Just watched Tucker Carlson on his new show complaining about the disparity between full-throated defenses of Roe from Democrats and opaque evasions from Republicans. He claimed to be at a loss as to why, with a nomination battle brewing, the Senators on his side are so hesitant to explicitly defend their desire to see Roe go. Hard to blame Tucker for wanting GOP Senators to talk more about how they really feel about the right to choose. There’s an obvious answer for Republicans’ behavior on this though: They know that most people disagree with them.
Amid all the judicial tyranny chatter, it’s easy to forget that between half and two thirds of Americans consistently tell pollsters that they want Roe upheld (the number is higher among moderates). A good number of them, unfortunately, are comfortable with restrictions on the right to choose which make it difficult for poor women or young women to exercise. (William Saletan documents this dynamic in Bearing Right, and makes a persuasive argument that the anti-government, family-centered rhetoric the pro-choice movement has used effectively to build support for Roe has backfired when it comes to laws which narrow whom it meaningfully applies to). That’s why the way Bush called for Roe to be overturned during the debates was with a coded reference to pretty universally unpopular Dred Scott.