the post-Roe world

the post-Roe world July 9, 2018

Abortion laws in the US prior to Roe: Red: Illegal. Purple: Legal in case of rape. Blue: Legal in case of danger to woman's health. Yellow: Legal in case of danger to woman's health, rape or incest, or likely damaged fetus. Green: Legal on request.
Abortion laws in the US prior to Roe: Red: Illegal. Purple: Legal in case of rape. Blue: Legal in case of danger to woman’s health. Yellow: Legal in case of danger to woman’s health, rape or incest, or likely damaged fetus. Green: Legal on request.

Elections have consequences.

Case in point: today, Donald Trump is likely to appoint a justice to the Supreme Court who is very likely to cast the deciding vote which overturns Roe vs Wade.

This article from The Atlantic is a good example of the “conservatives are hypocrites” genre which as usual fails to understand that its all about abortion:

It is perhaps an open question whether Trump’s candidacy represents a true change in evangelicals’ DNA or whether it simply revealed previously hidden traits, but the shift from values to nostalgia voter has undoubtedly transformed their political ethics. The clearest example of evangelical ethics bending to fit the Trump presidency is white evangelicals’ abandonment of their conviction that personal character matters for elected officials. In 2011 and again just ahead of the 2016 election, PRRI asked Americans whether a political leader who committed an immoral act in his or her private life could nonetheless behave ethically and fulfill their duties in their public life. In 2011, consistent with the “values voter” brand and the traditional evangelical emphasis on the importance of personal character, only 30 percent of white evangelical Protestants agreed with this statement. But with Trump at the top of the Republican ticket in 2016, 72 percent of white evangelicals said they believed a candidate could build a kind of moral dike between his private and public life. In a head-spinning reversal, white evangelicals went from being the least likely to the most likely group to agree that a candidate’s personal immorality has no bearing on his performance in public office.

INCORRECT. It’s not head-spinning or an open question or any shift in personal ethics. It is simply dogma: abortion is the target, the ends justify the means. Trump will deliver what Bush and Reagan could not. This is why he has the conservative Christian vote. The Conservative Christian vote has overlap with, but is NOT, the white-nationalist vote. There is correlation there but the article is all about Christian values, so in that context: abortion is the only issue. Roe is the goal.

What next? Suppose that Roe is overturned (and in my opinion, this is incredibly likely within two years, depending on how long confirmation takes and for cases at the state level to wind their way through the system to end up at SCOTUS). What happens next?

I think the obvious outcome is a partition and migration of middle class voters (because the poor cant afford to be mobile, and the rich don’t need to be). Populations will resettle in their preferred red or blue values-zones, and thats a feature, not a bug, since within the United States we have open borders between states.

The questions are, what happens next? as the blue states become more blue and the red states become more red, the partition will result in very large discrepancies in policy across state lines. Thats the point of federalism, after all – but nothing scales infinitely well.

Interesting times ahead. I dont buy the civil war 2.0 rhetoric, or texit/calexit nonsense. But I do think that the conservative values coalition will lose its animating drive after Roe goes down, whereas the Lefts animating drive (inequality) is only just getting started.

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