ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Froma Harrop commentary: The threat to abortion rights really started with Bernie Sanders

Summary: Clearly, the creation of a Supreme Court poised to do just that dates its origins to 2016, when Trump won the presidency. That's when Bernie Sanders played the Democratic spoiler who handed power to the right wing.

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders pumps his fist to the crowd after his wife Jane, right, came onstage and whispered in his ear as he spoke to supporters at a campaign event held during Indiana primary day 2016 at Waterfront Park in Louisville, Kentucky. Sanders attack on Hillary Clinton during his 2016 presidential campaign bears responsibility for the possible overturn of Roe v. Wade.
Aaron P. Bernstein / Reuters
We are part of The Trust Project.

The demolition of Roe v. Wade began long before now. It started in 2016, when Sen. Bernie Sanders and his left-wing followers destroyed the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. Had Clinton won the presidency, Donald Trump would not have been able to add three justices to the Supreme Court who have made ending a right to abortion highly likely.
That year, the senator from Vermont ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, as was his option. But he ran a scorched-earth campaign, tarring Clinton as "corrupt." And long after it became clear that he was not going to win the nomination, Sanders continued to sabotage her candidacy.

wct.op.fromaharrop.jpg
Froma Harrop Commentary
Tribune graphic

By April 2016, Trump had become the presumptive Republican nominee. He said that women should be punished for having an abortion.
That same month, Sanders said that Clinton was not qualified to be president. That same month, Clinton trounced him in a string of liberal Northeast states, but Sanders continued to carpet-bomb her reputation.
This was a time when a significant segment of the Democratic left declared open season on women's dignity. After Clinton won the Nevada caucuses, as even Sanders conceded, the Bernie "bros" threw a misogynistic tantrum. Threatening violence at the Nevada Democratic state convention, they shouted the C-word at the female officials trying to certify the results.
Sanders should have come down hard on this shocking display by his supporters, but he held back. He finally issued a statement disapproving of their conduct — in the third paragraph. He then proceeded to blame both sides.
As it became clear Clinton was taking the lead, Sanders appealed to the party's superdelegates and claimed a victory for Clinton would result in a contested convention.
Most of his voters did eventually move to Clinton, but Sanders had groomed a cult open to swallowing conspiracy theories. Trump and his Russian trolls took them and ran.
"To all of those Bernie Sanders voters who have been left out in the cold by a rigged system of superdelegates," Trump said, "we welcome you with open arms."
At the Republican National Convention, Putin pal Michael Flynn led the outrageous anti-Clinton chant, "Lock her up." Then, at the Democratic National Convention, some Sanders delegates parroted him by also shouting, "Lock her up."
Toward the very end of the campaign, Sanders announced his support for Clinton. Admittedly, she was not the cleverest candidate, but even then, Clinton beat Trump by 3 million popular votes. Narrow victories in three pivotal states gave Trump a fluke Electoral College win.
Having slashed the tires on her campaign, Sanders later expressed bewilderment that Clinton failed to put Trump away.
Abortion rights are not some culture war bauble. Losing them threatens the ability of women and their mates to control their lives. (That said, Democrats would help themselves if they were more open to the nuances of the debate while ensuring that early abortions are easy to obtain.)
The white, educated liberals who dominate the left wing tend to live in states that would keep abortion legal even if Roe were struck down. And if they live elsewhere, they'd have the means to jet off to a state that provides the service — or to Mexico.
The politics of this do not favor Republicans. Some right to end an unwanted pregnancy has been taken for granted by many voters otherwise open to voting for Republicans. That right will be lost if the Supreme Court throws out Roe.
Clearly, the creation of a Supreme Court poised to do just that dates its origins to 2016, when Trump won the presidency. That's when Bernie Sanders played the Democratic spoiler who handed power to the right wing.

Froma Harrop can be reached at fharrop@wctrib.com or on Twitter @FromaHarrop .

WCT.OP.Commentary.jpg

Froma Harrop covers the waterfront of politics, economics and culture with an unconventional approach. She takes public policy quite seriously. Herself, less so.


What to read next
From the commentary: Whatever one thinks of Trump's character, he is entitled to the same presumption of innocence as any other American. Trump always suffers from a presumption of guilt.
"I didn’t want to forgive the thief who stole my wallet that I had left on top of our car in Colorado Springs, Colo., as we were returning from a family trip. I didn’t want to give up the anger. But, as the days have passed since the theft ... a magical transfiguration is taking place."
From the commentary: So do the research and vet these ads before believing them. And to poor Mrs. Smith, please get a real doctor, and take heart that your drug prices should actually go down. Unless, of course, you're diabetic.
"An indoor harvest meal reminded me, in this season, I feel the luckiest."