The Supreme Court's decision to let stand, for now, a Texas "heartbeat" abortion law that proscribes abortion after six weeks has ignited a political firestorm. Several political commenters are convinced this decision, a possible precursor to the outright reversal of Roe v. Wade, will usher into a new day in politics, a day in which women energized to protect abortion rights will vote Democratic, turning formerly red states blue.
Sorry, but color me skeptical.
Roe was handed down in 1973. For decades I have heard Democrats talk about how the abortion issue is a good one for them, citing polls which seem to show a majority of people consider themselves pro-choice.While polling on abortion is actually all over the place, and often contradictory, it is easy to get fooled by the significance of poll results. Polls don't mean squat unless it is a voting issue for the poll respondent. A voting issue, by the way, is an issue that affects one's vote.
The fact is, despite Democrats' never-ending hope, abortion has never been a good political issue for them. Early in politics, I learned that pro-life people vote on the issue while pro-choice people have other priorities.
- Possibly the biggest problem with the Texas abortion law is the empowerment of private individuals to enforce the law. While I generally support creating "private causes of action," this doesn't seem like the kind of law that private individuals should be enforcing.
- Senator Machin just announced that he favors putting the 3.5 trillion dollar "human infrastructure" on hold. The regular infrastructure bill is popular, and a home run. Why can't Democrats take that win and let the chips fall where they may on the more unpopular bill?