Sunday, February 25, 2024

Graham’s Abortion Bill Timing Another Self-Inflicted Wound

Over the years, I have often wondered whose side Senator Lindsey Graham is really on, and this is one of those times. With the lead and the ball in Republican possession late in the fourth quarter of the 2022 election, instead of taking a knee, Graham inexplicably threw a deep pass. Let’s just hope it’s not intercepted.

On September 13, 2022, less than two months before the mid-term election, Graham released a bill he authored known as the Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act, which would effectively ban most abortions after 15 weeks.

Frankly, the bill is quite compelling. The language and conclusions rely almost entirely on factual medical data relating to the development of an unborn child during different stages of the gestation process. After reading the bill in its entirety, it’s hard to imagine anyone arguing that a fetus with eye and finger movement, brain waves and internal organs isn’t a child at 12 weeks, but that’s a discussion for another day.

The issue with introducing this bill is the timing. For some inexplicable reason, Republicans routinely set off a grenade in their own camp just before the battle is about to begin, and this is another perfect example.

Try to remember back in late December, 2020, when the country was in the full clutches of the pandemic. Mitch McConnell blocked a $2000 stimulus bill that had near unanimous Senate support. At the time, President Trump lamented Republicans must have a “death wish,” which was later validated by the losses in Georgia that ultimately shifted the Senate to the Democrats.

This is the exact reason we consistently lose national elections. There is a time to stand on principle and a time to focus on political expediency. For some reason, the Republicans don’t seem to understand the difference in the concepts.

You will notice these types of self-inflicted wounds never seem to happen in Democrat circles. At about the 90-day mark before an election, it’s as though the party erects an iron dome-style defensive posture that relies on advancing policies that appeal to independents, avoiding the introduction of controversial bills in Congress and ensuring that every member of the party is parroting an identical narrative. As an illustration, ask yourself if you’ve heard of any new Defund the Police or Critical Race Theory initiatives from the Democrats lately?

With the release of this bill, Graham threw red meat to the opposition and created a firestorm the liberal media is all too happy to run with. Their contrived outrage centers around the bill’s definition of “late-term abortion” as later than fifteen weeks with the potential for criminal penalties of up to five years imprisonment.

 Fortunately, Mitch McConnell indicated the bill won’t be scheduled, but the damage is already done.

With high gas prices, inflation, a looming recession, immigration and countless other ruling party disasters, abortion was the single winning issue the Democrats had to run on in this election cycle. The science on abortion is technical and often purposely contradictory, and many voters are more likely to be persuaded by soundbites and headlines than hard medical facts. Just as the political damage from the Supreme Court’s ill-timed abortion decision had begun to abate, Graham threw gas on the fire to make certain the abortion issue remains in the spotlight right up to November 8th.

I don’t know what Lindsey Graham’s motivation was in releasing a restrictive abortion bill at this time, but he did no Republican running in a purple state any favors.