“Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep. It starts when you’re always afraid. Step out line the man come and take you away.” — Stephen Stills
Last night I had the great pleasure of explaining case law and constitutional law to my daughter. See, she’s hopping mad over the impending ruling on Roe v. Wade. She isn’t necessarily a progressive. She wants to be like her mother who is fiercely independent. However, the way that politics goes you end up before forced to choose one way or another.
Being on the side of women’s rights these days squarely puts you on the side of progressives. It’s just the way the world works. In order to keep the flames going, the right has to keep momentum going. You do that by jinning up enough outrage that the donation dollars keep coming and the votes keep coming.
That’s the downside to overturning Roe v. Wade. It has been the battle cry for so long that when you finally do it, you struggle to find something else to shift to. Republicans have won elections for years in spite of a demographic wave that is destined to swallow them whole. They seem to cater to white men that are relatively uneducated. That leaves entire groups of people destined to oppose them and those groups are growing.
Women obviously are not going to favor them now. Oh sure, some will. However, when we are dealing with majorities we have to know that a majority of women are going to oppose this decision. All of the various minority groups also have not favored them. Their generic attitude towards immigration and refugees has cemented that for them. The fact that these groups are growing doesn’t trend well for them either.
So, what do you do? Obviously, the first thing you do is what you have already done. You stack the deck in the courts and you make it as difficult as possible to vote. Even when you vote, you draw the lines in such a way that your candidates have the advantage. Yet, this only works for so long.
The legal justification for overturning Roe is that the equal protections clause in the 14th amendment did not explicitly state protections for women’s bodies. There is no stated right to privacy. It has only been implied and assumed. If you no longer assume it then you can strike down any right that is not expressly stated in the 14th amendment or elsewhere in the constitution.
Let’s ignore for the time being that the framers of the constitution never intended for the document to be narrowly defined. The ninth amendment of the constitution states, ‘The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Of course, we can ignore certain things when it suits us.
So, the next stop on the tour is to strike down gay marriage. At least that’s what some people have argued. Yet, that puts conservatives in an ever increasing demographic crunch. The numbers on gay marriage are overwhelming compared to abortion. From there it will be interracial marriage. I can’t even begin to think how they would recover from that tsunami of public opinion.
However, that’s the box they put themselves in. If they don’t have those cultural wedge issues then they have nothing at all. They certainly can’t campaign on the economy for most Americans. They can’t campaign on their record of civil rights for most Americans. All they can do is pit one group against another in the hopes that you will be blinded by hate and willing to donate what meager cash you have.