Saturday, January 24, 2015

Eugene Robinson: ‘What Is The GOP Thinking?’

Please read his WaPo op-ed. There are several things he presents that I haven't seen explicitly said elsewhere. Here's a tiny sample:

At least there are some in the [Republican] party who recognize how much trouble Republicans make for themselves by breaking the armistice in the culture wars and launching battles that cannot be won. It looks as if the nation will have to stand by until GOP realists and ideologues reach some sort of understanding, which may take some time.

Indeed. There's scarcely any point in getting worked up about all the stunts the GOP is pulling this week. The only one that might have real consequences is McConnell's threat to eliminate the possibility of filibustering a Supreme Court nominee, and it's not clear to me that he would win that one hands-down.

Robinson again:

You might think the [anti-abortion] demonstrators already had reason to cheer. The abortion rate is at “historic lows,” having dropped by 13 percent in the decade between 2002 and 2011, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The main reason is that there are fewer unwanted pregnancies, which suggests logically that if Republicans really want to reduce abortion, what they should do is work to increase access to birth control.

Every time I've pointed this out to a rank-and-file Republican, s/he has waved hands in the air and ranted about some other imaginary cause for the reduction in the number of abortions. I know people need to pat themselves on the back for how effective their political stunts are, but American opinion on abortion in the four decades since Roe has been all over the map, and it's a simple fact that if you're not pregnant, you don't need an abortion.


At issue, apparently, is that, in making exceptions for abortions of pregnancies resulting from rape, the [failed House] bill specifies that the rape must have been reported to law enforcement. This restriction cannot help but bring to mind the grief Republicans suffered in 2012 over Senate candidate Todd Akin’s appalling attempt to distinguish between “legitimate rape” and some other kind of rape.

Republicans need to recognize... c'mon, it isn't that difficult... that any time they attempt to compromise a woman's ability or legal permission to obtain an abortion when she has been raped, they are only confirming in the public's mind that they, GOPers, truly are waging a War on Women.

The problem for Republicans is, as Robinson points out, that whenever they win big in an election, the entire radical-conservative faction of the party (and it is a faction; not all Repub's are like that) runs out and screams and shouts in its intention to punish not only Democrats but also moderate Republicans for their reasonable recognition that, one, some abortions are inevitable in a just society, and two, they probably can't force everyone to do what their most conservative wing would like. Reality is a b!t<h, ain't it, GOPers?

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