Mitch McConnell played coy with USA Today for much of a recent interview, noting that the Mississippi decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was not finalized and thus too early to discuss. And then he went on to discuss what a GOP majority would do if in place after the 2022 mid-terms. State’s rights went out the door awfully fast, straight to no rights, stating that a federal law prohibiting abortion would be on the table.
“It would depend on where the votes were.”
Mitch says he wouldn’t violate or change the filibuster to do it, but you can throw that out the window (just as you can with most other things Mitch says.) Does anyone really expect Mitch McConnell to truly state his plans regarding doing away with the filibuster right now? Telling Democrats it’s a fait accompli? Leaving Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema with nowhere to hide in not voting to overturn the fillibuster now? No, Mitch is not an idiot, and only an idiot would do such a thing even if Manchin and Sinema would still probably vote against the Democrats.
Mitch moves on:
With regard to the abortion issue, I think it’s pretty clear where Senate Republicans stand. And if and when the court makes a final decision, I expect everybody will be more definitive. But I don’t think it’s much secret where Senator Republicans stand on that issue.
Let’s be clear as to what he’s talking about. Mitch McConnell is talking about a national ban on abortion without regard to the fact that states like California, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, and many others would strongly oppose such a federal ban. As many commenters on Twitter noted, the GOP and Mitch went states’ rights to no women’s rights. Just as in slavery, it was never about states’ rights.
But so long as Mitch McConnell is head of the Republican caucus in the Senate, have no fear. McConnell is likely already terrified that the decision will upend the mid-terms. McConnell likely counted upon a SCOTUS decision upholding Mississippi’s heartbeat law, leaving a sliver of Roe open to lucky women who knew of their pregnancy early and had access to care. He did not anticipate this.
*Indeed, one good theory as to who leaked the decision is a law clerk on the far right who was afraid that the Chief Justice was going to pick off one of the five in the majority, and simply uphold Mississippi’s law, leaving a split such that the only controlling law would be Chief’s view, joined by Gorsuch or Kavanaugh (the only two realistically possible) But now, after the release, it will look like the second Justice caved to political pressure. Justices do not like to so appear.
McConnell knows that the opinion will energize the left like few other issues. The left has always lulled along, behind the conservatives, with respect to energy on women’s rights. If the Right passes a federal ban with a GOP president in 2024, McConnell will have given up the issue that most motivates the poor, white, Republican voter, especially women.
McConnell would surely prefer to leave the issue hanging out there as a Republican fantasy and vote bait. It is almost certainly why he gave USA Today the interview, to give GOP voters another reason to come to the polls.
But there is no guarantee that McConnell will be majority leader going into the near future. If the MAGA wave hits the Senate and there are suddenly people like Walker, Oz, Vance, Tuberville, Johnson, Hawley, and Cruz walking around. Trump may near force them to vote “one of them,” into leadership. And at that point, the filibuster will surely be gone, immediately (which is why Manchin and Sinema are unforgivably traitorous to the Democrats that elected them.)
To cap this off, McConnell’s statement belies everything the GOP is about and should send a shiver through everyone on the left. “It is up to the voters.” Well, the 50 Democrats right now in the Senate represent 70 million more people than the 50 Republicans. North Dakota cancels out California. Wyoming, with a smaller population than Washington DC, gets two votes in the Senate, the citizens of Washington get none. It is not up to the voters.
This is not about voters, states’ rights, fairness, and it sure isn’t about respecting women. It is about power and it always will be with the GOP and especially the MAGA GOP.
Jason Miciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, while also studying scientific philosophy, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact for speaking engagements or any concerns.