Sen. JD Vance (R-OH) joined many other Republicans and those in the right-wing media in acknowledging reality on Wednesday.
In the wake of the passage of Issue One — which, with 57 percent support, enshrined abortion rights in the Ohio constitution — in his home state Tuesday night, Vance publicly acknowledged what his party has been quietly handwringing about for months, as election after election revealed how extensively Dobbs has fired up the cross-party coalition supporting abortion access.
“We have to recognize how much voters mistrust us (meaning elected Republicans) on this issue,” Vance posted on Twitter.
“Having an unplanned pregnancy is scary. Best case, you’re looking at social scorn and thousands of dollars of unexpected medical bills,” Vance continued. “We need people to see us as the pro-life party, not just the anti-abortion party.”
Vance went on to mealy-mouth his way into suggesting that Republicans have to follow in Trump’s footsteps and start embracing “exceptions” before getting to the heart of the matter — the anti-abortion movement needs more money. He also claimed that Democrats “are better at turning out in off year elections” than Republicans, a phenomenon in effect ever since Democrats started claiming high-education and high-civic awareness voters, but that has been heightened by the Dobbs effect.
Vance also injected a bunch of classically inflammatory and false anti-abortion rhetoric into his statement, harping on the “sociopathic” Democrats who want to “murder their own children.” But all of that aside, the statement is an embodiment of a cultural moment that Republicans have no idea how to navigate. Everyone from former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) to Fox News’ Sean Hannity have responded to last night’s electoral victories for abortion rights lamenting the fact that the party is at a loss.
It’s easier to be a Monday morning quarterback than to course correct — and if Vance thinks emphasizing ban exemptions is the way to salvage the party’s future, I have some Youngkin 2024 merch to sell him.
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