Sunday, May 26, 2019

How Many House Republicans Are Willing To Commit Political Suicide Defending Alabama's Abortion Ban?


Please don't spread this document around. It's Top Secret

I laughed at Jeremy Peters' stupid assessment of the abortion controversy when he first beclowned himself at the NY Times on May 16 by announcing the Democrats are doomed because of the GOP's brilliant abortion strategy (Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Louisiana, Ohio, at al). Then yesterday, it was time for another laugh at poor Peters' expense. I think I can squeeze in one or two more laughs over this. First a really easy and direct metric: a new Reuters/Ipsos poll released today shows that "Americans have become more supportive of abortion rights over the past year, even as a wave of Republican-controlled state governments have imposed new restrictions. The poll found that 58% of American adults said abortion should be legal in most or all cases, up from 50% who said that in a similar poll that ran in July 2018... Eighty percent of respondents told Reuters/Ipsos they support abortion in cases of rape or incest," flying right into the face of the Republican Party strategy and "brilliance."

Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the GOP minority leader, sees what's coming because of these stupid decisions in Republican-controlled states to end women's choice. Many members of Congress whose districts aren't blood red enough need independent voters to win elections; they're seeing how badly the announcement of the ban is being taken, especially in suburbs. Nevertheless, the very right wing Republican Study Committee is urging Republicans to defend the ban, in some cases, by committing political suicide.They distributed a silly document that tell members to say that an abortion would be committing more violence against a woman who was raped or survived incest. They want GOP members to sell the idea that the legislation, which is overwhelmingly unpopular, is "bold new pro-life legislation."
Committing a second violent act with abortion to a woman who has already been victimized by an act of rape or incest could physically or psychologically wound her further... Every single child should be afforded the opportunity to live, regardless of how they were conceived.
The "how to" messaging document is labeled "strictly off-the-record and not to be printed or reproduced by/for the media." I guess that explains why I only got 3 of them rather than the 25-20 I would have normally gotten. The RSC blames the media for the controversy on the bands: "Unfortunately, the media is attempting to use these new developments to create 'gotcha moments' for Republicans and a divide within our party."

McCarthy, who is an anti-choice lunk-head, understands that these bans on Choice-- even in cases of rape or incest-- will mean members like Fred Upton (MI), Brian Mast (FL), David Joyce (OH), Mike Bost (IL), Don Bacon (NE), Lee Zeldin (NY), Peter King (NY), Ross Spano (FL), Pete Stauber (MN), Ken Calvert (CA), Ann Wagner (MO), Steve Chabot (OH), Pete Olson (TX), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), John Katko (NY), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), Rodney Davis (IL), Mike Kelly (PA), Brian Steil (WI), Michael McCaul (TX), Trey Hollingsworth (IN), Mike Gallagher (WI), Tom Reed (NY), Michael Waltz (FL), Chip Roy (TX), Tim Walberg (MI), Andy Barr (KY), Sean Duffy (WI), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL), Michael Turner (OH), Will Hurd (TX), Rob Woodall's seat (GA), George Holding (NC), Jim Hagedorn (MN), Elise Stefanik (NY), Steve Stivers (OH), Kenny Marchant (TX), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA), Richard Hudson (NC), Scott Perry (PA), to name a few off the top of my head, are in jeopardy. Some of them-- Cathy McMorris Rogers and Elise Stefanik, for example-- are already distancing themselves from the extremist abortion bans.

McCarthy made it clear it's up to each member top decide how to respond to these bans. He gave his members very different advice from the RSC: "I believe in pro-life. I believe in the protection of children. I do not believe in infanticide, I believe in three exemptions only: Life of the mother, rape and incest. Members run and take positions. It's a personal position, and they have to stake out their own personal position, just as I have." It sounds like Monkey-boy coordinated his own message with McCarthy:

By the way, this Republican candidate for the open GA-07 seat already has committed political suicide with his introductory campaign video. This will certainly work with extremists in the Republican Party, but that's not enough to get anyone elected. Most voters in Gwinnett County-- and even Forsyth County-- are not ready to hitch their wagons to the candidacy of some violent asshole threatening to bring a military rifle to Congress to shoot Alexandria Ocasio and Bernie Sanders. Gwinnett County is very different now than it was when Newt Gingrich was be elected there. Stacey Abrams won the county and the congressional district in her gubernatorial race and progressive Democrat Marqus Cole is planning to win the congressional seat in 2020. A choice between Cole and the sociopath running on this video-- Harrison Floyd-- would give Cole a landslide win.

A few days ago, Aaron Blake did a little analysis for Washington Post readers that's worth thinking about at this moment: Why Democrats Shouldn't Assume Impeachment Would Backfire. He notes that Pelosi is pushing back against pressure from Democrats to begin impeachment hearings-- and even denying any such pressure exists. "Pelosi’s reluctance to go down this path," he wrote, "is clearly a political calculation. She has emphasized that impeachment is a divisive process for the country and said Trump is 'just not worth it.' It’s pretty apparent that she and others believe it could blow back on Democrats, especially given that a majority of Americans are opposed to impeachment at this point and it’s highly unlikely to succeed in actually removing Trump from office. And much of the punditry and analysis on this topic seems to agree that there’s more potential downside than upside. But what if those assumptions are wrong?"
Today, there is actually time for the impeachment proceedings to register with the American people. The process can take as little as a few months, meaning Democrats need not even let it linger into the 2020 calendar year.

And witness what happened to Clinton and his party as time moved on. While that 73 percent approval rating was his highest ever, it was really just a blip on the screen. Clinton’s approval had hovered in the 60s before impeachment began, and after it was completed, he spent the remainder of his presidency in the high 50s and low 60s.

Then his party lost the presidential election in 2000. So, however bad a blunder impeachment supposedly was, it didn’t prevent the GOP from winning back the presidency two years later, which is actually a more similar timeline to the one we have today.

Clinton’s popularity is another key point here. He was popular before and after impeachment, which meant people were more willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Trump isn’t and has never been popular. Polling also shows a large majority of Americans are receptive to the idea that he has committed crimes.

There’s also the nature of the conduct involved. While Clinton was accused by independent counsel Kenneth Starr of obstruction, his alleged obstruction pertained to a highly, well, personal matter-- and one that most Americans regarded as such. Trump’s alleged obstruction, meanwhile, pertains to how he has carried out his duties as president.

The Clinton scandal was relatively simple. He engaged in an affair, lied about it and covered it up. Trump’s actions, by contrast, are more complex and difficult to digest and put in the correct legal context. There is an argument to be made that impeachment proceedings could shine a spotlight on his actions and make them register with the American people-- the vast, vast majority of whom have not and never will read the Mueller report.

The argument against all of this is that Trump is already a wounded president, but one with a strong base. Impeachment proceedings could inflame and motivate that base. Polls show 54 to 56 percent of registered voters say they won’t support Trump in the 2020 election. So if you’re a Democrat, why mess with those fundamentals and potentially make Trump look more like the victim of a “witch hunt” he has long claimed to be? Polls also show Americans prefer Democrats to simply investigating Trump. Why not just proceed as-is and hope that you continue to have what appears to be a good shot at unseating him?

There are compelling arguments both for doing it and not doing it, but the argument that this would hurt Democrats-- or even just that it would be more likely to harm than help-- is based on plenty of guesswork. Nobody should over-extrapolate the lessons of 1998-99 onto 2019.

And of course, whatever clear-eyed strategy calculations Pelosi and Co. might be making could soon be out the window, as their own conference becomes more adamant about the moral imperative to impeach.

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At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A comment to Aaron Blake's article in WaPo by Harcourt_Fenton_Mudd hits the nail cmack on the head:

". . . T voted for Gore: but just like now, Democrats would not fight. They are too blasted passive, deferring to others. During the whole Florida, hanging chads etc incident, I was very upset with the whole Democratic party as they did not match the GOP efforts. They were scared to stand up and demand what was right, scared to stage protests, scared to protect election rules, afraid or unable to make a real rousing "demand democracy must rule" speech, scared to insist that votes be counted, and insist the courts had no say in the election. "

Too few people remember how quickly John Kerry folded with hardly a peep when there was evidence that a victory in Ohio was stolen from him. From Port Huron, John Kerry went a long way - DOWN.

I'm hoping that the progressive caucus has a spine and stands up to Pelosi. Forget about the Senate. Put Trump on trial in the Court of Public Opinion and let the chips fall where they may.

But the rest of the democraps will likely prove to be as effective as the prosecution on the OJ trial - IF HE DID IT.

At 7:23 PM, Blogger Jimbo said...

Your stuff is very interesting but hard to read. The margins are very narrow and the font id pretty small particularly on quoted excerpts. As a result, a bit of a shore to read.

At 6:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that more democraps are eager to commit political suicide by their cowardice, ongoing since the '73 case was decided, or refusal to stand up for women.

At some point it will be generally assumed, based on almost 5 decades of proof, that even if the democraps gain another 2-year majority, they will refuse to do shit with it.

just like 2006, 2008 and 2018.

And if they ever do anything, it will be along the lines of 1996-1998 when they gave wall street GLBA and CFMA (to say nothing of NAFTA, WTO, GATT and deregs) which enabled them to commit over $20 TRILLION in fraud with zero prosecutions.

What was it that HST said...?

At 6:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any woman who votes for either party in any future election is a fucking idiot!

At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Women dislike other women so much that they would vote Republican just to watch the Party "punish those sluts".


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