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Reblogged:Trump Tries to Sidestep Abortion

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Donald Trump, whose Supreme Court appointments eventually overturned Roe vs. Wade, has stuck his finger into the wind and decided his best chance at a second term lies with pretending that abortion isn't really a big issue.

The right, which only cares about (a) banning abortion and (b) whether Trump can win (in that order), is mostly in a bubble, taking him "seriously but not literally:" They sense that Trump will say whatever is most likely to get him elected and will roll with whatever progress the fundies can make on banning abortion. He doesn't really care about the issue beyond how it affects his election chances, and they're fighting a long game.

The left -- who would rather indulge magical thinking than, say, making abortion actually legal or prosecuting insurrectionists on time -- is already writing his political obituary and and even fantasizing that Florida will "turn blue" during the next election.

This isn't to say that a Trump victory is inevitable or that abortion won't cost him Florida, but one must read any political commentary these days with an eye on separating the wishes of the author from reality.

I mildly exaggerated on my first commentary link. The Newsweek piece, by Democrat cheerleader David Faris, does in fact attempt a more-or-less cool-headed analysis of how Trump's latest flip-flop on abortion might play out.

I think Faris gets it half-right:
Image by pjedrzejczyk, via Pixabay, license.
You must therefore wonder how this group of high-propensity voters that is absolutely critical to any Republican victory this November is going to take this news. My guess is "not well." While some Republicans might be satisfied with the end of Roe and abortion bans or impossible restrictions in 21 states, the most religious white evangelicals want total victory. And Trump just told them they won't get it. Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, issued a statement almost immediately after Trump's video dropped saying that she was "deeply disappointed," although still committed to defeating President Joe Biden. While we shouldn't expect his position to cause dramatic change in his white evangelical support, even a few points could be determinative it what looks like it is going to be an extremely close election.

The other problem here for Trump is that, unlike him, people who care about restoring reproductive rights are not stupid. He did not say whether he would sign an abortion ban if it crossed his desk, a tightrope he will not be able to walk all the way to November without being pressed for a firm up-or-down answer. In private, he has previously said that he would sign a 16-week national abortion ban. And throwing up his hands and saying "let the states decide" still leaves tens of millions of furious women living in states where abortion has been completely banned -- including Electoral College battleground states like North Carolina, Arizona, Georgia and Florida -- or partially banned, like Wisconsin. [bold added]
Faris is dead wrong about the evangelical vote: First of all, anti-abortionists have been working for decades to make abortion illegal and know that their gains are safe at worst with Trump in charge.

Second, this part of the electorate is firmly within the Orange Echo Chamber. See take seriously but not literally above. And consider its support of Trump despite his serial philandering, sleaziness, and criminality. This is more of the same, and they will overlook it, too. With these people, Trump could get away with murder, as he once boasted.

Faris is, however, correct about those of us facing -- or who have daughters facing -- an adulthood in which an accident or a crime might condemn them to the dangers of an unplanned pregnancy and the decision to (a) assume the lifelong responsibility of parenthood at a time not of their choosing or (b) forfeit that responsibility in the hope that a random stranger will properly care for their newborn child.

The second piece is also more cool-headed than I let on. Its assessment of Florida is as follows:
Tuesday's twin rulings on abortion from the Florida Supreme Court -- one letting a deeply restrictive, DeSantis-backed anti-abortion law go into effect, the other permitting an abortion-access initiative, Amendment 4, on the November ballot -- have upended political certainties in the Sunshine State. Last week, no one was talking about Florida as a swing state; now, with abortion at center stage, it's not beyond the bounds of the possible that, with an overwhelming majority of Floridians -- including a majority of Republicans -- in favor of reestablishing abortion rights protections, the Democrats will be able to use this issue to drive a wave of supporters to the polls in November.


Yet such is the state of disarray in the Florida Democratic Party that, even with the huge assist the Supreme Court has given them by turning abortion into the central issue of the upcoming vote in Florida, it remains a long shot for President Joe Biden to mount a successful challenge for the state's Electoral College votes. [bold added]
The piece then looks at the situation in other states where both parties are competitive and abortion has become a ballot-box issue.

Regarding Florida, I think Trump can lose non-Evangelical Republicans on this issue, unless they buy his shtick about being non-committal on the issue or somehow don't pay any more attention to abortion than they have had to in the past. And I agree with Faris that he might not have to lose that many voters for it to matter -- since Democrats now have good reason -- Biden himself sure isn't one -- to show up and vote.

My take is that abortion will hurt Trump, but perhaps not enough to keep him out of office; and that it will definitely hurt his party down-ballot.

-- CAV

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