Theory of Change Podcast With Matthew Sheffield
Theory of Change #047: Alex Shephard on how Democrats aren't responding to the moment

Theory of Change #047: Alex Shephard on how Democrats aren't responding to the moment

The far-right U.S. Supreme Court opinion overturning the right to abortion at the federal level was leaked to the public on May 3, but it wasn’t until July 7th that President Joe Biden unveiled any sort of meaningful action to protect access to federally approved abortion medications and to prohibit states from banning people from traveling across state lines to seek the procedure.

The judicial activist writing was on the wall long before this, however, when the Christian fundamentalist Amy Coney Barrett was successfully nominated to the Supreme Court to replace the recently deceased Ruth Bader Ginsburg. That’s even more notable because Ginsburg herself had explicitly warned advocates of reproductive rights that they needed to do more than rely on courts to protect them.

Now that Christian nationalists have firm control of the most dangerous branch of the U.S. government, a project which they publicly campaigned on for decades, Democratic elites are finally having to pay attention to the radicalism that’s held control the Republican party for more than a generation. So far, the response from party leaders has been less-than-encouraging, to put it mildly.

Instead of informing the public from the presidential “bully pulpit” about the many Republican Supreme Court outrages, Biden has restricted his communications to newspaper op-eds and background interviews, with occasional exhortations to “vote.” The White House seems to be under the impression that being quiet and waiting for economic inflation to simmer down will lead him to victory, as it did in 2020.

But the strategy hasn’t worked. In public opinion polls, Biden’s approval rating is the lowest it’s ever been. Will Biden step up and give people a reason to vote for his party before the mid-terms are over? Or will the series of extreme Supreme Court rulings do the job for him?

Joining us to discuss is Alex Shephard, he’s a staff writer at the New Republic.


Alex Shephard on Twitter:

New Republic archive:

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Theory of Change Podcast With Matthew Sheffield
Lots of people want to change the world. But how does change happen? Join Matthew Sheffield and his guests as they explore larger trends and intersections in politics, religion, technology, and media.