Despite strong conservative demand, Republican Senators were unable to bring the issue of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding to a vote Monday. The cloture vote was 53-46, putting them seven shy of the 60 votes necessary to shut down a Democratic filibuster. The bill to strip the organization of its tax windfall was proposed by Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, and she was defiant when speaking to the press.
“Those videos are not going away,” Ernst said.
The prevailing notion is that the issue will come up again next month, possibly in a provision to a major government spending bill. But even the bill’s most outspoken Senate supporters were cautious when asked about a government shutdown. Senator Ted Cruz told reporters they should instead ask Democrats if they favored “continued taxpayer funding for an organization that has been caught on film, apparently repeatedly admitting multiple felonies – to buying a selling body parts.”
Of course, it will be a cold day in hell before a mainstream reporter asks that one. The press has been careful to position this story as just another right-wing conspiracy job, apparently willing to give Planned Parenthood the overwhelming benefit of the doubt. Then again, you have Obama’s press secretary dismissing the videos as fraudulent without having seen them, so it’s obvious what’s going on. Democrats can’t afford to have another major moral debate on abortion. If even another five percent of the population came to see them as the “baby killing” party, they would be finished. As long as they can wrap this whole dirty business with a nice bow that says “women’s health champions,” they’ll keep getting to play the good guys.
Unfortunately for Planned Parenthood, the liberal establishment is slowly losing its iron grip on the American media landscape. Increasingly, it matters less and less how biased they are on NBC. The New York Times is not the political powerhouse it once was. To be sure, liberal media dominance is still an enormous advantage to the Democratic cause. But the rise of conservative media and the internet has finally given voice to millions who were ignored by the mainstream press for decades. Stories that would have never made it to the nightly news now break on Drudge, forcing the networks to pick them up.
With this changing media landscape, it’s entirely possible that Americans are ready for another big moral debate on abortion. And even if that discussion doesn’t lead us towards overturning Roe v Wade, it could change the casual way we view this disturbing practice. And if congressional Republicans are thinking about abandoning this fight over funding, they may want to reconsider. You don’t want to be on the wrong side of this thing when the winds shift.