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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Donald Trump’s horrific answer Wednesday to Chris Matthews’s question on whether women should be “punished” for having illegal abortions is perhaps the strongest evidence yet, for the conspiratorially-minded, that Trump is a liberal saboteur of the conservative movement.

While mainstream pro-lifers have always said that abortion providers should be penalized for performing illegal abortions, their policies’ impacts fall squarely on women, by restricting a healthcare option that should be free and legal nationwide.

It seems as though Trump’s lack of any real knowledge on the pro-life position sent him through some mental time warp, back to his pro-choice days:

“People in certain parts of the Republican Party, and conservative Republicans, would say ‘yes, they should be punished.'”

Exactly! Thanks for clarifying, Donald. The pro-life movement has been trying to punish women — successfully, much of the time — for wanting full control of their bodies.

The policy of punishing abortion providers — sometimes violently, though vigilante justice and terrorism — is the result of decades of paternalism from pro-life conservatives, who have said women are as much “victims” of their abortion rights as unborn fetuses. The pro-life movement has done some incredible gymnastics over the years to avoid threatening millions of people with murder charges.

Thankfully, Trump set the record straight.

After the likely Republican presidential nominee defamed the enormous pro-life constituency in his party — albeit by telling the truth — his fellow conservatives had a simple message for him: shut up!

Mike Huckabee said “it’s clear he had not thought through his answer.” Dr. Ben Carson, who endorsed Trump a few weeks ago, parroted the party line: women “are already being punished,” somehow, for having abortions.

Fox’s Eric Bolling took a simpler approach: Next time, “Dodge it.” He continued: “I wouldn’t answer a question on gay marriage, abortion, or… what was the third one? Contraception!”

Go ahead, Donald, just ignore all that stuff. Surely it won’t hurt your already dismal record with half the country.

Video courtesy Media Matters

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, left, and former President Donald Trump.

Photo by Kevin McCarthy (Public domain)

In the professional stratum of politics, few verities are treated with more reverence than the outcome of next year's midterm, when the Republican Party is deemed certain to recapture majorities in the House and Senate. With weary wisdom, any pol or pundit will cite the long string of elections that buttress this prediction.

Political history also tells us that many factors can influence an electoral result, including a national crisis or a change in economic conditions — in other words, things can change and even midterm elections are not entirely foretold. There have been a few exceptions to this rule, too.

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