Bully for him. And also, have fun storming the filibuster castle … again. Chuck Schumer wants to get “every senator” on the record on abortion, a demand that’s almost as moot as his strategy will prove:
‘Every American is going to see on which side every senator stands’ — Sen. Chuck Schumer says he intends to hold a vote in the Senate on codifying the right to an abortion into law and also urged Americans to vote in the midterm elections pic.twitter.com/73sNEhGgHc— NowThis (@nowthisnews) May 3, 2022
Great! Groovy! You know what would make that possible? Overturning Roe and Casey. The Supreme Court appears poised to send this issue back to legislatures and voters, if the leaked opinion draft is legitimate. Justice Samuel Alito argues that not only is the constitutional basis for finding a “right” to abortion entirely specious, the attempt to “settle” the issue by judicial fiat backfired anyway. Better to have elected officials take votes and form public policy than continue with star-chamber governance and legislative performance art.
Unfortunately for Schumer, and thanks in part to the performative politics that Roe enabled for the last forty-nine years, we already know where 100 senators stand on abortion, along with most other politicians. Why? Because in almost every case, there’s little or no cost to using abortion as a tribal signal to the party base.
By the way, we also know where 100 senators stand on the filibuster, which would have to be eliminated to codify Roe into statute, as Manu Raju explains:
Schumer says he will schedule a vote to “codify the right to an abortion in law.” But a similar bill got less than 50 votes in February, and it would need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. Sinema and Manchin oppose gutting filibuster; Manchin opposes abortion rights— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 3, 2022
It’s a rerun on the substance, and a rerun on the process. Schumer made that clear in his idiotic assault on his own caucus in January with an attempt to blow up the filibuster for progressive attempts to federalize elections. It didn’t have the votes then, and it certainly won’t have the votes now. Manchin is both pro-life and pro-filibuster, and there isn’t a chance in hell that Schumer will find two votes among Republicans to eliminate the filibuster for the sake of abortion. He’d probably need three, as Sinema likely won’t budge now if she wouldn’t budge on the elections bill on which Joe Biden endlessly demagogued.
It’s good to know that the upcoming Dobbs decision hasn’t entirely killed off performance art in the Senate, though.
Susan Collins sounds unhappy enough to perhaps consider it, but …
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said on Tuesday that a leaked draft ruling by the Supreme Court was “completely inconsistent” with what Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch told her during their private conversations as Supreme Court nominees.
“If this leaked draft opinion is the final decision and this reporting is accurate, it would be completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office,” Collins said in a statement.
“Obviously, we won’t know each Justice’s decision and reasoning until the Supreme Court officially announces its opinion in this case,” she added.
That doesn’t sound like someone who’s going to abandon Senate rules. It sounds more like a senator who’s trying to protect her centrist flank with her constituents. It didn’t take her office long to make that clear:
🚨NEW — “Senator Collins’ position on the filibuster is unchanged,” from spox @annieclark25.— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) May 3, 2022
But even if Collins decided to toss out the filibuster, Schumer still needs at least one and likely two more Republicans to make up for Manchin and Sinema. Lisa Murkoswki’s the only other pro-choice Republican in the Senate, and she’s facing a tough re-election this year in Alaska. Caving to Schumer would end her career, likely in favor of a MAGA challenger that Murkoswki would despise.
Mitch McConnell takes aim at the Left in response:
MCCONNELL: "Whoever committed this lawless act knew exactly what it could bring about…Everybody knows what kind of climate the far left is trying to fuel." pic.twitter.com/xfXRqjHdE0— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) May 3, 2022
In that context, it’s even less likely that Schumer gets any Republicans to agree to fundamentally alter the institutional Senate for a temper tantrum over a court decision.
Schumer has to know this, too. This is nothing but an opportunity to charge up the base for the midterm elections, but Schumer’s running through his powder waaaaay too early for that to be effective. All this will do is demonstrate yet again that Democrats have bungled their shot at leadership, which after the heat of the present moment fades will discourage their voters more than inspire them. They’d be better off getting rid of their current leadership across the board and giving those voters some reason to cheer. Schumer and Nancy Pelosi should be the first to go.
Update: So much for a filibuster do-over:
Manchin: “The filibuster is a protection of democracy.” Sinema says: “Protections in the Senate safeguarding against the erosion of women’s access to health care have been used half-a-dozen times in the past ten years, and are more important now than ever”— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 3, 2022
So once again, Schumer wants to conduct another charge into the batteries with a too-light brigade of progressives.