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It's Roe v Wade Stupid

Talk about stealing defeat from the jaws of victory! During the pandemic, think about the shutdowns, folks being paid to stop working, crazy gov spending, ramped up crime, messing up the exit from Afghanistan, folks losing their jobs because if they didn't get vaccinated (when test shows vaccines have no impact on transmission)...blah blah blah.


The Repubs should have kicked ass! But they forgot what got Reagan elected. Keeping the Gov out of your life. It's bad enough that today's GOP forgets about reducing the size of gov and being fiscally responsible, but injecting their religious views into woman's rights is political death.


Eckkkkkkkk!


The GOP’s Abortion Flop

A Wisconsin Supreme Court drubbing is the latest indication of the need to find the sensible middle.

Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ

April 6, 2023 6:36 pm ET


The U.S. Senate. A half-dozen governors’ mansions. Four state legislative chambers. And now, control of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. At some point, the GOP might want to acknowledge its glaring abortion problem—and do something about it.


Conservatives cheered mightily last year when the Supreme Court returned abortion to the states with Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. And rightly so. Yet that was a legal victory. The political question is something else entirely, and it’s the left cheering now. In race after race, state after state, Democrats are pummeling conservative candidates on abortion, drowning out every other topic, stoking fearful centrists, suburbanites and women to turn out and elect them to office.


How powerful is this one issue in today’s political environment? The economy is teetering on the verge of a recession, racked by a banking crisis and regulatory disarray. Inflation rages on; gasoline prices are again on the rise. Crime is upending cities. The border is a tragedy. China and Russia are feeding a new global disorder. President Biden’s approval rating is underwater, and Democrats trail in the generic ballot. Republicans should be on the march.


Instead, in Wisconsin this week an out-and-out progressive judge, Janet Protasiewicz, easily seized the swing seat on the state’s high court. She won by 10 points in a state Donald Trump carried in 2016, where Republicans control both chambers of the state legislature. She ran unapologetically on abortion at a time when a pending lawsuit challenges an 1849 law banning the procedure. Her side’s advertising blitz all but promised that she’d strike the law down, while warning her “extreme partisan” opponent would drag women to the Dark Ages. Turnout was the highest ever for a court race that didn’t coincide with a presidential primary.


Underscoring how much the court race hinged on abortion, consider what else Wisconsinites decided in Tuesday’s election. Some 67% of Badger State voters approved two measures giving judges greater latitude to restrict release of accused criminals and set higher bail. And nearly 80% of Wisconsin voters said “yes” to this (nonbinding) question: “Shall able-bodied, childless adults be required to look for work in order to receive taxpayer-funded welfare benefits?” Wisconsin hasn’t turned blue overnight—far from it. Rather, its voters weren’t taking any chance of a return to abortion bans.


That’s the message from voters pretty much everywhere—if and when Republicans choose to unwax their ears. In early November, a majority of voters in bright-red Kentucky rejected an amendment that would have made it easier to restrict abortion. In the midterms, Democrats hammered GOP Senate and gubernatorial candidates on abortion—and won. They also used it to claw back control of state legislative chambers, including in Michigan, where the midterm ballot featured an initiative guaranteeing abortion rights, which drove turnout.


The GOP’s problem is muddle and inaction. Fearful of getting crosswise with the pro-life right, Republicans have failed to land on a consensus position. Wisconsin’s Legislature had months to produce common-sense legislation—but instead sat on its hands. This left voters to infer that the only thing standing between them and a 174-year-old abortion law was a Protasiewicz victory. It was a repeat of a midterm that featured dozens of Republican candidates who were unable or unwilling to articulate a position.


One contrast is Florida, where the Legislature prior to the Dobbs decision passed a bill prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks. That’s a number considered generally acceptable by much of America outside the fringe right and left. The legislation neutralized the issue, allowing Florida Republicans to deflect attacks. Rep. Val Demings in the midterms spent millions bashing pro-life Sen. Marco Rubio on abortion in a bid for his seat. He pointed to the law, shrugged, and turned to the economy and crime. Mr. Rubio and Gov. Ron DeSantis won giant re-elections, while Florida Republicans picked up four U.S. House seats and won supermajorities in the state Legislature.


The question is whether the pro-life movement can reconcile itself to a changed America and to such political pragmatism. Florida, under pressure from the right, is readying to replace its 15-week bill with a “heartbeat” restriction. This would ban abortion after about six gestational weeks (about four weeks of pregnancy)—or before many women even know they are pregnant. Several other competitive states have already passed six-week, or even tougher, restrictions (though many are embroiled in litigation).


This risks riling millions of suburban swing voters who want a middle position. It will guarantee Democrats a powerful issue in 2024, one they’re already effectively using to crowd out every other voter concern—the economy, crime, the border, national security. And if history is future, it will cost the GOP seats. Conservatives need to decide if they want GOP majorities that will enact common-sense protections, or Democratic takeovers that will open the abortion floodgates.


That’s the choice. This isn’t 1973, and abortion isn’t something the GOP can defuse with shouts about a Biden agenda. How much clearer can voters make it?


Write to kim@wsj.com.



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