Like many DC politicos, I was up late last night awaiting the results of the Pennsylvania special election between Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone.
Shortly before 11 PM, I fired off a tweet arguing that a Lamb victory wouldn’t be evidence of a Democratic “blue wave” because he ran on relatively conservative pro-gun and pro-life policies in a blue-collar district.
It turns out that I was wrong — but only because, despite popular misconception, Lamb isn’t pro-life at all.
Throughout the night, I had heard claims that Lamb is pro-life across the cable news channels playing in my office.
On Fox News, Marc Thiessen claimed that Lamb is a “pro-life, pro-gun, pro-fracking, anti-Nancy Pelosi Democrat.” Mark Preston on CNN compared Lamb to former PA governor Bob Casey, a “pro-life Democrat.”
Others were a bit more honest about Lamb’s stance on abortion, such as CNN’s Kirsten Powers, who called him “personally pro-life.”
Of course, the word “personally” is key here.
Lamb is a Catholic who claims to be personally opposed to abortion but politically pro-choice. When asked if he would support a 20-week ban on abortion, he said, “I just want to say, I don’t use the term ‘pro-life’ to describe what I personally believe, because that’s a political term.”
“I come from a Catholic background, (but) choice is the law of the land,” he said.
Lamb’s wishy-washy answer was intended to deceive members of the media and even Republican leaders into believing that “personally pro-life” and “pro-life” are the same thing. The invocation of his Catholic faith was intended to deceive conservative voters that he was, well, actually Catholic.
But Lamb’s insistence that he would never personally procure an abortion doesn’t make Lamb any more pro-life than your average Planned Parenthood doctor.
Lamb believes human life begins at conception as the Church teaches, yet he doesn’t seem to understand that he also has a moral obligation to prevent other people from destroying life. His current position is akin to saying, “I am personally against murder, but I would never tell someone else that they are not allowed to murder.”
Unfortunately, the nuance of Lamb’s position on abortion disappeared in popular media and he quickly became known as the “pro-life Democrat.”
The real trouble comes in when one considers how many voters could have been easily fooled by Lamb’s dishonesty, and by the media’s inability or unwillingness to report the truth. Voters deserve to know the true positions of the people they are voting to put in office.