Democrats Allowed Roe to Die
We live in a chronically violent theocratic oligarchy. That is not hyperbole. People are not exaggerating when they draw comparisons between the current climate of the United States and that of Gilead and make other such allusions to The Handmaid’s Tale. While we’re not yet living in the full fruition of Atwood’s dystopia, we’re on the way there. This is not the beginning, either. We’re well on the way. Fascists gather together and stockpile guns with hardly any obstruction, massacres happen on a daily basis, and human rights are stolen from already marginalized groups with callous self-righteousness. The leaders of this country, with the disproportionate power of six (five and a half, at best) unelected, largely unqualified, white supremacists wearing unflattering black dresses, have this past week made it possible for virtually anyone to openly carry mass-murder weapons, and ensured that a large proportion of the country’s women are robbed of bodily autonomy. Ethnic minority and non-cis-hetero people are next, as if they haven’t had enough shit thrown at them already.
This country is hardly even pretending to be a democracy anymore. Most people in the United States support the right of women to choose to have an abortion, or do any other thing with their bodies that’s their goddamn right to do. Most people believe in common sense gun laws, in taking any measures to stop the repeated and casual murder of children and other innocent people. Most people believe that we should not be ruled by criminals and cowards.
The overturning of Roe v Wade was the most contentious and infuriating of the Supreme Court’s actions this past week. The Democrats are to blame for this. Of course Republicans are directly at fault. But their crimes were expected. They campaign on the promise to uphold white supremacy, patriarchy, and capital. The Democrats pretend otherwise. They pretend to care. They pretend that upholding the rights of all people matters to them. There’s no hesitation when they’re fundraising and campaigning on such rhetoric. Every time they fail, every time they do nothing, they ask for more money and chide us to vote. We did vote. The American people have given the Democrats majority power in every branch of power, many times over in the past decades, and they did nothing with it. Obama should have made the cause of bodily autonomy and reproductive justice a central part of his administration. He should have fought to get his nominee onto the Supreme Court. Congress should have fought for it. The people should have fought for it. Ginsburg should have put her ego aside and stepped down during Obama’s presidency so that a reliable progressive justice could have been put in her seat. Many on the Democratic side should and could have done something, and did nothing.
Roe v Wade should never have been relied upon. It was a court decision, not a law, easily overturned by a stolen, corrupt court. It was an unreliable decision with a weak foundation. The Roe v Wade decision was never about upholding women’s rights and bodily autonomy, incidentally; it was founded on the right of privacy between doctors and patients.
The Democrats, if they had any will and courage, could have codified the right to have abortions into law. If they had any of the organization and dedication of the Republicans, they could have cemented the right as a constitutional amendment. It would have been a challenge, absolutely. The Republicans would have fought back. But the most powerful Democrats did not fight at all. They allowed this to happen.