It is fair to say that conservative justices on the Supreme Court embraced an ideological position from which they ruled when handing down the decision that undid the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. No one can pretend the ruling was framed with only the law in mind, as the playbook for this result was fashioned from the likes of the Federalist Society along with the decades of work by politicians such as Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. They sought an outcome from the Court and did everything in their power to have it realized. Even if the law and precedent had to be stepped over so to achieve it.
The blowback of the citizenry that has occurred over the past several days is not surprising. We are seeing only the start of what will be a relentless and searing rhetorical effort to steer voters to the ballot box in this fall’s mid-term elections. Whether or not the issue of abortion is so baked into the partisan DNA of the voters already, or if there is room to energize more votes for Democrats in key races will be what politicos watch play out this summer and fall.
While conservatives on the Court are correctly taking the bulk of the anger and outrage since Friday morning, it does need to be pointed out there is another segment of the nation that also needs to be accountable for the tossing away of Roe. Those people were the purists in the Democratic Party or that segment of the independent vote that could not see the wisdom of supporting Hillary Clinton in 2016.
It was noted often on this blog how I felt about the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. At the time of the 2016 Democratic Convention, I stated the following.
Bernie Sanders was out of the race for the nomination by mid-March with no mathematical way forward. Still, however, the socialist thought he could take over the Democratic Party. Instead of bowing out gracefully, he bore down harder still into the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.
It also should not come as any surprise to those who supported Sanders for the nomination that races are tough and politics means someone wins and someone loses. If one is not aware of that simple fact it means they really should not be weighing in on the larger and far more complex issues that face the nation.
Basic politics underscores that no candidate in good conscience would seek to undermine the eventual nominee of the party. The results of such a strategy are dangerous. Continued bombast from the far left about Clinton aided in too many of them sitting out the 2016 presidential election or voting for someone that had zero chance of winning.
Clearly, pragmatism was not underlined as a needed component in politics and governing when civics was being taught in some classrooms. But it is very much an essential ingredient to our political dynamics, and when it is missing or willingly tossed aside, we then have election outcomes that produce a Donald Trump sitting in the Oval Office.
In Wisconsin in 2016, Democrats needed roughly 20,000 more votes to carry it for Clinton. The numbers were roughly the same for Michigan and Pennsylvania. Had those three states found their common sense the electoral college would have been 270 for Hillary Clinton. As I often write on CP, not only must we vote—but we must always vote intelligently,
Consider that in Wisconsin the amount Clinton lost by was less than the 30,981 votes Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein garnered statewide to get 1.1 percent of the total. Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson took 3.6 percent of the statewide total or 106,434 votes.
As a result of Trump winning the presidency, he had the opportunity to name three Supreme Court appointments, and those three justices were critical to the ruling that now places women across large swaths of the nation no longer being able to make their own reproductive health decisions.
There is absolutely a need to hold conservatives accountable for what was handed down from the Court. But if we are honest, there also must be a recognition of those progressives and independents who cared more about some notion of ‘purity’, than for the greater political and policy needs of the nation. Those people can try to duck, weave, and spin their yarns but they, too, are very much a part of the reason Roe was undermined.