On Jan. 13, I wrote about Newsweek writer Eleanor Clift's theory that overturning Roe v. Wade would pay political dividends for Democrats because the end of Roe would spur pro-choice Republicans to action and break up the GOP coalition. My take was that even if overturning Roe might eventually foment a pro-choice revolution, "eventually" isn't soon enough for millions of women who wouldn't have access to legal abortions in the interim. But what I missed in my earlier post was Lindsay Beyerstein at Majikthise asking Clift another important question: er, which pro-choice Republicans?
First of all, she writes, "anticipating the demise of Roe and finding the novel silver lining is a cottage industry in American political journalism." But also, she says, how pro-choice can these pro-choice Republicans be if the prospect of confirming an antiabortion Supreme Court justice doesn't bother them?
"There are no secret pro-choice Republicans. If you don't care enough about choice to oppose Alito, you just don't care. At this point, even 'out' pro-choice Republicans like Arlen Specter don't care enough about Roe to vote against Alito."
"If Clift's legions of secret pro-choice Republicans aren't speaking up now," Beyerstein concludes, "it's safe to assume they don't exist."
Of course, there are pro-choice Republicans. But there sure don't seem to be any making noise on the Hill. Which means that, despite its flaws, we may be testing out Clift's theory sometime soon.