We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
deep in the heart
Watch Texas Turn Blue
Republican dominance in Texas is no longer assured. Last week we saw the representatives of a previously dominant party morph into poisonous vestigial organs. The abortion bills which couldn’t pass the two-thirds test during the regular session were presented again during a “special session” when bills only need a majority vote. Thanks to the cunning and hardworking efforts of our Democratic delegation, Planned Parenthood, and other key interest groups, a hearing on Thursday was packed, and history was made when SB5 never reached a vote on Tuesday night (although a shot clock replay went on for hours).
The story of how the “peanut gallery” spontaneously erupted close to midnight on June 25 is a microcosm of the napping giant that is about to shove out the Grand Old Party. As the days unfolded, we watched the House consideration of the bills, waiting patiently as House Democrats stalled with various tactics. We sat in silence, holding our seats while the House adjourned due to countless efforts by House Democrats to postpone.
We were respectfully silent (since they told us that even the OWS “jazz hands” were a violation of the rules of decorum) as self-serving Republicans pretended that they cared about women’s health, while actually just taking a stand which they could sell in their upcoming re-election — as chronicled by @JFarrarDist148 in a tremendous Personal Privilege speech. We were perplexed and horrified as Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R) linked rape kits to abortion procedures. Because the House Democrats’ parliamentary maneuvers were so skillful, they were able to shorten the time necessary for the brilliant filibuster by @WendyDavisTexas. The gallery observers exploded during the final 15 minutes when Sen. Leticia Van De Putte (D) @leticiavdp politely asked why her requests were ignored. Her question was the symbol of all our frustrations, and we couldn’t take it anymore.
For those of us witnessing the constant barrage of attempts to curb abortion in Texas (and other states), it has been a stark wake-up call. We have been tending to our other interests, while allowing these people to sieze what isn’t theirs. Nobody OWNS me, or my state. They have to earn it each election cycle by representing our interests honestly. I’ve been a Democratic precinct chair for years, but have never felt the need to bang on doors as much as I do right now.
I remember when Texas was a one-party state under the Democrats, and John Tower stood alone in the Republican leadership. I was teaching a community college class in Austin on Texas government and assigned each student the task of volunteering with one of the parties during the gubernatorial campaign (1978 Hill-D v. Clements-R). The students who chose the Democratic party were ignored, while those who visited the Republican offices were met with open arms.
As for that “wedge issue” under debate — it’s not just “All Politics is Local” as former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill proclaimed. Politics is now personal, at least for those of us storming the Capitol now. I hope that the Republicans who have been using women’s bodies as their battleground understand that when you pick an issue, it’s not a good idea to take on people who like to vote AND have long memories.
Andy Schmookler’s Like The Dew article last week “Manifest GOP Insincerity about Abortion” also put the issue in perspective — the needs of LIVING citizens in this world, nation and state which merit attention are being ignored by the sanctimonious bellows of those championing the rights of unformed cells.
As Texas opens another special session Monday, I fully expect the Republicans to be talking until they’re blue in the face, which unfortunately for them, will probably mirror the color of the results in the next election.
- Photo by Suz Korbel
This work by LikeTheDew.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
That my first visit to the Lincoln memorial in 48 years would bring tears was unexpected. Yet on a sunny September Sunday in 2012, at the feet of his massive marble likeness, staring solemnly upon the chiseled words of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, salty drops dot my face. There is poignancy simply in standing where I scampered a lifetime ago as an unknowing four-year-old. But, my tears this day are for something more immediate – at least for me. This moment, the text of our 16th President’s second inaugural speech, and especially his Gettysburg Address fall this day upon a heart Read on →
Only one hundred and fifty years after Appomattox, southern states are beginning to give up public displays of Confederate battle flags and other emblems of what my two grandfathers called the War for Southern Independence or the War of Northern Aggression. But what about private displays? And what about memories of private displays? Here are two memories of private displays: Growing up in Louisiana during the Second World War, I was nurtured by the rival stories of my grandfathers Smith and Riggs about their fathers' service under P. G. T. Beauregard. General Beauregard, according to many accounts, was the gallant leader who insisted Read on →
"Ol' Obama knocked it outta the park yestiddy didn't he?" "Sumbitch always does. He always does." "Big O was fuckin' magnificent in Charleston. I can't believe he actually sang 'Amazing Grace.' I think he knew Clementha Pinckney…" The conversation was on-going at a table across from where I'm taking refuge from ominous weather. As near as I can tell, their names are Stan, Roy and Tommy. All three are African-American. They are gray-beards, firmly ensconced in the demographic labeled 'active seniors.' One of them, 'Stan', wears a yellow and black baseball cap that shouts 'STEELERS'. It's mid-afternoon last Saturday in one of those places o Read on →
“In this intimate body of work, she uses mixed media, collage and painting to explore the demands of motherhood, preservation of memory, and repetitious patterns of thought and behavior.” Huh? I recently received this invitation and quickly decided it was probably something I don’t want to even be seen near, let alone attend. Perhaps my reluctance to go has something to do with the description. I just have no idea what the promoters are talking about. Besides, when you use “intimate body of work” to put a fence around “thought and behavior,” I get a bit light headed. Perhaps my reaction was just a quirk Read on →