Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: The unrelenting assault on women’s rights; the GOP’s fight for control

The Texas Tribune:

Kate Cox’s case reveals how far Texas intends to go to enforce abortion laws

The Dallas mom’s case drew national attention and forced the abortion issue before the state Supreme Court. She ended up traveling out of state to terminate her non-viable pregnancy.

A year and a half after enacting one of the strictest abortion laws in the country, Texas finally saw a test case.

In a historic lawsuit, Kate Cox, a 31-year-old Dallas mother of two, put herself and her heartbreaking pregnancy story into the public eye to force an answer to an urgent question: Just how serious is the state of Texas about enforcing its new abortion laws?

Pretty damn serious, it turns out.

Molly Jong-Fast/Vanity Fair:

Overturning Roe Has Been a Horror Show

Medical nightmares are happening before our eyes, and even as Americans in red and blue states express support for abortion rights, the GOP seems determined to crack down further.

The moment Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, I knew Roe’s days were numbered. Sometime in 2019, a conservative friend texted me that Donald Trump was saving Amy Coney Barrett for when RBG dies. Sure enough, Trump tapped Coney Barrett shortly after trailblazing justice’s death, with Mitch McConnell steamrolling the nomination through the Senate just ahead of the 2020 election. By the following September, the conservative majority Supreme Court refused—by way of the “shadow docket”—to block Texas law SB8, which banned nearly all abortions, and with that, functionally overturned Roe, before officially doing so nine months later.

With nearly 50 years of precedent wiped away, and an existing constitutional right to an abortion eliminated, I worried about all the cruel and chaotic scenarios that could play out, such as doctors being afraid to treat miscarriages. One of the reasons Roe was decided so broadly in 1973 was because doctors found themselves hamstrung by existing legislation, more worried about losing their medical licenses than their patients.

Unfortunately, that’s what played out 

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Also add: Disaffected Biden voters realize Trump is not pro-choice after all (or pro-Palestinian), and is responsible for the Dobbs decision and would support Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 100% no matter what.

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Here’s The New York Times/Siena College “yes, but … ” poll:

Poll Finds Wide Disapproval of Biden on Gaza, and Little Room to Shift Gears

Opinion is split between those wanting the war to end and those pressing for a definitive Israeli victory, and the divide is starkest among older and younger generations.

But there is considerable uncertainty over whether disaffected voters will even vote. While it is still early, the race is flipped among the likely electorate, with Mr. Biden leading by two percentage points.

Economic concerns remain paramount, with 34 percent of registered voters listing economic- or inflation-related concerns as the top issue facing the country. That’s down from 45 percent in October 2022, but still high.

The “yes, but … ” is: people have complicated feelings about complicated issues and despite the headlines, Joe Biden leads by two points among likely voters. Less likely voters are less reliable voters. They are also more unhappy.

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Aaron Blake/The Washington Post:

3 in 10 Trump voters want a president willing to break ‘rules and laws’

Voters who supported Trump in 2020 were about twice as likely to endorse the break-rules-and-laws view as 2020 Biden backers. While 65 percent of Trump backers said a president should always follow the rules and the law, 30 percent said breaking rules and laws could be justified

That’s Trump voters, not all voters. On the other hand, Richard Nixon had 24% approval at the time of his resignation, so it seems that a segment of the population has always been for breaking the law.

Tom Nichols/The Atlantic):

Feelings and Vibes Can’t Sustain a Democracy

America could be heading for an election where nothing matters.

Many Americans—of both parties—have become untethered from reality. When the voters become incoherent, electing leaders becomes a reality show instead of a solemn civic obligation…

But America faces an even more fundamental challenge as the 2024 elections approach: For too many voters, nothing seems to matter. And I mean nothing. Donald Trump approvingly quotes Russian President Vladimir Putin and evokes the language of Adolf Hitler, and yet Americans are so accustomed to Trump’s rhetoric at this point that the story gets relegated to page A10 of the Sunday Washington Post. Joe Biden presides over an economic “soft landing” that almost no one thought could happen, and his approval rating drops to 33 percent—below Jimmy Carter’s in the summer of 1980, when American hostages were being held in Iran, and inflation, at more than 14 percent, was well into a second year of double digits. (Inflation is currently 3.1 percent—and likely will go lower.)

Ron Brownstein/The Atlantic:

Biden’s Economic Formula to Win in 2024

Could this be the president’s new strategy?

Reversing the advantage Donald Trump and the GOP have on the economy will require Democrats to highlight “the tangible improvements their policies have made in people’s lives, in lieu of speaking of abstract economic gains, as well as touting their future agenda of expanding on these gains, taking on corporate greed and the MAGA Republicans who aim to rule only for the wealthy few,” concludes a memo summarizing the research that was provided exclusively to The Atlantic.

Matt Robison, Paul Hodes and Alicia Preston on how to think about Mike Pence:

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