There's No Way To Make The 6 Evil Justices Pay... But There Is A Way To Get Even-- Defeat The People Who Put Them On The Bench
Let’s start with a brand new YouGov poll, released yesterday by CBS News. As the right-wing members of the Supreme Court and their families are barricaded in heavily guarded secure locations, most Americans disapprove of the reactionary direction they are forcing on the country and by a 20 point margin feel the Dobbs vs Jackson decision to overrule Roe v Wade is a step backward for our nation. Further, 57% of respondents think the Court intends to un-do marriage equality as a right and to limit access to birth control.
The pollsters didn’t ask if people would like to see the 6 conservatives die by the end of the day but I have looked closely at the results and feel pretty sure than most Americans would be delighted to wake up Tuesday morning and find out that private funeral arrangements were being made for Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, Coney Barrett, Roberts and Kavanaugh and that their corpses would be dumped in secure locations. Out of step with normal Americans, as usual, 78% of Republicans, approve of the ruling and only 22% of Republicans disapprove of it. 83% of Democrats and, significantly, 62% of independents disapprove. Among women who disapprove, 81% say they are “upset,” 75% say they are “angry” and 67% say they are “scared.” Furthermore 58% of those polled would like to see a federal law making abortion legal, something opposed by 42%, mostly Republicans, of course. Democratic pollster John Anzalone said that if candidates are in close races the Dobbs v Jackson decision “will be a game changer.”
Reporting this morning for the Washington Post, Annie Linskey and Colby Itkowitz wrote, as did most columnists across the country, that Democrats are seeking to turn anger about the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade into support at the ballot box, while Republicans hope to change the subject and blame Democrats for inflation and crime and all their regular grievances. “Led by President Biden, who declared Friday that ‘Roe is on the ballot’ and ‘personal of freedoms are on the ballot,’ Democrats on the front lines of the fight to keep the party’s slim congressional majorities have cast their campaigns as key parts of a larger battle to restore abortion and rights prevent the rollback of other liberties. Democratic candidates for governor, attorney general and offices at the state level, where abortion laws will now be fully determined, pledged to put the issue at the forefront of their campaigns.”
Even the most mediocre Democratic candidates up and down the ballot suddenly see an opportunity where there was none before Friday’s ruling. Take the third-rate candidate the Democrats are running for the open North Carolina Senate seat, Cheri Beasley. It’s hard to imagine her winning but she had a smart approach Friday night: “We are facing a watershed moment for our constitutional rights. I hope you all know that this doesn’t end this, that the threats don’t stop here. This November let us run, not walk, to the polls.”
Republicans in swing districts and states are trying to not discuss abortion, just sticking to their homogenized focus group-tested talking points. Ohio Democratic Senate candidate Tim Ryan had virtually no chance to win before Friday; now he has a small opening. “This is insanity,” he said. “We built a campaign around issues like freedom— economic freedom, good middle class jobs and wages and making sure we rebuild the middle class. This is an issue of freedom as well… Ohio has traditionally been a centrist state. This level of extremism is not going to play in Ohio. We’ll see. Adam Laxalt, the Nevada Republican who had a decent chance to beat another mediocre Democrat, Catherine Cortez Masto, will probably lose now because of the decision. In a statement, he whined, “Roe doesn’t change settled law and it won’t distract voters from unaffordable prices, rising crime or the border crisis.” Really? This was part of that CBS poll as well:
John Fetterman was already on track to beat Trump's celebrity crackpot Mehmet Oz and flip the open Pennsylvania Senate seat blue, but he's taking advantage of the SCOTUS decision in a way that will help Democrats across the Keystone State: “If there were any doubts left about what’s at stake in this race, it became crystal clear today. The right to an abortion will be on the ballot this November in Pennsylvania.”
Linskey and Itkowitz also reported that “Senate Democrats saw a significant spike in grassroots fundraising immediately following the Supreme Court ruling, making for the best day of online fundraising to date this cycle.” Sarah Ferris and Ally Mutnick concur, reporting that some of the most endangered Republican incumbents would “rather not say much about it at all. Even Republicans from the nation’s biggest battlegrounds now embrace the anti-abortion mantle, a near-universal position in a House GOP conference veering rightward. But as abortion rights remain highly popular with voters, including in swing districts, most of those vulnerable lawmakers were uninterested in discussing the particulars of what, if anything, should happen following the court’s Friday ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade.”
Asked Friday outside the Capitol if he’d now support that bill to codify Roe, Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), whose district backed Biden by 9 points in 2020, said only: “I have a flight right now,” before diving into a waiting car. Faced with the same question inside the building, a few swing-seat Republicans rushed into the House chamber rather than answer.
…Democrats say that silence, or occasional deflection, is a telling sign that Republicans know abortion rights remain broadly popular with much of the electorate— and that the GOP will soon face the wrath of suburban and purple-district voters. Some Republicans, too, acknowledge that abortion rights polling generally favors the left. But they say voters are harder to pin down when it comes to “late-term” abortion or “heartbeat” bans— terms the GOP leveraged to define the debate in recent years as the religious right gained influence.
…The GOP’s more hard-line stance on social issues like abortion and guns has helped its opponents gain ground in the suburbs, including in 2018, when House Democrats’ path to the majority wove through states like Pennsylvania, New York and California.
Yet despite that precedent, vulnerable Republicans aren’t always interested in trying to straddle issues that poll well back home: For instance, just 14 out of 207 Republicans voted on Friday for a bipartisan gun safety bill that had won over Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell— who, explaining his support, mentioned how his party had “lost ground in suburban areas.”
And for the moment, Republicans insist the court’s decision will have little impact on their efforts to flip the House, which is set to change hands in November absent a seismic political shift.
“The issue is gonna be inflation, the issue is gonna be crime, the issue is gonna be the border,” said Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), who leads the House GOP campaign arm. “The issues are gonna stay the same.”
…Democrats, however, insist the demise of Roe is a more helpful shift in their fortunes. And they’re looking squarely at House Republicans sitting in those Biden districts— the members in the most uncomfortable spot on abortion rights. Their constituents lean Democratic, many in suburban areas.
California GOP Reps. David Valadao and Mike Garcia are perhaps the most vulnerable among that group this fall, despite an environment favorable to the GOP: They both hold districts that Biden carried by more than a dozen points in 2020.
Because of redistricting, Valadao (D+10) and Garcia (D+8) are now in pretty solid blue districts. The California Republicans, other than them, in the greatest jeopardy are Young Kim (R+4), Michelle Steel (D+5), Jay Obernolte (R+8, which doesn’t take account of a large influx of Democratic voters from L.A.) and Ken Calvert (R+7). As for Chabot in Ohio, the 2 reporters neglected to mention that it was the old district he represents now that voted strongly for Biden. The Ohio legislature gerrymandered southwest Ohio in such a way that Chabot is much safer, having going from a district with an R+8 partisan lean to one with a very safe R+19... although the courts have ruled that the new district boundaries are unconstitutional and must be redrawn by in 2026. (There is also a court case challenging the redistricting again and that explains why Chabot is nervous.)
Now, this is one of the 4 new Facebook/Instagram ads running all across both Missouri and Wisconsin and in the congressional districts of the pro-Choice Democrats pictured in the ad. It's part of the Blue America contest that we're running now.