At the ballot top – And don’t forget downstream
CBS reports on surprising Kansas results (2:15)
Unlike many on the left, I am not ecstatic at the voters in Kansas thoroughly trouncing the attempt by the right to overturn their constitutional right to abortion and hand it off to the radical Republicans in their legislature. I am cautiously happy. But I know that these purveyors of wanting to rule our lives have not given up since FDR, so they are not about to give up after one battle lost.
Considering that radical right Republicans in Kansas quickly set up a referendum to coincide with the primary in Kansas that traditionally has a low turnout, especially for Democrats, it was thought that abortion rights would be turned over to the legislature easily. As historian Heather Cox Richardson noted in her Wednesday sub stack email:
“Today, voters in Kansas overwhelmingly rejected an amendment to their state constitution that would have stripped it of protections for abortion rights. With 86% of the vote in, 62% of voters supported abortion protections; 37% wanted them gone. That spread is astonishing. Kansas voters had backed Trump in 2020; Republicans had arranged for the referendum to fall on the day of a primary, which traditionally attracts higher percentages of hard-line Republicans; and they had written the question so that a “yes” vote would remove abortion protections and a “no” would leave them in place. Then, today, a political action committee sent out texts that lied about which vote was which.
Still, voters turned out to protect abortion rights in such unexpectedly high numbers it suggests a sea change.
It appears the dog has caught the car, as so many of us noted when the Supreme Court handed down the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision on June 24. Since 1972, even before the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, Republican politicians have attracted the votes of evangelicals and traditionalists who didn’t like the idea of women’s rights by promising to end abortion. But abortion rights have always had strong support. So politicians said they were “pro-life” without ever really intending to overturn Roe v. Wade. The Dobbs decision explicitly did just that and has opened the door to draconian laws that outlaw abortion with no exceptions, promptly showing us the horror of a pregnant 10-year-old and hospitals refusing abortion care during miscarriages. Today, in the privacy of the voting b ooth, voters did exactly as Republican politicians feared they would if Roe were overturned.”
As Richardson notes, the vote was set up such that the referendum should not have lost. Yet it did, despite it coinciding with a normally low turnout election, a cryptically worded question and a last minute deceptive campaign by the radical right to confuse voters.
So it seems that the electorate is paying attention. It also seems that the outrageous act performed by six unelected radically religious right wing justices to take away a woman’s right to choose woke up a somewhat slumbering electorate. Not just women, but also men who believe that women should have control of their own bodies.
You know how the radical right mocks the “woke” voters. Well, now we know that when voters wake up they realize how badly they have been screwed and who has been screwing them.
Who has been screwing them? At the top of the list is Chuck Grassley. Who can forget how Chuck Grassley used his power as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee to subvert the constitution in 2016 to stop Merrick Garland even a nomination hearing as a Supreme Court Justice? This was a pivotal moment in changing the SCOTUS into the radical right entity it is today.
Who can’t forget about that? Well Chuck Grassley for one! Just a couple of weeks ago Grassley was bragging about his role in subverting the constitution at a Family Leader event:
“Republican Senator Chuck Grassley said over the past 40 years as a member of the Judiciary Committee, he’s helped shape the Supreme Court’s six-to-three conservative majority.
“Judicial confirmations do matter and elections matter,” Grassley said, “and 2016 made a big, big difference.”
Three weeks ago, Chuck was bragging in front of a very radical group of right wing evangelicals who have used government as a tool to take over people’s lives, especially women’s lives. Grassley was chortling that day. Is he chortling now with the Kansas vote in? We will see. Grassley can’t hide what he has done and how proud he is.
Will Iowa voters wake up to Grassley’s pivotal role in ending abortion? Both men and women are affected, but obviously women it may be a life and death situation. Will Iowa voters remember Grassley’s role in dismantling safe reproductive care in Iowa and America? Let’s hope so. No one is more to blame for this situation than Chuck Grassley.
Let me add that Grassley’s opponent is proudly an advocate for reproductive care access for women. Admiral Mike Franken has been making decisions that affect people’s lives all his life. He will uphold the right to abortion and access to reproductive care.
Franken needs your vote this fall and if you could throw a couple of bucks his way. Grassley has a huge war chest and won’t be defeated easily:
https://frankenforiowa.com and hit that ‘donate’ button!