| September 10, 2012

More and more Democrats are 'pro-choice' on education

Rebecca Hamilton is a courageous lady. A Democratic state representative from Oklahoma City, she’s a self-described feminist who is liberal on most issues. But because she doesn’t toe the party line on abortion, she is treated with scorn and derision by some of her fellow Democrats. For example, a proposed reprimand at the 2007 state Democratic convention—which described her defense of unborn babies as “despicable, impertinent, pretentious and treacherous”—failed by just 50 votes out of nearly 400 cast.

Abortion isn’t the only issue on which Rep. Hamilton has courageously bucked her party. When a modest school-choice bill was being considered in 2011, Democrats were almost uniformly against it. The bill (which passed and was signed into law) allows donors to claim tax credits on gifts to philanthropic organizations devoted to paying tuition for children wanting to escape bad schools. Rep. Hamilton not only voted for the bill, she took to the House floor to argue in favor of it.

Rep. Hamilton is now blogging over at Patheos, and one of her latest posts asks the question: “Are pro-life Democrats being hunted to extinction by their own party?” Well, yes, it seems clear that the “pro-choice” Democrats have prevailed on the abortion issue. But it’s worth noting that “pro-choice” Democrats are also making huge inroads on the education issue. Whether it’s support for charter schools, or tax credits, or vouchers, or virtual education, more and more Democrats are becoming “pro-choice” on education. Interestingly, this support for educational choice is actually more in line with the Democratic Party platform of 40 years ago, or even 120 years ago.

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