Republicans are desperate. Trump is as unpopular as he's ever been, he just surrendered unconditionally to Nancy Pelosi after a disastrous and unnecessary 35 day government shutdown of his own creation, and he's threatening to do again but this time with the promise of crashing the world's economy at the same time. Even the nonstop spin of Fox News, AM Hate Radio, and right wing hate sites can't put a positive spin the rolling dumpster fire that is the Trump regime.
So it's time to for a distraction and hysterical screaming about murdering babies is always guaranteed to occupy the lizard brains of the GOP's base. That's why the right wing smear machine exploded into high gear yesterday to attack Virginia Governor Ralph Northam by twisting his words.
Here's the partial quote the right is using to call Northam a "baby killer":
“If a mother is in labor...the infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians & mother"
Here's the entire quote and you'll quickly see why they left the rest out:
The procedures, he said, are “done in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that’s not viable. So in this particular example, if a mother’s in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered, the infant would be kept comfortable, the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
Suddenly, we're not talking about a healthy, viable baby but one that will not survive. But that's not the narrative the outrage machine of the right wants to push so they're just ignoring that part. Not just ignoring it but aggressivley ignoring it and screaming about murdering babies. When asked how one can murder a baby that's already dying by allowing it to die, the responses range from incoherent rage to...more incoherent rage. Exactly what the right wing noise machine is looking for.
The right tried to make a thing out of this focused on Del. Kathy Tran (D-Fairfax) and also in New York state but it didn't gain any real traction; presumably because Tran wasn't a big enough target and New York is a lost cause for the GOP. That changed when Gov. Northam got involved and the right wing noise machine started churning out a coordinated series of hit pieces.
This hysteria serves three purposes:
1. Next week, the Supreme Court will decide whether or not states can de facto ban abortion by way of TRAP laws. If they rule in favor of the restrictive laws, abortion will become unavailable in every state controlled by Republicans. Fabricating the "horrors" of abortion is necessary for the right to accept this assault on women.
2. Virginia is just 2 seats away in both the State House and State Senate from flipping to control of the Democrats and all of those seats are up for reelection this November. Even with the GOP's extreme gerrymandering and voter suppression in place, Trump's unpopularity almost cost Republicans control in 2017. It will be much worse in 2019 and if Republicans lose control of both chambers, they lose their ability to steal elections. That will be the end of Virginia as a reliable swing state. Turning Gov. Northam into a baby murdering psychopath will, Republicans hope, overcome the drag of having Trump as the leader of the GOP.
3. Speaking of Trump, Republicans really, really, need something, anything, to distract their base from the nightmare that is Trump as president. His shut down was wildly unpopular, poorly planned (actually, it wasn't planned at all), cost the economy billions, exposed just how out of touch and callous his regime is, and in the end, he surrendered completely and looks weaker than ever (and that's saying something). Worse, he's threatening to do it all again in two weeks and on top of that, some of his enablers are telling him to tie the next round of hostage taking to the debt ceiling so the next shutdown will go from catastrophic to apocalyptic.
If I were the right wing noise machine, I would be kicking up so much dust that my base would be choking on it. Distraction is the only thing that will keep the MAGA rubes from realizing just how pathetic Trump really is and just how bad he's been for the economy. Because if the base figures that out, 2020 will make the blue wave of 2018 look like ripple in a pond.
The worst part about this is that Republicans are well aware of how their hysterical lies about abortion have resulted in violence and they don't care.
Doctors, nurses, security guards, and patients have all been murdered by right wing terrorists because of the unhinged rhetoric of the forced-birth movement. Bill O'Reilly spent years calling Dr. George Tiller a "baby killer" on TV until someone killed him. After a right wing group doctored videos of a meeting with Planned Parenthood representatives, one right wing terrorist attacked a clinic and killed three people.
And that's aside from all of the clinics that have been firebombed and all the death threats over the years. Republicans and the right wing echo chamber are quite aware of the violence their rhetoric can inspire and they're doing it anyway because as far as they're concerned, a few days of political gain are worth the risk of long term political violence. The damage being done to the national discourse is irrelevant because the only thing that matters is getting those poll numbers back up right now.
This is the short term thinking that has turned the right into a cesspit of mindless rage and white nationalist fascism. This is how the right turned into a cancer that produces terrorist after terrorist and it's only going to get worse as they continue to lose power. Governor Northam should up his security detail because they're not going to stop calling him a baby killer and we already know how much the "pro-life" right loves resorting to violence.