Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is being praised and punished by Democrats – and mostly criticized if not just ignored by Republicans. Democrats are grateful for the massive “gift” he dropped in their laps, almost without warning Tuesday, by introducing a nationwide abortion ban that has no chance of passing the Senate, much less the House, or ever being signed into law by any Democratic president. In fact, it will never even be brought to the floor for a vote, at least not while Democrats hold the Senate.
Graham’s bill, which would ban abortion at 15 weeks (Graham got even that wrong at his press conference, saying “after” 15 weeks,) with few exceptions, is more extreme than even some states’ current bans.
It is a remarkable about-face for a lawmaker who just 37 days ago on national television said abortion should be left up to the states, not the federal government. It’s also a snapshot of just how extreme Graham has allowed himself to become. Last year he introduced a 20-week abortion ban.
Many Democrats and voters on the left are thrilled Graham, they say, has exposed what the GOP’s real intentions have been all along: not “states’ rights,” but the control of women’s bodies and a nationwide ban on abortion.
Republicans and those on the right are furious he has not only exposed their goals but did so less than two months before the midterms, when early voting has already begun in some states.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, overturning the nearly 50-year-old Roe v. Wade decision that found women have a constitutional right to abortion, has been historically unpopular. It’s catapulted women to register to vote in numbers not seen in at least decades.
“No issue has upended the battle for Congress and state races as abruptly,” The Washington Post reported last week, adding that “female voters who drifted away from the Democratic Party after the 2020 election are shifting back. Democrats have overperformed in special elections, and voters showed up in droves to reject a ballot measure in ruby-red Kansas aimed at restricting abortion.”
The right-wing Wall Street Journal earlier this month, reported that “60% of voters said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, up from 55% in March.”
“More than half of voters said the issue made them more likely to cast ballots in the midterm elections; majorities oppose 6-week and 15-week abortion bans.”
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), one of the most-respected lawmakers on Capitol Hill, blasted the South Carolina Republican senator, correctly framing the GOP as “theocrats.”
“Lindsey Graham’s nationwide 15-week abortion ban is a dangerous escalation of the GOP’s plan to destroy women’s health care. We won’t let it pass, but we see what’s coming if the theocrats take over Congress,” Raskin warned, adding: “Pro-freedom Americans: stay vigilant.”
A popular Twitter account with nearly 300,000 followers that posts video clips on important news events, Acyn, who rarely makes political commentary without a video noted, “Lindsey Graham really seems to have made a massive miscalculation here.”
Ryan Saavedra, a senior reporter for the far-right-wing website The Daily Wire lamented, “What a great way to energize the opposition against your own party just weeks before an election.
Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali, an attorney and author of Go Back To Where You Came From: And, Other Helpful Recommendations on Becoming American, says, “Republicans and Lindsey Graham have just handed Democrats a gift before the midterm with their national abortion ban. I hope Democrats recognize it and run ads and messaging on it nonstop.”
Activist and author Amy Siskind said, “Trust me: Lindsey Graham’s plan to remind us that Republicans took away women’s right to control our own bodies is not going to go the way he thinks it is.”
Attorney Ron Filipkowski, a former Republican and former federal prosecutor turned Democrat who works to expose right wing extremism observed that “Lindsey Graham just took a flamethrower to every carefully crafted Republican narrative designed to fool voters about their intentions on abortion. The American people can now see very clearly what they intend to do.”
He added, “Can we get Lindsey on the road to campaign in PA, OH, WI, GA, AK, AZ, FL? Can we pay for his travel expenses? Never thought I’d say this, but more Lindsey Graham please!”
Journalist Brian J. Karem says Sen. Graham “seems determined to make sure the GOP loses and the Democrats retain control of the House and Senate in the midterms.”
Even Fox News seemed stunned.
Host Bret Baier said Graham’s abortion ban is “raising eyebrows” and asked, “Are Republicans going down the wrong road with a nationwide abortion ban after saying it’s up to the states in the wake of Dobbs?”
Reprinted with permission from Alternet.
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