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Cillizza’s Needle & the Myth of the Savvy Republican


Chris Cillizza, CNN’s answer to the fortress of derpitude that is Jonah Goldberg, thinks Sen. Lindsay Graham is too savvy to introduce another abortion ban bill just because he believes in it. But it’s a fair bet that Cillizza doesn’t know how to operate a Slinky, so his standards are low.

The alternate analysis of Graham’s move is that he deeply believes abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy must be banned and that his side has to be on the record on it. Period. But while Graham may well believe that, he is far too savvy to simply roll out this plan less than two months before an election without considering the political consequences of doing so.

Ah yes, Sen. Lindsay Olin Graham (R-Glenlivet), super genius. He knew since at least May (at least, probably earlier) that his fellow goons in the Supreme Court was going to nuke Roe, the thing the GOP had been promising to do for nearly 50 years.

So rather than get ahead of the backlash that any semi-sentient lump of crud could have seen coming and introduce a bill before the feces knocked the air circulating device off the counter, the Senator of Savvy farted around for nearly three months and then, after everyone had a chance to get good and riled up, introduced his not-so-grand bargain.

Oh, quick aside before I continue. I notice that despite being told to shut the fuck up multiple times, some of the commentarion still think a mention of Graham is their cue to trot out some dusty homophobia. To them I say: Go play with yourself in heavy traffic. Byeee.

Now, back to this dumbfuck.

Here’s my theory:

Brontosauruses are – wait, not that one.

Graham sees that his party is getting clubbed on the issue. And some conservative states now have near-total abortion bans in place.

“Near-total abortion bans” is how a numbnuts describes laws that require girls and women to have extremely regular periods and rush to the doctor if they are two seconds late. When he doesn’t want to mention the conservative states that have total bans in place. Also, I assume, when he doesn’t think anyone will click on the link he provided that shows what a dishonest shit he’s being.

Which puts Republicans running for Senate across the country constantly on the defensive, trying to defend a position that is hugely unpopular with the public.

Positions like S.99. The life begins at fertilization bill Sen. Rand Paul introduced last year.

And Cillizza of course carefully avoids mentioning that the clubbing that the GOP is experiencing was provoked by the GOP, like a good little enabler.

And so, Graham is trying to give Republican candidates something to talk about that he believes threads the needle between keeping the GOP base, which is adamantly opposed to abortion in all forms, happy and not totally alienating the center of the electorate.

Imagine … a hyperspherical needle.

“The base is violently opposed to abortion but will be O.K. with 15 weeks of it” is an obviously dimwitted but not uncommon belief that is floating around like a germ that only the lazy-minded can catch. And it is wedded to the belief that a bunch of violent, unreasoning thugs will be cool while the master strategy unfolds, which is even worse.

Although it is a fine example of how willing some people are to believe that any group that is majority white must be reasonable, no matter how much evidence the group provides to the contrary. I mean – pardon the digression – we’re not just talking about people who regularly terrorize and attack reproductive health clinics, their employees and patients, or who donate to groups that do. We’re also talking about the people who went apeshit over attempts to control the spread of COVID-19, even though the apeshittery regularly made them very sick or killed them.

And then there was the contretemps at the Capital last year. These people are not going to sit patiently while Graham enacts his cunning plan.


Graham is hoping to give Republicans a positive talking point on the abortion issue – something his side can point to as evidence that they are not the intolerant ogres that Democrats have, to date, effectively cast them as in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.

So, the other problem with Cillizza’s needle is it relies on pre-Dobbs thinking but we’re in a post-Dobbs world. Again, a common error, but Cillizza is such a klutz it is impossible to miss.

Anyone who is in the center and cares about reproductive rights, or just doesn’t want the expense of a pregnancy – theirs, a partners, a dependent’s – has already been alienated. No amount of hand waving, crank yanking or wishful thinking is going to change that. Only a complete and total dickhead would think more than a handful of idiots will be soothed by a fucking lush slurring “Hey. Hey. HEY. I know you all don’t like abortion bans. So howsh about an abortion ban?”

This is certainly true for centrist voters who are in states that currently don’t have any restrictions, and even less draconian laws than a 15-week ban. And it’s probably a mistake to assume centrists in states that have more restrictive laws or total bans are hunky-dory with the current state of affairs, including those who rely on their proximity to a state that doesn’t have bans to receive medical care.

Although, I suspect “the center” is shorthand for well-heeled broslobs like Cillizza who don’t give a shit about politics unless it affects them directly. If so, fuck him.

He also leaves Democratic voters who might not have voted, but sure as hell will now out of his calculations. Maybe three groups of people was too much math for him.

Contrary to what Cillizza claims, Graham’s bill does the opposite of refuting the fact that Republicans are intolerant ogres who want to harm as many girls and women as possible, including the mental harm of being told that full autonomy is not for us. Any babies who suffer as a result are just gravy.

What Cillizza describes as savvy is the act of an intolerant ogre who also has so much contempt for people that he thinks he can bamboozle them into accepting something he knows they don’t want.

I won’t say nuking Roe was a smart move on the right wing’s part, it wasn’t. But in the aftermath the least stupid things a supposed savant like Graham could have done would be face his sodding shut, or lean on the states’ rights horn. He did not.

People who post off topic comments think Chris Cillizza is a genius.

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