Third Party & Independents Archives

Why the GOP Silence on Monday's Ruling?

While anti-abortion groups like the Susan B. Anthony List were loud and clear in expressing why the Supreme Court ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt shows how important this year’s elections are, the GOP leadership has been silent so far. Clearly, preserving the Senate seems more important than preserving the right to life for McConnell and colleagues.

For example, Senator Mark Kirk - who faces a very tough re-election battle in Illinois - actually came out in favor of the 5-3 ruling. Whether this is a case of Kirk being honest about his own personal convictions, or whether it is a desperate attempt to appease pro-choice voters in his state is for the senator to say.

What this does show, however, is that the GOP Senate majority's refusal to give Obama's nominee to fill Scalia's seat - Merrick Garland - a hearing and an up or down vote does make tactical sense. It's as if the GOP has decided that yet another angry scuffle over abortion is not something they want to parade all over the media.

Or maybe they're concerned about Trump's position and are lining up Mr. Bigly Duck with their own flock. And are keeping relatively quiet until the ducks are waddling in tune.

But this is tactical quibbling. The issue at hand goes beyond the current decision. This is really about what kind of Supreme Court America will have over the next decade or two. And with Trump's numbers sagging recently, maybe the GOP feels that it's best to keep the senate GOP majority, if possible, and hope Trump manages to recover in the polls. Or that Hillary and her ever-present server scandal finally blow up big time and give Trump an opening to pull ahead.

But this raises a question. If McConnell and company are essentially trying to preserve a senate majority and ensure their house majority remains relatively robust, shouldn't they stake their ground on the abortion issue in clear terms? Because either:

They've given up on the presidency and that means Hillary in the White House and at the very least one Justice appointed by a Clinton administration.
Or, you use this ruling to show why the GOP must avoid a Hillary White House at all costs. That means, yes, fully supporting Trump.

Or there's another reason. Have the GOP essentially handed victory to pro-abortion groups? Have they looked at the polling and the enormous importance of female voters in any election in America, and decided not to fight the issue beyond some tactical resistance? Assuming, on a tactical level, that's an accurate read of women voters.

That hopefully is an exaggeration. Right now the GOP is deeply divided and trying to save it's Congressional majorities. We'll have to wait and see what members of Congress do and say regarding this SCOTUS ruling over the coming days and weeks.

Posted by AllardK at June 28, 2016 7:31 PM
Comment #405742

Maybe the conservatives have had a change of mind when it comes to the right top privacy.Maybe it isn’t an activist SCOTUS after all. Maybe they will stop with the culture wars and get on to real issue. Maybe they will realize their conservative utopia Kansas is wallowing in debt due to their ideology and stop the nonsense. Now if they can just wake up on the due process issue….

Posted by: j2t2 at June 30, 2016 7:19 PM
Comment #405751

It is curious to see so little reaction from the GOP to the SCOTUS ruling. That decision was decisive and absolutely crushed the anti-abortion crowd, yet the GOP was virtually silent. Trump addressed it today in a radio interview with a conservative talk show host. Trump said it would have been a different decision if Trump had been allowed to replace Scalia with his own pick. The thing is, the decision was 5-3, so Scalia or Trump’s pick would not have mattered. All the interview did was make it obvious that Trump knew little about the decision and simply did not care.

Trump won the GOP nomination without sincerely addressing social conservative issues. He won with a majority of evangelicals supporting him, and not Santorum or any of the others. What that tells us is the social conservatives lost their hold over the GOP once and for all. The voters were far more interested in anti-immigrant policies, and frankly, anger and resentment and bigotry than they were in issues like religious freedom.

These voters who supported Trump do not represent all conservatives or all Republicans. Nevertheless, they won the Republican primary by supporting Trump.

Trump pays lip service to the social conservatives because he needs their votes, but a person would have to be pretty naïve to believe Trump means a single word of it. Sadly, Trump is about racism and resentment and anger and xenophobia, and that is good enough- or bad enough, if you prefer- to attract a lot of votes.

The GOP has become the party of Trump and Limbaugh and Hannity. The other day I caught a few minutes of Limbaugh. He oozed hatred. It was awful. It was disturbing. Limbaugh wanted his listeners to think White Christians were being victimized by… well… just about everyone. I mean, Limbaugh really, really hated all those people who were not White Christians. Hannity promotes every nutty conspiracy theory under the sun.

Conspiracy theories abound in the GOP these days. No surprise there, since Trump made his start in the 2012 campaign as a Birther, suggesting Obama was not an American and probably a Muslim to boot. Trump continues to hint about absolutely terrible things concerning both Obama and Hillary Clinton. Indeed, hatred of Hillary seems to be a major motivating factor.

So today’s Republican Party is not a party for single-issue voters. Concern over abortion does not factor into this new coalition. The main concerns are fear, anger, resentment, hatred of Mexicans and foreigners, hatred of gays, blacks, noisy women in general, and Hillary Clinton in particular. The bizarre rants, pursuit of personal feuds, and ignorance of social conservative issues will be ignored. Trump can be forgiven by evangelicals as long as he brings the hate.

As for the rest of the GOP leadership, they pretend Trump isn’t happening, they ignore social conservatives and evangelicals, and they do everything in their power to preserve their own positions. A huge amount of donor money from the richest of the rich will support them in their effort. I don’t think that will work.

Posted by: phx8 at July 1, 2016 1:17 AM
Comment #405752

Also, the anti-abortion crowd did itself a lot of damage with those faked Planned Parenthood videos. They wanted to defund PP, which epitomizes the whole War on Women theme for most people. When they took the PP case to the friendliest venue they could find, and even landed an anti-abortion prosecutor, it all went terribly wrong. The makers of the film were the ones indicted! As Governor Rick Perry would say: “Oops.”

It didn’t help matters when a ‘warrior for the babies’ went on a terrorist rampage and shot up a PP clinic and some shoppers across the street.

Posted by: phx8 at July 1, 2016 11:12 AM
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