Trump pokes a hornet's nest with comment on abortion and midterm results
Just yesterday President Donald Trump posted the following on Truth Social:
It wasn't my fault that the Republicans didn't live up to expectations in the MidTerms. I was 233-20! It was the 'abortion issue,' poorly handled by many Republicans, especially those that firmly insisted on No Exceptions, even in the case of Rape, Incest, or Life of the Mother, that lost large numbers of Voters. Also, the people that pushed so hard, for decades, against abortion, got their wish from the U.S. Supreme Court, & just plain disappeared, not to be seen again. Plus, Mitch stupid $'s!"
The knee-jerk reaction is that Trump was attacking his pro-life base. Some conservative pundits and outlets are already claiming that:
Trump’s message here is also exactly the same bullshit that the Republican Establishment has been spewing for decades— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) January 1, 2023
Before we react to Trump's post, let's look at his actions as president. One of President Trump's biggest achievements was the appointment of three pro-life justices to the Supreme Court. These three overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, which, even according to far-left judicial experts, was a poorly argued decision devoid of basis in the U.S. Constitution. The decision allows individual states to determine their position on abortion. Trump himself released the following statement after that decision:
Today's decision, which is the biggest WIN for LIFE in a generation, along with other decisions that have been announced recently, were only made possible because I delivered everything as promised, including nominating and getting three highly respected and strong Constitutionalists confirmed to the United States Supreme Court. It was my great honor to do so!
These are not the words of an individual who is against pro-lifers.
There are two components to the abortion issue that Trump was referring to. The first was the actual position of pro-lifers, and the second is how the media covered it.
Let's look at how the media covered the issue.
Former GOP Senate candidate in Pennsylvania Dr. Oz said:
I don't want the federal government involved with that at all. I want women, doctors, local political leaders, letting the democracy that's always allowed our nation to thrive to put the best ideas forward so states can decide for themselves.
What Oz was saying is that law-making must occur by consulting all parties involved. It was a sensible statement to make and one with which many would agree. However, facts do not matter anymore; it is how the media cover facts that matters.
The mainstream media claimed that Oz thinks the decision to have an abortion must be among a woman, her doctor, and local politicians. This spin was amplified to such an extent and made to seem like the position of the GOP. There were many other pro-life messages that were twisted. The media extrapolated it to suggest that the GOP's next target would be to restrict contraception.
We know that most people are casual or headline consumers of the news. They believe headlines and vote based on that. The spin on Oz's statement made it appear that local GOP politicians would be involved whenever a woman visited her gynecologist and even mentioned the word "abortion."
Nothing works better than fear. Perhaps women feared legal action or even imprisonment. Perhaps men feared this too for their wives, daughters, sisters, etc. Perhaps they voted Democrat to be on the safer side.
The pro-life message was never going to be a problem in the red states. However, in swing states, perhaps Democrats managed to scare enough people, which made the difference between defeat and victory. According to exit polls, 27 percent said abortion was the number-one issue during the midterms, ranking just behind inflation. In most years, abortion doesn't even make the top five.
The GOP certainly failed in countering the media narrative and delivering a coherent message on abortion. They failed to expose the Democrat position, which isn't pro-choice, but pro-abortion. They failed to reveal that most blue states have unrestricted abortions on demand until the point of birth. Under California law, minors can receive abortion services without knowledge and consent from their parents or legal guardians. This is an extreme position that most voters would never support, but the GOP failed to make voters aware of this. This is what Trump was pointing out.
Now let's look at the position itself:
Conservative pundit Matt Walsh claimed the following in a Twitter thread:
Opposing abortions 'with exceptions' is a morally incoherent position. Either the child in the womb is a human being and abortion is murder, or not. If not, there is no reason to oppose abortion at all. But if so, it is insane to support murdering a child under any circumstance.
'Abortion is the literal murder of a baby, but I'm okay with it sometimes.' This position simply makes no sense. It's indefensible, half-baked.
This means no abortions under any circumstances, irrespective of the gestation period.
Far-left Democrats want abortions for all, including minors with no restrictions, while the pro-lifers want no abortions at all.
But Trump is right about Mitch.
We know that Mitch McConnell didn't adequately financially support many MAGA candidates. He withdrew money at key junctures. He bad-mouthed MAGA candidates prior to the election, which is the equivalent of calling for their defeat.
This was quite simply a calculated move. A big MAGA win would be a verdict against the establishment. This would mean McConnell would have to go. However, the underwhelming performance of the GOP was described by both the liberal media and even some conservative media as a verdict against Trump. It gave Mitch a reason to claim that the establishment had won, hence he deserved the leadership.
He knew that the GOP not having a majority in the Senate enabled him to hold on to his leadership position. So he played his cards astutely to ensure that MAGA candidates failed.
A while back, McConnell reportedly told Joe Biden that he wanted to blunt President Trump's influence in the party. Although he was referring to Ukraine, it reflects his mindset.
McConnell recently said his number-one priority is arming Ukraine, hence he celebrated the passage of the $1.7-trillion omnibus bill, which grants $45 billion more to Ukraine. Following Zelensky's recent visit to the U.S., Congress passed a provision to give Ukraine the assets that were seized from sanctioned Russian oligarchs. According to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, this happened due to a secret phone call between Zelensky and McConnell. When Mitch wants to get things done, the problem is that issues related to citizens are not a high priority on his list. He's a self-server through and through.
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