Let’s start with a little levity for a change. This is an old cartoon by Dave Berg of MAD Magazine I’ve never forgotten. A couple is out in their car. The woman looks out the side window and says “Crap, there’s a dog chasing us again.” The man looks out and says, “Let’s pull over and see what he does when he catches us.” He pulls over, and they look out. The woman frowns at the man and says, “Well, now you know,” and the guys says, “Yeah, let’s find a car wash.”
It’s funny all by itself, but I brought it up for a reason. When I think of this kerfuffle caused by the Alito leak, it reminds me of that cartoon. For the last 50 years, the GOP has been driving a Roe v Wade sedan all around, with a mongrel mutt called Evangelicals running behind it barking furiously. But Trump was finally stupid enough to stop the car, and Evangelicals shit and pissed all over it.
Here’s the McGuffin. Once the dog catches the car and does his damage, it’s mission accomplished. He trots off home for a snack and nap, while the GOP tries to clean up the mess. That may be what we’re about to see here.
And if we do, it may well be bad news for the GOP, especially in the Senate. I have touched on this in passing before as a possible consequence of overturning Roe, but we have the first hint that it might actually happen. On his show tonight, Ayman Muhyiddin shared a new poll that was just released. According to the poll, the overturning of Roe would make 45% of Democrats more energized to show up to vote in November, but only 25% of Republicans will be more energized to come out and vote. I have always thought that this might happen, and I think it’s why the GOP is running from the issue like a scalded cat.
For a half a century the GOP has been laughing its ass off, leading Evangelicals around by the nose, using Roe as a leash. They used it to fund raise, and they used it to drive Evangelicals to the polls. But like throwing out the ACA, the GOP knew it would never happen, so there was no downside for them.
But here’s the problem. The Evangelicals have spent a half a century on a monolithic quest, to overturn Roe. Polling shows that the Evangelical base is shrinking, it isn’t attracting young churchgoers. SO most of the GOP’s Evangelical base is the monolithic group who wanted to overturn Roe. Personally, I don’t think that most Evangelicals gave a shit one way or another about GOP policies or platforms, the GOP was the means to an end, overturning Roe.
But now apparently it’s Mission Accomplished for Evangelicals, they have their lifelong wish. They’re largely done with politics, and with the GOP. How does the GOP recapture and motivate them to show up anymore? LGBTQ rights and same sex marriage? true, some Evangelicals hate the alternative lifestyle, but polls show a growing group of Evangelicals going with the All God’s children philosophy regarding gays and trans people. Can the GOP find a slogan or angle catchy enough to re-engage and motivate them? I guess we’ll find out, because right now the GOP has nothing else to sell them.
We’ll have to watch future polling to see how or if it shifts. But if the Evangelicals are through, it could be bad news for the GOP, not only in the Senate, but in the House as well, especially in the South and the bible belt. If the Evangelicals sit out, some of those House districts aren’t going to as safe as the GOP thought they’d be when they drew them. Don’t touch that dial.