Tuesday night on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow discussed the ongoing effort by the Republican Party to re-brand itself by showing support for same sex marriage, and yet, however noble their intentions, state-level anti-abortion measures indicate that nothing has changed on a policy level for the GOP. Meanwhile, most of the 130-plus Republicans who signed a recent statement to the Supreme Court in favor of same sex marriage are people who are not currently in office and whose relevance in the party has faded.
Maddow began by discussing current efforts by the Arkansas state legislature to ban all abortion in that state outright. The state’s Gov. Mike Beebe (D) has vetoed bills outlawing abortion after 20 weeks and and after 12 weeks on the grounds that they are unconstitutional.
Beebe, whose own record on abortion is fairly mixed, wrote in a letter to the state senate, “The adoption of blatantly unconstitutional laws can be very costly to the taxpayers of our State.”
Nonetheless, the Arkansas state senate has overridden the governor’s veto and plans to put these laws into place, at which point the ACLU has already said it will sue the state and commence to fight the bills in court.
“What they’ve essentially done here,” said Maddow, “is make a big bonfire of taxpayer money.”
Similarly in South Dakota, the Republican governor and state legislature are lengthening the time that women must wait between their decision to seek an abortion and the actual procedure. Maddow said that South Dakota’s Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) seems to believe that women are too dumb to know what an abortion actually is when they sign up for one.
State Sen. Bill Van Gerpen (R-Tyndall) said, “We are talking about a fatal, irrevocable decision. That’s why I think it’s important that we provide these ladies with as much opportunity as needed to assemble the information, get the input, the counsel and advice, and then have time to think.”
“So, that’s what happening in states where Republicans are running things,” Maddow said, then turned to the federal level, where the GOP is feverishly trying to engineer a “comeback” in which it de-emphasizes social issues.
Last week, a group of more than 100 Republican officials joined an effort headed by former RNC Chairperson Ken Mehlman to turn the tide within the Republican Party regarding same sex marriage. They signed an amici brief presented to the Supreme Court arguing a so-called conservative case for same sex marriage.
The problem is, said Maddow, that this groundswell of conservative support for same sex marriage is that it “only seems to apply to retirees.” The bulk of the people on the list are former office holders, election losers and scandal-tainted public officials like former Gov. Jon Huntsman (R-UT), former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz and former Bush administration director of Homeland Security and ex-Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge (R).
“Out of the roughly 130 Republican signatories,” Maddow said, “Exactly two are currently holding federally elected offices. Exactly 0 are sitting governors. Exactly zero are sitting senators.”
Watch the video, embedded below via MSNBC: