I want to take a minute to say thank you to my friends and family who are of the Republican/Conservative/religious persuasion(s) and who still find the current actions of the Texas legislature abhorrent. These are people I know and love, some of whom proudly voted for Romney in the presidential election. They've voted for Rick Perry. Some have not voted Republican across the board, but still don't find themselves in the slavering yellow dog Democrat aisle, either. We've (mostly politely) argued about a variety of political issues over the years, but we also agree on a lot of things.
These are people who are fiscally conservative, who believe in a Christian God, many of whom call themselves pro-life, and who are… socially progressive. These are self-proclaimed conservatives who are wearing orange shirts, buying Mizuno shoes, and proudly Standing With Texas Women.
The media would like you to think these people do not exist. Blogs would encourage you to think this, too. MY blog rails on and on about Texas Republicans and the Religious Right, and Republicans in general, blah blah, as if they are all part of one blob of insanity. So I thought I would take a break from that railing to say that when I go on and on about Texas Republicans I should probably do so with an asterisk. Because not every Texas Republican is an uneducated buffoon bent on evangelizing nutballery throughout the state and country. For example: some Texas Republicans understand that one can be pro-life AND pro- sex education AND pro- contraception because supporting these kinds of things is, in fact, an excellent way to reduce the amount of abortions performed in the state.
What worries me is that these moderate Republicans are losing their voices at an alarming rate. (Not just in Texas, but everywhere.) Tea Party nutballs seem to vilify moderate Republicans almost more than they vilify Democrats. They raise money and vow vengeance against any Republican anywhere who dares to compromise or use common sense when trying to debate and pass laws. So no wonder this idiotic, demeaning, illegal, and unconscionable legislation is getting a majority vote in a red state. The legislators know that they will be targeted by not just the loose cannons in Texas, but by the loose cannons running the Elephant Show for the whole country. Every now and then someone (even someone with a pretty damn conservative voting record) tries to show some sense, but it doesn't last long, and the threat of dire electoral consequences looms.
I think it's important to remind ourselves that not every Republican is festering lunatic. But I also think it's important to note that every moderate Republican in office who stands idly by while the festering lunatics bully the party… well, they count as festering lunatics until they're brave enough to stand their ground and vote against legislation they know is wrong. Of course, they'll never BE brave enough to stand their ground unless they know they have the money and the votes to beat back the festering lunatics.
It's a festering lunatic ouroboros, y'all.
And yet… if the non- Democrat, non- lunatics among us show that they have powerful numbers, then maybe, just maybe they can wrench their party back from the hands of the senseless. Is that possible? Do they have the powerful numbers? I don't know. Do they at least have the numbers and the balls to stand up to bullies and say WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH. I don't know that, either. But I can tell you that I would welcome any election between a moderate Republican and a Democrat, just because it would mean that we've banded together to eliminate the threat of more Jodie Laubenberg's getting elected. We might actually be able to have a debate that isn't full of lies and bad science. Can you imagine?
The thing is, festering lunatics are not the majority. They can't be. I refuse to believe that. I guess this is the whole point I'm trying to get across. There are a LOT of people, even in Texas, who are reasonable and smart and who predominately vote red. Now, I'm not going to go canvassing for Republican voters, but I do want to advocate for my moderate friends. It's possible they don't want me to, and that's fine. I just think it's necessary to point out that there seems to be a variety of populations of people in Texas who have a metaphorical gun to their head. And while it may sound insane to say it out loud, I think one of those groups is made up of non-lunatic Republicans. The festering lunatics have moderates in their sights. They have women in their sights. They have anyone with brown skin and/or an accent in their sights. They have poor and middle class children in their sights. HOW do they have so much power?
Yes, the Democrats are mobilizing against this out-of-control craziness. But what I also wish is that the moderate Republicans would mobilize, too. If you're torn by your fiscal vs. social beliefs, don't close your eyes and hold your nose and give someone like Greg Abbott your vote. Please don't. Fight the good fight and work towards getting someone more reasonable on your side. If that's impossible, think about voting blue. We are clearly not the enemy. Not in Texas. Not with people like Jodie Laubenberg on the loose and getting elected UNOPPOSED.
Now let's all put on our Mizunos and stand with Texas women. Red or Blue, you have a mama or a daughter or a sister or a grandmother. And this current legislation is about so much more than just abortions and whether or not fetuses have ten fingers and ten toes. It's about dismantling civil rights. It's about some kind of mystifying vengeance against already disadvantaged women. It's about increasing the birth rate and decreasing the health care and safety of women and babies. It's about turning back the clock on women's rights. It's about the government telling people what to do with their own bodies. Don't be fooled by rhetoric and twisted words. There is nothing about this legislation that protects women. Nothing.
For anyone with a modicum of sense, we know this cannot stand. So when Greg Abbott announces his intent to run for governor I want my fiscally conservative friends to think about what their next steps are. When people like Ms. Laubenberg run for re-election, let's not have them running unopposed. No more hiding in the shadows.
Texas Democrats and moderate Republicans don't agree on everything, and I don't want us to. But I do think we agree that this state is out of control right now. And I think we agree that this cannot stand. We can work together to make sure the festering lunatics are booted out come primary time.
And then after that? Well. May the best woman win.