Nearly two months before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a draft copy of that opinion was leaked and President Joe Biden, as well as the Democratic-controlled Congress, had advanced warning and time to take action to try and protect abortion rights.
Yet, virtually nothing was done aside from condemnatory statements and fear-mongering, and now Democratic activists, base voters, and even elected officials are expressing frustrated fury at Biden and other Democratic leaders for having failed in that regard, Fox News reported.
Indeed, other than some vague talk of potential limited executive actions from Biden’s White House, the primary message to outraged abortion-supporting Democratic voters from their party leaders has amounted to little more than “vote harder” to give the party a stronger majority next year.
“We already voted for you”
According to The Washington Post, however, that message is not only not resonating with activists and the base, but has actually prompted furious backlash and increasingly extreme demands for instant action — regardless of how unsuccessful such extreme action might prove to be.
The mounting frustration was perhaps best exemplified by activist-turned-congresswoman Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), who told the Post that her fellow Democrats “aren’t fighting” for abortion rights, and said of the “vote harder” messaging, “When people see that, what’s going to make them show up to vote? We can’t just tell people, ‘Well, just vote — vote your problems away.’ Because they’re looking at us and saying, ‘Well, we already voted for you.'”
Bush is one of several progressive politicians demanding that the White House and Congress take more dramatic and immediate actions to sidestep new restrictions on abortion access in many Republican-led states — except, Biden’s White House and congressional leaders have been extraordinarily cautious in even signaling support for some of the radical proposals, much less actually acted on them.
Democratic leaders only want to fundraise on abortion rights
A similar message of disappointment and anger was heard by a pro-abortion Democratic voter from Maryland, Carolyn Yunker, who traveled to Washington D.C. to join the protest outside the Supreme Court and told NPR, “I’m not hopeful at this point that this is something that will be federally protected. I have as little faith in Democrats at this point as I did in Republicans.”
“Democrats have used this for 50 years to fundraise. They had opportunities to codify Roe,” the frustrated voter added. “They chose not to because being the pro-choice candidate in an election helps you raise money. And frankly, I’m pretty disgusted with a lot of our representatives right now.”
To be sure, House Democrats did pass a bill that would ostensibly “codify” Roe as federal law — it actually would have greatly expanded abortion rights — but that highly partisan legislation is stalled in the evenly-split Senate and, if brought to a vote, might not even garner the support of all Senate Democrats.
Fear of court battles and legal limitations to action
Politico also joined in the coverage of frustrated Democratic activists, politicians, and voters who have increasingly shifted their aim from Republicans and the Supreme Court to Biden and congressional leaders for their apparent failure to recognize the crisis-level situation and take aggressive action in response.
As noted, numerous suggestions have been put forward for actions that Biden or Congress could make swiftly, but virtually all of them run very real risks of getting tied up in the courts or being in direct violation of existing laws, such as the Hyde Amendment that specifically prohibits the use of federal taxpayer funds to provide abortions outside of exceptionally limited circumstances.
As such, the Democratic activists and base will likely continue to rage against their impotent and timid leaders, little if anything will actually be accomplished, and everyone will simply have to wait and see if the “vote harder” messaging succeeds in getting more Democrats elected or merely prompts dejected and disillusioned voters to stay home and skip the upcoming midterm elections.