About a year ago, Republicans in Congress were convinced they had a strategy that would get them back into power. The Republican Study Committee — Capitol Hill’s largest conservative caucus — circulated a memo to members titled “Lean into the culture war.”
The partisan document added: “We are in a culture war… we are winning”.
In the spring, the Washington Post reported that Republicans “believe they have found an edge in the culture wars,” adding, “On the campaign trail, they are railing against critical race theory and discussions of gender identity in schools. In state legislatures and through the executive branch, they try to limit medical procedures for transgender children and punish big corporations that they consider too politically correct.
But following the overturning of Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices Roe vs. Wade, it’s the Democrats who are suddenly on the offensive on burning social issues. Consider the House votes we saw last week:
- July 15th: House Democrats past the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill to codify deer-era of reproductive rights, despite 100% opposition from Republicans.
- July 15th: House Democrats passed the Guaranteed Abortion Access Act, a bill aimed at protecting interstate travel for abortion, despite Republican opposition of 97%.
- July 19: House Democrats passed the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill to codify marriage equality into federal law, despite 74% Republican opposition.
- July 21: House Democrats passed the Right to Contraception Act, a bill to create federal protections for access to birth control, despite Republican opposition of 92%.
In April, Politico had an element which said in part, “Whether it’s pandemic restrictions and schools, or critical race theory and political correctness, when it comes to the culture wars raging across America, the right often dances circles around the left. And because of that, many Democrats — especially those in vulnerable seats — avoid engaging on these topics altogether or privately plead with their colleagues to avoid overly “woke” rhetoric or policy prescriptions that them, could harm the party politically.
Three months later, Democrats not only see opportunity in the so-called “culture war,” the party is on the offensive, showing confidence and even picking election-year fights that Democrats believe they can. to win.
It’s not like Republicans are bragging about their “no” vote on any of the aforementioned bills. On the contrary, GOP members were eager to change the subject, aware that on reproductive rights, marriage equality and access to contraception, the American mainstream and the party’s conservative base are not on. the same page.
In other words: which party is most likely to run campaign ads in the coming months regarding these votes?
With the help of some Supreme Court Justices, it seems Democrats now believe that it is easier to win culture war fights than to run away from them.