Karl Rove Pretty Sure Republicans’ Abortion Strategy Actually Going Swimmingly

With all that’s been going on with the abortion-related victories in last week’s elections, I can guess what you’ve probably been thinking about this: “This all seems great, but what does Karl Rove have to say about it?”

Yes, Karl Rove.

Karl Rove, who for some reason thinks a single person in the whole world wants to hear from him ever, ever again, penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday all about how, actually, abortion isn’t hurting Republicans at all and everything is going very well for them!

On the very same day, the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) Ramesh Ponnuru published an op-ed in the Washington Post pushing that exact same theory, titled, for real, “The GOP’s winning abortion strategy got lost in its Virginia defeat.” What an incredible coincidence, given Rove’s longstanding ties to AEI. Truly, it is as if they are of one mind.

They both agree that, actually, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s idea for a ban after 15 weeks, with exceptions for rape, incest, life of the mother, or reason to believe there are weapons of mass destruction in the uterus, is still a very popular plan that the American people will surely embrace.

Rove and Ponnuru center their arguments on the fact that Virginia is a “blue state,” claiming that Republicans actually did okay based on that metric. Perhaps under normal circumstances that would be true, but these were not normal circumstances. Virginia has the fourth highest Muslim population in the country, a demographic that usually goes pretty strongly for Democrats (about 62 percent) … in large part for reasons of Karl Rove. Muslims lately are not entirely happy with the president. The fact that Democrats did well despite this is a fairly big deal.

Rove also cites a recent poll that “found that 54% of Virginians approved of the governor’s job performance and 39% disapproved”, and that “43% of the same respondents thought Mr. Biden was doing a good job, while 55% didn’t.” The poll was taken, however, on October 16, a point where some things were going on that may have affected that rating, particularly considering the aforementioned demographic situation.

Ponnuru claims that people only thought the GOP’s loss in Virginia was related to abortion because of the Ohio ballot initiative, despite the fact that Youngkin’s “Hey, we’ll only ban abortion after 15 weeks, okay” strategy was the defining campaign issue across the board. Ponnuru continues:

The Virginia results are being misinterpreted, in part, because Ohio passed a referendum to protect legal abortion at the same time — and because that result followed several other victories for legal abortion in referendums. But Ohio itself offers evidence that a lot of voters who support legal abortion in an up-or-down vote will also support candidates who disagree with them about it. Its Republican governor signed a law banning most abortions before getting reelected handily last year.

Yeah, except things are a little different now that people have seen enough of what that actually looks like. Also, voters might vote for Republicans because, say, they hate poor people more than they love bodily autonomy and not forcing 10-year-olds to have their rapist’s babies, but that still does not suggest that this is a winning strategy.

Rove also thinks the only reason Issue 1 won was because Ohio Republicans messed up:

Ohio approved a ballot measure enshrining a right to abortion in the state constitution by 56.6% to 43.4%. But Republicans royally screwed up that situation. First, they tried to game the system with an August referendum raising the threshold for amending the state constitution, which voters soundly rejected. Then they didn’t offer an alternative to the unlimited-abortion proposal and were massively outspent.

Sure, could be a fluke. Except for how it keeps happening literally every time abortion is on the ballot.

Gov. Andy Beshear’s win in Kentucky? Rove says that doesn’t count either because Kentuckians voted for other Republicans who hate abortion and maybe people were voting for Beshear for reasons other than not wanting to be forced to give birth against their will.

Now, never let it be said that I do not give the devil his due! These men are very wise, and I, for one, absolutely think that Republicans should stick with this strategy, as it is very clearly working out for … them. In fact, they should be the ones pushing to get the abortion initiative on the ballot for Florida next year. Hell, if they really want to soundly defeat us, they should get it on the ballot in every other state as well. Surely they will win in a landslide.

After all, when has Karl Rove ever steered anyone wrong before?

Sen. Tommy Tuberville has some new thoughts about his valiant quest to force the Pentagon to not cover the costs of travel for service members who need abortions and are posted in states where the procedure is illegal. He wants us all to know that he’s not just worried about regular abortions, but also post-birth abortions.

Specifically, he is worried that these women will, I guess, give birth in the state they are stationed in, and then travel (on the taxpayer’s dime) to just kill that born baby in another state where it is legal to do so.

“They can’t tell us about the policy of the abortion itself,” he told Kimberly Guilfoyle on her Rumble-only talk show. “You know it’s been rape, incest and health of the mom, but we asked in one of our hearings ‘What month are you gonna go for the abortion?’ They couldn’t tell us if it was abortion after birth.”

Would love to know which state he thinks someone could travel to to legally murder an infant.

I don’t mean to be crude here, but aren’t post-birth abortions kind of the whole point of the military anyway? Don’t our tax dollars already pay people to travel in order to kill those who have already been born? I mean, sure, people learn other, non-combat-oriented skills they can use for future employment as well, but our government is very serious about not using tax money for anyone to learn those skills unless they can be used in the service of, well, killing people.

But you know what? This, too, may be another point we have to cede to the Right. I say that we give Tuberville this — he stops blocking those promotions so service members can take care of themselves and their families, and we can agree that the Pentagon should not be allowed to use tax dollars to send anyone anywhere to kill anyone who has already been born. Absolutely reasonable request, Sir.

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The leaders of several faith groups in Missouri, including groups of Christians, Jewish people and Unitarian Universalists, filed a lawsuit against the state in January over its abortion ban, claiming that it is a violation of the state’s freedom of religion law and imposing the religious views of lawmakers on the electorate.

Via AP:

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the faith leaders by Americans United for Separation of Church & State and the National Women’s Law Center, said sponsors and supporters of the Missouri measure “repeatedly emphasized their religious intent in enacting the legislation.”

The lawsuit quotes the bill’s sponsor, Republican state Rep. Nick Schroer, as saying that “as a Catholic I do believe life begins at conception and that is built into our legislative findings.” A co-sponsor, Republican state Rep. Barry Hovis, said he was motivated “from the Biblical side of it,” according to the lawsuit.

“We know this has a religious purpose because when the lawmakers passed the law 2019, they told us that,” said K.M. Bell, an attorney for the plaintiffs.

Now that it is being considered in court, the lawyers representing the state say that their religious reasons for banning the procedure don’t matter, because of how there are non-religious reasons for opposing abortion. And sure, there are — there are atheists, even, who oppose abortion. The issue, of course, is that the lawmakers said they were specifically doing it because of their religion and not because of a secular opposition to abortion.

This is a tough one, frankly. There are also religious reasons why people might want to do good things, as well — although those are usually the precepts ignored by the kind of people who pass laws for religious reasons. Like, hypothetically a politician could argue that the Christian religion requires people to take care of the poor and sick and demands debt jubilees every 25 years (not that we’ve seen much of that from the Right) and that wouldn’t make those things wrong. At the same time, those leaders should have been able to cough up the non-religious reasons they have for banning abortion at the time and they kind of brought it on themselves with this one.

Allie Phillips is running!

Phillips, a 28-year-old Tennessee woman who was forced to travel to New York in order to have an abortion after it turned out that her wanted pregnancy was both non-viable and could kill her, is now running as a Democrat to represent Tennessee’s 75th District in the state House in hopes of changing the laws that put her in that position.

Via CBS:

“Everything was fine up to that point,” Phillips said. Her husband and 6-year-old daughter were also very excited. But tragically, an anatomy scan — or 20-week ultrasound — revealed there was not enough amniotic fluid to support her fetus’ organ development. Phillips’ fetus was diagnosed with a rare brain defect called semilobar holoprosencephaly. This meant that the brain only partially develops into two hemispheres, according to the Cleveland Clinic, which also notes that most holoprosencephaly pregnancies “result in miscarriage or stillbirths.” 

Her doctor then told her that the pregnancy could also kill her, which is when she and her husband decided that they needed to leave the state and get her that abortion … which cost them $5,000.

“We didn’t have that amount of money…so it got to the point we were looking at taking out loans just to get this health care,” Phillips said. She started a GoFundMe account at the encouragement of her followers on TikTok, where she had posted about her doomed pregnancy. Upon arriving in New York, less than two weeks after she had seen her doctor, she walked into the abortion clinic and was informed her fetus had no heartbeat. She said that her doctor had advised her that if this happened, she would need to have an abortion immediately to prevent blood clots or sepsis. 

As I think I’ve said multiple times — one of the things that is going to animate the push for legalized abortion everywhere is that no one wants to hear the word “sepsis” from their doctor, or hear about anyone else’s doctor saying that to them.

Phillips is running in a pretty red district against Republican incumbent Jeff Burkhart, who previously ran unopposed, but hey! “Not wanting to die of sepsis” is a thing most people can agree on regardless of their political persuasion, so she’s got a shot.

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Genard Musay

Genard is a reporter who reports on the biggest breaking news stories of the day as well as doing investigations and original stories

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