Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had an urgent message for his conference Tuesday: Whatever you do, don't talk about the Supreme Court's draft opinion destroying abortion rights.
Chastising his GOP colleagues at their weekly luncheon, McConnell told them, "You need, it seems to me, a lecture to concentrate on what the news is today: Not a leaked draft, but the fact that the draft was leaked."
As my Daily Kos colleague Hunter detailed, Republicans spent Tuesday fixated on the leaking of the bombshell opinion as a "stunning breach" by "the Left" to "intimidate sitting Supreme Court justices."
The harm done to the high court and its justices by the leak was apparently deeply enraging and irreparable. But being forced to carry a fetus to term because the Supreme Court says so? Meh. Republican senators reserved all their outrage for the nine Americans who donned fancy black robes while deciding that state governments do indeed have the right to dictate people’s health care decisions.
Christine Pelosi talks about the Supreme Court’s leaked decision on Roe v. Wade, and what Democrats must do now, on Daily Kos’ The Brief podcast
The emphasis on the leaking (versus what was leaked) was an interesting fixation for a party that has devoted much of its last five decades to clearing the way for the demolition of Roe v. Wade.
But McConnell just might be the ultimate example of the dog that caught the car. Sure, he wants Roe shredded along with basically every other decision supported by a solid majority of Americans. But McConnell surely doesn't want it shredded before the midterms. By Jove, he can practically taste that Majority Leader goodness.
Except now the fringe court for which he stole two seats might be complicating Senate Republicans’ path back to the majority. Here's a little glimpse of why McConnell and his conference had a cow after the leaked opinion surfaced in Politico.
Data for Progress notes that public support for a federal ban on abortions doesn’t exceed 30% in any single state.
YouGov’s G. Elliott Morris tweets that the “latest public polls from Pew, Gallup, YouGov, and CNN, all from the last year, found that between 58% and 70% of Americans oppose the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade, including roughly three-fourths of Independents and nearly a majority of Republicans.”
We’re going to find out a lot more about polling on this topic over the coming months. But one of the most interesting footnotes is that the vast majority of voters truly didn’t believe the Supreme Court would overturn Roe. Just 20% or even fewer voters believed that, according to Democratic pollster and president of Impact Research, Molly Murphy. So this Supreme Court ruling gutting Roe will truly come as a shock to the electorate. And Republicans clearly know it.