The Weekend Politics Thread Is Back, Alright!

Let’s check in with the United States of America, shall we?

Missouri is the latest state to criminalize abortion, or rather to make a show of doing so in order to challenge Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide in 1973. They follow on the heels of Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, and other red states, all sharing the belief that the Supreme Court will be friendly to them and ignore the complete absence of a valid legal basis for reversing their previous decision. Seriously, look at the arguments flying out of the GOP-controlled statehouses. (Or don’t.) It’s all openly religious, and/or misogynistic, and/or based in false portrayals of human fetal development, and ALWAYS includes the incendiary, polemical claim that anyone pro-choice, including the entire Democratic Party, are baby killers. In terms of real law, there’s just nothing there.

They might be right about the Supreme Court though. It’s a close call – they’ve got at least 3 GOP extremists with no interest in truth or decency on the bench (Alito, Thomas, and Kavanaugh), maybe 4 (Gorsuch, who’s a pure partisan anyway). And Roberts? He’s the wild card, and he’ll keep us guessing about whether he’s ready to cash in that last little bit of credibility he thinks the Supreme Court still has, in order to make the nation’s women less safe and less free.

I’ve given in to the temptation before to badmouth entire states on the basis of their fascist governments, but let’s keep this in mind: in every one of the 4 states I mentioned above, the GOP stranglehold on power is maintained, in whole or in part, through Jim Crow laws. I realize that a lot of people wouldn’t like to call it that, but, uh, I’m sticking with it. Disenfranchising black voters is the reason Georgia has a Republican governor right now.

Stacey Abrams Responds to Abortion Bans in Alabama and Georgia

Abrams makes a point of saying that neither Kemp nor Ivey’s views reflect the majority of their constituents’s beliefs in their states, nor the rest of the South. “There are certainly conservatives who believe that the right to an abortion should not exist, but by and large the South is reflective of a national belief, which is that women should have the right to control their bodies,” she argues, repeating a statistic that 65 to 70 of Americans believe in the right to an abortion.

Another example: Ohio’s race-based gerrymandering has been repeatedly ruled illegal by federal courts, but it won’t be clear until 2020 whether the GOP fears those courts enough to comply.

How Gerrymandering and Voter Suppression Paved the Way for Abortion Bans

Gerrymandering has similarly boosted Republicans in Missouri and Ohio, two other states where lawmakers have moved forward with near-total abortion bans. Republicans barely surpassed 50 percent of the vote in Ohio’s state legislative elections in 2018, but they won control of 63 percent of the seats in the Ohio House of Representatives. Republicans won 57 percent of the statewide vote for the Missouri House of Representatives, but they control 71 percent of the seats in the chamber—giving them 13 more seats than they would have under a neutral map, according to an Associated Press analysis.

My point is, let’s not write off everyone in those places as irredeemable. There are a lot of decent folks who would be – and are already – hurt by GOP rule in red states. They may even be a majority – and for the Republican party, that’s the whole problem with democracy.

For not-getting-the-site-shut-down reasons, please do not threaten Mayor McSquirrel or anybody else. See you in the comments!