Recent Posts

Minnesota’s very own Romneybot

by Joe Bodell on October 30, 2012 · 5 comments

Long before Mitt Romney took the idea of saying anything — ANYTHING — on a national stage if he thought it would get him a vote or two, we here in Minnesota had…

Norm Coleman.

In the frenetic push to win all-important Ohio, Mitt Romney’s campaign is saying a lot of things to a lot of people. And on Monday, a top Romney surrogate told a group of Jewish voters in the Buckeye State that the landmark Supreme Court decision granting women the right to an abortion is in no danger of being overturned should Romney become president.

“President Bush was president eight years, Roe v. Wade wasn’t reversed. He had two Supreme Court picks, Roe v. Wade wasn’t reversed,” former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) told a Republican Jewish Coalition meeting in Beechwood, Ohio. “It’s not going to be reversed.”

If you’re a conservative and you’re really disappointed by this statement, I don’t blame you. If you’re a liberal and you don’t believe Norm Coleman as far as you could throw his shiny-toothedness, I also wouldn’t blame you.

Bottom line: At least two and as many as four Supreme Court justices are getting close to retirement age, and could retire during the next Presidential term. One more vote would be the death knell for a long slate of progressive reforms from the past century, including but not limited to Roe v. Wade, the Voting Rights Act, several important pieces of the New Deal, etc. So maybe we should take Romney at his word when he said “My view is that the Supreme Court should reverse Roe v. Wade and send back to the states the responsibility for deciding whether it’s is legal or not” (read: undo the sucker) or maybe we should take Coleman at his moderating word that Romney actually doesn’t think that and considers it settled law.

Or maybe we shouldn’t allow either of them anywhere near the levers of American political power ever again.

AO October 30, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Norm’s certainly wrong to speak with certainty about the issue, but it certainly does seem unlikely to be reversed.  Ginsburg is likely going to be able to hold on another 8 years and even if not, the court may not take an abortion case during the Romney administration.  I don’t think anybody in the pro-life camp is counting on an overturn if Romney wins.

JML October 30, 2012 at 7:46 pm

EVERYONE in the anti-choice camp is counting on a repeal if Romney wins.

Ginsburg is 79 and has had health issues.
Kennedy is 76 and has been on the bench for 25 years.
Breyer is 74.

That’s 3 pro-Roe Justices that could easily leave the bench in the next 4 years. (I guarantee Ginsburg retires if Obama is reelected)

That said, Scalia is also 76, and when you reach that age you never know what could happen. While I’m certain he won’t leave of his own volition while a Democrat is president, and I don’t wish death or health problems on anyone, you never know what could happen. So it’s very easy to see scenarios where 3-4 Justices go in the next president’s term.

If the 3 pro-Roe Justices all go during a second Obama term, Roe is safe for a generation. If ONE of them goes during a Romney term, Roe is GONE.

The idea that the court wouldn’t take a Roe case immediately after appointing an anti-Roe Justice under Romney is the biggest load of garbage I’ve ever heard. Scalia, Thomas, and Alito are DYING for the opportunity and I don’t see Roberts standing in the way when a 4th acolyte joins that group. Betting the future of a woman’s right to choose on the idea that John Roberts might vote to sustain it is a gambler’s folly.

AO October 30, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I hope you’re right. I’m not as hopeful that Minnesota would be able to do as South Dakota has done and find enough votes to ban abortion if Roe is overturned.

Bill Prendergast October 30, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Q: “If Roe vs. Wade was overturned and Congress passed a federal ban on all abortions and it came to your desk, would you sign it, yes or no?”

ROMNEY: “…Let me say it. I’d be delighted to sign that bill. But that’s not where we are. That’s not where America is today. Where America is is ready to overturn Roe vs. Wade and return to the states that authority. But if the Congress got there, we had that kind of consensus in that country, terrific.”

Romney says he’ll sign a bill that would outlaw all abortions, if the Congress sends him that bill. Now Norm Coleman (and the Romney campaign) say Romney won’t end the right the choose.

It seems pretty clear that Romney’s a liar without any integrity who does whatever serves his personal interest at the moment. So if circumstances permit and Romney feels it’s in his political interests at the moment–Romney will sign a bill banning all abortions. If appointing justices who would overturn Roe serves his political interests at that moment–he’ll appoint them.

…another thing: the leaders of the national evangelical right may not want Roe reversed (despite what they’ve been telling their supporters for forty years.) Roe is an incredible vote-driver, money-producer, political organizing tool for them, and that’s been the case since the mid-seventies. Homophobia is a very poor second or third in their arsenal by comparison.

The leaders of the religious right amass power via advocacy that leads to “chipping away” at rights secured by Roe. Those “little victories” maintain fervor, political strength, and their cash steam.

A big victory that disintegrates Roe (a US where abortion is legal in blue states and illegal in red states) is not in their political or financial interest.

username October 30, 2012 at 9:32 pm

An excellent point, Bill. The wealthy parasites at the top of the Republican Party (for whom Romney is the poster boy) have made a 30 year project of conning and fleecing not just the middle and working classes, but also their own supporters.

If you think Romney is the most dishonest politician you’ve ever encountered (I do, and I remember Nixon), you’re not wrong. The Republican Party has become an organized criminal conspiracy, creating ever more ridiculous explanations for feeding the rich at the expense of the country’s economic health, and meanwhile stealing from everyone else, whether left, right or center.  

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: