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This week on The Brief: The failed California recall and state-level attacks on reproductive freedom

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22.09.2021

With the draconian new Texas abortion law now in effect, essentially enabling vigilante persecution of innocent citizens, and the GOP’s unsuccessful recall attempt against California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Republicans across the country continue their crusade to chip away at fundamental rights and hold onto power by any means possible. As the GOP flexes its state-level power, Democrats will need a strong plan to ensure favorable electoral outcomes in 2022.

This week’s guest on The Brief was Nick Rathod, founder and former executive director of the State Innovation Exchange, which helps advance progressive agendas in state legislatures around the country. He joined hosts Markos Moulitsas and Kerry Eleveld to talk about the California recall election and other parts of the political landscape across the country.

With new abortion restrictions being considered by GOP-controlled state legislatures across the country and other state Republican parties eying recall efforts to distract and delay, how can Democrats fight back? It remains to be seen whether Newsom’s performance will serve as a deterrent to future efforts to stymie Democratic leadership—or will we see more of this in the future? “The fact is, in the end, Democratic performance was fantastic—it was exactly where it needed to be,” Moulitsas said. “So is this a bellwether for the epic incoming 2022 cycle, or is California in its own blue bubble with is own dynamics, divorced from the rest of purple America?”

Eleveld wasn’t sure what the new Texas anti-abortion law has accomplished for the Republican base. “The more voters find out about it, the less popular it is … it’s going to serve as a drag on these Republicans … anyone in a swing state trying to defend this law is in a lot of trouble.”

Moulitsas elaborated,

There was almost a sense of ‘the boy who cried wolf’ when liberals said, ‘Republicans want to take away our right to choose.’ And everybody was like, ‘Oh my god, you’ve been talking about this for 50 years now,’ … Fifty years where they don’t really want to pass a law to ban [abortion] … whatever, we’re protected, the Supreme Court will protect us. Suddenly, [Republicans] got the Supreme Court they wanted, and they’re getting the laws they wanted. This is one of those things where it’s like—believe what they say. Nobody should be surprised that this is happening because they never pretended otherwise. So that complacency on our side........

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