Trump GOP Reaps The Whirlwind On Its Anti-Abortion Absolutism

INSIDE: Sean Hannity ... Mike Johnson ... Jessica Tarlov
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 10: Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he arrives at the Atlanta Airport on April 10, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. Trump is visiting Atlanta for a campaign fundraising ev... ATLANTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 10: Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he arrives at the Atlanta Airport on April 10, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. Trump is visiting Atlanta for a campaign fundraising event he is hosting. (Photo by Megan Varner/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.

When Us v. Them Collapses On Itself

Republicans spent the day tying themselves in knots over the Arizona Supreme Court ruling that reinstated a Civil War-era territorial law banning nearly all abortions.

Shouts of “Shame! Shame!” erupted as Arizona Republican legislators thwarted attempts to repeal the state’s newly revived 1864 abortion ban. That made it comically more difficult for Donald Trump and other national Republicans to maintain the pretension that the Arizona mess would be quickly cleaned up.

But that pretension was itself a Russian nesting doll of bad faith and disingenuousness. Mess? What mess? This was precisely what Republicans set out to create in the half century since Roe legalized abortions nationwide. Even in Arizona itself, the GOP molded the state’s high court with this kind of outcome in mind, as the NYT reports.

It’s almost too obvious to say, but: It’s much easier maintaining a deeply unpopular political position when there’s no chance of it becoming law.

It goes beyond that, though.

A critical element of the GOP’s anti-abortion fanaticism was always a classic “us versus them” sorting exercise. On one side were God-fearing, chaste, proper, and upstanding women alongside their men and on the other side … oh my. Usually implicit but sometimes quite explicit was a fictional picture of a pro-abortion world populated by slutty liberal woman, Black women with no self respect or self control, serial baby-makers living out of wedlock, and a vile array of similarly atrocious caricatures.

Layer on top of that mean-spiritedness the MAGA Republican impulse to target, punish, and hurt its foes, and you could anticipate how this might go. Before Dobbs, it was easy for Trump et al. to use anti-abortion invective as a weapon. After Dobbs, the weaponization of abortion suddenly resulted in lots and lots of friendly fire. It wasn’t just those women who were affected, it was all women. The line between us and them blurred. What were easy cheap shots became self-inflicted wounds.

And Trump in his lizard brain knows this.

Trump Flails Hard On Abortion

Donald Trump has hung abortion politics around his own neck and now he’s drowning.

In remarks Wednesday trying to put out the fire he re-ignited earlier this week when his official non-position became “leave it up to the states,” Trump further backed himself into a corner:

  • In a significant but not altogether believable about-face from his previous campaigns, Trump said he would not sign a national ban on abortions if it came to his desk.
  • At the same time, Trump doubled down on punishing doctors who provide abortions.
  • As TPM’s Josh Marshall wrote: “It is a very clear sign of just how much Trump and his campaign feel like they’re on the run and on the ropes on this issue, partly because the Monday announcement was generally ineffective and even more after the bombshell news yesterday out of Arizona.”

Return With Us Now To Those Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear

  • Monica Hesse: Meet the ‘pursuer of nubile young females’ who helped pass Arizona’s 1864 abortion law
  • Good one:

Sean Hannity Needs Help

I’ve never seen the Fox News luminary so utterly adrift:

Keep trying, Sean:

Feel Trump’s Desperation As Criminal Trial Looms

It’s looking increasingly likely that the hush money trial will begin on schedule Monday in Manhattan:

  • Trump fails for a third time this week to delay the hush money trial.
  • TPM’s Hunter Walker: Trump Falsely Claims He ‘Just Found’ New Info Exonerating Him In Stormy Daniels Affair Case

Weisselberg Sentenced To Five Months … Again

Former Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg was sentenced to five months in Rikers for perjuring himself in the Trump civil fraud trial in New York.

It was the second consecutive year that Weisselberg was given a five-month Rikers sentence. The previous sentence was for tax fraud for his role in the Trump Org.

In each instance, he’ll end up serving about 100 days behind bars.

Quote Of The Day

I can’t in good conscience stay on the board of an organization representing Gerald R. Ford that doesn’t manifest his kind of guts. It’s now a place whose leadership is cowed by a demagogue creating and promulgating the greatest crisis our country has faced since the Civil War.

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer David Hume Kennerly, in his letter resigning as a trustee of Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation for what he claims was its timidity in not giving its Distinguished Public Service medal to former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY)


The House GOP melted down again after Trump ordered it to “Kill FISA.” It would be funny to watch if the national security implications weren’t so serious:

  • WSJ: Speaker Johnson’s Woes Grow After GOP Holdouts Block Spying Bill
  • Politico: Surveillance bill implodes amid GOP infighting in latest blow to Johnson
  • WaPo: House Republicans revolt against spy agency bill, signaling trouble for Johnson

It’s hard to overstate how rare it is for Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) to be enduring these kinds of internal procedural setbacks. Here’s a glimpse though:

2024 Ephemera

  • Politico: Trump, GOP scramble to contain abortion ‘earthquake’
  • Politico: How Biden’s campaign plans to pummel Trump on abortion
  • Semafor’s David Weigel: “Republican Secretaries of State in Ohio and Alabama have told Democrats that their presidential ticket might not qualify for their ballots, warning that the party’s nominating convention in Chicago will come too late to make their deadlines.”

So Very Afraid

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