While Pelosi & Her Team Work To Elect Anti-Choice Nut Henry Cuellar
Republicans are already seriously discussing-- primarily among themselves-- a federal ban on abortions and on contraception and in some states, like Louisiana, are already proposing laws that would charge women with murder for having an abortion-- or even a "suspicious" miscarriage. "Republicans in the Louisiana House," reported Caroline Kitchener, "advanced a bill Wednesday that would classify abortion as homicide and allow prosecutors to criminally charge patients... The legislation, which passed through a committee on a 7-to-2 vote, goes one step further than other antiabortion bans that have gained momentum in recent years, which focus on punishing abortion providers and others who help facilitate the procedure. Experts say the bill could also restrict in vitro fertilization and emergency contraception because it would grant constitutional rights to a person 'from the moment of fertilization.'" The sociopath who wrote the bill, vicious anti-Semite Danny McCormick (R-Oil City) said, "We’ve been waiting 50 years to get to this point."
Rep. McCormick truly does speak for his whole party, albeit more openly than many of them would so close to an election. Yesterday, Natalie Allison and Holly Otterbein reported that Democrats are suddenly playing offense instead of defense. When Republicans in swing state and swing districts are asked about the impending overturning of Roe, most "prefer to move on to other issues." Republicans say they will win the midterms by bashing Biden on the economy, energy, "the open border" and other policies they have defined as Biden failures.
The NRSC sent all the Republican senators and their comms directors a memo telling them to soft-pedal the news and to flat out lie about the Republican plans to "throw doctors and women in jail," exactly what Republican state legislators-- like McComick-- are already writing into legislation.
In Nevada, where anti-Choice fanatic Adam Laxalt is running for the Senate, in a relatively blue state-- Hillary beat Trump 47.9% to 45.5% and Biden beat him 50.1% to 47.7%-- Laxalt claimed the decision won't impact anyone in Nevada because abortion rights are guaranteed on a state level. Laxalt, though he refuses to talk about it, is committed to the McConnell strategy of outlawing abortion nationally if Republicans win the House, Senate and White House in 2024. Almost all Republican senators and Senate candidates are in the same camp as Laxalt, even if he's more of an extremist than most. He's not more of an extremist, though, than Wisconsin fascist Ron Johnson, who only wants to talk about how serious it is that someone dared to leak the document.
Johnson sticks to his talking points about... everything but abortion. Allison and Otterbein reported that "Brandon Scholz, former executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party, said 'my black helicopter theory is that inside the court somebody [who] liked Democrats or liberals or whoever, were the ones who leaked it, because they’re getting the most benefit out of this.' Republican voters were already energized to go to the polls, Scholz said, whereas Democrats have been struggling to excite the base. The Roe v. Wade draft opinion is helping stir up the Democratic grassroots, at least for now, he argued, but he doesn’t expect it to change the major concerns driving voters in the fall. 'I firmly believe that the issues that people are talking about and that you see in a lot of polling, unless you see a poll with a push question on abortion, it’s inflation, it’s gas prices, it’s crime,' he said. Republicans aren’t 'jumping up and down as much as Democrats are' because 'they may be a little more cautious and wondering if this is actually going to happen.'"
Kelda Roys was the head of Wisconsin NARAL before being elected to the state Senate. She recently endorsed Tom Nelson to take on Ron Johnson, at least in part because she knows how much harder it is to be pro-Choice in a red county, like Outagamie, than in Milwaukee or Madison. She praised his 100% NARAL pro-choice record even as other Dems defected on tough votes. "Tom’s unwavering support for abortion rights," she wrote, "is one reason I’m enthusiastically supporting him in this primary. It’s easy to be pro-Choice in Madison, but Tom is a proven champion for Choice from a conservative red area, where it’s not always easy to advocate for abortion rights... We need proven pro-Choice champions like Tom in the U.S. Senate to stop the GOP's plan to criminalize abortion nationwide. Wisconsin’s 1849 criminal abortion ban is still on the books. It calls for jailing doctors and has no exemptions for rape or incest. With Roe on the verge of being overturned, we need bold, immediate action in the Senate to protect reproductive rights. I’ve known Tom for nearly two decades, and he has always been a pro-Choice champion. While other Democrats wavered, Tom never faltered in his support for reproductive rights. I can say with absolute certainty that he is the strongest candidate to defeat Ron Johnson. He is also the candidate with the strongest record of pro-Choice leadership and votes. Tom will beat Ron Johnson, an anti-Choice extremist who told Wisconsinites if they didn’t like Roe being overturned they could just move."
Pennsylvania’s contentious race for an open Senate seat is proving to be one notable exception to the GOP rule about downplaying the impending decision. Republican Senate candidates there have been talking about abortion for weeks as a way to pummel Mehmet Oz, the celebrity doctor endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Pointing to Oz’s past comments expressing concerns about a restrictive Alabama measure, they have argued that Oz is not truly anti-abortion and have sought to portray themselves as the real social conservatives in the race.
In turn, Oz has played up his anti-abortion credentials and expressed support for striking down Roe v. Wade: “The Court is right. Roe was wrongly decided. Abortion laws should be left up to the American people and their elected representatives. I look forward to supporting pro-life legislation that saves innocent lives in the U.S. Senate,” he said in a statement.
The threat to Roe has also put Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who is up against Trump-endorsed challenger Kelly Tshibaka, in a quandary. Murkowski is trying to chart a middle course consistent with her record of favoring abortion rights by pushing a proposal-- along with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)-- to codify Roe v. Wade that’s narrower than a Democratic version.
Yet Murkowski’s efforts aren’t enough to placate Democrats whose support she’ll need under Alaska’s new ranked-choice voting system. Progressives rallied in Anchorage and Fairbanks last week, where they slammed Murkowski for her votes to confirm Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett, who make up the anticipated majority opinion on the court’s upcoming abortion ruling.
The Alaska senator’s position aligns with the NRSC advice for candidates to present themselves as a “compassionate consensus builder on abortion policy.” The committee even sees opportunities to go on the offensive, by highlighting Democrats’ refusal to state clear positions on whether they support late-term abortions, according to a person familiar with Republican messaging strategies.
Some Republicans-- notably first-time candidates-- are already signaling their intention to stake out a combative position, rather than adopt a defensive crouch.
When Ohio Democratic Senate nominee Tim Ryan was asked on Fox News last week whether there should be limits on abortion access, he tried to sidestep the question, before saying it should always be a woman’s decision.
J.D. Vance, the Republican nominee, fired off a tweet about the interview, saying Ryan had a “barbaric position” for “defending abortion through 40 weeks.”
And when Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) on Thursday tweeted in favor of passing the Democrat-sponsored Women’s Health Protection Act to codify Roe, Blake Masters, a Republican rival, teed off on the legislation.
“Mark Kelly supports partial birth abortion,” Masters wrote in a quote-tweet that continued on to describe late-term abortion in explicit terms. “And he wants to force your state to allow it.”
Ryan is the worst Democrat to defend Roe, since he opposed it foremost of his career and still does in his heart and because he has no idea of how the talk about it. As for Blake Masters, a crackpot extremist, he's one of the only statewide Republicans anywhere who has openly spoken about banning contraception, so you would think that Kelly would be able to turn him into mincemeat.