Monday, February 1, 2010

Hey Abortion Voters: The politicians you elect are LAUGHING at you

That title was not meant to be prickish. It was meant to get your attention. It was not meant to belittle pro-lifers. It is actually directed at abortion voters on both sides of the issue. I am probably closer to a pro-lifer than I am a pure pro-choicer personally. But this blog is not about discussing difficult issues like abortion. My personal feelings (and your personal feelings) are completely irrelevant when pointing out that the title of this blog post is absolutely true.

It is not true for every right-wing politician (there are lots of adorably genuine pro-lifers who would do anything to end abortion) – but for the ones who matter, the ones in the know, the ones with the power do anything, it’s true. They’re laughing- hopefully they have enough shame not to laugh all that hard, but they’re at least chuckling.

If this blog has a theme it’s to shine light on things so stupidly obvious they shouldn’t even be up for debate- yet for some reason they’re not even recognized by most people. Like Bill Simmons says about his Bill Russell vs. Wilt Chamberlain analysis, what I’m about to say “isn’t really even up for debate”:

Roe Versus Wade will not be overturned in the next 50 years, no matter what. I add the 50 year caveat to be safe, but even then it would only happen if there were seismic shifts in the electoral makeup of the country.

The reason is simple. Republicans national electoral prospects would be annihilated. Their pro-choice opposition would be energized by the ruling, donating heavily and heading to the polls en masse, sure, but that wouldn’t be the big concern. The real problem a Roe reversal would cause is a gigantic chunk of their supporters stopping to give a fuck about who they elected to office. Demonizing the gays is good fun, but it will never pay the bills like abortion. After a monstrous victory like overturning Roe, a huge segment of pro-lifers would basically leave electoral politics. (Or even worse, find they have more in common with the other side.) They would happily declare victory and go home, they never much liked it anyway.

The intelligent, optimistic pro-lifer concedes all that but says, “The Supreme Court is an independent branch of the government, the justices won’t be swayed by the electoral implications of their rulings” – to him I say, “You really think that right-wing judges would deliver a death blow to the Republican party by reversing Roe? After Bush v Gore? OMG YOU ARE SO ADORABLE!”

Remember 2000 and 2004? They were going to be “the most important elections of all time for abortion” because of the impending Supreme Court appointments. If Bush won there would finally be enough votes on the court to end Roe. If Gore/Kerry won, reproductive rights would be safe. One of the most difficult to counter arguments against Ralph Nader was that a Bush victory would equal the end of Roe – there was simply too much at stake.

But this was a lie. Roe-conscious abortion voters were laughed at by their politicians on BOTH sides. Roe v Wade was never at stake. How do we know? Well for one, Bush won in both 2000 and 2004. After recognizing his “error” with Harriet Miers, he appointed the right people (according to a lot of conservatives this was about the only thing he didn’t screw up) and yet Roe v Wade still stands. Not only does it stand, but we never even hear about it anymore. “It takes time! Things happen very slowly on the Supreme Court!” True – but that’s not the reason there has been no action on Roe. The reason is reversing Roe (side note: I am not a fan of Roe's constitutional argument, its footing is dubious) would kill the GOP.

Abortion voters you are being laughed at. Every time you bust your ass electing a President so he can appoint the justices to reverse Roe you are being made a fool. It will not happen. There will be endless judicial backlogs and appointment “mistakes” (LOL) like David Souter and Harriet Miers… there will always, always be some reason it can’t quite happen yet… always some reason you have to keep donating time, money, and votes to the GOP.

The Republican party has a lot more respect for their conservative Christian base than the Democratic Party (who won’t even end DADT) has for me, however. While they will never, EVER give them the big prize that is ending Roe, the GOP will throw their pro-life base bones all the time. Parental notification laws, mandatory counseling/shaming sessions, hurdles for insurance to cover abortion- it doesn’t take a reversal of Roe to make safe, affordable abortions hard to come by. Pro-life issues voters are not completely irrational for supporting the GOP. Roe will ALWAYS stand, but if things work out maybe a girl won’t be able to get an abortion before a mandatory announcement in her Facebook status. (Ok, that WAS meant to be prickish.)


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