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The WSJ credits Trump. Not me!

Trump's biggest failure wasn't his big mouth or the Jan 6th debacle. No, I didn't honestly think our government was about to be overthrown. If you did, you're delusional.


Loading the Supremes with Bible Thumbing goofballs and overturning Roe V Wade was the same type of government overreach that the Progressive Left now supports. And unforgivable. Our founding fathers understood keeping the government from sticking its nose where it doesn't belong. Not true today.


To those who think that abortion rules should vary state by state? Sorry, not buying.


Donald Trump Owes Pro-Lifers

Trump made Dobbs possible—but foes of abortion made his presidency possible.


By William McGurn, WSJ

Sept. 18, 2023 6:04 pm ET


When Donald Trump’s interview with NBC’s Kristen Welker aired Sunday morning on “Meet the Press,” he was criticized by some pro-lifers. Some didn’t like his calling the six-week ban on abortion signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis a “terrible thing,” while others took issue with his muddied answer on federal vs. state bans. Mr. Trump no doubt sees himself as he posted on Truth Social posted back in May:


“After 50 years of failure, with nobody coming even close, I was able to kill Roe v. Wade, much to the ‘shock’ of everyone, and for the first time put the Pro Life movement in a strong negotiating position over the Radicals that are willing to kill babies even into their 9th month, and beyond. Without me there would be no 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 15 weeks, or whatever is finally agreed to. Without me the pro Life movement would have just kept losing. Thank you President TRUMP!!!”


No one can deny Mr. Trump’s achievement with Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. His Supreme Court picks provided the margin of victory for overturning Roe v. Wade. He’s also right that absent Dobbs there would be no bans at all. But he is on shakier ground when he says that without him “the pro Life movement would just have kept losing.”


It’s the other way around. Mr. Trump would never have been elected president without the active support of the pro-life and conservative legal movements. He had the wit to follow their lead.


In 2016 when Mr. Trump first ran for president, nobody knew what he believed. So he asked Leonard Leo at the Federalist Society to produce a list of jurists who would interpret the Constitution as it was written and as the Founders understood it. Candidate Trump pledged to choose from this list for his Supreme Court nominees.


So Mr. Trump deserves credit for the Court’s Dobbs decision. But Dobbs itself was the culmination of a nearly 50-year effort to place on the court justices who understood the constitutional travesty Roe represented. Over those five decades, often against long odds, pro-lifers provided the critical support needed to get these justices confirmed and the presidents who nominated them elected.


It helps to go back to February 2016, when the great Antonin Scalia died. In March, Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill his seat. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate wouldn’t hold hearings so close to a presidential election, killing Mr. Garland’s chances and keeping the seat open for the winner of the November election to fill.


That was the situation as Mr. Trump was moving closer to the GOP nomination. Mr. McConnell told him he needed to shore up support from Republicans worried about the Supreme Court—including pro-lifers. So Mr. Trump released a list of 11 potential nominees from which he’d choose to fill the empty seat.


It was a bold move, and he deserves credit for that too. Equally bold was his decision to speak bluntly about partial-birth abortion in his debate with Hillary Clinton, highlighting Democratic extremism. He characterized her position as “in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.”


Mrs. Clinton tried to push back, but Mr. Trump made his point. On Sunday Ms. Welker tried to “fact check” him when he again talked about abortion up to nine months, saying ”Democrats aren’t saying that.” Of course they don’t say that because voters would be repelled. But they fight any limit on abortion, including partial-birth abortion.


Ed Whelan is president emeritus of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. “It’s one thing for pro-lifers to be grateful to Trump for appointing Supreme Court justices who were critical in overturning Roe,” he tweeted Sunday after the “Meet the Press” interview. “It’s quite another to think we should view him as an ally going forward.”


As for going forward, there are two realities about a national abortion ban. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley pointed to one in the first GOP debate last month: Republicans don’t have the 60 Senate votes needed.


The other is that those hoping abortion will go away as a national issue are dreaming. So long as the Democrats are pushing to codify Roe in federal law, voters will demand to know where candidates for president and Congress stand on the issue—and they will have to answer. Republicans will also have to respond when Democrats insist on constitutionally dubious policies, such as the Pentagon’s decision to underwrite, without the blessing of Congress, interstate travel by service members to obtain abortions.


In short, Mr. Trump can rightfully claim credit for making Dobbs possible. But as abortion politics enters the post-Dobbs future, let’s not forget it was the pro-life movement that made Donald Trump possible.


Write to mcgurn@wsj.com.

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