How Dobbs Affects My Voting
Dobbs exposes us to Republican theocratic meddling in our personal lives
I am embarrassed to admit that for many election cycles prior to 2016 I cast my votes in local elections influenced by the recommendations I found in the Spokesman Review. I naively bought the often-repeated Republican line that certain things, like maintaining the right to privacy and the details of elections and vote counting, weren’t something to consider in voting for local candidates: After all, such things were determined at the state or federal levels. Until the mid-1990s and Newt Gingrich’s winner-takes-all politics as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives I also tended to believe that elected Republican legislators would actually vote based on intelligent analysis guided by statements made during their campaigns, rather than voting as a bloc. Those times are past: the Republican Party is not the Party I thought I knew.
The Dobbs decision and the Republican dance around Trump’s Big Lie totally exploded all of those naive suppositions. Any trust I once had in the statements made by Republican candidates now lies in ruins. Dobbs trashed the constitutional right to privacy women and men in our country relied on for half a century—so long that many have forgotten or never knew what it was like to live in a country where the government could dictate one’s most personal decisions regarding one’s own body, how to manage a pregnancy, buy and use birth control, and whom one was allowed to love. Dobbs is the result of the perfidy of the Supreme Court Justices elevated to the Court by Republican U.S. Senators playing minority political hardball.
For half a century all Republicans, as an article of faith and conviction, have declared that life begins at conception. Before Dobbs the logical consequences of that article of faith could be conveniently ignored—but now, post Dobbs, that conviction looms as a threat to personal freedom (what is all that rhetoric about “Freedom” we’ve been hearing for years from far right Republicans and Libertarians, anyway?). When U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (CD-5, Eastern Washington) and Tiffany Smiley (candidate for U.S. Senate from Washington State challenging Senator Patty Murray) or any Republican candidate bobs and weaves around questions of how they would vote on proposed federal restrictions (See Lindsey Graham) on abortion access neither I, nor anyone, should find them credible or trustworthy. “States’ rights” be damned: if it came down to a vote, McMorris Rodgers and Smiley would impose nationwide restrictions on abortion access that would supersede the will of Washington voters and current Washington law in a split second. Furthermore, if presented with a bill to codify Roe v. Wade in federal law they would vote “Nay” without a moment’s hesitation—in fact, McMorris Rodgers has already cast that “Nay” vote in the House.
With Dobbs the logical consequences of “life begins at conception” reach all the way to local elections. The WeBelieveWeVote.com Survey Question 4 “Life” states that “The [Washington State] Reproductive Privacy Rights law needs to be challenged and/or repealed at both the state and local levels.” The Washington State Reproductive Privacy Rights law (RCW 9.02.100-click to read) squarely places reproductive rights as the province of individuals in the context of medical care—not a matter for the state (except after fetal viability). All but two local Republican candidates for legislative offices (generally the only candidates willing to respond to the Survey) happily check off 10 out of 10 agreement with the need to “challenge[d] and/or repeal[ed]” Reproductive Privacy. The other two Republican candidates wisely “Did Not Respond”—recognizing a liability when they saw one. How much more clear could the national and local Republican Parties be in their continued quest to insert themselves into the most private of personal medical decisions?
After Dobbs’ repeal of Roe v. Wade every Republican candidate for legislative office must be seen as a serious threat to the right to privacy in the most intimate, private decisions a woman (or man) is ever called upon to make. So much for “Freedom”—whenever any of these candidates cry “Freedom” they should be struck by lightning in retaliation for their hypocrisy.
Keep to the high ground,
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