The party in power can't tweet its way out of a catastrophe
With Roe in peril, Democrats keep tweeting "VOTE" like people haven’t been doing just that for decades.
Time to Log Off is a weekly series documenting the many ways our political figures show their whole asses online.
After the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health arguments delivered to the the United States Supreme Court on Wednesday, the writing is pretty firmly on the wall: there appear to be enough conservative justices on the bench who are ready to grievously gut the rights to reproductive health afforded by the precedent established in 1973’s Roe v Wade ruling, and quite possibly to overturn the landmark decision altogether.
Since the Supreme Court began broadcasting live audio of its hearings last year, Wednesday’s slide toward misogynist dystopia was perhaps the first time in national history that the public could follow along in real time as a panel of unelected jurists — many of of whom were put there under dubious circumstances by a deeply criminal, wildly unpopular president — glibly discussed the hows and whys of denying necessary healthcare to half the population. Accordingly, Twitter on Wednesday was a flowing scroll of righteous indignation, sorrow, appeals for help for any number of local healthcare advocate groups and providers, and timely reminders that abortion pills are legally able to ship to every state in the country. And then there were the Democrats — the party which controls both chambers of Congress, and the White House — who decided that now was the perfect time for...this:
Excusez moi? Do what now?
Perhaps the, uh, Senate Democrats have forgotten that they, the Senate Democrats, are currently the majority party in the Senate. And perhaps they’ve also forgotten that “elect Democrats to protect Roe” has been the party’s rallying cry for just about as long as “elect Republicans to overturn Roe” has been the same for the Right. Yet despite that, here we are on the precipice of Abortion access being denied to millions anyway. And while technically electing more Democrats — enough to give the party a super-duper majority in the Senate and House — could, theoretically, help enshrine abortion rights into legislative law, rather than judicial precedent, the problem is much larger than simply “vote for more of us” — especially as a corny tweet, shoved into the middle of a timeline full of understandably distraught people grappling with the very real misogyny on display at the highest levels of power today.
While the court’s final ruling is likely months away, the increasingly likely prospect of a country in which women’s healthcare is (once again) criminalized should not come as much of a shock. Instead, it’s the inevitable outcome of a decades-long, multi-faceted effort by a conservative hub of evangelicals and catholics to create the exact conditions which coalesced on Wednesday before the court. Despite a significant majority of the country backing the right to terminate a pregnancy, the monomaniacal anti-abortion minority have spent 40-some years combining judicial deck-stacking, hyperbolic fear-mongering and intimidation, political leverage, religious agitation, and domestic terrorism to prime enough of the country for what seems to be the inescapable outcome of Dobbs: a nation where more than half the states are poised to ban, or dramatically limit, abortions on day one after the forthcoming ruling.
While equally unnecessary (and noticeably more glib — is this really the time to make a meme reference, folks?) as the DSCC’s tweet, at least the Democratic Governors Association is slightly more appropriate in so much as an overturning of Roe at the federal level would make state executives all the more crucial when it comes to pushing for more abortion access (or, just as likely, blocking efforts to restrict healthcare from local Republicans).
Still, the broader truth remains unchanged: self-serving tweets about how we simply need MORE of the SAME is not even remotely helpful in the face of this full court onslaught against women's rights. Tweets from one of the two most powerful political entities in the country aren’t a solution to a decades long project to deny women bodily autonomy. And if Democrats really think that these – these — tweets are going to do anything to inspire confidence that they’re the ones who are serious about protecting reproductive healthcare access, then frankly, it’s time for them to log off.