White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks during a news briefing at the White House, in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. 
Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

White House line on abortion becomes even more incendiary

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee moved forward with plans for an expansive investigation into Trump World abuses, prompting White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to release a rather intemperate press statement.

The congressional investigation, Donald Trump’s chief spokesperson said, is intended to “distract” the public from the Democratic agenda – which she said includes “killing babies after they’re born.”

In other words, according to the White House press secretary, Democrats support murdering children.

Yesterday, Sanders went a little further. Asked about the virtues of possibly lowering the rhetorical temperature in D.C., the president’s chief spokesperson decided to do the opposite.

“Look, I think that the real shame in all of this is that Democrats are perfectly capable of coming together and agreeing on the fact that they’re comfortable ripping babies straight from a mother’s womb or killing a baby after birth.”

The use of the word “comfortable” was of particular interest – as if Democrats agree with the White House press secretary’s incendiary rhetoric.

This comes just two weeks after Donald Trump declared via Twitter, “The Democrat position on abortion is now so extreme that they don’t mind executing babies AFTER birth.”

The New York Times recently published a fairly detailed fact-check of these kinds of arguments, and not surprisingly, the rhetoric from Trump World is irresponsibly wrong.

But it’s also a recipe for heightened tensions and conflict. What are the prospects of cooperative governing at the federal level when the White House accuses its rivals of being pro-infanticide?

For that matter, how concerned should the public be about the White House creating potentially violent conditions with over-the-top rhetoric likely to fuel angry reactions from Trump’s far-right base?