By ‘small’ government, we mean ‘ruthless and petty’
The “people’s filibuster” that has — at least temporarily — blocked Texas Republicans from closing nearly every women’s health clinic in the state has crucial connection to another big story from Tuesday.
State Senator Wendy Davis, the woman who spoke for more than ten hours to block the bill from passing before the end of the special session, is in office today because of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), which has been gutted by Chief Justice John Roberts and the other members of the Supreme Court.
When Republicans tried to chop up Davis’s Fort Worth area district, she challenged the redistricting under Section 5 of the VRA, which is now useless until Congress restores Section 4.
And Davis’s awesome display that inspired thousands is exactly why Republicans have been aching to get rid of the VRA since it was first passed in 1965. But it took nearly 50 years for the Supreme Court to become as partisan as the modern GOP.
Republicans who attack women’s right to choose do so pushing an unforgivable lie: Woman want to have abortions.
The recent attempt to ban abortions after the 20th week would not affect 98% of the women who choose to end pregnancies in America. Instead it would punish those women whose pregnancies are the most traumatic or dangerous or medically futile, meaning the fetus has no chance of survival. If a woman is choosing to end a pregnancy after the 20th week, she almost certainly has no other option. Women need access to abortion, which is why abortion rates are higher in countries where the procedure is illegal.
Of course, the way to make pregnancies after the 20th week more inevitable is to do what Texas’ Republicans are doing now: closing women’s health clinics, making seeking an abortion a horrific process that involves mandatory ultrasounds and vilifying women who seek to end pregnancies.
Republicans who seek to attack the right to vote also do so pushing an unforgivable lie: Voter fraud is a problem.
The Bush Administration — THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION — studied so-called voter fraud for years and found no evidence that it is a problem. (What’s actually a problem are lines for voting, which likely cost John Kerry the 2004 election.)
Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act put the burden on the state and local governments to prove there was a justification for their attempts to fight non-existent fraud. That burden is now on the voters. In South Carolina, an estimated 180,000 voters will have trouble getting the identification that will be required to vote. But Republicans have no trouble forcing this requirement on their constituents because they think it will only affect those who will vote against them.
Republicans love big government when they can use it to limit options of women and voters they do not trust. And they should be honest about this.