HomeHumorHow The War On Women Could Backfire And Turn Texas Blue!

How The War On Women Could Backfire And Turn Texas Blue!

I’m starting to get the feeling that Republicans don’t actually believe women exist, or that they can’t remember that the 19th Amendment was adopted in 1920. That’s the only reason I can think of for their repeated attempts to subjugate women and strip them of all control of their reproductive rights. It’s not like the GOP’s assault on abortion rights is anything new. The narrative was quite strong during last year’s elections and led to the coining of a new, if not somewhat controversial bit of rhetoric from the left — The War on Women. Maybe that phrase is a bit on the hyperbolic side, but it’s hard to argue with it when you look at the sheer number of anti-abortion bills — bills that ignore the rule of law and settled Constitutional precedent — that have sprung up in the states and even in our own House of Representatives.

Clearly the messages of 2012 have not been received. Republicans still don’t get it; women can and do vote, especially when they feel rights they’ve grown up enjoying are being threatened. Republicans in Texas clearly haven’t gotten that memo either, as they’re trying to rush insanely repressive and regressive legislation that would close down most of the state’s forty-two abortion clinics. I myself find it a bit absurd that in a state as massive as Texas (I’ve been through many times) there are only 42 clinics, but the bill being rushed through the legislature down in the Lone Star State would all but eliminate women’s access to abortion services in the state. Governor Rick “Drunk on Moonshine, High on Jesus and Guns” Perry has already committed to signing the bill once it gets to his desk, which it is expected to sometime this week.

Something awesome has also been happening in Texas though. Texans have been resisting the hard-right push by the state legislature and even formed a citizens’ filibuster to stall a committee vote on the bill, and they succeeded. They forced the committee to call the vote off after staging an hours-long civil protest, filing in and taking up their allotted three minutes of time until the wee hours of the morning. Texan Republicans are on notice — the voters in their state that don’t rest all their opinion on right-wing extremist demagoguery of any woman who chooses to do with her sexuality and reproductive organs what she chooses — are paying attention.

Texas is an interesting study in American politics. While there is no doubt that the state leans very conservatively on a whole host of issues, there is a large and growing Latino/Hispanic population that will already drive the voting registration a bit to the center; possibly one day soon turning the big red state purple. There’s more color change coming for Texas if this bill does in fact get signed into law. It’s obvious that quite a large number of Texans do not support these arcane attempts to repress women, and they are politically activated. It takes a boat load of emotional investment for Americans these days to leave the comfort of their “Real Housewives of Boise” and their climate-controlled homes to go and protest anything of a political nature, and that’s exactly what happened last week at the committee meeting.

The right has been steadily ramping up their aggression towards abortion rights sine the Religious Right began increasing their influence on the party. The desperation though is growing apparent and much more embarrassing for them. They have to resort to holding midnight legislative sessions to avoid the glare of media and the shouts of protesters. Or at least they thought they’d be avoiding the protesters. The concerned citizens of Texans who don’t believe in the government telling a rape victim they have to have their rapist’s baby still showed up en masse at the midnight session held last night. The people are indeed paying attention.

How far can Republicans in red states push it? How far to the right can state legislators drag their state’s abortion laws before the moderates and liberals in those states strike back? Texas is going to be a state to watch very carefully in the next few months and years. The demographics will force a shift in the politics, but so will any and all attempts to rush controversial legislation through to the governor’s desk without having a full and complete, public debate. Republicans likely underestimate just how many younger women, women born after Roe V. Wade was handed down, who just assume (and rightfully so) that they will enjoy those same freedoms in their lifetimes as well. God help any lawmaker who tells a modern woman, a millennial, they can’t do with their bodies what they want. There will either be a mass exodus from states that continue to push their laws to the rightward fringe, or more likely the case, the people in these states will decide enough is enough and what was once red will become a shiny new blue spot on the map.

About James Schlarmann

James is in his thirties and gets really passionately angry about politics. Sometimes that anger foments into diatribes, and sometimes those diatribes are comical. Other times, they are not. For more of James's work check out his blog, ThePoliticalGarbageChute.com.
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  • http://smokeygranny.wordpress.com smokeygranny

    A number of years back the women of Texas ‘rebelled’ and wiped out a Republican candidate for governor who was leading in the polls, against Miss Ann (Ann Richards). Clayton Williams stood up with his dear little wifey (yes, I am being snarky), and announced to the people of Texas “There is no such thing as rape, ladies. Just lay back and enjoy it”.. I was teaching high school government and history. My students were not pleased, I was livid, and the boys though it was funny. His next remarks a short while later capped the cookie so to speak. Turns out he had been paying and helping the high school and college football teams he was fond of go to ‘Boys Town’ which was Nuevo Laredo, “because boys will be boys and they need their ashes hauled”. He was wiped out in the race… We had some serious issues with a lot of the boys who took him at his word, and so I taught the girls how to inflict bodily harm on the boys if they tried anything..and I made sure the boys HEARD me describe how to inflict the harm..

  • John

    It was made clear a few month ago, white people are having fewer babies. These laws are being made to curb that. Meanwhile they are building more prisons and a wider fence to keep blacks and latinos from being the dominant races in the country.

  • Cindy

    If we let them continue, it is going to get worse – they will remove the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote!

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  • Mando

    You would think… that would make women vote their interest, but we shall see during our next election.

  • http://AmericansAgainsttheTeaParty Jean

    Ann Richards was an AMAZING Democratic governor. It’s been downhill since Bush and the boys.

    • AATTP

      Absolutely right! Love Ann Richards!

    • Bob Cull

      Ann was not only bright she was also witty and funny as well. I’ll never forget her brilliant jab at Bush the senior, “Poor George, he can’t help it, he was born with a silver foot in his mouth.” It’s still funny after all these years!

  • MOM

    While I totally appreciate the intent of this article, I would like to point out one thing: Although the 19th amendment did give women the right to vote, it did NOT give women equality in the constitution. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) which would give women the same rights that men enjoy under the constitution has yet to be ratified and therefore, is still not the law. The states that STILL refuse to ratify the ERA are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.

    Surprised? You’re not alone. (But please, DO look it up and see for yourself.)

    • http://www.stopthereligiousright.org James Veverka

      Doesn’t the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause really make women equal to men? Gays to straights? Blacks to whites? Its not the law that is f**ked up, its traditional views. Hmm?

      • MOM

        I wish the 14th amendment took care of this, but the fact is, the 14th was instituted in 1868 – before women had any rights. (The Constitution was really written to protect the rights of men. White men. White men who owned property. Property such as people. And men who controlled women in general.) Read the 14th amendment, section 2, where it speaks specifically of “male citizens”. When the constitution was written, “all persons” did not really mean ALL persons and was clearly defined.

        In 1920, (fifty two years after the 14th amendment) the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote was ratified. (This was a year after the right to vote was given to men of any race.) Since then, women have been petitioning to have women included in the constitution by adding the equal rights amendment, but as I stated before, those states listed above refuse to ratify the amendment.

        The way things are going in politics these days, as a woman, I would really like to see my rights fully and without doubt, guaranteed by the constitution.

        Why not?

        • http://www.facebook.com/mark.gruben Mark Gruben

          At school, I often illustrate the point that the 14th Amendment does not really provide equal rights to women. There’s a later amendment giving blacks and other non-whites the right to vote…..and, still later, another that gave women the right to vote. If women were meant to be included in the 14th Amendment, there would be no reason for the 19th! Therefore, women aren’t fully guaranteed equal rights, and so a national ERA is sorely needed, maybe nor more than ever before!

          • MOM

            Thank you, Mark! Keep teaching!

          • http://www.stopthereligiousright.org James Veverka

            Okay, I didnt really consider original intent enough. But wasnt Lawrence V Texas decided mostly upon the 14th? I am sure that the 1868 law was not intended to equally protect consensual sex among adults.

      • MOM

        James, I don’t know, it’s not easy to interpret, and I’m not a lawyer. However, it seems to me that Lawrence V Texas plaintiffs were men, thereby the courts could use the 14th in their decision. The question is, would it have been the same outcome if they had been women?

        The ways things are going, I can foresee this being used against women, in the future, if we don’t get equality in the constitution.

        The scary part is that MOST people are totally unaware that the ERA was never ratified. Women (and men) are going around presuming we are constitutionally equal. I think this could be a huge problem later (in the wrong hands) if not addressed, and corrected soon.

  • RichardR

    So if more democrats turn Texas purple, and more Hispanics turn it brown, then what would that make the state. Like…dark mauve? Looks like Texas might be going gay by default…

  • http://www.facebook.com/russell.kurson Russell D. Kurson

    I have to continue to raise questions like : Are these Republican men introducing ant-choice / anti-women bills because they:

    1) Hate women and are trying to silence them via stripping their reproductive rights?
    2) Are trying to ‘kill time’, to earn a paycheck, because they can’t think of anything productive to do for the American people?
    3) Or because they are trying to make names for themselves as right-wing extremists for the next election ? Because look how it helped Akin, Romney, Ryan…..in 2012.) I might add that alienating women and the Latino community will surely turn Texas into a blue state by 2016. Basically, Republicans are on the wrong side of every social issue.

  • Bob Cull

    I have said it before and I continue to believe it because they show more proof of it almost daily, Teapubs truly see ignorance as a virtue! It is completely beyond their comprehension that someone may turn against them even when they pass legislation targeting them.

    I think they would walk right up to a rabid dog with the absolute certainty that with God on their side the dog will not bite them. They are so convinced that they have the only right answers that it just has to turn out the way they want it to.

    • Quint Jenkins

      Bob Cull, I have seen your comments here and there for awhile now and must give you credit for your responses and insight

      • Bob Cull

        Thank you, Quint.

  • http://gravatar.com/whitakerfrevert Edward Frevert

    Feminism has failed. All these teapubs in the House and many state governments did not get in by male votes alone. Many women voted for them. Even today candidates run neck and neck in many upcoming elections — obvious that women support these criminal right-wingers. Where is the feminism of years ago, of bra-burning and extreme reverse discrimination against men (I didn’t condone these things, but they were effective). Time for all women to get out and march, fill the media, and shout down the tea-bag morons. Tell the old man to sleep on the couch — that’ll get their attention. Today’s young women are too complacent, and they will regret it.

  • Suzy

    I can only hope Texas will turn blue but they’ve had so many decades of putting up with STUPID that ,in my opinion, they’ve lost the ability to think!

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