Dominating Democracy

You can find this post published at the progressive media site Raging Chicken Press. If you aren’t familiar with their work, the slogan “if you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention” should earn them a look (and a subscription).

Texas, we need to have a talk.
If this is your idea of democracy:

HouseGOPTXprotection070913
…you’re doing democracy wrong.

And this? Dragging a constituent away as she tries to hold her government accountable

….yeah, this is not what democracy looks like.

If you need protection from this crowd simply for moving a bill out of a House committee:
TXoutsidethechamberfillingup
…it’s time to rethink your agenda.

And your buddies North Carolina, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio … they have some explaining about their patronizingly patriarchal platforms to do as well.

You know, on second thought, skip the explanation. It’s not needed because public opinion opposes you. Everywhere. EVERYWHERE. In no place outside your fantasy of a martini greeting at the door with dinner on its way out of the oven and your slippers being presented to you by your obedient wife with her perfectly coiffed hair-do does legislating a woman’s bodily autonomy exist as a thing that works.

So, STOP IT. Women are having none of it. We’re screaming and people are paying attention. Very quickly the coalition broadened beyond the predictable organizations and allies. You are infringing on the human rights of your citizenry and you are trampling all over democracy to do it. You know where they especially don’t take kindly to that? Texas.

Lone Star State activists stayed late into the night at the capitol in Austin to testify against SB1 – twice! When calls went out over social media for deliveries of stackable food like pizza and basics like water, their needs were met by individuals from all over North America who sent not just donations and supplies, but thank you cards and words of encouragement from thousands of miles in every direction.

TexasSolidarity

Rick Perry’s second special legislative session is costing taxpayers $800,000+ to pass abortion restrictions that 60% of Republicans – REPUBLICANS – oppose. Who are you advocating for exactly? Who is your constituency? Not people talking to pollsters and not the folks attending events across the state:

TXrally

Rallies are being held in Ohio and North Carolina where the Moral Monday protests against the destructive GOP agenda has rolled over into the other six days of the week to stand opposed to the bending, twisting, rewriting, rule suspending back flips legislators are attempting.

North Carolina, while we’re here, let’s pause and shine a light in your direction for just a moment. You’re leading the parody parade of these once proud red states and what’s left of their crusading cohorts who appear to be shells of their former selves. Stuffing theocratic law into a bill penned to oppose theocratic law? Really? Sucking the guts out of an anti-Sharia Law bill and then cramming it full of abortion restrictions based on your misogynistic, theocratic, bullshit, patriarchical nonsense without ANY sense of IRONY is mind-blowingly asinine. Then, when the governor gives your efforts the respect they deserve by issuing a simple “Um, I’m going to veto that” statement, you whip out a motorcycle safety bill and start packing the saddlebags with over-regulated, hateful, irresponsible, hypocritical amendments until it needs the world’s strongest kick stand to remain upright.

MotorcycleVagina

YouTube spin-offs are spreading faster than your anti-choice propaganda can take hold. People who never cared about an Ohio budget before in their lives are passing this around the office:

Thirty-somethings who until recently thought the birth control issue was settled before they were born have made this brilliant and hilarious take on a civics lesson cartoon from their youth instantly viral:

And in the real world, outside the anonymity of the internet, people are in the streets of their communities not just to stand up in opposition to really bad bills, but to support physicians providing a vital service.

Recently, a counter-protest was organized last-minute to support the Illinois doctor who flies to Wichita – at great risk, significant personal expense and amidst constant harassment – to serve the patients at Dr. Tiller’s recently reopened Kansas clinic. Her supporters outnumbered the supposedly well-organized “Pro-Life” Action League followers nearly two to one. The Illinois Choice Action Team collation was all ages, backgrounds, races, histories, genders and sexual orientations – quite the contrast to the uniformity of their opposition.

ICATheroesthankyoudennis

ICATabortionproviderssavelives

Photos by ICAT intern Netiya Shiner; more available at the ICAT Counter-Protest Page

The tide is receding on the days where clinic picketers and the legislators who stood so tall on their shoulders could count on at least tacit approval and guilt-driven support.

Don’t you get it? You’ve already lost.

When 200,000 people stay up into the middle of the night on a Monday to watch a previously unknown state senator filibuster a bill via a grainy live stream feed, you’ve lost.
When joyful reproductive justice activists dance on sidewalks and accept appreciative words from passersby as they side step scowling anti-choice picketers, you’ve lost.
When you can try to sign a bill under the cover of darkness and distraction of a holiday weekend, but a lawsuit is filed before the ink is dry, you’ve lost.

Give it up. You aren’t just fighting to dominate women’s bodies anymore. You’re attempting to dominate democracy. People of all backgrounds and political positions are quickly tiring of million dollar special legislative sessions, rule suspensions, the brushing aside of economic issues, a disregard for our crumbling infrastructure and the silencing and jailing of their friends and neighbors for attempting to be heard by their government.

You work for us. This – all of this transparent, unproductive grandstanding – is not what we hired you for. Either get to work, or go home.

Up next: Americans United for Life – ALEC’s creepy, lessor-known uncle

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Categories: Finding My Voice

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2 replies

  1. Your writing gets better and better, Katie.

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