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“Ducking For Cover On Planned Parenthood”: Message Republicans Receiving, Government Shutdown Is A Politically Losing Strategy’

Even as Carly Fiorina’s mendacious disquisition on Planned Parenthood last night encouraged those who want to shut down the government over funding for that organization, congressional Republicans continued to run for cover to the big mainline antichoice organization, the National Right To Life Committee, per a report from the AP’s Alan Fram:

Hoping to prevent the Republican uproar over the Planned Parenthood videos from snowballing into a government shutdown, GOP leaders are turning for help to polling data and one of the nation’s most powerful anti-abortion groups.

At a meeting Thursday of House Republicans, leaders described GOP polls showing the public is strongly against a federal shutdown and would likely blame Republicans if one occurred, said lawmakers who attended the closed-door session. Some conservatives want the GOP-controlled Congress to approve a bill keeping the government open starting Oct. 1 only if it also blocks federal payments to Planned Parenthood.

“The message was there that this is a politically losing strategy that would put our own majority in peril,” Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., who is close to party leaders, said of the polling.

In addition, top Republicans have spread the word that even the National Right to Life Committee — which favors cutting off Planned Parenthood’s funds — doubts the wisdom of risking a shutdown over that issue. The group is the largest and perhaps most influential anti-abortion organization.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said of Right to Life on Wednesday, “It’s a strategy they don’t think makes much sense because it doesn’t succeed….”

Right to Life’s leaders released a statement this week endorsing a bill by Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., halting federal payments to Planned Parenthood for a year. The House plans to approve that bill on Friday, along with another by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., setting criminal penalties for medical providers who don’t try saving babies born live during abortions.

But the Right to Life statement was pointedly silent about the merits of enmeshing a cutoff of Planned Parenthood’s money with legislation keeping government functioning.

“We want people to think about what a government shutdown would do,” National Right to Life President Carol Tobias said in an interview Wednesday. She said of Obama, “As long as he’s in that Oval Office with a veto pen, it’s difficult to see how we could win that battle.”

Tobias said Right to Life is concerned that a shutdown over Planned Parenthood could harm the anti-abortion cause in the long run, adding, “If we want to save babies, if we want to defund Planned Parenthood, we have to put a pro-life president in the White House” in next year’s elections.

Wonder if Tobias is hearing today from members who got all riled up by Fiorina last night, or for that matter, by Bobby Jindal shrieking at the cowardly surrender-monkeys of the Senate who won’t throw away the filibuster in order to advance to a Clash of Civilizations with Obama over Planned Parenthood funding. It also wouldn’t shock me if more militant antichoice groups go all Hamas to the NRLC’s Fatah.

You even have to wonder if some antichoicers are rethinking the whole sting video strategy, which has mainly served to lather up the faithful rather than earn any converts. Some upcoming craziness could confirm that judgment.

 

By: Ed Kilgore, Contributing Writer, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, September 17, 2015

September 18, 2015 Posted by | Carly Fiorina, Government Shut Down, Planned Parenthood | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Calling Off The Dogs, For Now”: Anti-Choicers Pulling The Punch On Planned Parenthood?

Assuming Ben Domenech knows his right-wingers, which I would guess is the one thing he does infallibly know, he’s solved a big mystery for us in a column yesterday. A few weeks ago the whole hep conservative world was aflame with promises and threats about defunding Planned Parenthood, even if it took a government shutdown. Erick Erickson was hyperventilating nearly hourly about how the GOP needed to lay down and die if it did not follow this course of action to the bitter end. Presidential candidates were climbing on board in due order.

Then–well, Mitch McConnell allowed as how it wasn’t going to happen, the presidential candidates and conservative media stopped talking about it, and even ol’ Pope Erick seemed to back off. What’s up with that?

According to Domenech, it was actually the big antichoice groups that called off the dogs:

For the time being, Capitol Hill Republican leaders are on the same page as the national pro-life groups – a shutdown strategy is not their preference, because it makes it more likely Democrats will win in 2016, and that means you miss probably your best opportunity in a generation to get rid of Roe v. Wade. Capitol Hill Republicans are looking to the pro-life groups to provide them cover by not scoring a Planned Parenthood-funding continuing resolution, and most of the big groups are expected to go along with this strategy.

Wow. If the National Right to Life Committee doesn’t support dragging the whole country to the bottom of hell in order to kill off its bitter enemies at Planned Parenthood, then why should anyone else? Domenech seems to think Ted Cruz may be tempted to outlank not only McConnell and the other presidentials but the National Right to Life Committee, yet probably won’t in the end. Domenech thinks that jawing about a Planned Parenthood-free continuing resolution for weeks may be a superior strategy, mainly because he shares the common antichoice delusion that women will give up their reproductive rights–or perhaps enough men can be convinced to just take them away from women–if they can all be forced to spend a few weeks watching the PP sting videos (it’s an article of faith among these birds that people like me or you have never even once discussed the issue). If Republicans make that choice, then they may actually learn that a sizable majority of the American people still favor legal abortion and know enough about Planned Parenthood’s services to know a smear when they see one. The last such teaching moment for the GOP, the Terri Schiavo affair, didn’t seem to do the trick, did it?

 

By: Ed Kilgore, Contributing Writer, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, September 2, 2015

September 3, 2015 Posted by | GOP, Planned Parenthood, Reproductive Choice, Womens Rights | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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