Political Animal

Blog

October 30, 2012 10:09 AM Is Romney Lying to Antichoicers?

By Ed Kilgore

It takes a lot of little fables to add up to the big fat myth of Moderate Mitt From Massachusetts. And one of the fables currently circulating, with an active push from the Romney campaign, is that despite all his promises to the vast legions of the antichoice movement, Moderate Mitt would not think of doing anything to threaten reproductive rights.

Romney himself has taken the tack of suggesting that he’s going to be way, way too busy with job-creating and deficit-reducing and non-apologizing to find the time to restrict abortion rights. I mean, he’s still for saving millions of babies from slaughter, of course, but it’s just going to have to wait for more important things like reducing capital gains taxes and freeing coal production from vicious tree-huggers. Gotta have a sense of priorities.

Former Sen. (and Romney surrogate) Norm Coleman has taken a slightly different approach with a Jewish Republican Coalition audience, per Evan McMorris-Santoro of TPM:

“President Bush was president eight years, Roe v. Wade wasn’t reversed. He had two Supreme Court picks, Roe v. Wade wasn’t reversed,” former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) told a Republican Jewish Coalition meeting in Beechwood, Ohio. “It’s not going to be reversed.”

Bush, of course, chose two Court nominees deemed almost certain to support reversal or at least a major modification of Roe. One of them replaced the retiring Chief Justice who had dissented from the original Roe decision. So the Bush years produced a 1-vote swing against Roe, one short of a majority. I gather Coleman’s audience doesn’t know those very basic facts, but Norm probably does.

More broadly, though, Coleman is suggesting to a socially liberal Jewish audience that Romney is continuing a Republican tradition of playing the poor dumb bible-thumper goyim for suckers. Let ‘em do the grunt work of the campaign day in and day out, dreaming of the day when the baby-killers will finally be put out of business. It’s like a mechanical rabbit keeping them running around the dog track, but it’s not real!

Snakes alive, the most remarkable thing about Mitt Romney and his supporters is how little respect they all seem to have for each other.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • T2 on October 30, 2012 10:14 AM:

    tell me why Romney's refusal to release ALL his recent tax returns isn't the biggest story in this election. Why isn't the Obama campaign screaming about this- it was a difference-maker in August, but now they are silent on it.

  • Ron Byers on October 30, 2012 10:22 AM:

    How do we know Romney is lying. (1) His lips are moving. (2) See number 1.

  • c u n d gulag on October 30, 2012 10:23 AM:

    Why would anyone believe anything Mitt Romney says at this point?

    Last year, he wanted to disband FEMA, and send those responsibilities to the states.
    Now, with Hurricane Sandy, he thinks FEMA's important.

    Well, of course he does!
    He's "running for President, for pete's sake!!!"

    And for almost 20 years on the issues of abortion, he's taken more positions than circus contortionists and the most famous p*rn stars.

    And a man who believes in nothing, is liable to do anything.

  • ComradeAnon on October 30, 2012 10:24 AM:

    Is there any doubt that EVERY judge, lawyer, etc. appointed during Bush's 8 years was a forced birther?

  • Kathryn on October 30, 2012 10:31 AM:

    Republican elected, formerly elected, desirous of being elected are often strikingly honest about their lack of character, their hypocrisy, their lying, their breathtaking cynicism and yet they are not punished in any significant way by the electorate. If Romney wins this election, such tactics will be set in stone.

    Naively, I keep thinking that there will be a tipping point, but so far no.

  • max on October 30, 2012 10:32 AM:

    Snakes alive, the most remarkable thing about Mitt Romney and his supporters is how little respect they all seem to have for each other.

    Well, yeah. That's what the grassroots support for the Tea Baggers (such as it was) was about. They quite understandably think the R party is run by a bunch of wishy-washy crooks and thieves. Because it is run by a bunch of wishy-washy crooks and thieves. Meanwhile, the establishment thinks the base is comprised of a bunch of yahoos and rubes. Because it IS comprised of a bunch of yahoos and rubes, united only by their hatred of the other.

    The only people who can manage to gain the respect of both the top and the bottom of the R party are members of the Bush family. Because they're better at conning people than anybody else.

    I don't see this as being particularly different from the Democratic party of 1828-1890 (or so). Been there, done that.

    max
    ['Our crapped out voting systems joined with our mangled legislative system is what keeps these guys hanging on.']

  • boatboy_srq on October 30, 2012 10:40 AM:

    Romney himself has taken the tack of suggesting that hes going to be way, way too busy with job-creating and deficit-reducing and non-apologizing to find the time to restrict abortion rights. I mean, hes still for saving millions of babies from slaughter, of course, but its just going to have to wait for more important things like reducing capital gains taxes and freeing coal production from vicious tree-huggers. Gotta have a sense of priorities.

    I realise this is snark (and very good snark BTW), but the real attitude we see from Multiple Position Mitt that lurks behind the snark should give pause to anyone who supports him. MPM cares more about fiscal issues than human issues, and cares more about fiscal issues that affect those who make the most than he does about the ones that affect the rest - well, today at least. So that's one more constituency under the bus.

    [T]he most remarkable thing about Mitt Romney and his supporters isn't how little respect they all seem to have for each other: it's that they think that lack of respect amongst political "allies" is normal and acceptable.

  • Crusty the ex-Clown on October 30, 2012 10:48 AM:


    Metastable Mitt,
    He really is a twit.
    His antics
    Are so frantic
    'Cause he's so full of shit.

  • Bo on October 30, 2012 10:51 AM:

    Anti-choice lies are somewhere near the last chapter in the "Mormon Kamasutra and the Multiple MittWit Positions".
    After all, the GOPers will never actually repeal Roe v. Wade...what would they possibly have left to run for office on if such a thing were to happen? That would be like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

  • Peter C on October 30, 2012 10:58 AM:

    This election is a test of the idea that if you spend enough money, then lying doesn't matter.

    There are only two ethical justifications for lying: (1) you lie to people too immature to understand the truth so that they act in their best interests for the wrong reasons; or, (2) you lie to people who are your enemy.

    Reason number one is both PROFOUNDLY unAmerican (our nation was founded on the basic idea that WE WILL GOVERN OURSELVES!) and deeply insulting.

    Reason number two is exceedingly worrisome; to vote for someone who regards you as an enemy, gives power to someone who cares not a whit about your livelihood, your rights, or your future.

  • joanneinDenver on October 30, 2012 11:02 AM:

    "Republican tradition of playing the poor dumb bible-thumper goyim for suckers"

    Sorry, Ed, you have the wrong group of "suckers." The dems in Colorado are screaming about Rommey being "anti-choice" and the whole campaign is based on that....the dems and Obama are LOSING. They are losing because women are smart and they know that the Republicans are not going to outlaw abortion. It is a ritual, now, for Republican candidates to announce that they are "pro-life." It is a value statement, not a political goal. This way the republican candidates get the catholic hierarchy support...it is how they won Ohio in 2004 and I suspect it will be a factor in the 2012 Republican victory.


    One thing dems evidently also don't know is that most women get reproductive care from private doctors/hospitals, not Planned Parenthood or abortion clinics.. Most women have been reassured by their private doctors that contraception and abortion are not at risk.

    I ceased participating in the pro-life movement,( although I remain committed to a HLA, when I realized in 1994 that the Republicans were using the issue to gain power.)

    There is something untoward for many, many, women about the public discussion of birth control and abortion. Like I say, see what happens in Colorado and then decide who is "dumb" and who is being played for "suckers."

  • jpeckjr on October 30, 2012 11:10 AM:

    What makes people think that appointing a pro-life judge to SCOTUS will automatically lead to the reversal of Roe v. Wade?

    SCOTUS doesn't review laws or previous rulings unless a case comes to them. They don't just meet and say "Hey, next month, let's pick an issue unrelated to a case and issue an opinion." The courts are driven by cases, not hypotheticals.

    A case that could reverse Roe v. Wade will have to come from someone who is claiming a constitutional right is being threatened by Roe v. Wade itself. That would be a right to have an abortion or a right to have a baby. Roe permits abortion, but does not mandate it, nor does it prohibit pregnancy. How are the rights of a woman who wants to have her baby threatened by Roe?

    I'm trying to imagine the framework of such a case and can't come up with anything. I can imagine cases related to restrictions on abortion, but I can't imagine any that would completely reverse the decision. I certainly realize that a case related to a restriction provides an opening for a reversal, though.

  • Unabogie on October 30, 2012 11:30 AM:

    jpeckjr:

    It's easy. Just have a red state pass a complete ban on abortion and then someone will be forced to sue to have it overturned. It will be appealed up to the SCOTUS where Romney's new Justice (replacing Ginsberg) will vote to overturn RvW. It's not that complicated.

  • R on October 30, 2012 11:45 AM:

    @joanne: "most women get reproductive care from private doctors/hospitals, not Planned Parenthood or abortion clinics." Most women YOU know, maybe. Actually I got fine care at a PP clinic once when my private doctor's schedule was full, and she suggested I go to PP. For many uninsured women, PP is the only option.

    The suckers in this election are those in the 98% who vote Republican. Romney/Ryan will do anything, including eviscerate FEMA, to broaden the already shameful gap between the super-rich and the middle class (if there is such a class anymore). Whether R/R keep their promises to the people whose religions make them somehow extremely interested in other people's sex lives remains to be seen.

  • joanneinDenver on October 30, 2012 12:01 PM:

    @ipeckjr:
    You are absolutely right ..".Just have a red state pass a complete ban on abortion"...all you have to do is "bell the cat." There have been incredible restrictions on abortion access...but Roe allows the states to do that. States can ban abortion in the last trimester...but Roe also allows that as long as there is an exception for the "life and health" of the mother. Congress banned partial birth abortion and the Supreme Court said that was compatible with Roe.

    It is not as easy as you suggest. My concern, oft stated here, is that the Supreme Court would use a Roe challenge, not to outlaw abortion, but to return this issue to the states. It would then become the legal rationale for overturning much civil rights legislation and letting the matter of voting rights and school integration and public accommodation, etc, be decided by the states.

    I will tell you all something about abortion. There are certainly those who want
    women to continue to have this civil right; however, for anyone who has been close to abortion, it is a awful procedure and it does stop a beating heart and the
    "products of conception" clearly have a human form. Making it the cornerstone of a democratic campaign is a mistake, IMHO.

    @R,
    I think it might be helpful to have actual statistics. I think Planned Parenthood used the number of five million women. However, I could be wrong.
    I myself had pregnancy tests at Planned Parenthood because it was convenient.
    This was before OTC pregnancy tests were reliable. I don't oppose federal funding for Planned Parenthood. But, eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood is not the same thing a eliminating access to contraception and abortion. That is the point I wanted to make.

    I support the Democratic platform, with the exception of the plank on abortion. However, I believe that a constitutional amendment is the way to protect pregnant women and their unborn. I believe that the process would allow a discussion on all the issues involved and would be consistent with the US Constitution.

  • jpeckjr on October 30, 2012 12:23 PM:

    @joanneinDenver. I did not say "Just have a red state pass a complete ban on abortion."

    Unabogie said that. You are arguing with him, not me.
    Unabogie has provided a scenario I did not think of.

    I asserted that the mere appointment of a pro-life judge does not automatically mean Roe is overturned. A case must come to the court and they must agree to hear it.

    The outcome of returning the issue to the states is a plausible one. The de-federalizing of civil rights is a rational concern.

    But it must still arise from a case.

  • JoanneinDenver on October 30, 2012 12:40 PM:

    @jpeckj
    You are absolutely right, on both accounts. I did get my bloggers mixed up.
    I also think you are absolutely right with your argument.

  • Daryl McCullough on October 30, 2012 1:59 PM:

    My feeling is that the powers that be in the Republican Party don't really care about abortion, except to the extent that it can be used to rally the rubes to vote for them.

  • Doug on October 30, 2012 5:03 PM:

    "After all, the GOPers will never actually repeal Roe v. Wade...what would they possibly have left to run for office on if such a thing were to happen? That would be like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs." Bo @ 10:51 AM

    You DO know what happened to that goose, don't you?

  • joanneinDenver on October 30, 2012 5:25 PM:

    @Doug,

    You don't listen to the Repubs, do you? They want Roe overturned so that EACH state can regulate abortion. That would be a whole flock of golden geese.

    I repeat: The democrats have made a real strategic mistake by focusing on abortion and contraception. The real underlying laws that Congress, given a Republican sweep, will eliminate are - Family Medical Leave Act; Affirmative Action; the Ledbetter law; the Anti-discrimination act protecting the jobs of pregnant women.