Democratic Extremists Recycle the Playbook on Roe

Last week, someone whom we may assume was a Democratic operative illegally leaked the results of a Supreme Court discussion about reversing Roe v. Wade. The landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling has been “the law of the land” for two generations, and its defense has been a major Democratic talking point. The possible reversal of Roe, which rests on a dubious “right to privacy” found nowhere in the Constitution, has galvanized the social Left. The reversal, which now appears likely, would put the issue of abortion back where it belongs, in democratically elected state legislatures. Although that would allow our coastal states to continue having the laxest abortion laws on the planet, leaders of the Democratic Party, headed by Joe Biden, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Kamala Harris, insist that “women’s health” is now gravely at risk.

Democrats are treating the leak as a timely “report,” while screaming that MAGA terrorists are trying to take over the country. One leader of this alleged terrorist operation is apparently Justice Samuel Alito, who by failing to locate a right to abortion in the Constitution is denying women “control over their bodies” (except when the Left requires them to take vaccines with possibly disastrous side effects). The same terrorist band, including presumably all nonleftist justices, is planning to go from challenging Roe to criminalizing homosexual relationships.

In light of this unproved danger, it’s natural that demonstrators would happen to turn up in front of the Supreme Court and begin to yell at the “fascists” inside. It may also be a mere coincidence that information suddenly appeared on the internet, giving the home addresses of those judges who were known to be critical of Roe. Demonstrators were intent on going to the residences of judges who disagreed with them to show their anger. The fact that intimidating judges in this manner clearly violates a federal law does not concern Joe Biden, his departing press secretary Jen Psaki, Kamala Harris, or Attorney General Merrick Garland. None of these figures has done anything to lower tempers.

According to Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel, such outrageous behavior may backfire on the Democrats in the fall election: If “they have nothing but abortion to run on,” then their “decline” may be irreversible.

But the Democrats may see things differently. They are making careful use of what legal scholar Jonathan Turley characterizes as  rage addiction.” Both the leak and demonstrations looked coordinated, together with the encouragement from top Democratic politicians. In addition to other planned activities, the protesters disrupted Catholic services on Mother’s Day, and our nominally Catholic White House occupant was stunningly silent” in his response to these protests. What does all this recall? It is the “Summer of Love,” a euphemism for the bloody events that Democratic politicians and their media flacks defended and, in some cases, incited in the wake of George Floyd’s slaying in 2020. That, too, was presented as a reaction against right-wing terrorism.

What happened during and after the violence in 2020, which devastated our cities, was a disproportionately weak response from the other side. Republicans complained when Kamala Harris defended the rampaging vandals and when Sleepy Joe could barely bring himself to scold their actions. But very little happened afterward, except for the noteworthy fact that the Democrats captured the Oval Office. They achieved this feat in an election that continues to be disputed and in which there is evidence of widespread fraud. But the Left controlled the narrative then and now, and the recasting of the January 6 break-in to the Capitol Buildings as a full-scale “insurrection,” with the assistance of the media and other Democratic activists, has overshadowed the months of looting and shooting after the killing of Floyd.

Even more, the Democrats were able to turn the violence they helped unleash into a political asset. They depicted the murderous outbursts as a justified reaction to systemic white racism, and they seized on these developments once back in near-total power to promote critical race theory and the degradation of white Republican “racists.”

The organized storming of Catholic churches on Mother’s Day was hardly a spontaneous act. It was part of a plan to spread violence and disorder across the country while blaming the resulting turmoil on the political Right. The Democrats may pay at the polls for these mischievous actions, but then again, they may not. The Democrats are recycling an already-old playbook, but it is one they profited from during and after the “Summer of Love.” This time the opposing party must go after them and treat them as the inciters and liars they are. U.S. Representative Marjorie Greene (R-Ga.) and other populist “extremists” will do exactly that.

It’s other Republicans who concern me.

One final point: I’m quite willing to grant Turley’s point that “there is an “addiction to rage” that overcame the sobbing, screaming Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who went ballistic over the probable reversal of Roe. Warren’s fitful behavior seems to have been genuine, however, and may make her even more popular in woke Massachusetts.

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About Paul Gottfried

Paul Edward Gottfried is the editor of Chronicles. An American paleoconservative philosopher, historian, and columnist, Gottfried is a former Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, as well as a Guggenheim recipient.

Photo: Oliver Contreras/for The Washington Post