Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough offers this insight on the 2014 midterm election:
What an asshole. This is a guy who rose to prominence vigorously defending the murderer of an abortion doctor and subsequently voted for harsh anti-choice legislation when he got elected to Congress. Here’s what Scarborough had to say about that, on Morning Joe, after Dr. George Tiller was murdered in 2009:
“We’ve got to learn to sit down and talk,” said Scarborough at the climax of this morning’s several minute segment including co-host Mika Brzezinski and Pat Buchanan…
“People who are pro-life like myself can’t call people who are pro-choice murderers, and people who are pro-choice can’t call people who are pro-life — can’t claim they don’t give a damn about women and want women to die in back alley abortions. That is the sort of angry, heated rhetoric over the past quarter century that’s gotten us to where we are today.”
Oh, okay, it really is a problem on both sides, what with one side pushing for laws that treat abortion patients and doctors as if they are murderers constantly and sometimes, you know, actually killing doctors. Where does the other side get these ridiculous ideas about anti-choicers hating women? Gosh, why are pro-choicers so hysterical and ham-fisted?
Scarborough’s reference to the Denver Post was about their idiotic endorsement of Republican Cory Gardner over incumbent Democrat Mark Udall for US Senate.
Rather than run on his record, Udall’s campaign has devoted a shocking amount of energy and money trying to convince voters that Gardner seeks to outlaw birth control despite the congressman’s call for over-the-counter sales of contraceptives. Udall is trying to frighten voters rather than inspire them with a hopeful vision. His obnoxious one-issue campaign is an insult to those he seeks to convince…
For that matter, his past views on same-sex marriage are becoming irrelevant now that the Supreme Court has let appeals court rulings stand and marriage equality appears unstoppable. And contrary to Udall’s tedious refrain, Gardner’s election would pose no threat to abortion rights.
Despite how shocked the Denver Post is by Udall so obnoxiously emphasizing Gardner’s record on reproductive rights, the fact is that Gardner is a major league anti-choicer who signed on to a Personhood bill in Congress and supported the Colorado Personhood ballot measure until he changed his tune just in time for the general election. Furthermore, the Post has no basis on which to claim that Gardner poses no threat to abortion rights in the US Senate. The Senate approves federal judges and Supreme Court Justices, after all.
There is clearly conventional wisdom forming that reproductive rights are now a losing issue for Democrats, because Republicans have had it drilled into them to avoid it and obfuscate about it, which many are doing successfully. Also, mockery is playing a big role in the strategy:
A tinny guitar intro leads the show. After a beat of introduction, Caldara cuts right to the issue that has defined the race. “I didn’t know you were that uterus crazy … so let’s just get it out of the way: personhood,” he says. He’s talking about bills put forward by anti-abortion groups in Colorado — bills Gardner supported until he announced he was running for Senate — to define fertilized eggs as people, which doctors warn would make abortion and some forms of birth control illegal. “Go.”
Pundits have taken to calling Udall “Mark Uterus”, which is super droll and really drives home how trivial the important people in the country consider women’s rights to control their bodies and reproduction to be. Then, there’s just straight-up lying about their positions Republican politicians are doing, as Cory Gardner does here:
“Well, I oppose the personhood amendment. Years ago I’d said that I’d supported it— it was the wrong idea. Looking at it, talking to people of Colorado, I don’t support it.” It’s just after 1 p.m., and at least the second time today he’s answered this line of questioning. Earlier, I asked what the federal bill was meant to do, if it wasn’t a personhood bill. “It’s a statement that I support life,” he said. But what’s the point if it doesn’t do anything? “Again, I think you have people who agree with it, and people who disagree with it. It’s a statement of people who support life.”
The Personhood bill in Congress is not a “statement”, it is a proposed law. Furthermore, Gardner’s new-found support for over-the-counter birth control sales means nothing, since it’s the FDA that would determine that, not Congress. That, and Gardner’s seeming reversal on personhood laws are designed to fool mid-term voters and lazy political reporters. It just might work for this election.
But at least in Colorado they are forced to have the conversation, due to the unique political forces there, such as a ballot measure to, um, give personhood rights to fertilized eggs. In Arizona, lucky Doug Ducey has not had to make a single public statement defending his views on abortion in his attempt to win the Governor seat as a Republican. The MSM here are famously squeamish about the issue, so Ducey gets a pass despite agreeing 100% with the Center for AZ Policy on their (practically) no exceptions abortion ban stance.
Whether the conventional wisdom-peddlers are joking about women’s rights or ignoring them, the message is the same: Women, you don’t matter, so don’t even bother. That should not be taken to mean that conservative anti-choice positions have suddenly become popular or that Democrats should stop making an issue of them. If conservatives win by lying they will go right ahead and attack women, leaving the pundits gasping to explain it. Who could have predicted that they would double-down on that stuff? Not us!
Well, we pro-choicers have predicted it, all along.