Thanks Susan Collins And Also Men Who Said We Were Being Hysterical

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Sen. Susan Collins discusses her critical vote on the Kavanaugh nomination.

Disclaimer: They have not gotten rid of Roe yet, officially. If you have an appointment, go to your appointment.

Pro-choice activists have been saying for years — no, decades — that Roe is in danger of being overturned. And for decades we have been told, frequently by cis men with nothing to lose themselves, that this would never, ever happen, because Republicans need to run on promising to make it illegal. They were very reasonable and wise and serious people, they told us, and we were just being childish and hysterical. After all, Republicans in office don't really care about abortion, they just pretend to in order to secure the votes of the dumb rubes who do. If we understood the way the world really works, we'd get that.

Frequently, this was used to explain how they themselves could justify being pro-choice but voting for Republicans because they wanted to pay less in taxes when they finally became millionaires. Or why the Left should hush on abortion in order to appeal to pro-life voters for whom this is their one issue. Because abortion rights are just a distraction. From something. No one is entirely sure what.

Upon voting to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, Senator Susan Collins of Maine insisted that she had discussed things with him privately and assured us all that he would never overturn Roe, because of how very much he loves precedent.


Let's revisit that moment, shall we?

There has also been considerable focus on the future of abortion rights based on the concern that Judge Kavanaugh would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade. Protecting this right is important to me. To my knowledge, Judge Kavanaugh is the first Supreme Court nominee to express the view that precedent is not merely a practice and tradition, but rooted in Article 3 of our Constitution itself. He believes that precedent is not just a judicial policy, it is constitutionally dictated to pay attention and pay heed to rules of precedent. In other words, precedent isn't a goal or an aspiration. It is a constitutional tenet that has to be followed except in the most extraordinary circumstances.

It should be clear by now that those people were full of shit and those of us who were being childish and hysterical were, in fact, correct. Brett Kavanaugh was not nearly as in love with precedent as Collins assumed. The only Republican that the "they're just pretending to care about abortion" description ever actually maybe applied to was George H.W. "Rubbers" Bush, and since then, they've all very clearly been true believers. At the very least, they've been people who have no actual problem with it being outlawed, because they know rich people like them, like their children, will always be able to get abortions if they need them.

It's not a "We told you so" we wanted — but, "We told you so." We fucking told you so. We were right. They actually did want to outlaw abortion, and now it's almost definitely going to happen. Perhaps this will be something to think about the next time anyone wants to make an argument that Republicans are secretly less horrible than they let on.

So thanks to Susan Collins for being "a voice of reason," thanks to the wise men who just understood the way the world works better than we did. You've really been a great help. So glad to have you keeping us in check and on the right track. I'm sure that all of the people who will no longer have reproductive rights once this becomes official will appreciate your sage wisdom about how the world really works. Of course, you may all be too busy warning people to not try and do anything wacky like trying to permanently legalize it through legislation, pack the court, or set up abortion clinics on federal land or on reservations in states that ban it, or do literally anything else to try and save reproductive rights beyond putting some kind of emoji in our Twitter handles.

You guys all really get it.

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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