“Democrats are going to overplay their hand,” one well-connected Republican predicted, “they overplay every hand they get.” The Republican thought, for instance, that “there’s going to be violence and [Democrats are] not going to denounce the violence.” Another red-state operative put it more bluntly: the sight of “a bunch of pink-haired women lighting fires in the streets” was not going to motivate moderate pro-choice women to vote for Democrats.
A senior Capitol Hill staffer made a similar theory: “The left has lost the plot so much, it will neutralize what will be a vote-moving issue. The traditional left argument is about protecting women, but now they can’t even say what a woman is.” As the red-state operative wondered, the question is also whether abortion becomes a separate issue from the current cultural wars or if it just becomes “part and parcel with drag-queen story time and teaching kids hyper sexual content in schools” and the other social issues currently animating the right.
Further, the well-connected Republican thought the heated rhetoric being used on the left would leave voters skeptical. “What it’s going to do is crystallize dishonesty and lack of integrity of the Democratic Party,” they claimed. “We are in a situation where Democrats are doing their best Chicken Little impression and most people are going to find out their lives don’t change at all. AOC is the one being shown all over the news, saying ‘women’s rights being taken away, next they’re going to come after gay marriage and come after birth control.’ They’re not, nobody cares about that, and voters are going to see the sky isn’t falling.” Or as the D.C.-based operative reasoned, “The country has survived a majority of our years without Roe v Wade. Things will be fine. We’ll figure it out.”