The Mahablog

Politics. Society. Group Therapy.

The Mahablog

Abortion Rights Are Undefeated

With 95 percent of the votes counted, the “yes” votes on the Ohio abortion rights referendum are ahead 56.6 percent to 43.4 percent. So it wasn’t at all close. And this was in spite of Republicans pullling every scam they could think of to trick voters into voting “no.” The numbers for the referendum to legalize marijuana are nearly identical, btw. I wonder if having both measures on the same ballot helped both measures pass by pulling young folks to the polls.

And Virginia voters gave Gov. Glenn Youngkin a big ol’ noogie by turning control of both houses of the state legislature to Democrats. Perhaps talk of drafting Youngkin to run for president was a tad premature. See Glenn Youngkin handed presidential buzzkill at Axios and Virginia Democrats’ wins thwart Youngkin on abortion, taxes, climate at WaPo.

Democrats flipped the Virginia House of Delegates and held on to the state Senate in elections Tuesday, dashing Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s hopes for curbing abortion rights in Virginia, the only Southern state that has not restricted or banned the procedure since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year.

By giving control of those two chambers to Democrats, voters denied Youngkin (R) the political allies he needed to ban most abortions after 15 weeks. The governor also lost his chance for turning Virginia sharply to the right in other areas, including public education, tax policy, LGBTQ+ rights, criminal justice, the environment and voting access.

Youngkin’s popularity numbers in Virginia are not exactly impressive (ignore the headline). I think perhaps he’s further to the Right than Virginia voters thought he would be. He can’t run for re-election because Virginia doesn’t allow governors to serve consecutive terms, but if he could I wonder if he’d win.

But the important point for now is that Youngkin ran the GOP’s so-called “moderate” position on abortion, a ban at 15 weeks’ gestation, up the flagpole. And voters shot it down. Will Republicans get the memo? I’m betting a lot of them won’t.

See Philip Bump, Abortion Access Remains Undefeated in the Polls Post-Roe.

Ohio became the seventh state to vote to protect access to abortion in a statewide initiative since Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court last year. Four of those initiatives were on the ballot in states that Joe Biden lost in the 2020 election; in all seven, the abortion-access position outperformed Biden’s support in the state.

I don’t know how much clearer it could be. But watch Republicans continue to push for abortion bans.

Update: This is from Politico regarding the Ohio abortion referendum votes —

The unofficial results also suggest that the counties with the highest turnout in Tuesday’s election were actually jurisdictions that had favored Trump in 2020. The victory for Yes on Issue 1 was not driven by remarkable Democratic turnout — but by a significant share of voters in Republican-leaning counties casting their ballots for abortion rights.

And this is about Virginia —

The wins are a rebuke to Youngkin’s efforts to consolidate power in the state by removing a Democratic roadblock to his agenda, on everything from taxes to abortion. Youngkin, unusually, launched a strategy to have Republicans run on abortion in these elections. Youngkin pushed candidates to coalesce around a 15 week ban in the state, trying to cast Democrats as extremists on the issue and Republicans as the party with the reasonable position.

Update: More good news — Moms for Liberty Candidates Take a Beating in Some School Races.

17 thoughts on “Abortion Rights Are Undefeated

  1. "I wonder if having both measures on the same ballot helped both measures pass by pulling young folks to the polls."

    Well according to Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.): “You put very sexy things like abortion and marijuana on the ballot, and a lot of young people come out and vote” he then went on rail that ballot measures, direct democracy is horrible!

    "But watch Republicans continue to push for abortion bans."

    I think they will switch the messaging from "bans" to Limits" which is the only card they have left. I would argue had they campaigned on "limits" from the start they may not have been beaten so badly. Though my better half assures me that any government imposed limits will be perceived as a ban?

  2. I suspect a lot of people feel betrayed on the abortion issue and have no trust that a "limit" would be any different from a "ban." It was supposed to be settled, you know. The Right blathered on about banning abortion but couldn't really do it. Until last year. 

  3. Trump's base will not let him moderate his position on abortion. He'd find it difficult to try anyway having bragged about being personally responsible for striking down Roe. The RNC is proud to have a full slate of anti-choice presidential candidates, which they are on the record for. The fetus people taste blood and want a complete national ban. That this is killing their candidates in elections hasn't slowed the rhetoric at all. Republicans keep pretending that voters will get over it and accept the inevitable like a rape victim is supposed to. The presidential election is barely a year away – it's virtually certain that one candidate will be bragging about killing Roe while the other will be advocating for women's rights.

    I do not understand how the race can be as close as it is when the enemy of women's rights is a convicted rapist.

    • "Trump's base will not let him moderate his position on abortion"

      I don' know, Stumps base will let him do anything, the fuckin guy ordered a mob to attack the capitol, he practically called for his VP to be hung, he stole classified material, he's been found liable for sexual assault, his business has been exposed in court as a fraud. Changing his stance on abortion is like a fart in the wind, his base won't care one bit. They don't support him for any one policy, they only support him because he is as stupid and racist as they are! Waiting for his base to abandon him is the same as waiting for him to finally act presidential, it aint never going to happen.  As far as contradicting a former position, that is pretty much all the guy does, he is as Fareed Zakaria so aptly put it a "bullshit artist' he has no core.

        • Yes over and over. He was quite proud of himself as always.That ad might sway some Stump leaning independents but it won't change one base magat mind. Those folks are out to sea. In fact I'm not sure anyone who would even consider voting for Stump (after the seven year shit storm we are living) gives a toss about anything but electing Stump? What the ad will do is help get out people who may not have voted before, or voted for Biden but think he is too old, or some other media driven deficiency.  That's how Biden wins (barring world events) and what all the bobble-heads and their rigged polls leave out.

          • He can have his base. The base by itself can't elect him. He can only win if he gets votes from people who aren't total MAGAts.

      • He did get boo-ed that time he told his audience that he'd gotten a Covid booster shot.  He really wanted to take credit for creating the vaccine but I don't think he's dared mention it since.  They are able to yank his chain.

        • Very good point. To some degree, Trump's base is a mirror of Trump's rhetoric. But t a degree, Trump mirrors their discontent – deliberately. Trump HAS changed his message in response to pushback from MAGA members. To what degree Trump crafts his message and his rants to feed their collective fear and anger is an open question.

          But Trump can't do off-message and MAGA decides the borders of the message.

      • The difference is that all those things you listed are things they approve of, support and encourage – they don't see them as bad things.

        On abortion, moderating his position (just like all the MAGAt people in office) would be to run counter to what they want – and they WILL attack him if he tries to do it…just look at how he was booed when he talked about getting vaccinated and had to quickly backtrack.

  4. The RepubliKKKLANS main quandry, is that for the last 50+ years being against abortions has been their real raison d'etre.

    Sure, they gave lip service to being strong on national defense, against crime, and their biggest lie: being fiscally responsible.

    But in reality, those were covers for their main targets: women's independence, and uppity Black/Brown people.

    All of their younger politicians were weaned on being "pro-life."

    That's been the fulcrum around which all of their other policy issues pivoted.

    How does a party de-brainwash its politicians and voters?

    I don't know.

    And I'm pretty sure the members of the RepubliKKKLAN Party don't either.

    • How does a party de-brainwash its politicians and voters?

      Almost all of their politicians get herded into compliance with cash and power prizes.  I guess they’d have to make being a selfish prick uncool again.

      Many voters want to be cool, to be accepted and gain status and financial perks because of that coolness, the greater good be damned.  I recall the runaway girl who claimed that her spiky punk appearance ensured that she’d always be taken care of by like-appearing strangers, when no normal-looking person (especially conservative Christians) would touch her with a ten-foot pole.  Later, when she went back to looking normal, both punks as well as normals treated her blandly.  Without her ‘tribal coolness’ she was just another nobody.

      Back in high school even I sported a mullet to try and stay relevant.  At some level I knew that when mullets became uncool I could just cut off the back and be bland again until I made my next style move.  I’d leave edginess to the edgy, who may or may not be cool but really don’t give a shit either way.  Since I give a shit, I could never be like that.

      I think they’d go after the mullets of the MAGA crowd, the ones where critical reasoning can still overcome tribal coolness.  That whole ‘peel back the outermost layers first’ thing.  Then they’d need to make being greedy, corrupt, and stupid uncool again.

      Unfortunately, this is GOP we’re talking about.  They certainly have their work cut out for them.

  5. I signed up for Planet Fitness recently (and am loving getting into shape). At the gym, they have an array of about 20 TVs tuned to a variety of channels, including Fox and MSNBC. Fortunately, you have to opt-in to the audio for a specific channel using headphones, the gym is otherwise playing music over all this visual cacophony.

    The Fox people were all riled up over the censuring of a couple of pro-Palestinian House Democrats (the usual suspects, you know who I mean). Couldn't let go of this topic. 

    On the CNN TVs, it was all about how the Dems swept last night's elections, particularly in the red states. It's pretty obvious why Fox was focused on trivia instead of the bigger reality.

    All this from just watching the chyrons and occasional closed captioning, I'm not listening to any audio.

    The Republican Party is the dog that caught the car. They catered to the anti-abortion constituency and surprise! they're losing everywhere. They seize on stupid distractions (as always) to keep their diminishing base engaged and distracted, instead of learning anything and changing.

    And they're locked onto Trump, an albatross who is hanging onto becoming President again, for dear life, because if he doesn't regain the precious, he's looking at prison time. And he could absolutely care less about abortion, but he cast his lot with the losers.

    Quite the Republican death lock. We just have to get over the line for 2024. Like we did last night, and in 2022, 2020, 2018…

  6. I don't like the term "pro-life". There are no, repeat zero, pro-lifers in this country, or on this planet. Every so-called "pro-lifer" can describe humans that they'd put to death, for reasons of self-defense or gun rights or law enforcement or national security. Far clearer and more honest to use the term "anti-abortion".

    I grant that the embryo has a right to life. I also grant that the woman has a right to her most private property. If only there were a compromise policy balancing the two rights. Perhaps a gradation by trimesters?

    Oh right, there was such a compromise. It’s called Roe v. Wade. I say, let's reinstate it. That's the most conservative thing to do, in the non-Orwellian sense of the word "conservative".

    • "I grant that the embryo has a right to life"

      As a dude, I don't like to wade too far into this. But I lived with someone for 40 years who has standing. She has the right to her life, the end. Anything growing inside her is her life.

      None of the late term bullshit that pro-lifers try to sell is happening, it just isn't.

  7. The only thing the republicans in the debate agreed upon in the debate, on the topic of abortion, is that government needs to regulate.  Other than that, they were all the map on the subject.  There was not even agreement on state vs. federal regulation.  

    Of course, no one addressed the problem of state control, which effects the military.  Military people move a lot, and not just from state to state.  When the military tries to accommodate to provide a uniform access, we get one senator throwing monkey wrenches into the military promotion confirmation process.  No suggested fixes for that mess either.  



  8. "I think perhaps he’s further to the Right than Virginia voters thought he would be."

    Voters looked beyond the sweater vest and dad-like persona and saw Youngkin for who he is and the far right agenda he has on offer.

    It never ceases to amaze how the right will come up with all sorts of stunts, tricks and deceptions to try to fool voters into believing they're offering something they're not.  In 2022 there was never going to be a "red wave" but it sounded good, got the media on board and their followers riled up.  But then, just as now, they are chumps in the end for believing their own BS, left to sift through the wreckage and (amazingly) wonder why it didn’t work. 

    When are they going to stop playing voters, and themselves, for fools?


Comments are closed.