What if Dana Milbank is right?

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Over at the Washington PostDana Milbank seems to suggest the GOP’s opposition to “sex-selective abortions” could cost them Asian American votes.

“The problem with [GOP Rep. Trent] Franks’s proposal,” Milbank writes, “is that it’s not entirely clear there is a problem. Sex-selection abortion is a huge tragedy in parts of Asia, but to the extent it’s happening in this country, it’s mostly among Asian immigrants.”

That may be true, but it’s hard to tell if Milbank really believes this risks alienating Asian Americans — or if this is just good column fodder (or perhaps even wishful thinking on his part?). Regardless, it might be telling that his first thought about this life or death issue seems to regard the potential political fallout.

But let’s assume Milbank is right — that taking a stand against aborting little girls based on their gender will cost the GOP votes. If that’s the case, this might be an opportunity for the GOP to prove permanent ideas matter more than partisan vote-pandering.

Doing the right thing isn’t always popular. The first vote to abolish the slave trade in Britain earned just four votes: William Wilberforce, William Pitt, Edmund Burke, and Charles James Fox.

In that regard, we should hope that — rather than attempting to cobble together a disparate coalition of interest groups to give them a slim majority today — the GOP is instead focused on first principles — and ideas worth fighting for tomorrow. If that is the case, this is a political party worthy of respect.

Matt K. Lewis