Ah, Sunday shows: a weekly opportunity for both parties to trot out one of their more telegenic members to spin the previous week’s news and spoon-feed a few carefully crafted talking points to the public.
I avoid paying any attention to these cable news programs when I can, as they usually amount to useless propaganda. But today I tuned in, knowing Republicans were going to have to offer some kind of response to the new Wall Street Journal poll showing that the reversal of Roe v. Wade has backfired spectacularly on them. (Sixty percent of voters now support abortion rights in most or all cases—up from 55 percent in March—and respondents indicated that abortion was the number one issue motivating them to vote this fall.) I wanted to see how they’re trying to spin this dire news, and whom they pushed to do it.
It turned out to be Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, who appeared on Fox News Sunday giving his best effort to to sound confident about the midterms against mounting evidence to the contrary. He wished “good luck” to the Democrats in Congress who voted for the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill that would codify Roe v. Wade—which would be broadly popular—and referred to it as the “Chinese genocide bill.” (It’s unclear why anyone would bring China into the issue of abortion rights in America, except just to be xenophobic.)
Emmer then hypothesized that the Hunter Biden scandal is what’s really gonna push voters to the polls this fall, despite the WSJ poll telling a very different story. Emmer said Democrats are “doing nothing” about President Joe Biden’s son while going after former President Donald Trump for potential espionage and many other crimes. “Americans are pissed off about that,” Emmer said. “They’re gonna show up in November, and Democrats are gonna answer for it.”
Let’s get this out of the way: Hunter Biden is, indeed, a messy bitch. Unfortunately for Republicans, a majority of voters simply do not consider this issue a priority—maybe because he doesn’t hold any kind of advisory position in the White House, unlike (ahem) Trump’s daughter and son-in-law. Meanwhile, the matter of reproductive rights deeply affects people’s bodies and lives every day.
Again: I’m truly sorry that I just regurgitated what a Republican congressman said on Fox News Sunday—I wouldn’t waste your time with this if it weren’t noteworthy in some way. Considering the amount of calculation each party puts into who gets sent onto Sunday shows and what those politicians are directed/cleared to say, Emmer’s remarks represent the best the GOP could come up with upon learning that they badly miscalculated on abortion and thus are losing their chance to reclaim Congress. They really trotted out the man in charge of the group that’s trying to elect Republicans to the House of Representatives, and he spewed random racist madlibs about abortion plus “what about Hunter Biden.”
In short: Republicans are still flailing, badly.