Well, if you’re a red state Democrat, I just don’t get how you can give Shutdown Chuck Schumer a high-five, or whatever was captured on C-Span after the cloture vote to ban abortion after 20 weeks. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) voted with her Democratic colleagues to block the legislation (via Politico):
The Senate on Monday blocked a bill, backed by President Donald Trump, to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The procedural vote, designed to put pressure on red-state Democrats who are up for reelection this fall, fell significantly short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.
The White House expressed strong support for the measure earlier Monday, saying it would “help to facilitate the culture of life to which our nation aspires.” During the 2016 election, Trump said he would sign a 20-week abortion ban if it made it to his desk — one of several key reasons anti-abortion groups reversed course to back his campaign.
The Senate voted 51-46 against advancing the bill. Democrats Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Bob Casey broke with others in their party to vote to advance the bill. Republicans Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski joined with the remaining Democrats present to block the measure.
Well, for starters, the legislation is not radical. To take a page from liberals, let’s cite Europe, where most European countries, even those with well-established left wing politics, ban abortion after 20 weeks. In some nations, it’s 12 weeks. Also, almost everyone is against late-term abortion. Solid majorities, especially women, also support a 20-week ban.
This is a weird headline that doesn't acknowledge a majority of the Senate voted for a popular bill that was blocked by the minority party. pic.twitter.com/VAFNQOgO28— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) January 30, 2018
So, let’s get to this little run-in between Heitkamp and Schumer, they gave each other high-fives during the vote? This is rather unseemly and a bit odd, given that a) this is an abortion bill; and b) Schumer placed Heitkamp and every other red state Democrat in political peril with the ill-executed government shutdown over illegal aliens. The Democratic Party decided to place the needs of illegals over citizens. That’s not palatable in states, where Trump won—like North Dakota. So, will this play a role for Heitkamp, who won her 2012 race by less than 3,000 votes? It’s hard to say. Rob Port, a North Dakota-based blogger, has more:
Senator Heidi Heitkamp High-Fives Sen Chuck Schumer after she votes NO on the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” Do you feel this NO vote represents the people of North Dakota? pic.twitter.com/NceBgAuknj— Chris Berg (@chrisbergPOVNOW) January 30, 2018
You can bet that Republicans are going to make some hay out of that visual.
Will this hurt Heitkamp? It’s hard to say. On one hand, North Dakota is traditionally thought of as a pro-life state. On the other hand, when pro-life issues have been put on the ballot in recent years they haven’t done very well.
Perhaps Heitkamp thinks North Dakotans are on her side of this issue. Or, at least, ambivalent enough about it that it won’t sway their vote in the Senate race.
So, it’s possible that this is swept under the rug and forgotten unless we let it. I’m sorry; giving each other high-fives after killing an abortion bill that would have banned late-term abortion is appalling. It’s a popular bill. The majority of Americans supports it. This was an ugly day in the Senate.