Democrat shunned by own party after speaking at March For Life

DCNFAnders Hagstrom, DCNF

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Illinois Democratic Reps. Luis Gutierrez and Jan Schakowsky turned against fellow Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski this week after their colleague of more than a decade gave a headline speech at Chicago’s March For Life.

All three members of Congress represent districts in the Chicago area, and Gutierrez’ and Schakowsky’s unprecedented endorsement of Lipinski’s little-known opponent in the upcoming primary is a clear sign that the Democratic party will no longer tolerate pro-life members. While Lipinski has been a pro-life Democrat for years, he appears to have committed an unforgivable sin by giving an address at a March For Life in Chicago. Lipinski has admitted he is unsurprised by the reaction of his colleagues, Politico reported.

“Jan has worked against me in the past. She’s never come out formally against me. Her husband has been straight about working against me,” Lipinski told POLITICO. “It certainly does not surprise me. Even though I have supported her when she ran for vice chair of the caucus … I’ve been back and forth with Luis. He’s been with me, he’s not been with me. I’m not sure what his future is.”

Gutierrez styled his rebuke as an unfortunate necessity in a time when the Democratic party must be united in its total condemnation of President Donald Trump.

“It’s not easy to endorse a challenger for a colleague in the House of Representatives. Especially when that colleague is a member of your own party,” Gutierrez said at a conference.

He made an exception for Lipinski, however. “This is a very special, and, I think, dangerous time in the United States of America,” he said.

Lipinski was scheduled to speak at the March For Life in Washington D.C. Friday, but ultimately did not make an appearance, claiming he didn’t want to share a stage with President Trump, according to Buzzfeed.

Linpinski argues that Democrats only do themselves harm by pushing further left in reaction to President Trump. He warned that Democrats were quickly consolidating around far-left policies, abandoning the big-tent party roots of its past.

“There’s an effort that is very detrimental to the Democratic Party, in that there’s the Tea Party of the Left that some people said they wanted to create. That’s bad for the party. That’s not going to be helpful in growing our numbers,” Lipinski said.

The Democrat’s ouster from Congress is hardly set in stone, however, as his family has long held a Congressional seat in his district, and his opponent Marie Newman is relatively unknown. Still, Newman sports endorsements from NARAL, a radical pro-abortion group, and several other progressive groups, and with Gutierrez and Schakowsky’s endorsements, Newman may gain the attention and support of critical donors.

Lipinski has a strong record with labor unions in his district, however, which will make challenging his decade-long incumbency all the more difficult for the up-and-coming businesswoman.

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