Some Republicans fear the party’s extremes on abortion, gay rights

Republicans in Congress this month blocked legislation that would protect the ability to bypass state abortion restrictions, despite overwhelming public support for the measure.

Texas’ attorney general says he’s ready to defend the state’s anti-sodomy law, while Arizona’s GOP Senate candidate has called for a nationwide abortion ban — two positions also out. public opinion action.

And some of the party’s most vocal members are trading in heated rhetoric — from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) who claims that heterosexuals will lose out by denouncing educators as “alternative terrorists”, called Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.) against abortion. Ugly rights protesters, “No one wants to get you pregnant if you look like a thumb.”

Intolerant stances and loaded rhetoric on important social issues are fueling concerns within the GOP that the party is drifting too far from popular opinion, predicting new hostility toward gay people and possible exclusion. women voters in high competition. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the end of abortion rights across the country last month sparked tough new bans and raised fears that gay rights and access to contraception could be next – with the focus on other culture wars. where Republicans would feel a successful message.

“I feel like we’re in this kind of scenario where one party has the upper hand on social issues, and then they’re overdoing that hand,” said Christine Matthews, a moderate Virginia Republican and longtime strategist for GOP candidates. “Republicans have taken things too far.”

She warned against fueling Democratic arguments that Republicans “want to take our country back to the 1950s” and said she swore out loud after reading a contraceptive advocate’s comments about a 10-year-old rape victim, under comes the law of the model, must be born .

But other Republicans call the Democrats too much for restrictions against abortion later in pregnancy, as the fetus is almost alive. They also say opponents are raising unfounded fears that the Supreme Court’s ruling will pave the way for a rollback of other rights — a bid to distract from economic concerns that may dominate the election.

“It’s not a win-win issue for us,” California-based GOP strategist John Thomas said of abortion. “But on the other hand, our job is to meet voters where they are. And they care about inflation, they care about gas prices, the economy.

Even in tight state contests, some candidates have embraced abortion restrictions. Arizona’s leading GOP Senate candidate, Blake Masters, has called for a federal “personhood” law that would ban abortion nationwide. Asked about Georgia’s ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker said this spring that he generally opposes the exemption.

In Wisconsin, Democrats beat Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)’s comments on abortion, including his comments that the end of Roe “may confuse some people a little bit.” He has recently issued a long statement in which he supports the exclusion of rape and consanguinity and the prevention of free pregnancy for those who cannot afford it; This month he also said he has “no reason to oppose” federal legislation protecting same-sex marriage rights currently under consideration. in the Senate.

“Most of America … is not where the radical parties are,” said Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), who has the support of major anti-abortion groups and has criticized the position of Republicans and Democrats. “They want safe havens, and they want to be realistic about it and especially compassionate toward oppressed women.”

Mace was one of a handful of Republicans to vote in favor of a federal bill guaranteeing access to birth control and moved to the U.S. Capitol. Capitol last week with a message taped to the back of her gun: “My state bans exceptions – PROTECTION FROM PREVENTION.” She advocated for the exclusion of rape cases and relatives and said she dropped out of high school after being molested.

“I went to a couple events this week and every 60 seconds, one to two minutes, someone was coming up to me, mostly women, and all they said was thank you,” Mace said in an interview this week.

Republicans cited a variety of reasons to oppose the birth control bill, which was blocked in the Senate on Wednesday, saying it would make it illegal for religious groups to violate their beliefs and also allow it. use of abortion drugs.

A federal bill to prevent states from banning abortion travel also faced Republican opposition in the Senate this month, underscoring the divide in public opinion. About 8 in 10 Americans — including 64 percent of Republicans and 85 percent of independents — say abortion bans should not be allowed to ban travel in the system, according to a Washington Post poll. Schar School was established a month after the Supreme Court struck it down. under Roe.

Even among the GOP’s strategies that warn against alienating women, there is uncertainty as to whether that will happen as Republicans blame Democratic leaders for inflation, crime and fears of a recession.

“When you talk to, you know, these college-educated women in the suburbs — I would say that the issue with abortion is that the economy is still very big,” said Sarah Longwell, a moderate strategist. based in DC and conducted focus groups of voters of all parties.

However, she said the end of Roe and the promotion of extreme candidates in many GOP primaries “gave Democrats an opportunity to go on offense” and make a broader case against unconventional views. ah. Three-quarters of independent women in politics say they see the end of Roe as a major setback for women’s rights, a Post-Schar poll showed.

“This is not just anti-women rhetoric,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). “This is an anti-women agenda that is literally becoming law very, very quickly.”

Some conservatives like that the gender of the abortion debate draws strong condemnation. In the state of Minnesota, the candidate for vice governor claimed that “our culture, loudly but also secretly, promotes abortion, telling women to look a certain way, to have skills.”

Gaetz, speaking at the USA Turning Point Student Action Summit in Tampa, called women’s abortion rights “disgusting” and “abhorrent both internally and externally,” citing the extreme weight of unattractive to get pregnant. He later stood by his words and told the crowd, “I’m sorry.”

In interviews, many Republican strategists thought such comments were unlikely to make a difference to voters already disenchanted with right-wing celebrities’ personal and personal attacks. Former President Donald Trump paved the way, some noted: When one woman accused him of sexual assault in 2016, Trump said, “Trust me, it wouldn’t be my first choice.”

“Every village has a fool, and we have several villages,” said one of the famous GOP strategists, who spoke about the secret situation to be honest. The strategist added: “I don’t think there’s anything said before October 15 that will last until Election Day. And it has to be said with high enough visibility [numbers].”

Others saw the declining rhetoric as part of the party’s long-term problem of losing key support from moderate women in previous elections. “Comments like this do great damage to the Republican brand,” said GOP consultant Lauren Zelt, who worked on Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.

Jennifer Lim, executive director of Republican Women for Progress — which has been critical of the GOP’s shift under Trump — agreed. She said LGBTQ rights are another social issue where Republicans are “going in the wrong direction” without a unified response from the party.

The offices of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) did not respond to requests for comment. A spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, Danielle Alvarez, said in a statement that “Democrats are out of touch on every issue from the economy to abortion, and voters will be sure to remember that in November.”

Some Republicans have warned for months that a backlash against LGBTQ debate in schools could paint the party as anti-gay, as right-wing stalwarts revel in unsubstantiated accusations. that teachers who oppose sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom are “raising” children and making them vulnerable to abuse. Concerns intensified in June when the Texas GOP added language to its party platform calling homosexuality an “abnormal lifestyle choice.”

“I hope that conservatives and Republicans don’t go into a reactive mode and actually listen to the public and respond responsibly to legitimate concerns instead of simply playing to the audience,” he said. said Marco Roberts, a gay Republican who worked to remove the condemnation. Homosexuality from the 2018 forum.

Charles Moran — president of the Log Cabin Republicans, a national group for gay conservatives — pointed to the GOP’s overwhelming support for federal same-sex marriage legislation as evidence of progress. Forty-seven members of the House of Representatives joined with Democrats to pass the measure, and supporters in the Senate worked to get 10 GOP votes.

Senate approval, Moran said, would be “a huge advantage for us as conservatives … because when we go to the gay and lesbian voters in November, the Democrats won’t be able to say, well, the Republicans they will try to take away your gay marriage.

Moran also said he saw no problem with a recent social media post by Donald Trump Jr. who is the son of the former president, who was described by the politicians as having contracted the monkey disease, a disease that broke out in the United States and is mostly among homosexual men. men. In one corner was Donald Trump; On the other hand was Pete Buttigieg, the Democratic transportation secretary, who is gay. Among them was Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), whose criticism of Trump has drawn righteous ire.

The Trump Organization, which Trump Jr. help lead, did not respond to requests for comment, nor did a longtime representative of Trump Jr., who, with many on the Internet, publicly criticized the Texas GOP’s decision to exclude Log Cabin Republicans from their convention .

“I hate to repeat Matt Gaetzism, but if you’re offended by that, piss off,” Moran said.