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If the Democrats thought that the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade would galvanize the base to march to the polls in November, the scenes of FBI agents raiding a former president's home, an unprecedented act generally reserved for banana republics, will light a fire under the Republican base and motivate them to take back Congress ("FBI searches Trump home in Florida," front page, Aug. 9). The question is whether the Democrats are so stupid as to stir up this hornet's nest or if they are playing 3-D chess and will promote a groundswell of support for Donald Trump, which could sweep him into the nomination for 2024, ensuring a Republican candidate who would be a harder sell to a voting public that desires an alternative to Trump's divisiveness.

Whatever they're doing, the left is playing with fire and, as it is prone to do, will overreach and reap the whirlwind.

Garth Thoresen, Eagan


It's not surprising that the GOP is pulling its hair out over the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago and characterize it as a politically motivated act of the radical left wing. What the Trump supporters conveniently forget is that the director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, is a Trump appointee.

Doug Williams, Robbinsdale


They poison their opponents; haul them away, never to be heard from again; break down their doors in the middle of the night then shoot them in their sleep: That is what banana republics do when they fear they are losing their power over the people. But first of all, before any of that, they raid their offices and their homes. They find "evidence against the state." They build files before persecuting them. Yes, that's what Russia, China, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela do. Thank God we live in America where such atrocities could never take place. Thank God we have a justice system that is fair for everybody, Republican, independent and Democrat alike. Because when one party pits itself against the opposing party to the degree that banana republics do, that country is on the brink of disintegration. No country, democratic, socialist or communist, can ever survive under those conditions — not for very long.

The raid on Mar-a-Lago yesterday by the Biden administration crossed the line and became the first step toward that goal — the disintegration of our democracy. The shock and appall of that atrocity will resonate far past the midterm elections. Because what the Biden administration has unleashed is a precedent that will only grow in size and in specter. What happens after the 2024 election can only be imagined, for now there is no low that is low enough. There is no punishment that is harsh enough. And when a government runs on retribution, it cannot save itself.

This is a black day for our country and a black mark on our democracy. What we are witnessing is the beginning of the end for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I have been among those who say Biden is ruining our country. Well, now I can honestly say Biden has ruined our country. His party's hatred for the other side can only spawn the wrath it soon will feel. May God have mercy on us all.

Robert Huge, Edina


The court's ruling was neutral

An Aug. 6 letter writer seems to read something into the Supreme Court's recent decision that overturned Roe v. Wade that obviously was neither spelled out explicitly nor implied in their decision. The only thing that the recent decision did do was to overturn the "constitutional right" to have an abortion, but in so doing the court neither forbade nor allowed abortions to take place. This was left up to the states to decide.

Both the states of Kansas and Minnesota have constitutional rights to have an abortion. I do not know how the right was established in Kansas. But in Minnesota, it was established by a court case, Doe v. Gomez. It could be challenged by passing a proposal in the Legislature and placing an amendment on the ballot for the voters to decide. In any case, currently the right to have an abortion is established in both states. In Kansas the voters recently decided to uphold the right to have an abortion. In both states, however, if the constitutional right to have an abortion were abolished, this would not of itself prevent abortions from occurring because state legislatures have the authority to pass laws making abortions legal, illegal or legal with restrictions. It is the same throughout the United States.

The writer goes on to present a hypothetical situation where a pro-life married couple may not want their daughter to have an abortion, and the daughter would want to have an abortion. The writer adds that there is a possibility of the daughter going to prison. This is obviously a red herring, because Minnesota currently allows abortions to take place, and even if this law were changed, the daughter could go to some other state to have an abortion. The only scenario where the daughter could possibly be sent to prison would be if abortion was first made illegal in Minnesota and an abortion provider would continue to remain in operation in spite of the law, or some person who is not qualified would start doing abortions with coat hangers or whatever. Neither of these options seems very realistic, however, because it should be much easier or safer to go to another state, or Canadian province.

Robert Sullentrop, Minneapolis


Just when I thought we'd seen all the cruelty the forced birth crowd could dish out, here comes Ross Douthat ("Defeat may be just what pro-lifers need," Opinion Exchange, Aug. 9). In a stunning "the beatings will continue until morale improves" moment, Douthat comes up with this gem: "It is not enough, for instance, for opponents of abortion to react to stories about delayed care for miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies by pointing out that state laws are being misinterpreted. All officialdom in those states should be mobilized to make hospitals fear malpractice suits more than hypothetical anti-abortion prosecution."

First, I checked Mr. Douthat's credentials, and if he went to law school, Wikipedia doesn't know about it. So, it's rich for him and multitudes of likewise uninformed "pro-lifers" to say, "You're misinterpreting these laws. That's not what we meant!" Those of us who do this for a living have actually read the laws in question and their plain language creates the dilemmas that Douthat and his friends now attempt to disclaim. It gives us no pleasure to have to advise clients that, no, because of the statutory wording we can't guarantee you that you won't be prosecuted if you provide appropriate care for this patient. Then Douthat suggests not clarifying the law but apparently some sort of government action to persecute civilly those who they are also threatening criminally. It's clear he doesn't know what he's talking about, because "hospitals" are not the entities being forced to choose between Scylla and Charybdis in this scenario. Rather, it is physicians, people with homes, spouses, children and livelihoods, who must decide whether they'd rather risk being sued for malpractice or prosecuted for performing an illegal abortion. The "malpractice" angle is also insulting to physicians, who become doctors to care for people and are morally injured by being prevented from doing so.

The answer is, at minimum, a broad exception for the life and health of the mother, but the forced birthers are such zealots that they would rather see women die from being denied emergency care than risk even one "elective" abortion slipping through. Don't believe this? See Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's recent lawsuit against the Biden administration for issuing guidance attempting to clarify that hospitals and physicians still need to provide emergency care for pregnant people. It is abundantly clear that these people do not care for lives already on this earth and walking around.

Mary P. Foarde, Golden Valley

The writer is a health care attorney.