State Sovereignty and the Shifting Sands of Abortion Politics: Donald Trump’s Tactical Shift and the GOP’s Electoral Fallout.

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( Former President Donald Trump announced recently that he supported the right of each state to determine their laws per the abortion issue in accordance with the Supreme Court’s recent Dobbs decision.

State Sovereignty and the Shifting Sands of Abortion Politics: Donald Trump's Tactical Shift and the GOP's Electoral Fallout.

Roe v. Wade, a federal rule for decades, guaranteeing the constitutional right for an abortion, was overturned rendering it unconstitutional.

Thus, the only way to address the abortion issue on a national level is via the passage of a constitutional amendment establishing new rules and guidelines. In the meantime, the state constitutions must take precedence per the Dobbs decision.

The Democrats and pro-choice groups understood the Supreme Court’s decision immediately. They organized to make changes to state constitutions in friendly states that needed to make them. (Arizona will be addressing this matter in November, along with other states.)

However, in 2022 along comes South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham with his idea of ignoring the Supreme Court decision and getting his allies to profess that there could be a federal law to ban abortions. The Republicans lost the midterm elections thanks in part to this “political malpractice” of their party leaders in the Senate.

There is shared blame. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in his prime would have never allowed Graham’s proposed federal abortion ban to be carried for the GOP prior to an election. But perhaps McConnell did not want to be majority leader or he wanted to help out his 50-year political friend, President Joe Biden.

If the latter two were the objectives, then they were accomplished. Politicians can have strange bedfellows. (Graham is a 30-year Biden colleague). Also, we never heard McConnell announce on the Senate floor that he was going to make Biden a one-term president, but he did say that about former President Barack Obama. He also voted to convict former President Bill Clinton of perjury and obstructing justice.

This was an early Christmas gift from the Republicans to the Democrats. The surprise electoral success for the Democrats on the strength of the abortion issue gave us a divided Congress. The result is gridlock, making it one of the least productive congressional terms in modern history.

But Trump got it. After all, being unpredictable is his “trump card.” And who says that he has not learned from experience? He left the extreme, impractical, idealistic Republicans behind on this one. Or maybe he is leading them. Either way, it’s a smart move.

An “assist” goes out to former South Carolina Governor and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. Trump adopted her position nearly verbatim. It was right on! And it was the reason why former Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, as well as the rest of the Republican candidates, bit the dust so quickly during the Republican primary season.

The sad part of it is that many of them did not know what hit them. Well, for the most part, it was their unreasonable and illogical position on abortion. “Wait…it should be banned after 15 weeks. No, I can do eight weeks. Wait, I can do six.” It was an inane example of folks pandering for a sliver of their base.

At best, the Graham crowd failed to look at history. They failed to hear and understand what the Supreme Court was saying. They only tried to ignite their base. The problem was with “their” base and the American people. Both groups understood the court’s decision but were baffled by their politicians’ desire to push for their pipe dream of a national abortion ban.

This cannot be a revelation to Graham as he worked with me decades ago when we were both congressmen in the House. We worked to pass bills that the Supreme Court later declared unconstitutional. Let us remember that on the abortion question, the Supreme Court has already ruled it would be unconstitutional to pass a federal ban. Duh!

For example, in the 1990s this happened with the Balance Budget and Line-Item Veto measures. Congress passed them, but neither became the law of the land because the Supreme Court deemed both unconstitutional.

Congress has to participate in the process, but as would be the case in all constitutional amendments, the measure would need to be passed by 37 states. It would also have to get 60 votes in the Senate. Yeah right. The latter, as Haley and now Trump has inferred, “ain’t” going to happen.

So, the Democrats are screaming “wolf” or “fire” in an attempt to scare women into voting for them. They are also burning through tens of millions of dollars in television commercials pushing this false narrative. They are using the liberal media to give us hours upon hours of twisted fear-mongering on the abortion issue.

But if Biden does stop talking about the abortion issue, Vice President Kamala Harris would serve little purpose. She has been spending the bulk of her time campaigning on this singular issue, while totally abandoning her role of “Border Czar” (who remembers that?).

The white women’s vote – suburban and young women – will be pivotal in 2024.

We will see if at least the abortion issue will be taken off the table when voters decide the presidency in 2024. After all, it is like arguing over how the food tastes on the Titanic. Important, but it does not make a difference if we do not deal with the icebergs ahead – multiple wars, inflation, the border invasion and correcting our inability to buy a $6.20 cup of coffee without borrowing $1.75 to pay for it (fiscally, we are on an unsustainable course).

For Biden and his campaign team, I guess it is back to the drawing board or should I say back to the scores of Trump indictments and court cases.

Written by Gary Franks

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