What Does the GOP Betrayal on Abortion Mean?

The refusal to pass the abortion bill for preventing pain for babies was a GOP betrayal, nothing less.


Recently, the Republican-dominated Congress suddenly changed their minds about an abortion bill they had already passed. As the Federalist notes, this cannot be excused. It means the Republican Party is deliberately destroying the wishes of a majority of voters—especially in their own party: “Why Everyone Should Be Terrified By The GOP’s Abortion Bill Debacle.”

Pro-lifers were promised by the Republican leaders they just helped elect and re-elect that the House of Representatives would pass a bill today banning most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a point after which infants can feel pain and survive if born prematurely.

The legislation has been passed by the House in the previous Congress and is extremely popular in national polling. “One of the clearest messages from Gallup trends,” the polling firm reported, “is that Americans oppose late-term abortion.” A Washington Post/ABC survey showed that 64 percent of Americans favor limiting abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy or earlier. When just women were asked, the figure jumped to 71 percent. Such measures are popular among independents and Americans of various income levels.

So, naturally, the Republicans turned on pro-lifers and eviscerated the Bill.

Instead of passing the legislation and sending it to the Republican-controlled Senate, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was pulled at the last minute and replaced with a bill that bans taxpayer funding of abortion.

What in the h-e-double-hockey-sticks just happened? It takes a special combination of incompetence and cowardice to miss an easy lay-up like this, but apparently the new Republican Congress has it in spades.

I think the analysis is excellent except that I doubt that incompetence has as much to do with it. They didn’t merely flub up. They made a decision to pull the rug out from under the pro-life voters.

In fact, when you read the piece, it seems to be unable to really express what it is exposing in the Republican betrayal. In addition to incompetence it claims that a majority of Republicans lack the willingness to fight. But that understates what has happened. It isn’t that they are reluctant to get into fights. It is that they want to fight for the other side. The Republicans openly made war on their own base without a hint of shame.

What the Federalist piece convinces me is that we have no idea how many RINO’s are really in political office. They are far more numerous than even many cynics realize.

Why does the Republican Party promise to defend life? The answer is obvious: to get the pro-life vote. So why doesn’t the Republican Party deliver on these promises when they have been blessed by the pro-life vote? The answer is obvious: virtually none of them are really pro-life! At the very least the decision making process is under the control of people who are not really pro-life.

I can’t help but wonder if part of this may even be a political strategy. If Lucy allows Charlie Brown to kick the football, then maybe Lucy will never be able to get him to want to kick it again. And if the GOP actually substantially restricted baby-killing, then maybe they worry they could not get pro-live voters back to the polls.

That’s merely a speculation and it doesn’t seem possible. That’s my point: what they are doing defies explanation.. Whatever the reason, the Republicans have unmistakably and clearly delivered a message to all of us: A dominant number of Republicans in Congress want abortion to remain legal. They will posture for our votes but they are lying.

Where the Federalist claims that the GOP has no PR skills, I think they are merely shameless, brazen, anti-life zealots.  And then this:

The job of leadership is to make sure disasters like this don’t happen. If they let it happen on easy legislation that is broadly popular (outside of American newsrooms, at least), what are they going to do when they need to really whip a vote on something unpopular in member districts?

But this wasn’t a disaster as far as leadership was concerned; it was a total success. They got what they wanted. First, they got elected into office by pro-lifers. Second, they got to preserve the legality of abortion at the national level. When they come to an issue they care about, they will probably be quite capable of getting the vote out. But they only cared about protecting abortion in this case, so they did it.

Again, there are some excellent and insightful observations in this post, but it isn’t really dealing with the facts that it exposes. From the concluding paragraph:

As my colleague David Harsanyi has noted, we have a Republican Congress that doesn’t believe it’s competent enough to make a case against infanticide. 

No, we have a Republican Congress that believes in infanticide and believes it is competent to protect infanticide and still get the pro-life vote.

This is the year we all wake up to what we are dealing with in our ruling class, no matter what political party it claims to be.