinion.
“It’s sort of like saying, you know, ‘I support the troops but I don’t want to pay them,'” Moulton said. “That’s the analogy here, and I think it’s wrong.”
This wasn’t the only strange military parallel that Moulton used regarding Biden’s shifting opinions on the Hyde Amendment. After the Thursday speech in which Biden definitively came out against the amendment (at least for the moment), Moulton responded by … invoking the Iraq War.
Bravo to @JoeBiden for doing the right thing and reversing his longstanding support for the Hyde Amendment. It takes courage to admit when you’re wrong, especially when those decisions affect millions of people.
Now do the Iraq War.
— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) June 7, 2019
During his time in the Senate, Biden had voted for the Iraq War. Of course, when his time in the Senate ended, Biden was part of an administration that sought to draw the Iraq War to a speedier close than it probably should have, leaving a power vacuum in which a certain self-styled caliphate managed to flourish. So, yes, I’d say Biden “did” the Iraq War in this sense, but that’s not meme-able, so we get this tweet instead.
It’s sort of difficult to decide whether we ought to deny Moulton the attention he desperately craves or call attention to the fact that this actually passes as positive attention among the Democrats at the moment. I have to incline myself to the latter. This is someone who went on national television and said that using your taxpayer money to pay for abortions is the same as paying the men and women who defend our country.
This is deliberately incendiary stuff and Moulton knows it. But, in a field where he desperately needs to stand out, this is what he thinks the Democrat base is going to eat up. If that doesn’t say where the Democrats are right now, I can’t think of anything else that will.
I thank Moulton for his service to our country. I now kindly request that he stop impugning our troops by suggesting that using public funds to pay for abortions is the same as paying their salaries.
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