While anti-abortion groups like the Susan B. Anthony List were loud and clear in expressing why the Supreme Court ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt shows how important this year’s elections are, the GOP leadership has been silent so far. Clearly, preserving the Senate seems more important than preserving the right to life for McConnell and colleagues.

For example, Senator Mark Kirk – who faces a very tough re-election battle in Illinois – actually came out in favor of the 5-3 ruling. Whether this is a case of Kirk being honest about his own personal convictions, or whether it is a desperate attempt to appease pro-choice voters in his state is for the senator to say.

What this does show, however, is that the GOP Senate majority’s refusal to give Obama’s nominee to fill Scalia’s seat – Merrick Garland – a hearing and an up or down vote does make tactical sense. It’s as if the GOP has decided that yet another angry scuffle over abortion is not something they want to parade all over the media.

Or maybe they’re concerned about Trump’s position and are lining up Mr. Bigly Duck with their own flock. And are keeping relatively quiet until the ducks are waddling in tune.

But this is tactical quibbling. The issue at hand goes beyond the current decision. This is really about what kind of Supreme Court America will have over the next decade or two. And with Trump’s numbers sagging recently, maybe the GOP feels that it’s best to keep the senate GOP majority, if possible, and hope Trump manages to recover in the polls. Or that Hillary and her ever-present server scandal finally blow up big time and give Trump an opening to pull ahead.

But this raises a question. If McConnell and company are essentially trying to preserve a senate majority and ensure their house majority remains relatively robust, shouldn’t they stake their ground on the abortion issue in clear terms? Because either:

  • They’ve given up on the presidency and that means Hillary in the White House and at the very least one Justice appointed by a Clinton administration.
  • Or, you use this ruling to show why the GOP must avoid a Hillary White House at all costs. That means, yes, fully supporting Trump.

Or there’s another reason. Have the GOP essentially handed victory to pro-abortion groups? Have they looked at the polling and the enormous importance of female voters in any election in America, and decided not to fight the issue beyond some tactical resistance? Assuming, on a tactical level, that’s an accurate read of women voters.

That hopefully is an exaggeration. Right now the GOP is deeply divided and trying to save it’s Congressional majorities. We’ll have to wait and see what members of Congress do and say regarding this SCOTUS ruling over the coming days and weeks.

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