The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

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

Tag: abortion

Mastriano Would Charge Women Who Get Abortion With Murder

New audio uncovered of GOP gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano reveals him plainly saying in 2019 that women who have an illegal abortion should be charged with murder.

Mastriano, a Pennsylvania state senator, was discussing an abortion ban bill he had sponsored that would have outlawed abortion after a fetal heartbeat could be detected, typically around six weeks into a pregnancy. NBC News uncovered the audio of Mastriano's interview with radio station WITF in which he was asked if a woman who has an abortion at 10 weeks, which would be considered an illegal abortion under the proposed bill, should be charged with murder.

Mastriano initially dodges by contextualizing the question. "Is that a human being? Is that a little boy or girl?” he offers. “If it is, it deserves equal protection under the law.”

But pressed for a response a second time, Mastriano bluntly confirms that he believes murder charges are in order.

"So you're saying, 'Yes,'" asks the interviewer.

"Yes, I am," Mastriano responds.

Before Mastriano won the GOP primary and went dark on abortion, he had called it his "No. 1 issue" and said he wanted to ban abortions without exception, "period."

But the revelation that he wants to charge people who have illegal abortions with murder is surreal. In May, a Politico/Morning Consult poll found just 16% of adults support imprisoning women who get abortions, while 73% of Americans oppose it.

On the bright side for Mastriano, he has now locked up the fringe group of voters who favor putting women behind bars for what in some cases is standard health care for people who experience complications during the course of their pregnancy.

The Shapiro campaign, on the other hand, is plenty happy to forfeit the fringes for the remaining three-quarters of sane voters.

"Doug Mastriano has said his number one priority is banning abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother — and now, it’s clear he also wants to prosecute women for murder for making personal healthcare decisions," Shapiro spokesperson Manuel Bonder told NBC in a statement. "Mastriano has the most extreme anti-choice position in the country — and there is no limit to how far he would go to take away Pennsylvania women’s freedom."


Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

GOP ‘Cowardly Candidates’ Flee Their Own Record On Trump And Abortion

President Richard Nixon famously complained that Republican candidates were expected to show how conservative they were in GOP primaries only to feel obligated to make a dramatic run for the center in the general election. The irony is that in 2022, GOP primaries are way to the right of where they were in Nixon’s day; Republicans who were considered arch-conservative during the 1960s and 1970s would be too far to the left for today’s far-right MAGA movement.

Nonetheless, one does see, in 2022, a similar pivot among some Republicans in swing states and swing districts; now that they’re in the general election, they are trying to downplay how pro-Donald Trump and anti-abortion they were in their primaries. And according to the Daily Beast’s Sam Brodey, it’s no coincidence that pro-MAGA and anti-abortion messages have disappeared from their websites.

Brodey cites some specific examples in an article published by the Beast on September 28. One of them is Bo Hines, a former college football player who is running for a U.S. House of Representatives seat in North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District.

“Right after Bo Hines won a crowded primary for Congress in North Carolina, a visitor to the Republican hopeful’s campaign website would immediately find his declaration that he was ‘100 percent Pro-Life’ and ‘100 percent Pro-Trump,’” Brodey explains. “Just a click away was a section focused on ‘life and family’ issues, which professed Hines’ position that ‘life begins at conception’ and his commitment to ‘protect the rights of the unborn.’ Naturally, the first thing greeting any visitor to the site was the grinning face of Donald Trump — and his endorsement of Hines’ campaign. Today, all of that is gone.”

Brodey continues, “As Hines faces stiff competition from a Democratic rival in a swing suburban district, all but one of the images and invocations of Trump previously on his site have been removed, as have all references to abortion. Trump only appears in a photoshopped image with Hines in his site’s section on border security.”

According to the Beast reporter, the familiar tactic of “pivoting to the general” is “being pushed to its limits for Republicans running in 2022.”

“Trump remains as popular as ever among the GOP base and is as unpopular as ever outside of it,” Brodey observes. “The Supreme Court’s move in June to overturn abortion rights is a dream come true in the GOP base — but a nightmare to many more outside it. Stuck between their past posturing and their current campaigning, a growing cohort of Republican candidates have turned to a simple solution for reconciling it all: just delete it.”

Brodey continues, “According to a review of archived internet pages by The Daily Beast, at least five House GOP candidates in battleground districts wiped mentions of Trump or the 2020 election from their websites or social media after winning their primaries. And at least seven removed or significantly modified language about abortion on their web sites over the summer.”

Brodey cites Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, Blake Masters in Arizona and Tiffany Smiley in Washington State as three examples of Republican U.S. Senate nominees who “have scrubbed their online pages of Trump or 2020.” And Adam Laxalt, the Republican U.S. Senate nominee in Nevada, and Masters, according to Brodey, have done “the same for abortion.”

Ken Spain, a GOP strategist, believes it is “kind of silly at this stage” for Republican nominees to be scrubbing their websites of their own positions.

Spain told the Beast, “Unfortunately for all candidates, the internet lives forever. At this point, it’s too late to run away from who you are.”

Tommy Garcia, a Democratic National Committee (DNC) spokesperson, believes it is disingenuous for Republicans to downplay their positions.

Garcia told the Beast, “MAGA Republicans have made their extreme positions clear — there is no going back just because they have all of a sudden realized that they are out of touch with voters. Voters know exactly who these cowardly candidates are.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Super PAC Ad Spreads Lies About Kelly, Masters, And Abortion Rights

The Arizona Senate ad was sponsored by a group tied to the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America.

An anti-abortion super PAC released a misleading new ad on Friday, dishonestly claiming that Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) supports abortion "right up to the due date, for any reason." The ad also attempted to present Arizona Senate Republican nominee Blake Masters as only wanting a reasonable "compromise," despite his long history of backing total abortion bans.

The 30-second ad is being run by Women Speak Out, a super PAC affiliated with the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America — formerly known as Susan B. Anthony List. In the 2020 campaign, the super PAC reported receiving at least $4 million from right-wing billionaire Richard Uihlein.

After showing images of people celebrating the beginning of a pregnancy, a narrator says, "From that moment, a child should be protected. Blake Masters supports compromise: reasonably regulate late-term abortion, with an exception to protect the mother. But Mark Kelly's position is extreme: abortion even after the sonogram, right up to the due date, for any reason. Kelly is just not reasonable."

Arizona polling has shown that most voters oppose an abortion ban.

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America is one of the leading anti-abortion groups in the United States. Its website touts "life-saving laws" barring even "early abortion" and tracks the effort to enact "total/near total limits on abortion" in all 50 states.

The ad repeats a debunked claim being pushed by Masters that because Kelly voted for the Women's Health Protection Act — a bill that would have codified the right to choose an abortion as had been guaranteed in the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling — that means he backs unrestricted abortion up until the moment of birth.

In reality, the legislation expressly allowed for restrictions "after fetal viability," as long as they included an exception for the rare cases where, "in the good-faith medical judgment of the treating health care provider, continuation of the pregnancy would pose a risk to the pregnant patient's life or health."

Kelly told the Washington Post on Thursday that he is not opposed to "restrictions on abortion late in pregnancy." His campaign site notes that "Mark will always defend and protect the right of Arizona women to make their own healthcare decisions."

And while the ad attempts to paint Masters as a centrist seeking a "compromise" position, he has long advocated for a near-total abortion ban.

Before winning the GOP Senate primary in August, Masters sold himself to voters as "100%" against abortion at any time.

"I'm just unapologetically and unqualifiedly pro-life," he told the Pima County Republican Club in August 2021. "From conception."

That December, he posted a video in which he called legal abortion "a genocide happening in America."

Indeed, up until last month, his website contained language backing "a federal personhood law (ideally a Constitutional amendment) that recognizes that unborn babies are human beings that may not be killed."

Since that time, Masters has scrubbed his anti-abortion positions from his website.

Kelly has been endorsed in the race by both NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

An Arizona Republic poll of likely voters released Tuesday found Kelly leading Masters by a 49%-42% margin.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

GOP Senators Who Voted For Abortion Ban Flip-Flop Under Midterm Pressure

A number of Republican senators who just two years ago voted to ban abortion nationwide are now trying to distance themselves from that position as polling shows their anti-abortion stance could sink their chances in the November midterm election.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, John Thune of South Dakota, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin all voted for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act when it was introduced in the Senate in 2020 and 2018. That bill, introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), made it a crime to perform an abortion after 20 weeks' gestation.

But after Graham on September 13 introduced S.4840, listed officially as "A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to protect pain-capable unborn children, and for other purposes," which would criminalize abortion after 15 weeks' gestation, those same Republicans now say regulation of abortion should be left to the states.

Asked whether Republicans would put the bill to a vote if they regained a majority in the Senate, McConnell said, "I think most of the members of my conference prefer that this be dealt with at the state level."

But in 2018, when McConnell was Senate majority leader, he put a nationwide 20-week abortion ban on the floor for a vote.

"There is no reason why this should be a partisan issue," McConnell said on the Senate floor on January 29, 2018. "I hope that my Democratic colleagues will not obstruct the Senate from taking up this bill."

Cornyn has also reversed his position on a nationwide abortion ban.

According to Politico, Cornyn said of Graham's bill: "There's obviously a split of opinion in terms of whether abortion law should be decided by the states … and those who want to set some sort of minimum standard. I would keep an open mind on this but my preference would be for those decisions to be made on a state-by-state basis."

But in January 2018, Cornyn supported Graham's 20-week ban and lamented the fact that it didn't pass, tweeting: "Who among us thinks it's appropriate to have an elective abortion after five months when a child can feel pain? I'm disappointed in my colleagues who voted to block the pain-capable legislation today."

Polling has shown that public opinion about abortion is dramatically different from that of Republican lawmakers since the Supreme Court ruling in June in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that affirmed the right nationwide to abortion before fetal viability, which takes place around 24 weeks' gestation.

Surveys show that large majorities of voters want abortion to remain legal in all or most cases, and that they do not support bans.

A poll of registered voters conducted by the Wall Street Journal in late August found that 60 percent say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, a 5-point jump since March.

Graham introduced his bill after some Republican operatives had been lamenting that the party hadn't presented a unified message about their position on abortion after the Dobbs decision.

"Not having pro-life battleground candidates stake out a clear, unified position on something like a 15-week ban on the day that Dobbs was announced seems like a strategic blunder," GOP pollster Patrick Ruffini tweeted on September 8.

However, the ban contained in Graham's bill is also overwhelmingly unpopular: The Journal poll found 57 percent of voters oppose a ban on abortion at 15 weeks.

Prior to Roe's reversal, Republicans had a two-point average lead on the generic congressional ballot, a measure of which party voters want to see gain control in Congress. Now that lead has evaporated, with Democrats now holding a 1.4-point average lead over Republicans, according to FiveThirtyEight's tracker.

Before the Roe reversal, Republicans were the favorite to capture control in the Senate. However, FiveThirtyEight now gives Democrats a 71 percent chance at keeping the Senate majority.

Democrats, for their part, have been hammering Republicans on the abortion issue, with ad after ad calling the GOP's push to ban the procedure extreme and dangerous.

"Republicans got what they wanted (overturning Roe v. Wade and passing bans in a variety of states) and assumed that voters would be fine with it. They're not, and now Republicans are scrambling to try to stick with their agenda and still appeal to voters," Christina Reynolds, vice president of communications for the pro-abortion rights PAC EMILY's List, tweeted on September 13. "Good luck with that..."

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

Graham Says 15-Week Abortion Limit Is Step Toward Total National Ban

Sen. Lindsey Graham is not letting up on his national abortion ban, even though many of his fellow Senate Republicans wish he’d be quiet about that until after the election. Graham’s plan may help fire up the Republican base, but he clearly thinks it’s going to win swing voters despite all the available evidence that it will do the opposite.

Graham is out with an op-ed at Fox News (of course) trying to sell his abortion ban as the loving and compassionate and extremely moderate thing to do. Written with Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, the piece opens with a lie and ends with an acknowledgment that a national 15-week abortion ban is just the beginning.

“Pain is part of the human experience, and so is compassion for those who suffer pain,” they write at the outset, selling a policy devoid of compassion for the pregnant people it would affect. “For too long, our nation’s laws have excluded unborn children from this compassion even when growing evidence shows they can feel pain at least by 15 weeks in their development.”

In reality, “The science conclusively establishes that a human fetus does not have the capacity to experience pain until after at least 24–25 weeks. Every major medical organization that has examined this issue and peer-reviewed studies on the matter have consistently reached the conclusion that abortion before this point does not result in the perception of pain in a fetus,” according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Why would that be? “Rigorous scientific studies have found that the connections necessary to transmit signals from peripheral sensory nerves to the brain, as well as the brain structures necessary to process those signals, do not develop until at or after 24 weeks of gestation. Because it lacks these connections and structures, a fetus or embryo does not have the physiological capacity to perceive pain until at least this gestational age.”

Following that lie, Graham and Dannenfelser tell a truth: Graham’s national abortion ban would establish a ceiling, but not a floor, on abortion rights. It would limit abortion rights in states that allow abortion past 15 weeks (as was the national policy until the Trump Supreme Court went to work), but states that wanted to entirely ban abortion could do so.

Next, Graham and Dannenfelser move on to a misleading comparison between the national abortion ban they’re pushing and European laws. “Most of our European allies already limit abortion by at least 15 weeks. Developed nations like Switzerland, Denmark, and Norway allow abortion up to 12 weeks while France, Germany, Belgium, and Spain allow abortion up to 14 weeks,” they write. Here’s the thing: That may be true on paper, but most European countries have broader exceptions than Graham is proposing after those gestational limits.

“We see earlier gestational limits in Europe,” Katherine Mayall of the Center for Reproductive Rights told The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer, but “in practice, if somebody hits a gestational limit of 12 weeks, they’re still able to access abortion care, because the broad grounds after that limit option include things like mental health or the woman’s economic circumstances.” Economic circumstances!

Here’s maybe the best part, though. “For almost 50 years, the American people were denied a voice on abortion,” Graham and Dannenfelser lament, as they push a bill that would deny a voice to many states. And a bill that is, according to post-Dobbs polling, opposed by the public 57% to 30%, a 27-point margin.

It’s lie after lie in a piece intended to sell a policy that lowers the ceiling on medical freedom for pregnant people. And yes, it’s terrible politics for Republicans. The Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision put the U.S. on notice that Republicans do want to take away your rights, and Graham’s bill emphasizes that. That’s why so many Republicans who will gladly vote for it after the midterm elections are running scared right now. But he’s just being honest about his party’s goals—and toward the end of his piece with Dannenfelser, Graham acknowledges that this 15-week abortion ban is not the final step.

”There’s a lot more work to be done to ensure that one day every child is protected under the law, and we believe, over time, life will win,” they write. “But this is a reasonable starting place for a debate worthy of the United States Senate and our nation.”

Got that? A national 15-week abortion ban is just the starting point. The only answer is to make sure they don’t get started.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

It's Too Late For Republicans To Escape Their Abortion Blunder

Nice try, Lindsey Graham. The senator from South Carolina has been reading the polls, clearly. After decades of railing against abortion and populating the U.S. Supreme Court with justices eager to ditch a right to an abortion, Republicans like him are discovering that the broader public never signed up for losing that option.

On the contrary, many voters are hopping mad they've lost a right they took for granted. People who might not have participated in the midterms are registering and circling Nov.8 on their calendars.

The belief that women are the force that may scuttle Republican dreams come the midterms is widespread. But, actually, a Pew survey shows a majority of men, 58 percent, favor abortion rights in all or most cases.

A man of elastic beliefs, Graham has a "solution" that spins the head in light of what's transpired. He's proposed a new national law permitting abortion in the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. Who does that please? Not the many states that oppose added restrictions. Not the 12 or so states that had virtually banned the procedure.

Gosh, haven't Republicans been telling us for 50 years that decisions on abortion should be left to the states? And repeated with added force after the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision struck down Roe v. Wade? And, of course, Graham himself over how many decades?

His bill would add exceptions for rape and incest, which sounds reasonable to many but constitutes an insult to a true "pro-life position." If the embryo or fetus is an innocent human being, as abortion foes hold, then it should not matter whether that being was conceived in love or through a violent crime.

What Roe did was give women the option of ending a pregnancy before fetal viability for any reason. What influenced their decisions was no business of politicians.

In any case, rape and incest account for a tiny fraction of unwanted pregnancies. Out in the real world, the desire for access to abortion centers on other, more common scenarios.

It's about parents dealing with an 11th grader impregnated by a 12th grader. It covers the single woman who became pregnant by a guy she wants out of her life. It involves couples burdened with debt and job loss who feel unable to start a family at the moment — or are struggling to support the children they have.

The most restrictive bans on abortion tend to make an exception for saving the life of the mother. But then, who decides whether a mother's life was truly endangered? Ordinarily, that person would be a doctor.

But politically inspired restrictions on the procedure have empowered politicians and other outsiders to threaten doctors making complicated decisions. And that has struck fear among maternal medicine professionals.

Ohio's near ban on abortion has created tension at the Cleveland Clinic, nationally known for its expertise in high-risk pregnancies. There are cases, for example, in which a non-viable twin must be removed to prevent irreparable harm to the mother and the other twin.

One in 10 pregnancies end in miscarriages. Doctors treating them to preserve the woman's health routinely use common abortion drugs. Are they now open in many states to all kinds of crazy accusations?

The Cleveland Clinic also worries that doctors may avoid Ohio altogether rather than expose themselves to oversight by people not at all qualified to practice medicine.

With many Republicans pretending they never really opposed abortion, Graham apparently wants to help with his compromise. The post-Dobbs stance that states should decide these matters lasted about 15 minutes.

"I thought it'd be nice to introduce a bill to define who we are," he said. Mission accomplished.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

Hostility Erupts Among Top Senate Republicans Over Abortion, Trump

No one in the Republican Party has done more to push the U.S. Supreme Court to the radical right than Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who infamously blocked President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, in 2016 before doing everything he could to ram all three of Donald Trump’s nominees through the U.S. Senate: Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Justice Amy Coney Barrett in 2020. Thanks largely to McConnell, the High Court is way to right of where it was during the 1990s and 2000s.

But with the Court having overturned Roe v. Wade with its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, countless Democrats are using the abortion issue to bash Republican candidates — a fact of which McConnell is well aware. And McConnell finds himself butting heads with two prominent members of his caucus: Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Sen. Rick Scott of Florida. Journalists Alayna Treene and Andrew Solender describe some of those tensions in an article published by Axios.

McConnell has voiced his displeasure with an anti-abortion bill Graham has proposed, and he has made it clear that he isn’t happy with some of the far-right MAGA candidates Scott has been pushing as chairman of the National Senatorial Campaign Committee (NSCC).

On September 13, Graham unveiled a bill that would ban abortion nationwide not long after a pregnancy’s first trimester. McConnell is anti-abortion, and he supports the Dobbs ruling. But he objected to Graham’s bill, saying that the legality or illegality of abortion should be left up to individual states. Pro-choice Washington Post opinion columnist Jennifer Rubin, who has voted Republican in many presidential elections but is a scathing critic of Trump and the MAGA movement, has described Graham’s bill as a “gift to Democrats” and urged them to use it to bash the Republican Party in the 2022 midterms.

“Two of the highest-profile Republicans in the Senate are publicly defying Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY.) on high-stakes issues vital to the GOP's chances of retaking the majority next year,” Treene and Solender report. “The big picture: In interviews with Axios, GOP senators and party strategists declined to blame McConnell for the antics of Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). They see the ‘freelancing’ — as one source close to the leader described it — as a sign of the Senate as an institution breaking down under modern incentive structures.”

According to Treene and Solender, “Graham admitted to Axios that he did not get permission from McConnell to release the proposal. McConnell, like many GOP senators, has said the abortion question should be left to the states.”

In August, McConnell told a crowd in Kentucky that while he still believes that Republicans will “flip” the House of Representatives in November, he considers the Senate a toss-up. And he criticized the “quality” of some GOP Senate candidates, much to Scott’s chagrin. McConnell has also been critical of Scott’s “Rescue America” plan for the Senate, especially a proposal to raise taxes on lower income earners — a proposal that Democrats have been vehemently campaigning against.

McConnell also parts company with Graham and Scott when it comes to Trump. Although McConnell avoids talking about Trump, there is clearly bad blood between McConnell and the former president — who McConnell blames for the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Graham and Scott, however, continue to be strident Trump defenders.

A source described by Treene and Solender as a “Senate GOP leadership aide” and interviewed on condition of anonymity, believes that Graham and Scott’s antics are hurting the Republican Party in the midterms.

That aide told Axios, “Rick Scott’s plan and Graham’s announcement yesterday have sent candidates running for cover and distancing themselves from these proposals — exactly the opposite of what we want right now.”

Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota believes that the environment among Senate Republicans is much different from what it was when the late Republican Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas was serving as Senate majority leader.

Cramer told Axios, “I just think in today's multimedia/24-hour cycle world, it's just different. It's hard to know whether a guy like Bob Dole could have been able to keep everyone in line today."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Right-Wing Pundits Warn Graham: Don't Push Abortion Ban Before Midterm

Prominent right-wing commentators are condemning Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) proposed national abortion ban. But their concern isn’t that they oppose threatening doctors with up to five years in prison if they perform an abortion on a patient who has been pregnant for more than 15 weeks. It’s that they know Graham’s bill endangers the GOP’s chances of gaining power and thus having the opportunity to ban abortions.

Graham’s proposal, announced Tuesday, would implement a nationwide ceiling on abortion, banning abortions across the country after 15 weeks of pregnancy, while leaving in place all stricter state laws. He told reporters at a press conference announcing the bill, “If we take back the House and the Senate, I can assure you we'll have a vote on our bill.”

The Republican Party’s platform states that “the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed,” and since GOP appointees to the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, red states have implemented sweeping abortion restrictions and in some cases near-total bans.

But some Republican leaders are trying to distance the party from Graham’s legislation, apparently fearing an electoral backlash that could swamp GOP efforts to take back the U.S. House and Senate. Fox News is largely ignoring the bill for the same reason. And some on the right are explicitly slamming Graham on those grounds.

“He wants Republicans to lose. This is sabotage,” Daily Wire host Matt Walsh argued on Wednesday.

On his own podcast, Charlie Kirk called Graham’s move “election interference,” saying that Democrats are “enthusiastic that Lindsey Graham is now making this all about the one issue Democrats actually can win suburban women on.”

And Fox’s Jesse Watters questioned the “timing” of the move during an interview with the South Carolina senator, telling him, “All the media and the Democrats are talking about federal abortion ban, federal abortion ban. You know that's not smart politics, right?”

Note that none of these right-wingers oppose federal abortion bans on the merits. When the Supreme Court overturned Roe, Walsh tweeted that “federal ban on abortion nationwide is the next step.” During his interview with Graham, Watters stressed that he agreed with the senator on the merits of the policy, just not the timing. And Kirk claimed during his anti-Graham rant that “as someone who is so pro-life, I would love a total abortion ban, 15 weeks is not enough.”

“But I’m also not dumb,” he alleged, adding that Graham had proposed his bill “25 days out from ballots going out.”

And there’s the rub.

The right wants abortion bans like the one Graham put forward. But its propagandists know that such bans are extremely unpopular, and that Republicans are better off keeping the public’s focus on issues like crime, where the GOP has plenty of grievances but no solutions. Then, if the GOP takes back Congress in 2022 and the White House in 2024, its leaders can ram through its traditional and unpopular priorities like banning abortions, cutting taxes for the wealthy, and slashing the social safety net.

The biggest threat to Republican political victories is letting the public find out what the party would do if it wins, and the party’s media allies are well aware.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.