“Abortion Is Actually Going to Save Democracy”
Having read at various blogs, I found “annieasksyou” to be interesting and covering a topic in economics for which I have limited bandwidth. It is definitely beyond AB’s version of economics and numbers. I think you will also find annie’s words to be interesting. If you visit her site, be polite. Although Annie is also a polite person, she is a no-nonsense person too.
The topic today? Abortion and the right for women to decide. “Abortion Is Actually Going to Save Democracy” – annieasksyou…
“Abortion is actually going to save Democracy.”
Those were the words of Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood, announcing that her organization is donating more than $50 million to help elect pro-choice candidates in November.
How far-fetched is Johnson’s assessment? Not nearly as far as it was before the citizens of Kansas defied the polls and prognosticators: they registered and voted in much larger numbers than expected to defeat a state constitutional amendment that threatened the existing right to choose abortion in that oh-so-red state.
For more information about abortion, click now.
The story has been evolving over the past several special elections. People-in-the-know keep their eyes on these elections as indicators.
Some of the most reliable polling in an often unreliable field comes from FiveThirtyEight. Here’s how they describe their modus operandi:
“We at FiveThirtyEight often track the results of special elections (i.e., elections that occur at unusual times because an office unexpectedly becomes vacant) because of the hints they provide to the national mood.
“When a party consistently does well in special elections — defined not by winning or losing, but by outperforming a state or district’s baseline partisanship — it’s often a sign that the national political environment favors that party, and is therefore a good omen for that party in the upcoming regular general election.”
The special elections that have gained attention began in Nebraska and Minnesota. Both reliably Republican Congressional districts yielded “nail-biter” results. The Republicans won, but by much less than anticipated.
And then came Tuesday.
One surprise occurred in New York’s 23rd Congressional district, where the Democrats exceeded expectations by nine points.
The bigger surprise was the win by Democrat Pat Ryan in New York’s 19th District—a swing district that would have been expected to go to the Republican based on historical trends.
While his opponent railed against crime and inflation, Ryan appealed for unity in protecting abortion and other rights and keeping our democracy intact.
In subsequent interviews, Ryan has spoken of the growth of support that propelled him to victory: “positive energy” from people determined to focus their anger on the injustices they want to correct.
The surge of interest began when the leaked Alito memo appeared. Ryan was in a protest march with a woman in her 60s, who—tears streaming—told him: “I can’t believe we’re doing this again.”
FiveThirtyEight takes those special election data points, adds in better-than-expected results in Washington State primaries and the Kansas amendment vote, plus the Democrats’ pulling slightly ahead in the generic House vote, and they conclude that November may be a rare instance in which the President’s party doesn’t take a “shellacking” in the midterms.
“And if so, Democrats may have the Supreme Court to thank…it seems quite likely that the Dobbs decision is responsible for the shift in the political environment. In other words, it could be akin to other major news events that turned midterm elections on their heads: former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998, and the Sept. 11 attacks and subsequent war on terror in 2002.”
Meanwhile, wily ole Mitch McConnell has been looking pretty grim in interviews, expressing concern that the “quality of candidates” may prevent the Republicans from retaking the Senate. (Rumor has it that this was an inside dig at Senator Rick Scott, who’s a Trump supporter and was responsible for recruiting candidates.)
All of these developments appear to validate the findings of an NBC News poll that more Americans regard threats to democracy as the most important issue we face–greater than the cost of living and jobs and the economy.
As political strategist Matthew Dowd has observed:
“Voters woke up and said ‘No, No, No! You can’t tear up the Constitution and talk about the price of milk.”
Women and men of all political views have seen the devastation already evident since the decimation of Roe. Even a South Carolina Republican state legislator, who voted for his state’s law prohibiting abortions after six weeks, wept as he told his colleagues about a teenager who almost lost her uterus because of the law.
He, at least, though similar to his colleagues in voting on this crucial medical issue based on a total absence of information and comprehension, demonstrated after the fact an awareness of the cruelty and enormous damage done by their actions.
The stories are appalling. Here’s one from a physician on Twitter, describing a patient whose life was in danger–but not in “enough danger”:
Patient 4569: 35 yo comes into clinic. Congrats – pregnant . 8 weeks later- patient short of breath. Uh oh . Cardiac US shows dilated aortic root. HIGH risk. Sorry – not an emergency yet. Monitor. Comes in the ER unconscious. Rhythm – v tach. Shock ! Epi. Chest comp. Shock. Dead— @pelleggi2 MD (@pelleggi2) August 25, 2022
People—women and men, Democrats, Republicans, and independents—are thinking about these outrages. They are also hearing the election denying far-right Republican candidates spew racism, antisemitism, and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. They are frightened and angry. And increasingly, they are registering to vote.
It’s a long way between now and November 8. The dark money guys are getting ready to dump their millions. You heard about the 90-year-old billionaire who just gave $1.6 billion to Leonard Leo, the man who designed and financed the Supreme Court majority that’s plaguing us now?
Some of that money is sure to end up in Florida, where Rep. Val Demings has a real chance to unseat the unprincipled Big Lie-endorsing Marco Rubio.
And Charlie Crist seems ready and eager to take on the man I regard as the greatest-threat-apart-from-trump: Governor Ron DeSantis—a dangerous and corrupt demagogue amassing his own militia.
There are and will be voting roadblocks and gerrymandering and all kinds of shenanigans awaiting voters.
But an awakened, angry, highly motivated electorate in more and more places is recognizing that their vote is their voice. If enough of us register and vote, we can elect local, state, and national representatives who’ll help us beat back the extremist forces and save our democracy.
And I, for one, may just send Justice Samuel Alito a letter thanking him for saying the future of abortion should be in the hands of the people.
Then I’ll watch with grateful pleasure as the newly elected Congress votes to protect any number of Americans’ rights—beginning with the codification of Roe.
I am always an optimist, even in Indiana which is really really hard, but I fear that the low information haters will carry the day. The wild card is whether all those voters that Trump coaxed out from under their rocks will show up when he is not on the ballot. I am not holding my breath on women turning the tide because of Dobbs— they should be absolutely furious not with SCOTUS but with the GOP legislatures who took away their ability to control their bodies—but anger does not decide elections unless they register to vote and then vote.
Fears over the GOP losing at the ballot box are precisely why SCOTUS is preparing to adopt the sovereign state legislature doctrine, which will allow (heavily gerrymandered) GOP state legislatures to throw out electoral results that go against GOP interests. This is the last piece the GOP needs seize permanent control regardless of the will of the public. With SCOTUS firmly in Federalist Society hands, it is too late to stop, deflect, or delay the final part of the transition of America into what will essentially be a single-party authoritarian state.
America’s fate was sealed when the Federalist Society seized control of the judiciary. Unless the Democratic Party develops the will to purge the judiciary of Republican extremists, everything else that happens in American democracy is no more significant than the placement of deck chairs on the Titanic.
The future of American politics is much like the present of Iranian politics: the people are allowed to vote, but non-elected parts of the government (in Iran, the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution; in America, SCOTUS) ensure that conservative prerogatives are exempt from democratic consent.
If Dems can gain a super majority, they can limit the power of the courts.
“Abortion is actually going to save Democracy.”
It could, since there are more women voters than men and if they are motivated to vote to have their rights under Roe restored, they could achieve their goal to do so, but only by keeping both houses of Congress with the Dems. Probably this would not put enuf Dem senators in office, but it would be a start at least.
Women are registered to vote in the US at higher rates than men. In recent years, the number of women registered to vote in the US has typically been about 10 million more than the number of men registered to vote.
Voter Registration by Gender
Retaining control of one House of Congress will at least hamper the most pernicious legislation the GOP comes up with from being enacted, although not controlling the Senate would allow the GOP to push the Supreme Court still farther to the right.
There has never been any democracy to save, but abortion may save the Democratic Party. An authoritarian takeover of a non-existent democracy assumes facts not in evidence. The wannabe authoritarian-backing wing-nuts want a civil war, but they are not very good at math. Just having a big mouth does not make one deadly and just toting around an assault weapon does not make one a warrior.
Ben Franklin called the US a ‘republic’.
I suppose people mix that up with a ‘democracy’ as it was practiced in Ancient Greece.
“During the Classical era and Hellenistic era of Classical Antiquity, many Hellenic city-states had adopted democratic forms of government, in which free (non-slave), native (non-foreigner) adult male citizens of the city took a major and direct part in the management of the affairs of state, such as declaring war, voting supplies, dispatching diplomatic missions and ratifying treaties. These activities were often handled by a form of direct democracy, based on a popular assembly. ..” (Wikipedia)
Of those 400 million firearms supposedly owned by Americans, surely a few million of them are in the hands of Dems, so what do we have to worry about?
Americans own 400 million guns
Seattle Times – May 20, 2022
Exactly. More important that gun ownership is who will kill, especially in a armed gunfight.
Also, killing Bambi don’t count unless Bambi was packing.
Well, *I* do not own a firearm although I once was trained to use them (and throw grenades!)
My dad left me a double-barrel 12-gauge, a 0.22 revolver, and a 0.22 lever action rifle. He had already sold his WWI era bolt action 30-06, which I had actually wanted more than the others, but dad did not know that. Other than those, then I only have three 0.177 air rifles.
I’m still not sure but what all this talk of taking a majority is smoke up our collective tailpipe; as not sure as I am still not no sure but what the Repubs are throwing this election running all these nutball candidates (that it’s backfiring is beside the point, or typical, these guys aren’t all that smart and things have gotten out of hand). It’s been thoroughly demonstrated they are more successful at advancing their agenda, obstruction/destruction, out of the minority.
On the one hand I look at it as Operation Just Let Them Speak, let them thoroughly disgust everyone; on the other I keep waiting for everyone to rise up in anger. Keep waiting, and waiting, and …
As I understand things, and maybe I don’t, the losses often suffered by the president’s party in mid-term elections are mostly the washing out of candidates who won on the strength of coattails. The top of the ticket caused his (someday, maybe, her) party’s candidates to win in districts which naturally belong to the opposition. Biden, if memory serves, didn’t have much in the way of coattails. If that’s right, then a the conventional wisdom that the president’s party naturally loses seats at the mid-term may not be justified this time.
Polling, on the other hand, relies on data, not conventional wisdom. 538 likes Republicans’ odds of winning the House in all three versions of its polling model:
Polling is a better gauge that rules of thumb, but enthusiasm and weather affect turnout most. The rise of mail-in is changing that however.
One can still be hopeful about the outcome of the midterm elections for both the House and Senate. Largely it will depend on just how irate women voters are about the Trump court’s decision to end Roe, not to mention GOP gerrymandering and vote suppression across the country.
Yes sir. I am still hopeful, but more than a little worried about the short term. I am not worried about the long term because choices have consequences as Republicans always say, but never seem to learn. Also, I am old enough that the long term will be someone else’s problem. The longer that Republicans keep getting away with the stuff they do to screw over ordinary folk, then the bigger that eventual backlash will be.