October 6, 2005

"You'd almost think they were doing it on purpose."

Here's a NYT op-ed by Democratic consultant Francis Wilkerson on why Supreme Court Justices appointed by Republican Presidents keep voting to preserve abortion rights:
It's the darnedest thing, but when it comes to the most sacred cause in the Republican canon, the right to life, Republican presidents somehow find a way to mess up. You'd almost think they were doing it on purpose....

[A]s more than a few abortion opponents have come to suspect, in the Oval Office the "culture of life" is from time to time trumped by the culture of electability. With abortion rights safeguarded by Roe, and Roe, in turn, safeguarded by the court, a candidate's public opposition to abortion is treated by much of the nation's pro-choice majority as a more or less immaterial wish that's unlikely to be fulfilled. For the millions of highly motivated pro-life voters, however, it's much more: it's a statement of solidarity and a solemn vow to advance their special cause.
Was the Miers pick part of an ingenious strategy to preserve the power of the Republican Party? Read this headline before answering.


Too Many Jims said...

I agree that there is probably some discomfort in the uncertainty of what a post-Roe world will look like for Republicans. However, if "pro-life" vote is as important to Republican success as Rove seems to think, I wonder how much longer they can string along those voters. Particularly if they get another nomination, could these folks handle another "Casey"?

Ann Althouse said...

It may be tenuous, but there isn't a better option for the Republicans. And the one-issue pro-lifers might be unusually naive and trusting, and just gullible enough to focus all their anger on the Justice, as with Souter. I tend to think Bush senior knew what he was doing when he nominated Souter. But the pro-lifers are mad at Souter, not the former Prez.

peter hoh said...

If it's a game, let's play it. The pro-choice activists should come out in favor of Miers. And I mean they should go all out, with TV ads and everything.

Jacques Cuze said...

I suspect that continuously and egregiously lying to the populace is another characteristic of the well-formed conservative brain.

This is what would drive Lincoln out of the modern Republican party.

Wouldn't you agree Ann?

Simon said...

But the pro-lifers are mad at Souter, not the former Prez.

No, we're plenty mad at the former Prez., too. Ain't no rule that says we can't be mad at two people for the same blunder; I'm still mad at Sununu for Souter, too.

Simon said...

if "pro-life" vote is as important to Republican success as Rove seems to think, I wonder how much longer they can string along those voters.

I can only assume that Rove thinks that the awareness that the GOP is the only vehicle through which they can hope to overturn Roe is going to keep them on board, no matter how many times they are knifed in the back. This theory assumes, though, that there will never come a point where those people will say "you know what, we may not be able to win without you, but you can't win without us, and if we can't win, we'll settle for making sure that you don't either." Idealogues are perfectly willing to cut off their nose to spite their face, which is why they're right now trying to purge moderates (of which I'm one) out of the GOP.

Synova said...

There seems to be a strong assumption here that supreme court justices *must* rule according to their politics or morals. What happened to the Constitution?

Seriously, the only thing that Wilkerson can figure is that, if they don't rule that way, that this was the true political intention to begin with?

I dare say this says more about the view of Wilkerson and others concerning the purpose of the supreme court than it does about Republicans.