Dave Portnoy on Dobbs: I hate that Republicans are forcing me to vote for a moron like Biden

I wrote about Portnoy’s opinion on abortion last month but here he is again with an update. You don’t need to care what he thinks, needless to say.

But you do need to care that there may be a meaningful number of voters who think the way he does.


“We saw a Bro Realignment during the Trump years since he didn’t give [off] scoldy/churchy Bush/Romney vibes but eliminating Roe undoes that,” Matt Yglesias tweeted about this clip. The hottest question in politics today: Can the GOP still muster a red tsunami in November without the all-important Bro demographic?

Language warning here in case you’re at work:

It may be true that dudes aged 18-35 are overwhelmingly pro-choice — go figure — but follow the replies to Portnoy’s video for a reminder that not all Barstool fans are liberals.

We’re about to get a metric ton of polling on reaction to the end of Roe and every last bit of it will be fascinating, but I wonder if any of it will be trustworthy. Most Americans will oppose the Dobbs ruling, without a doubt, but support/oppose data is almost meaningless when trying to gauge whether an issue will actually move votes. Look no further than polling on guns for an example. Americans reliably support various restrictions to the tune of 65 percent or greater but those numbers somehow never shake out on Election Day. There are too many other considerations in weighing which candidate to support. Plus, Americans have developed the attention spans of goldfish on policy issues. The Dobbs decision will be massive news for the next week, big news the week after that, newsy the week after that, and then…


Then everyone will have adjusted to the status quo. We’ll be back to talking about gas prices. I’d give Portnoy no worse than 40/60 odds that he finds a reason to vote Republican this fall despite his anger today.

Meanwhile, the Republican who’s more responsible than any other for this morning’s outcome at the Court is taking a victory lap — in public, at least.

In private, the story is allegedly different:

Publicly, after a draft of the likely decision leaked in May, former President Donald J. Trump was remarkably tight-lipped for weeks about the possible decision, which the court ultimately handed down on Friday, ending federal abortion protections. But privately, Mr. Trump has told people repeatedly that he believes it will be “bad for Republicans.”

The decision, Mr. Trump has told friends and advisers, will anger suburban women, a group who helped tilt the 2020 presidential race to Joseph R. Biden Jr., and will lead to a backlash against Republicans in the November midterm elections.

That’s the conundrum for every Republican elected official in a nutshell. On the one hand, they’ve finally delivered supreme victory for their socially conservative base, fulfilling 50 years of promises. It’d be political malpractice for them not to high-five every righty in sight — especially Trump, whose grip on the nomination isn’t as tight as it was six months ago. The next time some wiseguy asks, “What has conservatism conserved?”, the GOP can answer, “Uh, state power to limit abortions?”


On the other hand, to borrow a metaphor being used everywhere this afternoon, they’re the proverbial dog that caught the car. Republican politicians have had a sweet deal since the early 70s, getting elected on pledges to end abortion without ever being expected to legislate on the matter. “Our hands are tied by Roe,” they correctly said. “Only by doing the long, tedious work of first confirming conservatives to the Court will we ever be in a position to end abortion.”

They’re now in position. Conservative voters will demand that they use their congressional power in 2023 or 2025 to end abortion nationally. Mitch McConnell will dismiss the idea, insisting that it’s impossible without ending the filibuster. “So end the filibuster,” righties will reply. What then?

In our era, every legislative question is a litmus test for partisan purity, even when the legislation in question is a borderline nothingburger. Imagine Republican lawmakers being asked to pass a litmus test by enacting a *national abortion ban* knowing that something like 75 percent of the public is destined to oppose that. Do they follow through, risking a ferocious electoral backlash, or do they say no and get primaried, one and all?


Via Mediaite, I’ll leave you with this new clip from Mike Pence’s new Super PAC. Uh, is this the first Pence 2024 campaign ad?

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