Republicans who have spent the past few weeks desperately trying to erase their abortion stances from their campaign websites had all that hard work go up in smoke Tuesday, when a freelancing Lindsey Graham decided to force the issue on them.
Some of them seemed to welcome it, though. Like Arizona’s Blake Masters, who’s running for the U.S. Senate. He was one of the first to start backpedaling from his extreme abortion stance. Or, anyway, his campaign was the first to try to erase that history. Masters himself seems to be pretty committed.
“Of course” he would support Graham’s national abortion ban, Masters told reporters. After which his campaign spokesman Zach Henry tweeted, “Why why why why why.” Henry deleted the tweet Tuesday night, and said he wasn’t speaking on behalf of Masters. Just for his own beleaguered self.
“It’s an absolute disaster,” GOP strategist John Thomas told the Washington Post, watching while Republican Senate nominees were being asked all over again to give their abortion views. “Oy vey,” he said, when he was told what Masters had just said.
Thomas has been arguing that Republicans need to try to “pivot” on the issue, keep trying to paint the Democrats as the extremists, and find that supposed middle ground where they’ll humanely grant an abortion to someone bleeding out on an emergency room floor. He says the goal should be “to assuage voters with concerns … so the candidate can get back to debating on the issues of higher priority.”
That might be the Republican problem with abortion in a nutshell. The most private and important decision more than half of the population might have to make in their life isn’t considered a priority issue. That’s certainly something the masses of new voters who registered after the Supreme Court ended constitutional abortion rights should be thinking about over the next several weeks.
Meanwhile, the forced birth zealots aren’t entirely happy either.
They won’t be happy until there’s a total national ban on all abortion. Period.
And if Republicans win, it could happen. Just a reminder, in 2015, Mitch McConnell put Graham’s 20-week abortion ban on the Senate floor. It was a symbolic vote then. It won’t be if he has another chance.
There’s no reason to believe McConnell won’t put Graham’s 15-week ban on the floor if he gets the majority in 2022. There’s no reason to believe he wouldn’t end the filibuster for legislation his people want. Because if he has the majority, his people will be the zealot Republicans.
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