The Great Race moves to the Confederacy this week, dipping its toe today in Kansas. Though not strictly Dixie, "Bloody Kansas" was as split as the Union during the War Between the States. It should be Santorum country, with the state Legislature pushing an aggressive anti-abortion bill. (Though what state isn’t these days?) Kansas’ unique twist is, among other tactics, to raise taxes on women seeking abortions – that state’s take on the "sin tax," presumably. (One wonders how Republican Deep Thinker Grover Norquist integrates such conflicting desires.)
Georgia, voting on Tuesday, wages its own war on abortion, with an attempt to ban outright all abortions after five weeks. Newt Gingrich leads there, barely, with the latest polls showing essentially a three-way tie between him, Santorum, and Mitt Romney.
Mr. Romney, who is practicing his "y’all" with varying degrees of cringe-inducing failure, actually leads in Mississippi, though that says more about how evenly split the vote is between the Two Real Conservatives than anything else, with both Gingrich and Santorum at 22 percent, and Romney in the low-30s. Mississippi also has entertained a clutch of anti-abortion bills recently, from the increasingly popular "5-week" ban to the old mandatory-ultrasound requirement. ("Make ‘em look at that little baby they’re killin’!") ("Yee-haw!) ("Y’all!")
The Republicans, in case you haven’t caught on, will if given enough power render abortion illegal. We think all women ought to know that, and we suspect they will come November, what with the way the GOP is over-playing its hand. The Party of Lincoln has become the Party of Telling Women What To Do. We suspect they will lose the woman vote just as effectively as they have lost the African-American and Latino vote. We are trying to envision how they will manage new voter-suppression tactics against women, and we can’t, but we know they will think of something. Inventive new voter-suppression tactics, along with clever new anti-abortion legislation, seem to be the few areas of expertise this party can rightly claim.
They were, of course, once so much more. The party that now attacks with such privileged vehemence the weak and the oppressed once stood up for them. These Southern Conflicts make us think of Mr. Lincoln himself, and how this party once stood for the common good. We end with a quote from our favorite Republican:
"Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."