If Biden fears the GOP will ban abortion nationwide, why does he support a filibuster carve-out?

First of all, why is he worried about Republicans banning abortion at the federal level when he’ll still be president until 2025? He’s not expecting veto-proof GOP majorities in the House and Senate, is he?

The red tsunami will be big but it won’t be that big, I promise.

Lay that aside, though. What kind of primitive strategic thinker says this on one day

…and says this on the next?

I can’t make those soundbites compute.

There are only two things standing between Republicans and passing a national abortion ban if they regain total control of government in 2025. One is the Supreme Court, which *might* find that Congress lacks constitutional authority to regulate abortion.

But I don’t think it’s a stretch to read the Commerce Clause as granting them power over the practice by dint of its commercial component. The Commerce Clause has been interpreted too broadly by SCOTUS over the decades, especially prior to the mid-1990s, but Congress surely does enjoy significant authority under it, even according to a conservative Court.

So there’s a solid chance that the Court would uphold a federal ban, in which case the only impediment to one would be Senate Republicans’ commitment to the filibuster. Even with two very strong Senate cycles in 2022 and 2024, the GOP is unlikely to have 60 seats in 2025. They’ll need Democratic help to get a ban through — unless they end the filibuster or create a carve-out for abortion that allows them to pass it with 50.

Which the current Democratic president … is outspokenly in favor of doing.

If Biden is worried about Republicans passing a national ban, he should at least want McConnell and the GOP to bear the political pain of breaking the nuclear taboo on the filibuster to facilitate it. Instead, he’s asking his own party to go nuclear and bear that pain. That would set up the Senate GOP to pass whatever it wanted on abortion in 2025 with 51 votes and to rightly blame Democrats for having set the precedent that made it possible.

Any strategic thinker who can see more than one move ahead would be warning Democrats at this point to stop mainstreaming the idea that the filibuster needs to go. Given the left’s electoral predicament and Manchinema’s resolute opposition to filibuster reform, Dems no longer benefit in any way from condoning it. It’s Republicans who do, as their new majorities will be able to point back to Democratic rhetoric this summer as evidence that Team Blue thought it was fair game to start carving out filibuster exceptions when they were in charge. If and when that happens, Democrats’ best friend will suddenly become — brace for it — Mitch McConnell, who has already ruled out messing with the filibuster to pass federal abortion restrictions:

I have been, and will remain, skeptical that McConnell can resist a full-court press on the filibuster from pro-lifers if blue states ramp up abortions while Republicans control the government. But he’s the one figure in Washington who might be able to stand his ground, especially since there are political benefits to doing so. McConnell isn’t just a filibuster fan, he’s a fan of not passing hot-button bills that would probably be opposed by 70-80 percent of the public, as a national abortion ban likely would.

So long as the filibuster is in place, Mitch has a “neutral” procedural excuse to hold pro-life Republican critics at bay. Yet here’s our dopey president, abetted by even dopier progressives like AOC, crying from the mountaintops that Congress should be able to legislate abortion via simple majorities.

Complete idiocy. It’s as if they really do think they have a chance to not just hold both houses of Congress but to gain seats in the Senate, putting them in position to end the filibuster next year. They do not. And here’s a reality check: Even if they got those two seats, they might be shocked to find that they still don’t have the numbers to end the filibuster. AOC is wrong about many things, but not everything:

It’s an open secret that there are more Democrats in the Senate who oppose ending the filibuster than just Manchin and Sinema but the others keep a low profile for fear of angering their base. If the party somehow managed to get to 52 seats, that profile would no longer be low. The days of the “secret filibusterers” hiding behind Manchinema would be at an end.

I don’t think they need to worry much about it so long as Biden’s approval rating is stuck at 38 percent. But one smart thing they could do to help themselves as they prepare to enter the Senate minority, potentially for many years, is clam up about filibuster reform. It’s far more likely at this stage to be used against them than by them.

Oh, and it’s unpopular too:

There are only three certainties in life — death, taxes, and those partisan numbers on the filibuster flipping once Republicans are back in control of Congress, which will happen sooner rather than later. Biden and his party’s leaders are fools for not getting out ahead of the curve and cooling it with the carve-out talk. They’re only hurting themselves at this point by persisting.