“Roe is dead! Now we have to get to work!

I’m seeing comments all over the web like this:

“We pro-life people now need to work to create the conditions where life can flourish, which means certain social guarantees, including healthcare, decent employment, education (through graduate school), housing, nutrition, freedom from war, and a safe and pollution-free environment.”

The fatal word in this is “now”. For the truth is, the “prolife” movement should have been doing all that all along. But instead, they gave themselves over body and soul to a political cult that taught them to pit the unborn against all that. If they believe for one second that they will now be able to turn on a dime and switch from battling all those things to supporting them they are delusional. Their political cult will compel them to keep fighting all these other goods and they will go along with it as they always have. The GOP has absolutely no intention of permitting prolife people to embrace a consistent life ethic. Sharp learning curve ahead for those who try.

When MAGA cultists feign a sudden zeal for the common good by saying, “Now we have to get to work making a world these children can grow up and prosper in!” they only confess their guilt in creating a forty year hostage situation in which they refused to do that (because it was what all those horrid libs were begging them to do and they were ordered by your GOP Masters to spite them at all costs and use the unborn as human shields to do it). For forty years, they responded to Dem requests for health care, decent employment, education (through graduate school), housing, nutrition, freedom from war, and a safe and pollution-free environment with “We can’t bother with that! We have to focus on abortion!” Catholic Vote actively spat on all suggestions of supporting any decent and humane initiative by the cursed libs on the ground that paying attention to any other aspect of Catholic social teaching would “dilute and fracture the brand” and urged rejection of the term “prolife” altogether lest the focus be taken off being “anti-abortion”. And yet, as ever, the actual net result of this whole line of thinking was and is, not to to defend the unborn, but to defend every GOP policy of greed, cruelty, racism, lies, treason, and death.

And nothing has changed. That’s why the entire evil MAGA cult is upset because Dems (who overcame enormous resistance from the cult) to pass a pathetically inadequate gun bill in response to the latest massacre of children. The GOP “prolife” Cult has fought hard for forty years to create a monstrous dystopia for children to grow up in, especially poor and brown ones, and they expect anybody to believe they now suddenly care about the common good?

Here’s reality:

If you think the people who spent forty years laboring to defeat getting everyone healthcare, just wages, mandatory paid leave, and affordable childcare because they had to “focus on getting Roe overturned” are suddenly going to passionately work for those things now, I have a bridge to sell you. They always had a ton of time for gun rights, persecution of immigrants, racist marches in Charlottesville, Trump rallies, and violent insurrections. They could always spare time from “focusing on abortion” for that. But they could never spare a second for “lib” stuff, no matter obviously good it was, because the whole point of “focusing on the unborn” was to *actually* focus on furthering GOP cruelty, greed, racism and violent authoritarianism. And that will not change anytime soon apart from a miracle of grace. Because as they are already making clear, they have far different priorities.

By your fruits you are known. The fruit of the MAGA cult is a forty year harvest of lies, greed, oppression, racism, torture, unjust war, and death. Talk is cheap. Let’s see action.

Of which more tomorrow.


16 Responses

  1. I keep thinking of the exchange from The Bird Cage:

    “The abortion doctor is just doing his job; if you really want to stop abortions, why not kill the mothers? I know what you’re going to say, if you kill the mother, the fetus dies, too. But the fetus is going to be aborted anyway, so why not let it go down with the ship?”

      1. As for the comment regarding Democrat school boards and school shutdowns, I agree with that. But school boards members in my state don’t claim political party membership. They did the best they could at the time. I work in human services; my program was closed March 13, 2020. I finally got rehired March 25, 2021. We still aren’t completely reopen. Why? Because our funding got cut, and we don’t have enough staff to bring more people back. Jobs have been posted and advertised, but no one wants to do my job. I tend to developmentally disabled individuals’ personal needs at a day program.
        spent my laid-off year homeschooling my autistic son through Zoom with his school. I am only able to work part-time. Child care? Seriously? My child will age out of the school system soon. Because every program is in the same situation as mine, I expect my son will be on a waiting list and again I will have to leave the workforce to take care of him. Things are broken and all conservatives can do is say no. It’s been my lifetime. From Reagan to now, women and children have suffered with precious little relief. Congratulations on your legal victory. I’ve been paying for your conservative values my whole life. Good for you.

    1. @ Elisabeth

      I have a nagging feeling that this is precisely the kind of statement that will be read differently, depending on what your position on abortion is. I, for one, think it perfectly suits the ”we must lower demand, not question abortion’s legality” crowd.

      1. Well yes, no apologies. I observe some of the pro-birth crowd explicitly think that having the mothers die is a fitting consequence for wanting an abortion in the first place, since they consented to have sex in the first place. They’re the same people who think that having a expectant mother die of pulmonary hypertension, rather than have an abortion, is the pro-life way to go.

  2. Why not encourage people to do the right thing now, “no I tell you 7 times 70 times,” sadly, you will probably be proven correct, but to knock correct sentiments, even if late, seems incorrect to me, your giving every example of where the GOP has gone wrong, how about school closures and the incredible damage democrat school boards have done to kids mental health, most especially the poor, with lack of learning, and lack of care, every knows that’s what happened but you seem like you don’t care about that, where I live in a 100% democrat controlled area, school closures went on into 2022, even when they knew the damage to kids it was causing, I feel comfortable with my decision to remain politically homeless until I’m given a good option

    1. The sentiments are only correct if they are accompanied by right action and not, as they have been for 40 years, a prophylactic *against* right action. Everything in the history of the MAGA “prolife” cult tells us that when they deploy thoughts and prayers and pious goo, it is defense against, not preparation for, doing the right thing.

    2. I have been politically homeless for decades now. But that doesn’t change the fact that opposition to social safety net policies has largely come from conservatives. Bipartisanship in the legislative branch died in the early 1990s when Newt Gingrich became Speaker of the House. Both parties are guilty here, but here is the rub. If you’re going to oppose abortion, it makes sense to have supports and services in place to actually help the unborn and the vulnerable. The same people in politics who have been celebrating Dobbs this week are the same people who have cut funding for social safety nets, some that already existed and some that died on the legislature floor or through the veto pen of a gubernatorial executive. Seventy times seven? Yes, absolutely. But it requires repentance. I haven’t seen it. You see, when Texas restricted abortions a number of years ago, they also cut human services for vulnerable people. So they say, we’re pro-life, because the baby gets born, but never mind feeding, clothing, educating, and serving them. As for over the lifespan, forget it. I look at deeds. Words are empty. And the policies of so-called, self-identified conservatives and the ones they so easily and far too often oppose put the lie to pro-life. They just wanted the performative piety. See the Supreme Court’s latest ruling on the publicly praying coach.

  3. I dunno, the GOP just lost the leash they’ve had around their constituents’ necks for the past fifty years. Very interested to see where things go from here.

    1. I think the only way that will happen is when the women start suing every damn man who is responsible for them getting pregnant for billions in child support. You’ll notice everything is on the woman, never the man. Like Mark, I’m against abortion in principle, but I’m for the social programs that support the women and children.

  4. The pro-life judges will declare Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid Illegal.
    They will declare the EPA and all einvironmetal regulation also illegal.
    They will strike down most labor laws

    Catholic Bishops will celebrate all those decisions

    They will say that it will make family relations stronger – children will have to take or their parents like before .
    And it’s uptown God’ children to take take care of God’s earth and God’s creations, not government.
    And masters will have to take care of servants. And servants, obey your masters.

    Guaranteed . Bet money on it. Within 10 years.

    It has always been about looting and money.

    1. @raph:

      I don’t know about that.

      First off, Catholics in the US are about evenly divided between the political parties, so they’re by no means a monolith. And while I think the Bishops can be pretty bad when it comes to anything related to sexuality and somewhat iffy when it comes to racial issues, I’ve never heard them ever come out against the social safety net, access to affordable health care, environmental protections or support for labor.

      Also, Catholic doctrine is quite explicit about the positive role government should play in securing and protecting those things, as Mark’s most recent book attests to, so I really find it hard to conceive of Catholic Bishops taking the positions you describe. Right-wing Catholic media personalities and political operators? Sure. But actual Catholic clergy? I find it unlikely, and to the extent that some do, I think it would be a very small minority.

      Case in point, a short while ago, there was a MAGA-Congresswomen attacking the Catholic Church because of their support for immigrants, trying to portray them as un-Christian for doing so. One of the progressive shows I watch that covered the story at the time, not only pointed out how utterly ridiculous that was, but they also pointed out the fact that the Catholic Church is a global organization with global constituency, so unlike the Evangelical Churches in the US, they’re not as inclined to get attached to the right-wing’s cultural war fearmongering over immigrants and national borders.

      So, while I have a host of issues I disagree with the Catholic Church on, I don’t think the specific ones you mentioned are things they would trip over. But I guess we’ll see.

      1. @3vil5triker

        Number 2 on the list has arrived now

        Supreme Court rules for coal-producing states, limits EPA’s power to fight climate change


        My money is on all three, including the Catholic Bishops response. It was not log ago that the Christian response to Social Security was that “it weekend the family”, because, in old age, parents would not depend on children and children will not take care of parents

        It is all going to crawl out of the woodwork. You will see it become mainstream thought again within a decade.

        The Church of Rev John Ryan does not live within the USCCB. The Church of Father Coughlin has taken over. You can see it everywhere… Ave Maria, Notre Dame, the Beckett Fund, Thomas More Society, Napa Institute

  5. “… not only pointed out how utterly ridiculous that was, but they also pointed out the fact that the Catholic Church…”
    Catholic Church: “Here’s a method of free birth control you can use, so that even if the MAGA Republicans shut strewn every clinic and pharmacist between New York and LA, you can still determine the number and spacing (and even, with some luck, the gender) of your children.”
    “You hear that? The anti-choice Vatican wants to strap women down to have them forcibly impregnated!”
    On Mark’s main point: yes, I had that same thought in reading Ross Douthat and David French (both of whom mean well). What, *now* the work begins? The Religious Right has had 49 years to bring in child dental care and maternity leave.

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