Thursday, April 11, 2024

Trump doesn't care about abortions

Natasha Korecki put together a helpful timeline on the way Donald Trump has bobbed and weaved on the issue of abortion. For example:
  • In 1999 - before running for president as a Republican - he said, "I am very pro-choice." 
  • Two years later, (when he was considering the idea of running against Obama in the 2012 election) he claimed to be "pro-life." 
  • By March of 2016, he said that women who have abortions should be punished and vowed to appoint Supreme Court justices that would overturn Roe. 
  • Since that happened in 2022, he has been on-and-off again about a federal ban on abortions.
  • When the so-called "red wave" didn't materialize in the 2022 midterms, Trump blamed it on Republicans who insisted on abortion bans with no exceptions. 
This week, the bobbing and weaving has continued. On Monday, the former president put out a statement claiming strong support for IVF and for leaving the decision on abortion up to the states. He also warned that state and local legislators should keep in mind the need to win elections - telegraphing that he recognizes that a pro-life stand could hurt Republicans. 

Then on Tuesday, the Arizona Supreme Court lifted a ban on an 1864 law that made abortion a felony punishable by two to five years in prison for anyone who performs one or helps a woman obtain one. When asked about that on Wednesday, Trump said that the Arizona law "went too far" and released a video claiming that overturning Roe was the only goal. He said that, from the beginning, it has always been about bringing the issue back to the states - nothing else. 

All of these mixed messages stem from the fact that Trump doesn't really care about the abortion issue. When he decided to run for president as a Republican, he had to take a stand against it - and when it turned out that a majority of his base was made up of Christian nationalists, he catered to what they wanted in order to win/maintain their support. 

But what the former president doesn't seem to understand is that, for the pro-life folks, abortion is murder. And these days, most of them are coalescing around the argument that life begins at conception. So when he says things like "leave it up to the states," they hear him saying that it is OK for blue states to murder children during a pregnancy. 

Here's how Trump's former vice-president responded on Twitter:
President Trump’s retreat on the Right to Life is a slap in the face to the millions of pro-life Americans who voted for him in 2016 and 2020...a majority of Americans long to see minimum national protections for the unborn in federal law. But today, too many Republican politicians are all too ready to wash their hands of the battle for life. Republicans win on life when we speak the truth boldly and stand on the principle that we all know to be true – human life begins at conception and should be defended from womb to tomb.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Pro-Life America, said that abortion "has always been a human rights issue — not contingent on geography. Where you live shouldn't determine whether you live."

Steve Peace, BlazeTV host, is ready to give up on the whole GOP.

Now that Republicans have a chance to show they are sincerely pro-life, and act on decades of speeches and promises, they are by and large punting and cowering -- starting with the guy responsible for overturning Roe itself. Now plenty of our own teammates are also showing they're fine sacrificing kids on the altar of personal convenience...

What all of this means for Trump (and other Republicans on the ballot in 2024) is that what they want first and foremost is for this issue to quietly go away and get back to talking about the so-called "invasion" at our border. But that's not going to work. If the Christian nationalist base demands a federal ban on abortion - Trump is going to have to give them one. In the process, he loses everyone else.  

1 comment:

  1. Anyone with common sense can see that Trump is, and always will be, transactional in nature. It doesn't matter if it's abortion, the border, foreign policy, or any personal relationship, Trump has the "What's in it for me?" viewpoint of the malignant narcissist/psychopath. However, as Nancy notes in her last sentence, this sort of worldview can become a Catch-22: give the MAGA crazies what they want and lose a large chunk of sane voters or try to thread the middle and siphon off just enough of the MAGA base to lose anyway.

    To echo a previous post, "I'd rather be us than them!"


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