The NY Times’ right wing idiot-in-residence, Ross Douthat, made the preposterous statement that one reason Roe v Wade fell was because “the anti-abortion side already built an apparent high court majority the standard way, in the Reagan era, by supporting Republican presidents who won big, popular majorities and appointed a raft of justices whose philosophy was supposedly opposed to the liberal policymaking of the Warren court.” Earl Warren, who was the racist and xenophobic California attorney general who advocated for the unconstitutional internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, was elected governor of California and ran for Vice President on the Dewey ticket in 1948, was a Republican appointed by Republican Dwight Eisenhower in 1953. And Eisenhower, a mainstream Republican whose policies are completely repudiated by MAGA-Republicans did indeed win big popular majorities.
1952- Eisenhower beat Adlai Stevenson 34,075,529 (55.2%) to 27,375,090 (44.3%)
1956- Eisenhower beat Adlai Stevenson 35,579,180 (57.4%) to 26,028,028 (42.0%)
None of Eisenhower’s SCOTUS nominees have been on the Court for a very, very long time and his 2 elections were the last of the GOP “big popular majorities” until Nixon’s Watergate-tainted (stolen) 1972 reelection. In 1980 Reagan won— but not with a “big popular majority.” He won just 50.8% of the vote. His reelection in 1984 was by a big popular majority— 58.3% to 40.6%, bigger than Eisenhower’s. But again, none of his SCOTUS appointees are on the Court— and that was the last Republican president with a big popular majority.
George H.W. Bush saddled the country with Clarence Thomas, the worst justice since since Woodrow Wilson nominated virulent anti-Semite James McReynolds in 1914 and since Andrew Jackson gave the country racist slob Roger Taney in 1836. Bush didn’t win a big, popular majority, beating Michael Dukakis 48,886,597 (53.4%) to 40,809,074 (45.7%).
The next Republican president was George W Bush, who didn’t only not win a big popular majority but didn’t even win a majority in 2000. Gore won that election 50,999,897 (48.4%) to 50,456,002 (47.9%) and then had it stolen out from under him by a far right partisan Supreme Court. Four years later, Bush again didn’t win a big popular majority— 62,040,610 (50.7%) to John Kerry’s 59,028,444 (48.3%). But he managed to appoint 2 current justices, John Roberts and Sam Alito.
In 2016, Trump managed to steal the election and certainly had neither a big popular majority or even a majority. He slithered into the White House with nearly 3 million fewer votes than Hillary— 62,984,828 (46.1%) to 65,853,514 (48.2%). But that didn’t stop him from putting “his” paw print on the Court. He allowed the fascist-oriented Federalist Society to nominate 3 excruciatingly bad justices, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
Douthat admitted that though the anti-Choice reactionaries “won the right to legislate against abortion, it has not yet proven that it can do so in a way that can command durable majority support. Its weaknesses will not disappear in victory. Its foes and critics have been radicalized by its judicial success. And the vicissitudes of politics and its own compromises have linked the anti-abortion cause to various toxic forces on the right— some libertine and hyperindividualist, others simply hostile to synthesis, conciliation and majoritarian politics.” He further admits that the anti-Choice movement “is inevitably bound to some kind of conservatism, insofar as a anti-abortion ethic is hard to separate from a conservative ethic around sex, monogamy and marriage… [The anti-Choice] movement’s many critics regard it as not merely conservative but as an embodiment of reaction at its worst— punitive and cruel and patriarchal, piling burdens on poor women and doing nothing to relieve them, putting unborn life ahead of the lives and health of women while pretending to hold them equal.”
Douthat then descended into nonsensical babbling: “To win the long-term battle, to persuade the country’s vast disquieted middle, abortion opponents need models that prove this critique wrong.” But it isn’t wrong; it’s completely correct. “They need to show how abortion restrictions are compatible with the goods that abortion advocates accuse them of compromising— the health of the poorest women, the flourishing of their children, the dignity of motherhood even when it comes unexpectedly or amid great difficulty.” The way they could prove that is by defeating 80-90% of the Republicans in elective office and starting fresh with progressive Republicans, a species that virtually no longer exists. So… good luck with that.
He knows it too-- and admitted that “some of the pathologies of right-wing governance could pave a path to failure for the pro-life movement. You can imagine a future in which anti-abortion laws are permanently linked to a punitive and stingy politics, in which women in difficulties can face police scrutiny for a suspicious miscarriage but receive little in the way of prenatal guidance or postnatal support. In that world, serious abortion restrictions would be sustainable in the most conservative parts of the country, but probably nowhere else, and the long-term prospects for national abortion rights legislation would be bright.”
Douthat then concludes that “there can be no certainty about the future of abortion politics because” blah, blah, blah. But you know what we can be certain about a raft of reports like that one from HuffPo yesterday: Truck Driver Rams Into Abortion Rights Demonstrators At Roe Rally In Iowa. Cedar Rapids isn’t even in nut-country. It’s Iowa’s second biggest city, county seat of Linn County, which gave Hillary a 9 point win over Trump and then gave Biden a 14 point win. The driver hit several women— by design— sending at least one to the hospital. The domestic terrorist was apprehended.