human rights Margaret Kimberley Supreme Court

Obama and Liberals Killed Abortion Rights

The revelation that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision has not motivated left-wing democrats to effectively mobilize on an issue they claim to care about. They are made powerless by their dependence on liberalism and loyalty to people like Barack Obama who undermine them.
Barack Obama press conference April 29, 2009 (Photo: C-Span)

By Margaret Kimberley / Black Agenda Report

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on May 14, 2022 and is being re-presented because of its relevance to the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.

On May 2, 2022, a memo written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was leaked to Politico.com . Alito made clear that the court with a 6 to 3 conservative majority intends to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which made abortion legal in the United States.

Reaction to the news was swift and predictable. Liberals expressed outrage and marched on federal courthouses and even to the homes of Supreme Court justices. Barack Obama released a long winded 700 word statementdeclaring himself, and his wife, strongly opposed to the court’s imminent decision. The statement is amusing because it gives the impression that Obama had nothing to do with the current state of affairs.

As a presidential candidate in 2008 Obama promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act , which would have codified abortion rights into federal law. But once in office he never pushed congress to pass it. In typical Obamaesque fashion he would claim to believe that women had the right to choose abortion, but that he didn’t want to demonize the opposition, and he wanted to find consensus on the issue. After his usual routine “on the one hand this, but on the other hand that” on April 29, 2009 he finally said out loud what was clear. “The Freedom of Choice Act is not my highest legislative priority.” It wasn’t even his lowest legislative priority. Obama never lifted a finger to get it passed, even during his first two years in office when he had majorities in the House and the Senate.

Knowing full well that Roe v. Wade hinged on having a supportive Supreme Court in place, he dithered on doing what he had the power to do. In 2013 he knew that the democrats might lose control of the senate in the 2014 election. He asked Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, already 80-years old and a cancer patient, to step down. She declined and he didn’t press the issue. In 2016 conservative Justice Antonin Scalia died and senate republicans refused to even hold hearings to confirm Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland. Obama had the option of making a  recess appointment that would have put Garland on the court but he didn’t do that either. Such a move would have been controversial, and perhaps Garland’s presence would have been short, but it would have made clear that democrats were as committed as they claimed to be on the issue of abortion rights.

Instead they play games with democratic voters. Any unhappiness with the democrats is met with the plea to protect the federal judiciary from conservatives. This ploy is nothing but a cynical effort to keep left leaning democrats in the fold and to discredit anyone who questions the party’s continued failures to do what the people want them to do.

Now the liars and hypocrites like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who once claimed abortion was a “fading” issue are sending fundraising appeals to brain washed liberals who will again write checks and declare their devotion like Stockholm Syndrome hostages. Hillary Clinton’s foolish appeals to conservatives included choosing anti-choice senator Tim Kaine as a running mate and at times saying she was “ambivalent ” about abortion are now forgotten as the supposed left of the party remain lost.

They are lost because they don’t know the most basic rules of political mobilizations. Instead of harassing SCOTUS justices at home, they should be harassing their democratic representatives. Why march to a courthouse instead of to the office of democratic member of congress and demand that they make abortion legal? In particular, senators have the ability to end the filibuster which would give the senate the ability to pass a Freedom of Choice Act with their small majority margin. Every democratic senator should be quaking in his or her boots for fear that they’ll be turned out of office if they do not act to protect abortion rights.

Of course they know they have nothing to fear. They know their people have been brainwashed into ineffectiveness and are incapable of showing even minimal opposition to their inaction. After all, Joe Biden announced that $40 billion is going to Ukraine, or rather to the military industrial complex, with no pushback from people who always claim to be progressives. While MAGA hat wearing right wingers are said to be propagandized, liberals again show themselves to be even more happily captive to their leadership.

Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) members are no more useful than the rest of their colleagues. Congresswomen Barbara Lee and Cori Bush tell stories about the abortions they had as teenagers. The entire CBC weighed in with a statement claiming concern for “marginalized communities” and “women of color” while also bemoaning the actions of “the far right.” But none of them have offered a strategy for doing what they and the rest of the democratic party have the ability to do, legislate abortion protection.

Personal stories are a poor substitute for action and so are the usual rhetorical fights with conservatives. But rhetoric is all we have as abortion rights will surely disappear across much of the country. Obama admitted the low priority for this and other issues of importance to democratic voters. Joe Biden is no different. As long as what passes for a left wing is in the hands of cynical politicians and deluded liberals, we can expect more of the same.

Margaret Kimberley

Margaret Kimberley is the author of Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents  . Her work can also be found at patreon.com/margaretkimberley   and on Twitter @freedomrideblog  . Ms. Kimberley can be reached via email at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

49 comments

  1. There aren’t two parties in the US, there is only one, two-faced party.

  2. The decision is not about getting rid of abortion rights, but whether legally Roe v. Wade could be a federal rather than a state decision. The justices are making no determination about whether Roe v. Wade should continue, or whether it is moral or immoral.

    1. L.H. – Your attempt at legalese is disordered and amounts to double talk.

      1. Roe is (of course) necessarily Federal and could never be “a state decision.” States cannot decide a substantive due process issue of the US Constitution. What you perhaps mean is that each state might allow or deny abortion if it wished. That allowance by a state is not the same thing as a substantive due process protection that exists nationwide no matter the ebb & flow of a state’s politics, such a woman’s freedoms do not change based on her location.

      2. Pg. 5 of the draft states: “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled.” That’s about as clear a refutation of the 1st clause of your 2cd sentence as can be. Did you read the draft?

      3. You imply the Justices are without moral bias (“The justices are making no determination … whether it is moral or immoral.”).
      This is tactically naive or you, for purposes of your argument, and not believable. One cannot separate Judicial philosophy from morality when the judicial philosophy (Constitutional originalism) is so chosen as to enforce the moral values of the 18th Century upon people living in the 21st.
      Throughout the draft Alito stands his Originalist ground on the moral legalism that there can be no right under substantive due process (the implied right of liberty in the 14th) that is not, “deeply rooted in American history and tradition.” When you judge history & tradition, you make moral judgements.
      Give it to Alito he is consistent; it was deeply rooted in American tradition that women at the time of the writing of The Constitution were 2cd class citizens in numerous ways. The decision to reintroduce that status, to protect one’s judicial philosophy, is distinctly moral.

    2. Abortion should NEVER be subject to the wishes of politicians from either the Federal government or State government….It should have nothing to do with anybody except the woman/girl in question.

      1. Maxine – You comment is nothing other than a personal demand and is completely unrelated to reality or history or law, or even awareness of the basics of our society. Not only is it not the truth, it’s so disconnected from the issues it doesn’t even qualify as false. It’s like declaring, “The state animal of Texas must be a unicorn!” Such a naive comment can only be posted by a person who is completely unread in a wide area of political science.

      2. @C. Kent
        Maxine stated her opinion. It is not at all unrelated to reality, that’s an idiotic comment. Her opinion is based on the concept of one’s right to bodily integrity. This position has nothing to do with law, history, or political science, so it’s actually your comment that’s out of touch with reality. I fully agree with Maxine’s comment, and I’m very in touch with reality.

        And BTW, opinions can’t be right or wrong, only facts can be.

      3. Jeff – This isn’t a daycare where the toddlers get a gumdrop for not throwing their food. This is a comment forum on an article about serious matters of Constitutional Law, for which empty declarations of obtuse opinion are exactly like my unicorn analogy – irrelevant. Worse they are counter-productive to effectively improving the state of affairs in the minds of readers.

        Your reply comment to me, whether you know it or not, is postmodern equivocation, a peculiar sub genre of modern thinking that has been adopted by a lot of youngsters in order to duck studying the reality of things as recorded by history, by giving out gumdrops to themselves for junk ideas. And your conclusion proves my point, opinions are always falsifiable as right or wrong, whereas fact are always true whether right or wrong.

      4. You are turning a simple issue into something very complicated….Why can’t you comprehend that politicians do not have the right to own womens’ bodies….That they would force women to keep things inside their bodies that they don’t want there is disgusting and barbaric.

      5. @maxine
        Maybe he’s one of those men who thinks that they do own women’s bodies. His unhinged propagandistic response to me never addressed that issue, but instead engaged in name-calling and acting like he knows more and better than us. He also basically said that our opinions don’t count because they don’t meet his standards. I’ll end here so I don’t lower myself to his level.

      6. @C. Kent
        You’re making it needlessly complicated and raising false issues like “postmodern equivocation,” whatever the hell that is (don’t really care, I’m not equivocating about anything, my position here is quite clear). You also could not be more wrong about facts & opinions. Maybe you should go to law school so you can learn to think straight. Opinions are points of view, and they cannot be true or false by definition. What you’re saying is that your point of view is right, and everyone else’s is wrong. I think you need to take your ego down a few million notches. Facts, by definition, are either true, false, unknown, or unknowable. 2+2=4 is a true fact; 2+2=5 is a false fact; what happens to us after we die is an unknown fact and is also an unknowable one for live people.

        Also, your response to Maxine and me equals, STFU because I don’t agree with your opinion. So YOU get to decide what opinions are acceptable?

        You sound exactly like the damn liberals I’ve come to hate even more than conservatives, though I prefer the derogatory name for them that I won’t use here.

      7. Hi Jeff….It is a pleasure to have your support….Some years ago, myself and another commenter were banned from a news site called “Smirking Chimp”….It called itself Left but it basically became a pro-Democratic site (Most contributors loved Hillary, supported Obama’s Ukrainian coup and ” Russia did it” lunacy)

        We are lucky to still have Sheer Post and Consortium News as the above scenerio would never happen here.

      8. @maxine
        Thanks for the kind words maxine, you’re most welcome. Can you believe the arrogance of this guy?

  3. Interesting title using the word “killed.” I thought only the pro-life/anti-abortion folks use the word “killed” as in baby.

    I raise this terminology up because neither of the polarized sides seem unable to articulate the concerns of the other.

    1. The “concerns” of the other side ?
      They are enemies, people to be defeated and suppressed.
      There is no “marketplace of ideas.”

      Only victory and defeat.

  4. Spot on assessment. I was once co-chair of my county Democratic Party in SW Wisconsin and contributed to and volunteered for campaigns. I am now an unregistered independent and I guess I’ll register to vote but will only vote in local races and maybe one or two statewide races. Beyond that? Why bother…

    Truth is electoral politics are dead, the empire is crumbling and direct action and mutual aid are the only things to focus on.

    1. same here, active at the local level but have had it.
      which, it seems, is what they want

  5. The worst people in the country are the blue check Shitlibs who’ve propped up the rotten Democrat Party as it has devolved into a wholly owned arm of Big Donors, exercising control via the liars at CNN, the NYTimes and MSNBC. Obama was a complete disaster for the exceeding naive body of so called Progressive minded people in America, as were both Clintons. Money controls politics as never before in US history, the evidence that Democrats are paid puppets of Finance and the Defense sector is how little they have done to reform campaign finance.

    The nomination process is rigged, nobody with a human soul can be nominated for high federal public office on a Democrat ticket in the US. Every Democrat in Congress voted to send $40B to extend a myriad of projects to effectively prop up neonazis threatening Russia for one reason; their donor base wants a chuck of that un-audited cash flow. It’s like Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan never happened. Currently Rand Paul & Marjorie Taylor Greene are more progressive on war than any Democrat including a group of young women who’s nickname I refuse to mention.

    In this regard the only out for regular people is popular uprising, public violence, ironically the Liberals will have to do what the kooks did to the Capitol on Jan 6. This may be why dangerous toxic leaders like Pelosi are so adamant about reacting against that relative mild display as though it were the firing on Fort Sumter. Her real motivation is to suppress any outbursts from her own side. Where the need is for public uprising, the more acts of suppression of rights the better. People don’t get off their asses if they are comfortable.

    1. Excellent response except for “In this regard the only out for regular people is popular uprising, public violence,” which is completely incorrect. Revolution, yes, violent revolution? won’t work. He’s what to do:

      Non-cooperation by We the People, peaceful, non-volent proactive resistance to a political system (owned and operated by the BIG BANKS, who by the way, own the “PRIVATE” Federal Reserve- it is not an agency of the federal government which means, it’s unconstitutional) which could care less about, again, We the People. What’s to be done, and how to achieve it?

      Bring down the neo-liberal economic system: (1) Refuse to work, tens of millions doing this, (2) refuse to pay rents and/or mortgages, (3) refuse to pay off all debts (as all debts are fraudulent as a matter of fact, whereas the banks create money which has to be balanced by debt, money created as if it were Monopoly Money which is counterfeit, illegal – a note, please read Ellen Brown’s masterful work ‘WEB of DEBT: The Shocking Truth About Our Money System And How We Can Break Free’) (4) refuse to consume beyond the bare essentials to maintain life (with tens of millions doing this, who are the authorities going to go after as the jails and prisons will overflow while not being able to maintain any kind of order), (5) refuse to send your children off to school (oh and by the way, it was the industrialists who managed to institute compulsory education K-12, and why? a work force with a rudimentary level of learning, knowledge, socialization, and understanding, as a matter of inquiry, why do workers go to higher levels of education? Think about it, greater earning power and what does that say about the system of non-democratic employment here in America).

      And within a matter of weeks, if not days, the system will crash, a successful revolution without bloodshed, and quite frankly, the only way to keep the authorities on the high ground. India was successful in ending rule by Great Britian (and its English banking system- see the parallels) and it was accomplished non-violently with non-cooperation to a foreign power, illegitimate as is The U.S. Government owned and operated by the before mentioned BANKSTERS!

      After which? I have to get ready for work therefore and have not the time, presently, to go into that: Have a nice day!

      1. @Mark+Oglesby
        It’s not true that violent revolution doesn’t work. Nonviolence has a better chance of succeeding, but that’s a gross generalization, and you have to look at the individual situation. Of course nonviolence should always be the first choice, but that doesn’t mean that a violent revolution is not sometimes the correct action.

      2. Glad you enjoyed most of that.
        I don’t agree with your resort to milquetoast non-cooperation of course, as half the population is ready, willing, and able to more than cooperate in your place. Your “refuse to cooperate” is like a toddler threatening to hold their breath until they get what they want.
        Resort to violence is a time honored method of the effective revolutionary for centuries including in the USA, and as any historian will tell you that as soon as a government has beaten the willpower to become physically angry out of a people, it owns them. I would remind readers that activists set off more than 2500 bombs in the US to get the nation’s attention on Vietnam.
        Other observations on your reply,
        1. Your “We the People” language is the stuff of the kook,
        2. as is your Fed-centric ideation.
        3. the India analogy is grasping at straws; there is no analogy to the British in India and American Finance Capital Slavemasters in the US. India was simply too far away from Britain to be controlled by 100K English. (Btw your genius Ghandi advised the Jews of Europe to commit mass suicide, and the British to surrender to the Germans.)

        I have to laugh at how you shudder at the thought of violence against The System, they certainly have no compunction about using it against us.

  6. Does anybody remember hearing, during his last year in office, any demand from Obama that the Senate act on his nomination of Merrick Garland or any attempt to energize public opinion to put pressure on the Senate to act? I don’t.

  7. Since Roe v Wade (1973), 30 out of the 50 years that passed were under Republican administrations. The last Republican president, who was elected into office in part due to misplaced support of the left, is the one responsible for the Republican majority that is actually annulling the 1973 ruling. Yet you do not see Democrats deflecting blame onto the left-ish Neo Progressive fools who aided and abetted the conservative majority.

    Word of advise: the only way to even keep the option for the protection of abortion rights is to ensure decisive Democrat majority in Congress in the upcoming midterm election, and while an independent progressive electoral impotence is a matter of long established record, they have proved time and again essential to Democrats, and I suggest you put your skills and media space towards that. Otherwise, you’d have only yourself to blame for far worse Republican onslaught on democracy.

    1. The failure or the Democans/Republicrats lies solely on the skinny, weak shoulders of the DNC. They never follow through on campaign promises, slurp up corporate cash and treat those of us who have tried get the party to care for working people with disdain and duplicity. THEY are responsible for their miserable track record.

      1. @Mark

        People are more responsible for what they do than for what they didn’t do.

        From the New Deal, through Civil Rights act to Obamacare, virtually each and all progress in the US is the Democrats’ doing, while each and every backward sliding and proto fascism is of Republican making.

        Left-ish Neo Progressive propaganda notwithstanding, reality and history is not on your side.

      2. DGA, good point

        Much of our current social safety net was conceived by Al Smith when he was governor of New York.

        Almost all of the New Deal was the product of Francis Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor.

        Perkins is the most significant woman public servant in the history of America.

        The Labor movement was reinvigorated in the 1930’s by the Wagner Act, thanks to Senator Robert Wagner.

        All Democrats, all New Yorkers.

        That was a time when government was the solution…not the problem.

  8. It’s a problem when party is committed to one party ruling as they feel fit. In addition the Democrats have Manchin and Sinema supporting the GOP. Now the so-called centrist have decided Progressives are a greater threat than extreme right wing, white supremacist, and armed militias .

  9. Throughout history, numerous codified laws have been struck down by the Supreme Court. If codified, Roe v Wade would be no exception.

    1. @Ron
      Statutes can only be held invalid by a court if they’re found to be unconstitutional. How would a statute codifying Roe v. Wade be unconstitutional?

      1. Obama and the Liberals Killed Abortion Rights

        “As a presidential candidate in 2008 Obama promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act , which would have codified abortion rights into federal law. But once in office he never pushed congress to pass it.”

        My point was that signing the Freedom of Choice Act and thus codifying Roe v Wade would not have protected Roe v Wade from courts declaring it unconstitutional and striking it down.

      2. @Ron
        I know. My point is that you’re wrong. Read my response to you again, then explain how a law codifying Roe could be held to be unconstitutional. I don’t think you understand a court’s authority in these matters.

      3. Ron,

        I think it was Cardozo who once said something like “ boy, you can get a lot done around here with five votes.”

        So, at its elemental level, the Constitution means what five judges say it means.

        The regulation of health and welfare matters generally comes under the term of a state’s police power and Congress has little authority to intrude in this area.

        Congress can legislate nationally only where the Constitution gives it authority to do so. The two big sources for congressional legislative power are the commerce clause and the taxing power. Neither apply to Roe in my opinion.

        In the case of the Freedom of Choice Act, Congress would have to rely on its authority under the 14th amendment to enforce a right to equal protection of the Re are serious legal arguments against such a proposition that would have a receptive ear to the current six member conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

        The current attempt by the Dems to pass FOCA in the Senate is purely symbolic.

        Could the Dems pick off 10 R’s if they proposed a FOCA codified Roe for the first trimester with exceptions for incest, rape and the health of the mother.

        Maybe, but I doubt McConnell would ever allow the defections.

      4. @Dennis
        I don’t see how they could get around the Equal Protection Amendment unless they were to rule that a fetus is a person. Otherwise, a woman’s right to her own bodily integrity must be equal to a man’s.

  10. The Democrats have had the White House and majorities in both Houses multiple times since Roe was decided, yet they never tried to codify it. It’s crystal clear that Democrats want to use abortion as a campaign & fundraising issue far more than they want to protect abortion rights. So anyone who says that you have to vote Democrat in order to protect abortion rights is full of it.

    1. The Dems have not held a filibuster proof (60+votes) since 1979 which would have allowed them to pass a freedom of choice type law.

      Even then, there were a handful of conservative Democratic senators who would not have supported the law in any case.

      Could they or should they have blown up the filibuster rule? I think so because it is fundamentally un democratic but it also involves a complicated calculus.

      Given the durability of the Hyde Amendment, I don’t think there was ever a chance of a freedom of choice law getting through Congress.

      1. @W. Dennis Duggan
        Nice try, but your excuse fails. The filibuster can be ended by a simple majority vote, sometimes known as the “nuclear option.” And regardless of the outcome, the Democrats never even tried. If you really want to get something done, as opposed to empty rhetoric for campaign contribution and election purposes, you bring legislation to a vote on the floor. At the very least, the public can see who supported and who opposed the legislation.

        The Democratic Party has you hoodwinked. They are the party of the liberal faction of the establishment (as we were taught in high school 50 year ago!), and what they mostly care about is supporting the establishment. If they can continue to fool people and use the abortion issue to get votes and campaign contributions, they will do so, which means that they’ll never take action to actually make abortion legal permanently.

  11. No doubt that the pro choice movement got lazy, resting for nearly 50 years on a weakly reasoned Roe v. Wade decision. Both Justice Ginsburg and Professor Lawrence Tribe of Harvard Law have criticized its legal basis.

    But to blame the Dems for Roe’s demise is a bit hyperbolic.

    Of course, the Freedom of Choice act was not Obama’s highest priority. It was Obamacare and he and the crafty Harry Reid got it done, at the last minute and barely.

    40 years from now OBAMACare will be looked at in the same category as Social Security.

    The Freedom of choice act in 2008, when Obama was elected, would have done little to protect women’s reproductive rights at that time and it was of questionable constitutionality.

    The bill never got out of committee. Sure, Reid could have blown up the system by getting rid of the filibuster rule and passed the FOCA but there’s a lot going on there that had to be considered. These are not stupid people.

    In the end, it’s hard to blame Obama for not signing a bill that never got to his desk.

    As for a recess appointment for Garland, what would that have accomplished? There are a lot of other considerations going on when considering that radical move. So Garland serves on the Supreme Court until January 3rd. Roberts just end runs it by setting arguments on the controversial cases for after that date.

    In 2009, when strategy was being developed, who in America predicted that (then pro choice) Donald Trump would be elected president in 2016.

    And who would guess that he would get three Supreme Court vacancies to fill.

    Ginsburg, without doubt, stayed too long and all her good work may be neutered by her decision to die with her robes on. But Should Obama have
    strong armed Her into resigning. She did live for 12 years after Obama was elected.

    How many judges in American history have resigned on account of their age due to presidential pressure?

    Zero.

    If Trump had tried to do the same thing with Breyer, the Dems would have held impeachment hearings.

    Over the last 40 years the Dems have been well intentioned whimps. The Lee Atwater’s, Tom Delays, Newt Gingrich’s, Frank Luntzs, Karl Roves, and Steve Bannons have eaten their lunches with the audacity of audaciosness.

    We don’t know where this will end, but every cloud has a silver lining. Let’s hope the Dems can find it.

    1. @W. Dennis Duggan
      This lame attempt at an excuse is just Democratic Party propaganda. The Democrats want to use the abortion issue for fundraising and elections; that’s the only reasonable explanation of why they didn’t codify Roe. They’ve had multiple opportunities to do so both now and before Obama, and the fact that they didn’t shows that they don’t want to.

      1. Jeff, maybe my position is lame but it is my independent thinking and I am not familiar with Democratic propaganda.

        My position could be disproven by Independent facts but I read none in your response.

        I suspect that Dem fundraising from pro-choice advocates or supporters is relatively small compared with fundraising totals from all sources but evidence that it has been successful in allowing Dems to win elections has little proof of the pudding.

        My understanding is that the Freedom of Choice Act has been introduced in Congress four times in the last 37 years. It has not been introduced in the last 12 years.

        It has never gotten a floor vote.

        The mostly likely explanation is that it never had a snowballs chance in hell of passage and, accordingly, garnered little support to tilt at that legislative windmill, especially when the pro choice position seemed in little danger because of Roe.

        But who in 2010 predicted that a madman would be elected president in 2016 and he would get three Supreme Court vacancies to fill.

        The silver lining I see to Roe’s override is the grassroots mobilization to elect pro choice candidates to state legislatures.

        Taking over state legislatures has been the golden goose for the Right since the strategy was introduced by Tom DeLay in Texas by having mid-decade reapportionments. They didn’t call him “ the hammer” for nothing.

      2. @W. Dennis Duggan
        The fact with which I responded that proves you wrong is that it only takes a simple majority to end the filibuster.

        As to failing to introduce legislation because “it can’t pass:” Many controversial statutes had to be voted on in a floor vote multiple times before they finally passed. That’s how you build momentum to pass a bill that is unpopular in Congress (very popular in the citizenry, 60-70% depending on which poll you believe). Refusing to put a bill on the floor because you say it can’t pass is either a defeatist attitude, or a lie because you don’t really want it to pass.

      3. Jeff,

        I understand that you can end the filibuster wit 51 votes.

        But the Republicans, who always advance a much bolder legislative agenda than the Democrats, as well as the Democrats, have never done it, except in limited circumstances.

        This leads me to a conclusion that in their minds the filibuster has strategic value, despite its un democratic aspect. Both sides have used the reconciliation process to also end run the filibuster rule.

        As for introducing a Roe bill every term as a strategy to eventually batter down the ramparts, this also has downsides.

        One of them is the Harold Stassen effect.. If you keep going to the well and come up dry, eventually you can tire out your supporters and weaken your movement.

        I remember Chris Hedges in one of his books said that the only thing that government really fears is people in the streets.

        The labor movement, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War Protests, Women’s suffrage are examples that come to mind.

        They all scared government because of the massive street protests. Ironically, all those movements started out with much less public favorability than Roe supporters now possess.

        The pro-choice movement has and will protest in the streets but I think they will not be large enough or sufficiently vociferous to succeed

        I still think the pro-choice Advocates will be more successful playing small ball at the state legislative level.

        Wyoming will never be fertile grounds but North Carolina or Georgia, maybe.

      4. @Dennis
        I’m not opposed to working with state legislatures per se, but doing so definitely has its downsides. For one thing, you have to work with multiple legislative bodies instead of just one (or two if you separate the House and the Senate). For another, state legislatures are far easier to corrupt than Congress, because it doesn’t take anywhere near as much money to do so.

        The issue we’re discussing is whether the Democrats really want to protect abortion rights, or whether they just use that issue for campaign contributions and votes. I’m not a Democrat and I consider them as much the enemy as the Republicans, so I have no trouble seeing that it’s the latter. It’s clear as day to me really, and I’ve worked in politics.

      5. Jeff, I too have extensive experience in local and state politics.

        In 1970, three years before Roe, New York, where I live, decriminalized abortion, making it on demand for the first two trimesters and then permitted in the third trimester if the woman’s health was at risk or if the fetus was not viable.

        In 2019, the NY legislature now in Democratic hands, codified Roe.

        Accordingly, maybe I have a too optimistic view of what it takes to sway state legislatures.

        As a measure of how far things have gone off kilter. In 1970, Both houses of the New York State Legislature were Republican as was the governor, Nelson Rockefeller.

        I am thinking that it took women in America 250 years to get the right to vote. But in the end the arc of the moral universe is indeed long but it does bend toward justice.

  12. Let’s hope they even look for it.

    I don’t think Obama gets off the hook that easily. He had the bully pulpit for a year during which he had “other priorities” and neglected the theft of a court seat. I may not have been paying attention on the correct channels, but I don’t remember hearing a word from him challenging the idiocy of McConnell’s risible claim that a president shouldn’t be able to appoint a justice in his last year in office.

    Maybe he was too busy selecting people to blow up with drones, including under age US citizens. (Another reason I would strongly object to his being appointed to the supreme court.)

  13. “Obama admitted the low priority for this and other issues of importance to democratic voters. Joe Biden is no different. As long as what passes for a left wing is in the hands of cynical politicians and deluded liberals, we can expect more of the same.”

    Thank you for calling Barrack Obama out for what he really is, a political animal, the ultimate neo-liberal bought and paid for by the corporate banksters (Citigroup gave him a list for his entire cabinet) who own and operate this nation. Obama has been deemed a secular political saint, untouchable. Therefore, it’s refreshing to read a correct history of the Obama presidency. Again, thanks.

  14. Abortion and immigration have been two major issues that separate Democrats from Republicans. The Democrats either refuse to act because they don’t believe what they are “championing”, or more likely, they want to keep the issues unresolved to carry weight in the-always-coming next Election.
    Bernie Sanders claimed he did not want to be another Ralph Nader. No worries, he’ll never be. Nor will he be another Teddy Roosevelt, who ran for President as the Progressive candidate in 1912. Roosevelt lost, but he had no illusions of winning; much more importantly he devastated his own party, the Republicans, which essentially collapsed, and joined with the Progressives of the time rebuilding from the ground up.
    Bernie instead endorsed and campaigned for Hillary and “my good friend Joe”, refusing to sacrifice his comfy role for principles. Instead propping up a rotted Clintonian “pay to play” Party (largely built on a Black voting bloc supporting Hilalry and Biden with over 90% of the vote, as Margaret Kimberley knows well. And what has it gained the Black community? ) There are times when people have to forsake the lesser of two evils just to show they have some modicum of principles, otherwise they will be taken advantage of.

    1. @michael888
      Yes, Sanders is a worthless gutless wonder, as evidenced by his Ralph Nader comment after he was robbed of the 2016 Democratic nomination and urged to run as a Green or 3d party candidate. Unfortunately, a lot of people drank the Sander Kool Aid and still worship him despite his actions since that time; I just had a debate with one of them who couldn’t understand why I said he was no Dennis Kucinich on foreign policy and why I was upset with him for not running as a 3d party candidate in 2016. Sanders was never that great, but he got much worse after he lost in 2016.

    2. Well said Michael but I’ve always looked at one aspect of this from a different direction.

      The Dems took the easy way out. They only needed to convince five guys that there is a constitutional right to an abortion and in 1972 they did that.

      They did not do the hard work of getting state legislatures to protect a woman’s right to chose.

      For the Right, I hope it is a “be careful of what you ask for” moment.

      After that, the election issue advantage switched to the anti-abortion side. It was the religious right that now had something to run on each cycle.

      They took the “overturn Roe” position to the bank. In the meantime, the pro-choice side went to sleep, resting on the laurels Roe decision.

      With a conservative majority cemented into the Supreme Court for maybe the next decade or more, the pro-choice has to back to grass root politics.

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