Greg Sargent does yeoman service today examining the extremist positions of some “Republican Establishment” Senate candidates. Turns out Terri Lynn Land of MI, Thom Tillis of NC, Cory Gardner of CO, and Joni Ernst of IA all are close to or over the line that tends to separate most Americans from the Gates of Delirium on both climate change and abortion/contraception.

While it’s pretty easy to go weasely on climate change, anyone who supports (or in the case of Gardner, used to support or kinda supports or supports at the federal but not state level or doesn’t think it’s politically prudent to support, depending on how you read his prevarications on the subject) a Personhood initiative or a Human Life Amendment, prohibiting any deliberate interference with a zygote from the moment of fertilixation, needs to be asked some blunt questions, often. Do you support banning IUDs or Plan B contraception? How about regular old estrogen/progestin “pills” (which some antichoicers view as operating on occasion as an “abortifacient”)?

These birds should not be allowed to get away with vague “pro-life” self-descriptions, much less stake out some hard-line position on “abortifacients” that most Americans consider basic birth control, and then pose as a “moderate” because they’re willing to accept rape-incest exceptions. There are plenty of extremist positions this side of Todd Akin, and those who hold them should be held accountable for it.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.