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Republicans Are Running Scared On Abortion Rights: Make Them Pay For It
Fight The War To Restore Abortion Rights Until The Task Is Done
The Republican Party’s position on abortion, despite the way they speak about it and especially how it is covered in the mainstream media, is extremely unpopular. That position, as expressed in the party’s own platform for multiple elections along with legislation it has passed in multiple states and is considering at the federal level, is the blanket opposition to abortion. The party supports the idea of “personhood,” meaning that there are no instances in which an abortion is allowed. None.
In every presidential election but one since 1988 the candidate running under the banner of the Republican Party’s extremist anti-abortion position has received fewer votes than the Democratic, pro-choice nominee. George H. W. Bush in 1992. Bob Dole in 1996. George W. Bush in 2000. John McCain in 2008. Mitt Romney in 2012. Donald Trump in 2016 and in 2020.
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Republican presidents appointed the Supreme Court justices who repealed Roe vs. Wade. It was a success shared by Bush and Trump, engineered by Senate Republicans led by Mitch McConnell.
Not only was it a moral mistake that repealed hard-won rights owed to American women, but it has been a political mess.
In no less than blood-red Kansas, a measure to further the dark anti-choice movement was resoundingly rejected by voters. Women are registering to vote at higher than normal levels in many states. To their credit, this is a topic that many Democrats are truly talking about instead of leaning back and assuming that voters will just automatically get it.
Now in one day there is concrete evidence that their opposition to abortion rights is something Republican candidates for Senate don’t want voters to know about. They are running scared.
In Arizona, vampire capitalist Peter Thiel’s hand-picked candidate Blake Masters launched an ad designed to convince voters in the state that despite his very clear advocacy for an abortion ban, he does not wan an abortion ban.
In Washington, Tiffany Smalley wants everyone - especially her opponent Sen. Patty Murray - to shut up, shut up, shut up about her opposition to abortion rights.
Even when they aren’t directly trying to pretend away their record, Republican candidates are trying to soft-pedal their extremism.
In Florida, Sen. Marco Rubio is trying to have it both ways, claiming he supports exceptions on abortion access but advocating nonetheless for the idea that even in the case of rape and incest that a pregnancy must be forced.
The party is on the run. A majority of Americans do not believe that women are simply vessels for birth, to be manipulated by the government into using their bodies in ways they did not give explicit permission for it to be used. But Republicans and the wider conservative movement believes this.
They have to be made to pay for their extremism. Abortion rights are right, and abortion rights are popular. This is not the time for Democrats to go back to their old ways on the topic, operating out of a defensive crouch that falsely believes the Republican position has the upper hand.
It is another example of how going with gut instinct and common sense, with the understanding that DUH, YES, you should support abortion rights, trumps following polling and focus groups in trying to find the magic bullet word and phrases to communicate on the topic.
As I have noted before, the “trick” is just to say what will happen under Republican policy.
Under the right’s policy, women will be second class citizens. Under Republican policy, women will not have the right to their own bodies. Under Republican policy, a rape victim will be forced to give birth to a criminal’s offspring — and possibly even have to give concessions to the rapist’s “parental rights.” Under Republican policy, men who commit incest with their daughters will get to force children to give birth.
That is what will happen at the federal level if these Republican candidates win, and it is already happening in states with large Republican majorities.
Don’t beat around the bush on this. Just say it. It is too important to minimize and the political cost for Republicans is as clear as day. Press the fight, and win it.
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Exclusive Kal-El Photo
This is Kal-El’s “mad” face. I took this photo of him seconds after his deep sleep had been interrupted by the sound of a car outside. He woke up with a start, growling under his breath at the indignity of it all. So MAD. Very UNFAIR