Republicans Love Abortion

Mitch McConnell is promising to ram through the nomination of another religious nutjob to the Supreme Court before Republicans’ electoral minority blinks into darkness, perhaps forever. In the process he’ll destroy the legitimacy of the last semi-functional branch of our government, initiating a crisis for democracy with no clear resolution.

His motive is to protect the class of kleptocrats who’ve made him wealthy from a looming new era of oversight, but it’s tough to convert that goal into a bumper-sticker slogan. Republicans will justify their power grab as a measure to end abortion. White evangelical bigots on whom the party built its governing minority will cheer while the former anchor of the free world tears loose from its moorings into a life or death struggle against fascism. Why?

A fetus is the perfect political constituent. It doesn’t complain. It doesn’t vote. It doesn’t get any government handouts. It doesn’t kneel during the anthem. It doesn’t exist as other than a potential, a potential that impacts someone else. A fetus is a collection of cells inside a woman, which can be magically converted by bigoted laws from a possibility to a liability. Once a fetus becomes a baby, living, breathing, making demands, shitting all over the place, it’s someone else’s problem. Republicans love fetuses while leaving mothers and babies to rot. No Lives Matter.

Elevating a fetus into a lever against the interests of women costs the median Republican, an affluent, aging, high school educated, nominally religious white man in an exurb or small town, nothing at all. Imposing draconian restrictions on abortion creates bizarre and often downright insane restrictions on a woman’s options for health care, career, finance, housing, and just about everything that influences an individual’s life outcomes. Which is, of course, great for the median Republican voter, even improving his relative power in the world.

Abortion is an elegant stand-in for the priorities of the average Republican voter, preservation of an order in which the best of our society’s benefits are reserved for white men. Banning abortion means imposing pointless restrictions on people’s capacities to advance themselves in society, further locking in place the advantages of those who benefited from an earlier system.

Republican leaders and major donors have exchanged empty promises of ending abortion for a get out of jail free card, going on an unprecedented crime spree, looting consumer protections, environmental laws, securities and bank fraud rules, and feasting on a government spending spree unseen since World War II. Notice what Republican have, and haven’t done in recent years as they enjoyed unprecedented national control.

Republicans wasted no time destroying the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, passing the largest upper class tax cut in history, and rolling back environmental protections. Republicans could have forced a challenge to Roe v Wade by passing a national ban on some or most abortions. They didn’t do it. When Trump had Supreme Court seats to fill, he twice passed over the straight-laced, anti-abortion activist Amy Coney Barrett in favor first for Gorsuch. Then Trump ignored Coney Barrett to select an ethically compromised frat boy with financial debts to the kleptocratic class.

Four years into this Republican binge, and Planned Parenthood continues to get Medicaid funding. Almost every priority of the so-called “pro-life” movement was ignored while Republicans went on a bender stripping away every available restriction on the power of wealthy kleptocrats while leaving abortion rights largely intact. Then this year, in what was supposed to be a surprise, Chief Justice John Roberts cast the deciding vote in a case that preserved the core of Roe v Wade against an attack in June Medical Services v Russo.

Ending Roe would be an existential disaster for Republicans. Pro life rhetoric is the last strawman, the final pretense that the GOP stands for something other than naked white supremacy as the enabler of kleptocratic fascism. Republican insiders will flinch from allowing Roe to die because it would destroy their last claim to legitimacy. The pro-life movement survives on its perceived irrelevance, thanks to the security delivered by the Roe decision. If the fundamental protections to not merely reproductive rights, but the basic right to privacy delivered by Roe were placed back at the mercy of the democratic process, the shape of that process would change overnight in ways Republicans cannot bear to imagine. A Republican governing strategy premised on low turnout, low engagement, and general public malaise would be threatened by the end of Roe.

That said, Republicans have been playing a dangerous game for decades, pretending to care about abortion to rile up a loony white religious base. They may lose control of this Frankenstein. Enough people have been recruited into Republican politics by phony abortion posturing that it may not be a ruse anymore. Men like McConnell may lose the battle to preserve abortion as a wedge issue, and lose their last fig leaf of respectability in the process. Maybe he doesn’t care. Maybe he sees the end approaching for Republicans regardless what he does. Now that he’s wrung a fortune from his position in government maybe he’s ready to set the system on fire.

You can be sure of this much. If Americans come to believe that their most fundamental rights to medical care and reproduction depend on political engagement, rather than on the wisdom of some robed council of elders, the impact to Republicans’ minority governing strategy will be catastrophic. Republicans will scheme to keep abortion alive as a hopeless political issue, beyond reach of the democratic process, for as long as they can. What they’ll do when or if that firewall disappears is anyone’s guess.

19 Comments

      1. While people standing right outside the 100 foot zone to politick is not new, it’s not even October yet.

        Trump’s Camoshirts will be out patrolling in November.

        Vote early, in person. If you vote by mail, turn the ballot in INSIDE the Board of Elections.

        Avoid being near a polling place on November 3rd.

    1. Good Lord Dins, how totally dishonest of you not to tell the whole story, which is that instead of clutching purses, people recorded this, publicized this, and called the authorities, who made these assholes back off.

      If anyone sees this at your polling place, you can call 1-866-OUR VOTE to report it. Do not knuckle under to bullies. Nip it in the bud and it doesn’t escalate.

      And just try to let you know Dins, this is the last time I respond to anything you post. The despair troll schtick is beyond tiresome. You complain online, but as far as I can tell you don’t DO anything to push back against all these bad things that you assure us you hate. It is true that voting and volunteering does not guarantee that we get rid of Trump and the corrupt GOP hacks. But following your example would guarantee that we couldn’t get rid of them. So just know that I don’t respect you and I’m going to ignore you.

  1. “Republicans wasted no time destroying the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, passing the largest upper class tax cut in history, and rolling back environmental protections. Republicans could have forced a challenge to Roe v Wade by passing a national ban on some or most abortions. They didn’t do it.”

    An excellent observation… If only there was a way to get the religious right to hear it. Then again who’s to say they’d care. Partisanship drives their vote, just like it does the votes of many others. Abortion might have been the thing the genesis of evangelical political involvement, the thing that made them the religious right in the first place, but if it goes away they’ll invent some other ad-hoc reasoning. Probably “protecting the pro-life victory” to start.

    “They may lose control of this Frankenstein. Enough people have been recruited into Republican politics by phony abortion posturing that it may not be a ruse anymore.”
    I recall lots of stories about abortion laws written by state legislatures in the south that were struck down or contested in courts.

    I remember a political cartoon, which I was not able to find, of the GOP as the driver of a carriage, and the pro-life voters as a horse, with an abortion ban as the carrot they will never reach.

  2. Chris, we shall see in a matter of around 90 hours if your entire premise can be tossed in the dumpster.

    This Politico article states the nominee will be announced on Wed. Looks like it will be the religious fanatic or a Latino. The Latino is purely to secure Florida. The religious fanatic has been vetted already. I am betting you are wrong and the nominee will be the religious fanatic.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/09/19/trump-supreme-court-candidates-418366

    One of the consistent traits of the loser party is they constantly underestimate, no matter how many times they witness it, the utter depravity, ruthlessness, and efficiency of the fascists. Of course the vetting was started many many months ago. Of course the vetting is superficial. To be clear, the vetting is utterly irrelevant. There is no way the loser party is going to convince 4 fascists to vote no on ANY nominee.

    And for the millionth time, the whole SCOTUS thing is just silly, if one assumes that the u.s. is already a dictatorship. We are just witnessing more confirmation of the obvious.

    Do me a favor Chris. One of these days, devote an article to gaming out what happens when the tyrant pulls the u.s. out of NATO, the WTO, and maybe even the UN, by the end of 2021.

  3. Very well put, Chris. I’ve been saying for years that the GOP really has no desire to overturn Roe vs Wade to those deluded enough to argue that they do but are kept from it by “demoncrats”. It’s also my belief that the anti-choice zealots true concern, aside from controlling a woman’s sexuality (an issue since time began) was racism. They are very concerned about the dropping birth rates among whites. They scream about the genocide of black babies by evil “libs” but they are more concerned about the black population overtaking the white population.

    This is just my opinion formed by listening to the arguments of anti-choice loons and I may be wrong.

    1. Nah. The practical effect of abortion bans is to force poor (and thus biased towards non-white) women to have children they don’t want, keeping them poor and perpetuating a racial underclass. Of course poor whites are as badly affected. But rich people will always get the reproductive services they need, if they have to fly to Europe (or more likely just drive to a Blue state) to get it.

      1. Greg, I agree on the impact. The belief in the white holocaust is strong in some areas so as always, data should be king.

        Abortion Rate (AR) in US from KFF . org
        42% by black
        47% by white

        Population Rate (PR) from US Census 2019 estimates
        13.4% black
        63.4% white

        This means that the relative impact of abortions by race (AR/PR) is:
        3.13 for black
        0.74 for white

        In other words, the impact in the community is over 4X higher for black women.

        I also agree with earlier articles by Chris on this issue. It is fascinating to see what will happen when the dog finally catches the car. Any other issue won’t have the built-in emotional response generated by a fetus.

  4. > Republicans’ electoral minority blinks into darkness, perhaps forever

    Doubtful. If their current strategy becomes untenable, they will just alter strategy. We are already seeing that the Hispanics don’t appear as enthusiastic for Dems as was expected. And Biden is no fighter. There won’t be any reckoning, as much as Republicans deserved it.

    1. Couple of points about that:

      1.) To say that I’m skeptical about Republicans “changing strategy” would be putting it mildly. If they had anything else in the proverbial basket, they wouldn’t wait decades to use it. These aren’t exactly subtle people when it comes to the acquisition of power, so I have to side with Chris on this one – abortion messaging’s their last great hurrah. They don’t have anything else.

      2.) A lot’s been made about Democrats’ problems with the Hispanic community. These “problems”, while not completely without merit, have been overblown from a media class eager for the next round of clickbait.

      Hispanics are notoriously late deciders in an election (take it from @madrid_mike, not me – he’s been involved in Latino politics for decades) and pollsters have often always struggled to accurately grasp the mood of the community; which isn’t to say that you should outright ignore polling results, but don’t tear your hair out over them either.

      That said, the Trump campaign and others *have* been absolutely deluging Hispanics (largely in FL) with all manner of insane campaign ads and conspiracy theories, and that’s not without consequences. This needs a response, and they’re getting one in the form of groups like The Lincoln Project, Bloomberg’s operation, the Biden campaign and many others bringing in the cavalry to even things out.

      Let’s see where things go before we open a new chapter in the “DEMS IN DISARRAY!” saga.

      1. Donny Dotard has suddenly remembered that Puerto Rico got hit very badly by Hurricane Maria 3 years ago and they could use some Federal aid. Yes, that very “shithole” island that he wanted to trade for Greenland. That should tell everyone something.

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