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Texas Gov. Rick Perry points at himself.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry
The fight over Texas' sweeping anti-abortion bill is about women's lives, obviously. But it's also about the political futures of the parties and politicians seeking either to close clinics and sharply limit abortions or to keep decisions about this legal medical procedure in the hands of women and their doctors. For several of the Republicans pushing this bill in a state that has already passed a lot of restrictions on women's access to abortion, it's about appealing to Texas Republican primary voters by showing that they are the most extreme.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, for instance, faces the threat of a primary from the right as he runs for reelection, and:

"Not only does he have to pass the anti-abortion legislation, but he has to do so in an efficient and a timely manner," said Mark Jones, chairman of the political science department at Rice University. "If, by some stretch of the imagination, this legislation did not pass, Dewhurst should not even bother to run for re-election."
Expect to see him trying to rush this thing through, so that that, and not his failure to shut Wendy Davis up, is what primary voters remember. For Gov. Rick Perry, meanwhile, being the macho man condescending to and dominating women in a fight on his home turf may be just the thing to revive his national image—among Republican primary voters, and them alone—and dim memories of his "oops" of a 2012 presidential campaign.

Democrats have several tasks. If possible, they want once again to delay until the special session is over. That's probably not possible, though, given that Republicans are more united around the bill and are leading the special session with it. Failing that, Democrats can use the debate over the bill to lay the groundwork for a court challenge. Democrats are also, of course, using this fight to try to push Texas purple a little bit earlier, mobilizing women voters and Latino voters to vote, and vote Democratic, thanks to heavyhanded Republican tactics here and opposition to immigration reform and so many other things that have not been endearing Republicans to voters other than white men.

For now, though, the question is how heavyhanded will Republicans be. Will David Dewhurst be pushed by that feared primary challenge to run over Democratic attempts to delay—and, in running over them, will he help build the case against the bill in court? Will Rick Perry continue to offend by mansplaining Wendy Davis's life to her? And by doing so, will he help motivate her into challenging him in 2014?

What's certain is that Democrats, and a host of activists and advocacy organizations, are ready for the fight. And let's take that fight right to Rick Perry: by drafting Wendy Davis to run for governor.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by Sluts, Pro Choice, Abortion, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Welcome to the U.S., where the 15% craziest (24+ / 0-)

    Portion of the population effectively control the entire government.

    Idiocracy in action.

    "Use the Force, Harry!" - Gandalf

    by Fordmandalay on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:11:32 AM PDT

  •  Shining a light on Good Ole Texas.....maybe Reince (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vatexia, a2nite, Aunt Pat, mungley, JBL55, eps62

    Priebus will step in and lend a hand......Not.

  •  Another example (11+ / 0-)

    of how the Republican leadership's embrace of gerrymandering is turning out to be a pact with the devil.  By making districts safe, they turn the primary into the main event of the electoral cycle, which means the extremists run the show.  As this trend has taken hold, the propaganda machine has reinforced it, so now we have the rabble in Tennessee complaining that Bob Corker isn't "conservative" enough.  Of course, Sen. Corker is plenty conservative.  The people complaining about him from the right aren't conservative; they're extremists.

    The action in Texas should remind us that this isn't just a political game, though -- it can have devastating effects on real people's lives.

  •  Fighting to lead an ever-dwindling constituency (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBL55, eps62, dewtx

    Keep at it Texas, GOP.

    You can all be leaders of the state party.

    Oh wait. That would make you communists.  Just keep fighting amongst yourselves then.

    I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong. Seldom turns out the way it does in this song.

    by mungley on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:46:20 AM PDT

  •  The "Three things"should be used all the time... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBL55, eps62, dewtx, DarkHawk98

    when talking about Perry. As in there are three things Perry is trying to do with this special session: eliminate abortion in Texas, stop Wendy Davis's political ambition and ummmm...... ummmmm...... something else.

    Hang him with his own spectacular, nationwide blunder.  If we use it right, we make him look like the fool he is.

    Holy Cow!!! 06/18/2013 and I've got my mojo back!!!! A new signature will be written shortly.

    by Josiah Bartlett on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:48:37 AM PDT

  •  Too hot in Texas this time of year. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texas Lefty, JBL55, fabucat

    Probably a good month for Texas Democrats to leave the Austin for the cool mountains of southern New Mexico.

    Whats a quorum in the Texas house?

    Notice: This Comment © 2013 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:50:32 AM PDT

  •  Republicans won't be happy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBL55, eps62

    Until women are once again forced to abort with coat hangers.
    It's unconscionable that a minority is allowed to wreak such damage. The silent majority needs to get off their collective ass.

  •  Highly likely GOP Caucus/Primary participants... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBL55, fabucat, eps62, JGibson, Odysseus

    ...are remarkably uniform in their priorities and beliefs. Which means that every election or issue - no matter how local - gets "Nationalized" in their thinking.

    One of my co-workers is a TEActivist and it took me a while to "get it" that she views anything counter to TEA Doctrine as "a decree from Comrade Obama."

    New bike racks downtown. Our GOP Governor attempting to  institute universal pre-K. Proposals to address crumbling roads. All orders from the Great Kenyan Satan.

    She does appear somewhat less hostile to the prospect of HRC as POTUS, but I think the TEA Doctrine simply hasn't hit her access of info portals to the appropriate level...yet.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:58:42 AM PDT

  •  Priorities (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBL55, eps62

    As usual GOPers have lowered the bar below human.  Their reelection is more important than women's lives.  They will do anything to rouse the base, even let innocent people die.  Such is the political discourse.  Of course running on killing is par in TX. 500 executions, deadly gun accidents frequent, and now kill the victim.
    Shameless, and actually irreligious despite their hand-waving.

  •  Republicans don't govern, they rule. (10+ / 0-)

    For them it is about power and winning period. As evidenced anytime the Republican party has full control over a government they are not constrained by public opinion, rules, or laws.

    In Texas, the Republican party is dominated by Christian fundamentalists committed to using the force of government to compel the population to follow their fundamentalist views.

    It is not about what is constitutional and legal. It is not about women's health. It is about using government to impose their fundamentalist views of man's dominion over women with the force of the state available to enforce it. They are zealots. They are America's theocracy, our Taliban. What they fail to achieve from the pulpit they will enforce with punishment and jail.

  •  I understood Texas a lot better when I accepted (9+ / 0-)

    that only Christians can be victims.  

    Everybody else deserves everything we can dish out.

    It's a savage and sadistic world-view that calls itself "loving."

    "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

    by Rikon Snow on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:02:10 AM PDT

  •  I don't recall volunteering my uterus (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBL55, fabucat, Matt Z, Odysseus

    for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst re-election campaign.

    Surely there is a good meme to be developed about the invasion of the Republican body snatchers?

    p.s. I'm really happy with the tone shift on these articles lately. We have moved from standing on the outside watching to talk about how to take action. This is progress in the right direction.

  •  In all the thousands, (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExpatGirl, JBL55, Mr MadAsHell, eps62, Odysseus

    millions of words being written and said and printed about the efforts of old white men with briefcases to control the bodies and therefore lives of women, there is one fact that was true in the 1970s and is true today:

    If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

    There is no question that there is an unseen world. The problem is, how far is it from Midtown and how late is it open? -- Woody Allen

    by Mnemosyne on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:06:38 AM PDT

  •  Oh, Perry will revive his image, all right. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExpatGirl, fabucat, Danali
    For Gov. Rick Perry, meanwhile, being the macho man condescending to and dominating women in a fight on his home turf may be just the thing to revive his national image—among Republican primary voters, and them alone—and dim memories of his "oops" of a 2012 presidential campaign.
    And he reminds everyone else that he puts the "flaming" in "asshole."
  •  Radical Republicans Ethnic Cleansing Strategy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBL55

    I'm starting to see comments in local papers saying "Well if you don't like it, leave."

    And I think that might be a common theme in these states - reduce people to economic refugees and shove them out of the state.  No  medical care, no education, no unemployment assistance will intensify economic downturns. Turn people out on the road, Grapes Of Wrath style.

    In addition to this general attack on anyone down on their luck, there is a sharp attack on the urban centers, turning the cities into a sort of Warsaw Ghetto.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:14:34 AM PDT

  •  All of the above and more: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBL55, eps62, Matt Z, Odysseus

    It would be very risky to challenge these insane laws at this time.

    I really think the GOP wants that to happen, 'cause whatever abortion case lands at the Roberts court, well, guess what?

    I'll even double down on that and say that the Roberts court would love to strike down R.V.W.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:16:23 AM PDT

  •  Psychoids--Listening to their echo chamber (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBL55, eps62, Odysseus

    The Texas Republicans are VASTLY overestimating the priority that the average voter gives abortion. Yes, there are ~ 20 percent that consider this the only issue. They will vote Republican anyway. If Wendy pushes privacy and a sort of social libertarian platform, she grabs the ten percent of Texans she needs to win.

    (Of course, I'm assuming we get the Hispanics with the proper documentation and a will to vote in the next election.)

    The Texas GOP also doesn't realize the vast drop in support for the bishops. And it is going to get worse. Read a parallel thread: Vatican money guys falling like flies.

    In the next year the ability of the Bishops to blackmail Catholics is going to drop, the number of Hispanics born here is going to rise.

  •  Wendy is an old ANTIt tactic & (0+ / 0-)

    it won't work on national voters. The only people this kind of rhetoric appeals to is the so-called lifers (ANTIs) who live very conservative states but it won't fly nationwide. This appeals only to those voters who just can not mind their own business and have anointed themselves saviors of every fetus.

    ANTIS still miss the basic concept of women having the right to make personal reproductive health decisions.

    Perry has already proven he does not want a rational conversation on this issue by denying the hundreds of letters and testimony from medical professional who oppose in the TX TC ANTI abortion bill.

  •  any Austinites here (0+ / 0-)

    I just got this tweet:

    The Unruly Mob ‏@UnrulyMobTX 2m "@findingtheramp: E2.030 hearing hallway is absolutely crawling with prolifers. Get thee down here in thy orange shirt ASAP. #swtw "
  •  reporductive choice orgs will not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr MadAsHell

    challenge state Anti abortion rulings at the SC until we have a  balanced court that will support Rove V. Wade.

    We need to take back the House, keep the Senate in 2014 & win the presidency with a pro-choice candidate in 2016. Obama fired up the pro-choice women voters in 2012 with his storing stand on contraception and reproductive rights. Women I know we very excited about the presence of this issue  out front at the 2012 Democrat's convention.

  •  regardless of the outcome of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    any gubernatorial election between Wendy Davis and Rick Perry (or whatever woman-hating white guy the Republicans choose to nominate), having Wendy run for governor would achieve one major thing, if nothing else:

    She can represent all women in the country when, during a debate, she can tell the man trying to denying them their rights over their body that, just like them, she doesn't necessarily like the idea of abortions either and would prefer that women never have to even consider the possibility of having one, but that trying to drag this country back to the days when scared young girls found themselves at the mercy of back alley abortionists is  not in the best interest of women or men.

    An election featuring her and Rick Perry would give a stark contrast in choices for the people of her state. And, for that reason alone, she would be a terrific standard bearer for the Democratic Party. And, hopefully, she can inject a lot of enthusiasm among key Democratic constituency groups who have given up on even bothering to vote in Texas.

  •  The new... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    PPP poll has Wendy Davis losing to Rick Perry by 14, and even if only Texas women voted, she'd still lose to him by 6.

    I'd love to see her elected, but I don't see Texas being close to there yet, if she loses even with an all female electorate.

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 08:47:58 AM PDT

  •  The Supreme Court has to be part of ALEC's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eps62

    calculation. How can they order that all their State Legislatures pass the extreme anti-abortion bills and not expect a court case. They want people fighting each other to rile up the base. Gay marriage can probably no longer be used for manipulation purposes and the gun issue is not as divisive as it was. Abortion is about the only deeply personal, always divisive issue left to exploit. Of course they can't talk about the real, non-offending and universal issues like climate change because then they lose on facts.

  •  Rick Perry should make a second run for President. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    I'd give my favorite guitar away just to see him say "Oops" on stage again.

  •  we are in serious trouble in this country (0+ / 0-)

    People it's no longer red states that are passing this barbaric stuff.  It's states like Ohio as well.  How much more of this crap are we going to take?

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 10:01:01 AM PDT

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