One outcome which both sides agreed was likely if Roe got flushed was Democrats uniting in indignant rage. Everyone assumes that an adverse decision will help Dem turnout this fall as furious liberals resolve to signal their unhappiness at the polls, although opinions vary on how helpful it’ll be. Some imagine an anti-Roe decision becoming a midterm gamechanger. I’m in the camp that thinks it’ll help at the margins but won’t upend expectations of a big Republican win.
Either way, all manner of lefties were expected to come together for awhile in their shared belief that the right to abortion is untouchable.
Except … that’s not how it’s working out this afternoon.
Does this sound like a unified left?
We could protect Roe tomorrow, but Sinema refuses to act on the filibuster. Until that changes she can take a seat talking about “women’s access to health care.”
Hold everyone contributing to this disaster accountable, GOP & Dem obstructionists included. She should be primaried. https://t.co/NWLsixsiNH
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 3, 2022
Does this sound like a unified left?
Next time you blame progressives & 3rd parties for your loses, remember Dems had decades to codify Roe into law. Biden’s pledge to do that disappeared like his promises of a $15 min wage, student debt relief, climate action.
Dems have to earn our votes. You don't own them. https://t.co/bQnLJmQjhh
— Dr. Jill Stein🌻 (@DrJillStein) May 3, 2022
Lotta this sentiment floating around today as well:
@SusanSarandon Are you happy today, Susan? You and the others who wasted your 2016 votes on Bernie and denied Hillary and the Dems THREE court picks are responsible today for the death of Roe v Wade. So proud of your "principles" – you brought back coat hanger abortions.
— Charie D. La Marr (@PersiHellecat) May 3, 2022
As for Bernie, he’s focused on making fellow Democrats Sinema and Joe Manchin squirm:
Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country NOW. And if there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate to do it, and there are not, we must end the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 3, 2022
I expected a ton of progressive grousing today about Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett, with a little “Mitch McConnell is the unholy spawn of Satan” sprinkled in. Instead, to my amused surprise, it’s mostly hot blue-on-blue action.
The day of recriminations is at hand.
But it goes deeper than fingerpointing over whether centrist Dems are too cowardly to end the filibuster or leftist Dems were too stupid to support Hillary in 2016. A Democratic Party that wasn’t dominated by pro-abortion fanatics would have an easy political opportunity after last night’s leak. Most Americans support keeping abortion legal during the first trimester, with restrictions kicking in only as the fetus begins to develop into something more recognizably human. Many red states have made clear their intentions to ban abortion entirely if Roe goes, however; Texas’s law authorizing private citizens to sue abortion providers kicks in at six weeks, making it more limiting than many voters are likely comfortable with.
The obvious political play for Dems, then, would be to align with the majority against Republicans. “These socially conservative radicals want to ban abortion from the moment of conception, in some cases with no exceptions for rape or incest. Abortion should be legal through the first 12 weeks at least.” That’s the sort of message that might appeal to the great mass of voters who’ll be discomfited by seeing the Roe regime nuked. It would also address Ruy Teixeira’s concerns that Dems are viewed warily by working-class voters who believe they’ve lost all “common sense.” Average joes don’t want to defund the police, they don’t believe that men can get pregnant — and most don’t want to ban abortion entirely. Here’s a chance for Dems to align with the “common sense” position for once!
Except they can’t. Because the American left, as well as virtually the entire Democratic congressional caucus, are stone-cold fanatics on this subject.
Speaking to press on Capitol steps, Sen. Blumenthal calls for another vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would establish a nationwide right to abortion through all 9 months of pregnancy. https://t.co/QxJFm4SB2g https://t.co/Lkz6NZG3NL pic.twitter.com/4GOF8HLmJt
— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) May 3, 2022
The closest thing Dems have at the moment to a politician who might make headway with working-class white voters is John Fetterman, their candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania. But Fetterman is radical on abortion even by Democratic standards:
The majority of Americans disagree with you, @JohnFetterman. 85% of voters want compassionate limits on abortion.
Our field team has already visited thousands of voters to make sure we have a pro-life Senator to represent PA’s values. pic.twitter.com/FG2Se7MxNv
— Susan B. Anthony List #ModernizeOurLaw (@SBAList) April 27, 2022
No limits, period.
Voters forced to choose between a Republican Party that wants to ban abortion entirely and a Democratic Party that wants to keep it legal through the first trimester might find the latter’s position to be comparatively sensible and worth supporting. Voters forced to choose between a Republican Party that wants to ban abortion entirely and a Democratic Party that wants it legal up to the moment of crowning might throw up their hands in despair, opting not to consider abortion policy when voting.
Dems are leaving political money on the table by not moderating on this issue, in other words. But then one could say the same of Republicans who won’t tolerate anything shy of an absolute ban.
The most amusing thing about AOC etc. taking potshots at Manchin and Sinema today is that there are two pro-choice Republicans in the Senate whom they might be pressuring instead. Susan Collins is under intense pressure after having voted for Gorsuch and Kavanaugh while assuring liberals that neither one was apt to overturn Roe:
New — Collins said if leaked decision is the final decision; it would be “completely inconsistent” with what Gorsuch and Kavanaugh told her directly pic.twitter.com/Kxe5QmrR0E
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) May 3, 2022
Lisa Murkowski told reporters this afternoon that the looming decision in Dobbs “rocks her confidence in the Court”:
Sen Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) doesn’t like where this court is headed ===> pic.twitter.com/NOfLGnjRGb
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) May 3, 2022
Murkowski’s facing a jungle primary in Alaska this fall in which she’s expected to rely heavily on Democratic votes to lift her to victory over a Trump-backed conservative challenger. One would think Dems would be using that leverage on her right now: “You and Collins told us the Trump justices wouldn’t overrule Roe. It looks like you’ve been duped. It’s time to atone by joining with Democrats to carve out a special exception to the filibuster rules for abortion and then to pass a federal law codifying Roe v. Wade.”
If she and Collins say yes, Dems wouldn’t need Manchin and Sinema to make this happen.
And even if she and Collins say no, of which there’s a 99.9 percent chance, at least Dems could say that Republicans are the stumbling block to codifying Roe rather than members of their own party. It’s lucky for the GOP that their opponents are so bad at politics.
Here’s Schumer touting a sure-to-fail vote on a national abortion bill — which would go much further than Roe — earlier this afternoon. The next dumb, futile move these idiots will make is a new stab at Court-packing. Watch and see.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announces the Senate will hold a vote to codify Roe v. Wade into law:
“We will vote to protect a woman’s right to choose, and every American is going to see which side every senator stands on.” pic.twitter.com/gqjmzqmfJn
— The Recount (@therecount) May 3, 2022