Former Indiana Congressman Tim Roemer told “an audience at the National Press Club that he has been asked by representatives of the Democratic National Committee [including Howard Dean] to speak for the party on social issues at local Democrat functions.” More below …

Roemer made a bid for the party chairmanship and said the party needed to reconsider its strong pro-abrotion views to attract more voters in the South and Midwest.

However, he lost to former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, an abortion advocate who lost the presidential nomination to John Kerry but found himself the darling of pro-abortion groups and the party’s liberal wing.

Although abortion advocates ran a fierce campaign against Roemer — snubbing him from meetings and booing him at gatherings — Dean decided he would be a valuable speaker.

“They’ve reached out and asked if I want to go to different states, give Jefferson-Jackson speeches, reach out and talk about some of the issues I talked about in the DNC race,” Roemer told the National Press Club.

According to a Jan. 9 Associated Press/ABC story on Roemer’s candidacy for national chair:

Roemer, a Catholic from Indiana who opposes abortion, said said he respects the position of Democrats who favor abortion choice and have written it into their party platform.

My two cents: We have room in the Democratic party for those who oppose abortion but who agree with the right of choice. Roemer will help bridge gaps in strategic local appearances. And, I’m glad that Howard Dean is reaching wider:

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said Friday that his party is laying the groundwork for a 50-state strategy for the 2008 presidential race. Dean said early fund-raising will be geared toward having the party pay for workers to help with state and local races, initially in selected states.

He criticized spending by the Bush administration and said that running deficits will prevent the country from mounting a strong defense against its foes. He also said President Bush and other Republicans launched divisive issues during the campaign, such as gay marriage. Dean said the country needs to close its divisions.

The Chairman said the deficits built under the Bush administration, plus policies that Dean and other Democrats present said make life harder for rural residents, will leave the Republicans vulnerable at the polls in upcoming elections.

“I think the Democratic Party is in the center,” Dean said. “We’re more conservative than Republicans are when it comes to money.”

Eugene McCarthy:

As long as the differences and diversities of mankind exist, democracy must allow for compromise, for accommodation, and for the recognition of differences.

Margaret Mead:

If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.

Carol Joffe, via the Rockridge Instiute:

Many progressives are now undergoing a reevaluation of the “costs” of a commitment to abortion rights. Abortion can best be defended if it is framed as one element of a larger platform of sexual and reproductive rights and services. There exists now a powerful opening to expose the hypocrisy of “family values” conservatives who seek to withhold from working Americans virtually all that they need—contraception, meaningful sex education, health care for the uninsured, living wages, affordable childcare, as well as abortion care—to raise healthy families.
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