Kaine Unable To Please Feminists
After months of speculation that Hillary Clinton might select Sen. Elizabeth Warren as her running mate, creating the first-ever two-woman ticket, or perhaps Labor Secretary Tom Perez, a civil rights lawyer who would’ve been the first Latino VP, her choice of Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine will bitterly disappoint some of her most progressive supporters.
It’s not just that Kaine, like all 47 veeps in our nation’s history, is a white dude, not a “first” who could have driven home just how historic Hillary’s candidacy is. He’s also, at least in his personal views, opposed to abortion due to his Catholic faith—a symbolic kick in the teeth for the feminist organizations that faithfully championed Hillary over Bernie throughout the long primary season. “Is Clinton a progressive? Not if she chooses Tim Kaine,” Jodi Jacobson of the reproductive rights site Rewire wrote Thursday.
That’s not to say that Kaine is running to be a heartbeat from the presidency while nursing a secret plot to overturn Roe v. Wade. Like Vice President Joe Biden—another Catholic, personally anti-abortion Democrat—he’s said that he supports the Supreme Court ruling that established a woman’s right to choose; also like Biden, Kaine has seemed to drift leftward on the issue of late. But his personal beliefs have sometimes seemed to influence his public policymaking, making his selection an optical, and perhaps actual, move toward the center for Hillary.
Kaine has a perfect rating from Planned Parenthood, and he’s one of these tame Catholics who don’t let their faith inform their position on abortion and same-sex marriage. But even that’s not enough for these extremists. It sounds like they want to Brendan Eich him — that is, reject him for not totally, 100 percent, being on board with Right Thinking since the beginning. You can’t be “personally opposed, but” anymore; you have to affirm abortion as a moral good.
The Republicans just had an openly gay man, Peter Thiel, speak in one of the most valued slots in their convention, and say that he is proud to be gay. You think the Democrats will allow a pro-life liberal speak? Please. It’s not the part of Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver anymore.