Being Smart Has Nothing to Do With It

Think Progress reports on a little brouhaha going on within the House Republican caucus.

The GOP-controlled House will vote on a proposed 20-week abortion ban next Thursday — the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion throughout the United States. The legislation has passed the House for the past two years and was expected to have broad support in the 114th Congress, particularly as Republicans have set their sights on later abortions as an area where they believe they can advance their agenda.

However, the National Journal reports that a group of GOP women led by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) have started pushing back against the legislation, expressing concerns during a closed-door meeting of House Republicans. Ellmers reportedly said she is worried that voting on the 20-week ban will alienate young female voters, urging her colleagues “to be smart about how we’re moving forward.”

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems kind of unprincipled to worry about alienating voters when you’re trying to take some kind of moral stand. Perhaps a better argument against this bill is that it is horrible policy and will be tremendously unpopular with young female voters for precisely that reason. I mean, any casual observer of Congress already knows that the typical House Republican simply doesn’t give a damn about alienating voters. If they care about getting reelected at all, they expect to do it by mobilizing their true believers.

Now, Rep. Renee Ellmers may want her colleagues to be smart about how they move forward, but either you support the 20-week ban or you don’t.

[Cross-posted at Booman Tribune]

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.