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Political Duel

Post # 239, Bob McKnight's Florida Commentary

Senator Graham would rather know he has the pro life vote than risk picking up any pro choice votes among the GOP faithful.

He is gambling against the polls today.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R., SC) has been provocative. He was provocative in the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton. He was provocative during most of his House and Senate career working closely with highly respected Senator John McCain (R., AZ). He has been provocative as the unexpected best friend of former President Donald Trump. But while being provocative, he has been terribly inconsistent and contradictory. Some would say he and his word cannot be trusted.

As a current example, while on FOX News recently he said he favored delegating all abortion decisions to the states. Then the following week, he said he favors making all abortion decisions after 15 weeks at the Federal level, and disregards any decisions about abortion made by the states. As I said, he is inconsistent and contradictory. Also, this switch leaves a number of GOP candidates who have soft peddled their abortion position or even supported abortion with conditions, with no safety net on election day. Graham apparently threw all of them under the bus, without any prior consultation. In their minds, Senator Graham really can't be trusted.

But this decision reversal by Senator Graham was said to not be random, but carefully calculated by a limited number of Republicans at the highest levels of the Party. As previously pointed out in this Commentary, the decision by the Supreme Court to turn abortion back to the states to deal with Roe vs. Wade has public polls breaking in favor of abortion supporters. That support even includes a majority of Republican women who do not want the government making decisions about their bodies. With the critical mid-term elections just weeks away, the Republicans know that there is nothing they can do about changing their pro-life position and so it might be in their best interests to lock down the conservative right votes they have. They surmise that they will not pick up any more votes, if they change their position, so at least they can be sure of getting the conservative anti-abortion votes to the polls if they stay true to their professed position of opposition to abortion.

Because of the majority of public support for abortion, it is a gamble by the Republicans. The GOP choice of Graham to be the sponsor makes sense since he is not up for re-elecition for another four years. The Republican leaders are hoping that the other major issues like their candidate's popularity, inflation, Covid, student loan forgiveness, and the stock market/economy, education, and President Biden' popularity will make up the abortion vote they will lose with many women. Normally, the GOP strategy might work, but nobody expected Roe vs. Wade to be on the ballot and the shock is keeping the issue directly in front of women voters.

The Republicans challenge with abortion is not their only anchor holding down their expected easy victory in November. The continuing embarrassment of the twice impeached former President Trump is beginning to have an effect on Independent voters. Trump's multiple legal problems from his re-election antics are being added to his various serious violations of national security, possibly with purpose of selling or otherwise sharing top secret information with our enemies. Although not known by many of his contributors, Trump is using campaign funds to cover the millions involved in all his litigation. As those contributors discover what Trump is doing with their money, polling among the GOP wealthy begins to fall.

If there ever were a time for the candidates to stand on their own two feet and declare what they really stand for and will do in office on abortion and all the important issues, it is now.

This duel is to the end.



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