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The furor over Harriet Miers leads one to wonder what is going on. There have been many theories
  • Bush is nominating a business conservative
  • Bush is nominating a cronie
  • Bush wanted to avoid a confirmation fight
Conservatives are showing concern and dismay over not getting one of their hardliners. I would like to add another theory

"Conservative Politicians do not want Roe-Wade overturned"

Imagine if Roe-Wade were overtuned.

This has a number of unplesant consequences for conservative politicians
  • They lose their most important hot-button issue
  • They lose their anti-abortion cash machine
  • Many PACs would die and their leaders with them
  • Pro-Choice forces would be invigorated
I do not think that other issues like Gay Marriage have the staying power that the anti-abortion fight represents. An unmotivated Christian Conservative base would be a bad thing at election time - particularly with such a weak president.

It will be interesting to see if all of this hand wringing is for show (assuming that Miers is indeed an unknown quantity).

Originally posted to robwell on Fri Oct 07, 2005 at 10:26 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I agree (4.00)
    if Roe v Wade is overturned, it's the left that will be coming out with the torches to the polls. They sure don't want that to happen. No, they need that carrot to dangle in front of the fundies to keep them salivating.
  •  I've been thinking this... (none)
    for a very long time.  The string on this political ploy may be played out now, however.
  •  sounds about right for this crew (none)
    sure, it's kinda tin-foil hat, but that doesn't mean it's not true. We've seen over and opver again that power is all they really care about, and that social issues are just a tool to get yokels to fall in line.

    Donald Driver for Wisconsin - Senate 2008 (Feingold for President)

    by Groper on Fri Oct 07, 2005 at 10:22:43 AM PDT

  •  It's pretty funny (none)
    The ordinary anti-Roe people might as well start voting Democrat now.
    •  anti (none)
      Friend at work stated that if it wasnt for the abortion issue she wouldve voted for Kerry.Take that issue of the table and the Christians who actually read the bible and want to help people vote Dem.Repugs know this and havent enacted anything to overturn Roe.

      Bush=determined to vacation through the apocalypse

      by kerry on Fri Oct 07, 2005 at 11:45:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Numbers... (none)
    39% of the people who voted for Bush in 04 were pro-choice.

    20% of the people who voted for Kerry in 04 were pro-life.

    Wouldn't be a good trade for Republicans.

  •  Why get rid of the goose (none)
    that keeps laying golden eggs?

    Nothing is going to fire up as many people as abortion does.  We've had "pro life" presidents for more than 20 years...and abortion is still around.  If they truly wanted to do away with it, more inroads would have been made.

    For one thing, those at the top realize its a loosing battle.  They aren't changing minds.  Most people favor legalized abortion and it doesn't appear to be changing.  They're going to ride this horse for as long as they long as there are a few votes they can siphon off this way.

    •  Maybe this well's played out (none)
      Roe v Wade still gets the crowds moving, but for the real money, the Culture War Profiteers seem to have moved back to anti-Darwinism.

      From the anti-Darwinists at The Discovery Institute

      But for those who read Genesis literally and believe that God created the world along with all creatures big and small in just six days, there's no reconciling faith with Darwinism. And polls indicate that approximately 45% of Americans believe that. It's no wonder that almost one-third of the 1,050 teachers who responded to a National Science Teachers Association online survey in March said they had felt pressured by parents and students to include lessons on intelligent design, creationism or other nonscientific alternatives to evolution in their science classes; 30% noted that they felt pressured to omit evolution or evolution-related topics from their curriculum.

      Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

      by chimpy on Fri Oct 07, 2005 at 10:49:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep....they aren't stupid (none)
        and they are constantly looking for other wedge issues...I think we are seeing several "trial balloons" being put forth...the whole creationism thing is one, Terri Schiavo another, gay marriage is currently their favorite.

        And don't forget Fox News attempt to wage war over Christmas....

  •  Gotta Disagree..... (4.00)
     I think frankly the theory progs and libs have been touting that the Republicans don't really want to see Roe V Wade overturned reflects a lack of understanding about what fundamentalist Christians really strive for. It is something folks are telling one another on the Left to reassure themselves that the Republicans still have reasonable thinkers in their ranks.
     I live in the South in an are populated mostly by fundamentalists and Roe vs Wade is just the very start of their social agenda. What they truly desire is a Christian Iran that will help bring about the conflicts they believe will lead to the Second Coming.
     The Republicans don't mind using the most vigilant among the right to do real battle with the Left. Don't kid yourself and think the Repubs are worried about pissing off the Left and getting them out on the street. They want open conflict in order to further prove to Mr. and Mrs. Undecided Suburbia that a law and order Corporate/Chritian state will provide both safety and morality.
      Moderate Dems are already trying to ditch the pro-choice platform and many men on the Left are ditching the idea of helping to fight for reproductive rights because it is just "single issue" politics so the radical right is actually getting quite a bit of help in their quest to turn us in a Handmaiden state a la Atwood.
     I recall that in the 1960's when women  who where aligned with the anti-war movement tried to include relvant issues that affected them they were oftent told they were distracting from the effort to end the war.
      Roe vs Wade is going down and progressive and moderate men are getting co-opted by their fear of the rule of the radical right and abandoning it as a fight worth fighting.
      Guess it will be good for business in Mexico and Canada.
    •  No one is saying (none)
      that rank and file Republicans don't want to overturn Roe vs. Wade, it's the money elite that actually runs the Republican party who want to keep it in place as a rallying tool. I've thought this for a long time.

      "Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child." - J. Danforth Quayle III

      by movie buff on Fri Oct 07, 2005 at 10:54:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And Maybe (none)
        just maybe this is the reason the Republican elite is up in arms against Miers - because she represents the actual base of the GOP and is going to vote for overturning Roe v. Wade.
  •  you have it wrong (none)
    Everyone...overturning R v W DOES NOT MAKE ABORTION ILLEGAL!!!  repeat after overturing of that decision STILL ALLOWS ABORTIONS!!

    all it does is allow states to make their own laws regarding its legality.  in other words, moves it from a fed to a state issue.

    you'll still have the jesus freaks out picketting clinics, setting off bombs, etc.  just perhaps in fewer states, as surely utah, miss, al, tx, etc. would outlaw it in a second..

    •  Flip side: (none)
      It's not quite clear in practice that Roe v. Wade actually makes abortion quite legal, in the sense that states are free to regulate it and some state governments do so in a way that makes it almost impossible to obtain one legally.

      Moiv has done very important work bringing this up on this site.

      RvW is extremely important but by far not the only battleground on this.

      If Bush were President when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, he would have invaded Mexico.-- Cervantes

      by jem6x on Fri Oct 07, 2005 at 11:09:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Over turn is just the beginning... (none)
      Overturning Roe V. Wade will give the power back to the states.

      HOWEVER, what if the court goes one step further and gives homonuclei a passport? That's the legal argument the pro-life movement has been pushing, and if it's endorsed by the Supreme Court, abortion WILL be illegal in all 50 states, as will birth control.

    •  Exactly--onward, anti-choice soldiers (none)
      An overturn of Roe v. Wade would provide local focus and $$$ for the hardcore xian GOP at the state level.  This would work a lot better for them than gay marriage did, because illegalizing same-sex marriage was either an easy and short fight through local predominantly homophobe legislatures (Kentucky, Ohio, etc. etc.), or proved to be a complete roadblock in other states (Vermont, Massachusetts--in both cases, where it was not just a partisan issue, but drew rapidly withering bipartisan support to a losing anti same-sex marriage cause).  Only, that I know of, in California has it been an issue which has provided lengthy debate at the state level.

      If Roe is overturned, every state has the ability to illegalize abortion, or to keep it safe and legal.  What this will do is energize groups like the mainstream Catholic orthodoxy, even in such otherwise (and probably ultimately) "safe" states as California, Massachusetts and Rhode Island--in MA's case, giving the GOP a compelling focus it hasn't had in years.

      Maybe, put another way, this would energize and introduce a group of anti-choice supporters who weren't motivated to get completely militant over anti-same-sex marriage.  In that sense, this would be new ground, a little more akin to the evangelism of small-government/eliminate-taxes as it migrated across the land and talk radio through the early and mid 1980's, and the grassroots energy that created for the right.

      Independent of the fact that it would geographically segment the country into a section which respects womens' rights and one which didn't, a Roe overturn would provide a stick of ideological encroachment from the latter onto the former.  (Sorry if I'm totally pounding this into the ground from several different directions).

      Moreover, even in the states that would be quick to overturn Roe, this now becomes far from the end.  Regulation of nonstandard means of conception and women's rights in the workplace can't be far behind on the agenda in the heartland of the anti-feminist cutting edge.

  •  Here's a creepy thought (none)
    Here was my first thought when I read the headline, before clicking on it.

    If predominately liberals have abortions, there will be fewer liberals. If conservatives don't have abortions, there will be more conservatives.


    I don't like Bizarro World... I want to go home to America.

    by willers on Fri Oct 07, 2005 at 11:12:00 AM PDT

  •  In Virginia, (none)
    the prospect of RvW's overturn has put a lot of pressure on the Republican candidate for governor, Jerry Kilgore.  Have a look at this.  It's pretty juicy.

    If Bush were President when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, he would have invaded Mexico.-- Cervantes

    by jem6x on Fri Oct 07, 2005 at 11:13:09 AM PDT

  •  Yes. (none)
    I posted this very notion a couple days ago in another string: my comment was titled, "Republicans are pro-abortion."

    Not pro-choice, because they don't give a damn about women.  But pro-abortion for the very reasons you outline here.  They control all levers of power, but choose not to make a sincere effort to deal with the issue.

    State Republicans are another matter, but the RNC uses abortion as a fund-raiser and vote-getter.  They'd be lost without it.

  •  Overturning Roe v. Wade would be a MESS (none)
    I have thought for years that many conservatives would rather fiddle with the marigins of Roe v. Wade (parental consent, requiring 24 waiting periods, etc.) than overturn it.  Why?

    If Roe v. Wade is overturned the Republican Party has two options, pass a Federal constitutional amendment banning abortion or let the states figure it out.  It would be impossible to push through a constitutional amendment either way.  Moderate Republicans would become quickly become extinct in Congress if they tried were actually forced to vote on a meaningfuol constitutional amendment.  Therefore, Congress would punt the issue back to the states.

    At the state level, it would energize an incredible number of pro-choice and pro-life voters.  Abortion would be the number one issue in every state race in the country.  We would be forced to have to have debate about whether abortion should be legal.  Canidates and incumbents would be required to face the issue directly.  Politicians would face extremely difficult choices.  Roe v. Wade has provided political cover for politicians from both parties for years.  Everyone could point at Roe and say they either agreed or disagreed with the decision, but they really couldn't do anything about it.  Judicial appointments have become so heated because it is now the proxy battle for the abortion debate.  Overturning Roe would force everyone to deal with it directly.  

    My guess is that a majortiy of states would ultimately have some form of legalized abortion.  It would be probably be an interesting patchwork of different laws.  Also, a minority of states would immediately ban and criminalize abortion.  It would be a hell of a fight.

    I think the this fight would cause the Republicans to lose a ton of elections at the state level and control of Congress.  I also think that Democrats would probably be shut out of several states where abortion rights are strongly opposed.    

    Utlimately, Roe v. Wade has not been overturned or overruled because a majority of the population in this country supports a women's right to choose.  If republican party had really been committed to overturning Roe the past few years it could have taken a number of steps to make that possible.  The courts are the WEAKEST branch of government.  The Supreme Court's authority is based on the kindness of others and tradition.  Why do you think the Supreme Court finally backed away from its fight with FDR during the thirties?  The Court risked losing its independence.  

    If Bush and the Republican Congress wanted to actually overturn Roe v. Wade in the Courts there are a number of steps he could have taken (pack the court, gut the court, impeach judges, cut funding, etc.)  They have not done it because those actions would not have been popular.  That's why so many of the pro-life movement's efforts have been directed towards changing peoples minds about abortion.  They need popular support for their views and they don't currently have that.

    This is just my two cents.  What does everyone else think?  


  •  Nothing like winning a huge chunk (none)
    of votes with a cynical promise than can never be fullfilled.  The Rethugs will NEVER overturn RvW.  Their entire political structure depends on it.

    Geonomist - Charge for privileges; abolish taxes on production.

    by Geonomist on Fri Oct 07, 2005 at 12:10:49 PM PDT

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