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Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Taking a beating over immigration, Rubio plans to pander to the base with doomed abortion bill

The Atlantic: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has seen his approval rating fall among conservatives in the wake of his push to reform U.S. immigration policy, and so it is not surprising that he, out of all 46 Republican senators, will sponsor a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks. With the potential 2016 presidential candidate in charge of guiding the measure through the Senate, it’s guaranteed to get “enormous media attention and thus more national visibility for the issue of limiting late term abortions," The Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes writes. And it could help Rubio win back conservative hearts and minds.

Rubio’s name was booed at a Tea Party rally in Washington, D.C. last month. A June 19 Quinnipiac poll found that Florida voters disapprove of the way Rubio’s handling immigration reform by 41 percent to 33 percent. A recent Washington Post/ ABC News poll found Rubio’s “strongly favorable" ratings among Republicans has dropped 11 points since August. Barnes writes, “His front-and-center role on a key anti-abortion measure is likely to ease concerns about him among GOP voters." It will be interesting to see whether conservative voters will be OK with citizenship for 11 million immigrants if they get some potential restrictions on the 1.2 million abortions each year.
If this doesn’t work, he’ll sponsor a bill to hand out guns to kindergartners or have the Ten Commandments tattooed on the backs of everyone’s eyelids. This bill will probably never even come up for a vote, let alone pass. Even if by some miracle it got out of congress, the president would veto it and it would violate Roe. It serves one purpose, to shore up Rubio’s 2016 chances by casting him as a general in the Republican War on Women. Whether it passes or not is irrelevant. In fact, if it doesn’t pass, all the better. And yes, these state-level bans will be struck down in the courts.

Losing abortion fights is preferable to winning because the one-issue voter goes away when that one issue has been resolved. In the bait-and-switch that is Republican abortion politics, losing battles brings the chumps back for more. Vote for abortion bans, get tax cuts for gazillionaires and the gutting of worker protections — lather, rinse, repeat.

The Republican Party must be extremely pleased with the endless gullibility of their base. Kick them in the teeth and they keep coming back for more — every time.

[photo by Gage Skidmore]

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