As my old pal the Crypt Keeper used to say – with a darkly delighted cackle – “Be careful what you wish for, kiddies, you might just get it!” The conservatives have used the “pro-life” movement as their stalking horse. Conservatives couldn’t give a fly eff about anyone else’s life. If they knock someone up or their kid does – or their kid gets knocked up – conservatives will always have access to whatever health services THEY need. That’s because this was never, ever about babies or saving them. This was always about pure, unadulterated cynicism. And power. The right wing money tasked Mitch McConnell with moving heaven and earth to seize the federal judiciary from the hands of the People. Mitch succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Merrick Garland sits atop the DoJ today and not on one of the SCOTUS seats, remember? Mitch and the Right Wing money and the dumber-than-dirt evangelicals had planned to do their celebrating in June when the SCOTUS formerly gutted the right to have an abortion – or even have birth control. The leak of Alito’s assault on Roe is going to ruin the party.
It’s going to ruin the Party, too. The Republican Party.
If there was one iota of authenticity to the right wing’s embrace of the “pro-life” movement, then America might have been on the precipice of a very real debate about our collective responsibility to reduce the abortion rate in America to zero – via education and great universal health care. But, there was a time when evangelicals didn’t think twice about abortions. They didn’t care one way or the other about them. Their issue was school bussing. They were vehemently against it because, at their core, America’s evangelicals are spiritually and morally bankrupt. And deeply racist.
When the bussing issue went away, America’s core racists needed a new issue to gather around. The issue itself was almost irrelevant so long as it could be used to achieve the racists’ desired end product – power. “It wasn’t until 1979—a full six years after Roe—that evangelical leaders, at the behest of conservative activist Paul Weyrich, seized on abortion not for moral reasons, but as a rallying-cry to deny President Jimmy Carter a second term. Why? Because the anti-abortion crusade was more palatable than the religious right’s real motive: protecting segregated schools.”
Once you’ve given yourself over to cynicism, nothing you do is real. It’s all bullshit kabuki.
The news media – always miles behind every story’s curve – will wonder until the reveal who leaked Alito’s screed. It wasn’t the court’s five conservatives; they were put onto the court to fulfill this very purpose. Mission accomplished. No one’s wavering because there’s nothing to waver about. Conservatives do not give a flying eff about women, their health issues or their rights. Conservatives want to limit every one of those things. Being conservative, they want to “conserve” – and the thing they’ve now (for the moment) successfully conserved is the past – when abortion wasn’t safe or legal.
This morning, the Republicans are like a car-chasing dog who, to his own surprise, catches up with the car he’s been chasing. Now what?
Is this dog going to slip behind the wheel and try going for a drive – despite the fact that he’s a dog and has zero clue HOW to drive? That’s kind of how Republicans are about governing. They’re a dog who doesn’t know how to drive and is pretty much incapable of learning. Now that the dog’s behind the wheel, the car will go where it will go – and if that’s “off a cliff”, then so be it. This is how Republicanism works.
The instant the SCOTUS makes it official – come June – half of the states will make abortion illegal outright via trigger laws already written and put into place. All they’ve ever needed to become active is the elimination of Roe v Wade. That, this leaked document makes clear, is now upon us.
Sam Alito, during his confirmation hearing, was blessedly transparent. He said it didn’t matter what “public opinion” wanted. It was up to judges to focus entirely on the law and nothing but. Allow me to translate the code – because that IS “code”. This is originalism. Whatever the law was when the white, Christian, land-owning men who formally founded America’s government wrote it? That’s what the law must remain forever. By “public opinion”, Alito meant “the public reacting to new information” like “science”. Alito’s position: science is irrelevant in the face of white hegemony.
The conservative anti-abortion POV represents, at best, 28% of Americans. 72% are against this. That’s a lot of “public opinion” to ignore. But then, that was always the point. Permanent minority rule. And killing Roe is a big step in that direction.
Alas, that step is already doomed to fail – catastrophically and resoundingly.
Either take this to the bank or plunk it down on some crypto. You’re going to get rich. 72% of Americans will not allow 28% to dominate them especially when that 28% of Americans are so vile, so racist, so misogynistic, so bigoted, so corrupt – and so effing stupid. The reason a power grab like this could work in Weimar Germany but not here is: Germany was peopled almost entirely by homogenous Germans. Europeans wiped out the “homogenous” Americans – the Native Americans – mostly via their pathogens. And, while white people maintained cultural superiority over America for two centuries, “E Pluribus Unum” says that was never the point.
Up till now? The white political majority has managed to game the system so as to keep them in power. The Electoral College, like the structure of the Senate, is a compromise with slavery and originalism. Say, why are there two Dakotas? Were there too many Dakotans for one? FFS the population of Washington, DC (in 2019) was 692,683. Wyoming has 576,851 people in it as of 2022. Reliably Republican Wyoming has two Senators while predictably Democratic voting DC has zero and equally predictably Democratic-voting Puerto Rico is not a state.
White conservatism has worked overtime to prevent the inevitable from happening. A diverse America will never be dictated to the way white America wants to dictate to us all. They’re about to learn that hard lesson the hard way.
There will be a severe backlash to the abolition of Roe v Wade. Unfortunately for the Republicans, that backlash will happen at the exact same time that the Republicans are being exposed as seditionist conspirators by both the BI-PARTISAN January 6 Committee and the Department of Justice. Meanwhile, the Fulton County Special Grand Jury will begin advising the Prosecutor’s office about whether or not to indict Donald Trump (and everyone around him) who attempted to commit election fraud in Georgia. And Tish James’ civil suit could turn criminal. And, what do you suppose will happen when the first members of Congress get indicted for their January 6 planning – and realize the only way out (such as will remain) will be to rat out everyone else?
This will be the environment wherein the backlash to the right wing’s cultural power grab will play. No one’s going to change sides in this culture war. But the stone cold fact of who’s in the minority and who’s in the majority will become quite stark. The diverse majority will put the over-reaching minority in its place.
For many, that will be federal prison.
Without political representation – the Republican Brand is about to be as tarnished as Donald Trump’s (and Trump is about to be held to account for the first time in his life). America will lurch to the left – well, it will seem to. What will actually happen is this: America’s government will finally reflect America’s diverse population. We will – at long, long last – begin to live up to the ideals upon which we were founded.
Yeah – my old friend the Crypt Keeper would have laughed his bony old ass off at what’s in store for the GOP. Be super careful what ya wish for, kiddees. You ain’t gonna like what is you actually get.