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Conservatives Say Next Election Needs More Abortion, Rape Talk

Conservatives Say Next Election Needs More Abortion, Rape Talk

A running joke among liberals is that conservatives live in an alternate universe. The joke is so ubiquitous that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert built entire careers on it. But if the early reactions to their electoral defeats are to be taken seriously, then that joke about the alternate reality just became truth.

According to groups like anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List Mitt Romney should have spent more time debating President Obama on abortion. In a statement released Wednesday Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said Romney took a weak position on abortion that set the tone for Senate candidates and caused those losses as well. She said Romney was “wobbly” on social issues and called on conservatives to redouble their focus on abortion.

“Abortion meant rape in the minds of many voters because the debate was not fully engaged,” she said. Dannenfelser said Republicans seemed to have called “a de facto truce on social issues” while Democrats “launched a war.” Seriously.

But as Robin Marty points out, the opposite is in fact true. In races where abortion and reproductive health care were engaged to the electorate as a whole, voters rejected socially conservative candidates by wide margins. In cases where the hard-right candidates did well with voters they can thank the 2010 election prior. As Marty states:

Put them all together, and you see the power of re-districting, and the polarity of the voters at a glance. Ultra right-wing candidates were successful if they were incumbents, had a 50 percent chance of election if they were in a very conservative district, and when forced to appeal to the entire state versus a gerrymandered district overwhelmingly failed.

Social conservatives claim the answer to their electoral woes is to become more conservative, and that the answer to their shedding of women voters to become more anti-woman. For the rest of the Republican party, they might want to take Cecile Richards’ words to heart. “Anyone who doesn’t get this message — and I know there are people who don’t, because House folks are already trying to spin this — boy, it was clear in this country that despite Mitt Romney trying to say that women didn’t care about women’s health issues, they obviously did, because they didn’t vote for him,” Richards said in an interview with Huffington Post. “This was such an overwhelming statement about where women are in this country.”

“Back in the olden days, the Republican Party was the party that supported people’s individual rights and keeping government out of personal health care decisions, so I think there’s a history they can go back to,” Richards said. “A lot of Republicans used to support family planning, and Richard Nixon signed that first federal planning program into law. There’s a clear pathway to [win back women's support], and it’s to listen to the middle of their party instead of the extreme fringe.”

The problem, of course, is that social conservatives have taken over the Republican party and are no longer its fringe. And since they’ve established they don’t believe in reality, I guess we can expect to see a whole lot more anti-contraception, anti-abortion rhetoric from the right despite these losses.


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Photo from DonkeyHotey via flickr.

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8:50AM PDT on Apr 21, 2013

Yeah Kevin, Gosnell is unbelievable but if the anti-abortion idiots succeed he & others like him will be what women in desperate need of help will be forced to deal with and many will die.

3:47PM PDT on Apr 20, 2013

The Gosnell case is like porn to the anti-abortion nutjobs.

1:31PM PDT on Apr 20, 2013

Vlad v.. You can spam every forum.. At the end Roe v Wade is reality.. Gosnell has nothing to do with the topic.. Thank you for showing every one why you have no point.

7:53PM PDT on Mar 31, 2013

Edvanir, one would literally have to live under a rock to not know that many women in the US are opposed to abortion and I’m certain most of them vote Republican but that is far from all the attacks being waged on women by the GOP. Other than the shrews who insist the entire nation bow to their religious and moral beliefs I simply cannot understand how any other women can bring themselves to vote for a Republican candidate for any office. I wish someone could explain this quandary to me. How or why does anyone vote against their own interest.

11:22PM PDT on Mar 30, 2013

Yeah... And we're gonna see more male idiots who believe THEY know exactly what God wants for US and FROM us, women.

7:10PM PDT on Mar 30, 2013

I personally wanna hear all about castrating the rapists and pedophiles!!!! Thank you.

1:07AM PDT on Mar 11, 2013

Oh My!

2:43PM PST on Mar 8, 2013

Amen, Maureen!

7:44PM PST on Mar 7, 2013

I, for one, hope we can expect to see a whole lot more anti-contraception, anti-abortion rhetoric from the right despite these losses. It's a tried & true way to increase those losses.

11:38AM PST on Mar 7, 2013

Gerrymandering can only do so much. The "mainstream" Republicans are already so far right that they're no longer on the field. It sounds like they hope to gain support by leaving the Stadium altogether. GO FOR IT!

You already have the votes of the far right, and some conservative-leaning voters. Keep going, and the centrist votes who pulled "R" last time will flip to "D." If the entire Republican party would follow Ryan's lead, we could flip the house (in spite of the gerrymandering).

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