Monday, October 17, 2022

Overly Cautious Strategy

Recognizing that there was no chance they'd garner 60 votes to pass this in their own chamber, Senate Democrats in July offered legislation

that would guarantee women can continue using contraception if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the long-standing precedent, the way it did with abortion.

But Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst blocked their efforts by objecting to Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey’s request for unanimous consent to pass the bill, saying the measure went too far. Under Senate procedures, no roll call vote was taken.

Unanimous consent is a fast-track way to pass bills in the Senate, but any senator can object and block the legislation. The other path forward for bills would require the votes of 60 senators in the evenly divided Senate to advance beyond a filibuster....

Democratic lawmakers and advocates began raising alarm bells the day of the ruling about Associate Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion in the case.

Thomas, who was nominated by President George H. W. Bush, wrote that the justices should reconsider all the precedents that rely on the substantive due process legal reasoning that kept abortion legal nationwide for nearly half a century.

Thomas specifically cited the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut ruling that recognized married couples’ right to use contraception, the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas ruling that invalidated laws criminalizing adult private consensual sexual relationships, and the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges case that legalized same-sex marriages...

The House-passed contraception bill and the Senate version would specifically protect oral contraceptives, long-acting reversible contraceptives, emergency contraceptives, internal and external condoms, injectables, vaginal barrier methods, transdermal patches, and vaginal rings, or other contraceptives.

The measures would allow the attorney general, an individual or a health care provider to file a civil lawsuit against any government or person who violates the law.


Abortion, as well as continuance of democracy, held the opportunity- a realistic, obvious opportunity- for Democrats to set the terms for the elections this cycle.  Instead:

Reproductive freedom, as well as continuance of democracy, presented a realistic, obvious opportunity for Democrats to set the terms of debate for this election cycle. Yet, in Senate races which should have been won easily, in Pennsylvania and Georgia respectively, the Democratic nominee is focusing on his opponent's elitism or playing defense and looking not to offend. In most of the country, Democratic candidates have decided that drilling down on an issue or on the authoritarian preference of Republicans is simply too risky.

A vacuum must be filled. Lacking a compelling message from the Democratic Party, most voters are now motivated by inflation/gas prices, somewhat by crime.  If this continues through Election Day, Democrats will have themselves at least in part to blame.


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