Saturday, April 15, 2023

Last Call For In Which Zandar Asks Your Burning Questions, Con't

‘They created this’: are Republicans willing to lose elections to retain their abortion stance? 
Democrats have taken multiple actions in response to what they say is a “draconian” and “dangerous” decision by a federal judge in Texas threatening access to the most commonly used method of abortion in the US.

Several Democratic governors have begun to stockpile doses of the drugs used in medication abortions. Nearly every Democrat in Congress signed onto an amicus brief urging an appeals court to stay the decision, while some called on the Biden administration to simply “ignore” the ruling, should it be allowed to stand. A group of House Democrats introduced a bill that would give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) final approval over drugs used in medication abortion.

Their fury over the ruling has been met with relative silence from Republicans.

Only a handful of congressional Republicans offered immediate comment on judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s decision last week to revoke the FDA’s 23-year-old approval of the abortion pill mifepristone. Just a fraction of Republicans on Capitol Hill signed an amicus brief urging an appeals court to uphold the ruling. And among the party’s national field of Republican presidential nominees, just one – the former vice-president, Mike Pence – unabashedly praised the decision.

The starkly different reactions underscores just how dramatically the politics of abortion have shifted since last June, when conservatives achieved their once-unimaginable goal of overturning Roe v Wade.

For decades, Republicans relied on abortion to rally their conservative base, calling for the reversal of Roe v Wade and vowing to outlaw the procedure if given the chance. But since the supreme court’s ruling in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health, abortion has emerged as a potent issue for Democrats, galvanizing voters furious over the thicket of state bans and restrictions ushered in by the decision.

Republicans have struggled to respond, lacking a unified policy on abortion in the nearly 10 months since the landmark decision.
I have to laugh, because the answer to that question is "Elections don't matter if Republicans control enough states to award the Republican 270 electoral votes."

It's possible that abortion costs the GOP some seats, but no Republican will survive a primary with a position to the left of Trump in any way.

Besides, SCOTUS is set to gut nearly all federal civil rights legislation in the next 15 months. The voting landscape in November 2024 is going to absolutely be a world apart from where it is now. And so far, Republicans haven't paid a price for much of anything. People are badly underestimating how much GOP supermajorities, gerrymandering, and SCOTUS being 6-3 conservative will conspire to make sure the GOP doesn't pay a price in my lifetime, either.

Even if you think Ron DeSantis, for example, will pay dearly in his 2024 run over Florida's abortion law, because he changed the rules in Florida, he'll still be Governor of Florida if he runs for the White House and loses. He may not be able to run again for Governor in 2026, but he can run in 2028 for President, and he can run for Governor again in 2030. He's younger than I am by 3 years. He'll only be 50 in 2028 and 52 in 2030. He has a long political career ahead of him, and there's no reason to think the GOP won't remain in total control of the state for decades to come.

So unless Democrats manage to dismantle these permanent gerrymandered walls, nothing will change.


Tik Tok Clock, Con't

Utah recently passed a bill limiting social media accounts for kids in response to the rise of TikTok as a national security threat, and if you think that the First Amendment issues with that bill are messy, Montana has apparently banned TikTok entirely this week.
MONTANA LAWMAKERS VOTED 54-43 today to ban TikTok from operating in the state and forbid app stores from offering it for download. The legislation is likely to become law, which would make Montana the first state in the US to ban the popular social media platform—a move that could spark a constitutional battle and endanger digital rights.

People who already have TikTok on their devices would not be in violation of the law, which will now go to Greg Gianforte, Montana's Republican governor. The move comes after years of amorphous assertions from the United States government under two presidential administrations that TikTok, which has 150 million US users, is a threat to national security because its parent, ByteDance, is a Chinese company.

Gianforte is expected to sign the new bill into law, which would take effect on January 1, 2024. In December, he banned TikTok from Montana government devices, a step other states have taken in recent months as well. In announcing that ban, Gianforte said, “I also encourage Montanans to protect their personal data and stop using TikTok.”

A statewide ban is radically different from a government device embargo and general encouragement, though. It has implications for Montana residents’ speech and ability to hear speech—rights protected under the US First Amendment.

“We’re under no illusions that this is not going to get challenged,” Montana attorney general Austin Knudsen told The New York Times on Wednesday. "I think this is the next frontier in First Amendment jurisprudence that’s probably going to have to come from the US Supreme Court. And I think that’s probably where this is headed."

Soon after today's vote, TikTok condemned the bill on both First Amendment and logistical grounds.

“The bill's champions have admitted that they have no feasible plan for operationalizing this attempt to censor American voices and that the bill's constitutionality will be decided by the courts,” TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter said in a statement. “We will continue to fight for TikTok users and creators in Montana whose livelihoods and First Amendment rights are threatened by this egregious government overreach.
First Amendment issues in an age where regulating technology is rapidly outpacing federal oversight and legislation is the next big fight we're going to have, and we're not even ready to start having that particular conversation yet as a country. 

This is not going to go well at all.
Related Posts with Thumbnails