One side effect of the California recall election is that it appears to be inspiring Democrats to do something bold and unusual: run against Republicans.
People noticed that many 2020 election campaigns amounted to asymmetrical warfare. Democrats often ran on “reaching across the aisle” and bragging about how well they work with everybody to “get things done.” Their Republican opponents, meanwhile, were running ads saying that Democrats will take away your guns and Bibles and eat your babies. Guess who won most of the time?
David Atkins writes that Dems are eager to blast the opposition on covid mitigation.
As of this writing, the United States is once again suffering more than 2,000 deaths per day—the most since over 200 days ago. It is uncomfortable but necessary to point out that it is a primarily Republican plague at this point: The infection rate is twice as high in red counties as in blue ones. Seventy percent of new cases are emerging in red states, and the red-blue divide in vaccination rates is stark.
So it scarcely matters if Republicans are doing this out of ideological fervor or Machiavellian conspiracy. Regardless, the real results of laissez-faire public health policy are a clear abysmal failure. Insofar as it’s an intentional ploy to drag down Biden’s approval rating and the broader economy, the slight dip in public confidence well over a year out from the midterms is hardly worth the anger Republicans are stoking from everyday Americans who have been vaccinated, or are soon to be, and furious over being endangered by conservative anti-vax, anti-mask extremists.
The GOP intransigence is fiercely motivating Democrats to vote even in off-year and special elections, even as Republicans and their conservative infotainment allies are functionally killing and incapacitating literally thousands of their own voters almost every day, including and especially the ones so politically engaged and devoted to the cause that they’re willing to risk death rather than wear a mask or get a shot.
If Roe v. Wade goes down, or if the Texas vigilante law spreads to other states, that’s going to fire up a whole lot of people also. Paul Waldman writes that the pro-choice backlash is already brewing. Noting that polls consistently say that a comfortable majority of Americans want Roe v. Wade to remain in effect, Waldman also says that most American probably still don’t believe it will ever be overturned.
Quinnipiac found that by 54 percent to 35 percent, Americans didn’t think that Roe is likely to be overturned within the next few years. They’re in for a big surprise.
On Dec. 1, the court will hear oral arguments in a case concerning Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, a case that supporters quite clearly hope will be the vehicle for overturning Roe.
If and when it does, you won’t need vigilante laws. Republican-run states will just outlaw abortion entirely, with no need to concoct some kind of legal legerdemain to prevent the courts from striking the laws down. But in the meantime, Republican state legislators are already moving to create their own copycat versions of the Texas law. …
… Most Americans may not be paying much attention to the grim situation now faced by women in Texas who need to terminate a pregnancy. But when it’s happening in as many as 23 states where a total of 42 percent of Americans live — the number of states where Republicans control the legislature and the governorship — it will be impossible to ignore.
This week the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis heard arguments about a Missouri law passed in 2019 that bans abortions after eight weeks’ gestation, with no exceptions for rape or incest. Whether it allows abortions to be terminated to save the life of the mother isn’t clear to me. Judges for this court include four Trump appointees, three Reagan appointees, ten Bush appointees (father and son), and one Obama appointee. Be afraid.
But let us hope that in 2022 Democrats make it clear they are not going to cooperate with any of this. No more nice. No more reaching across the aisle.