Saturday, June 29, 2013

Right to life, Right to Kill, Right to Fair Treatment, Right to Vote - Wrong to be GOP

Barack Obama lost traditionally southern states in the 2012 election, but in both the 2008 and 2012 elections, he received far more votes, and a far greater percentage of votes cast, than any previous democratic candidate in the last 30 + years.

It is argued in political circles on both sides of the aisle that Republicans are winning the white male vote, and Democrats are winning ... well, pretty much everyone else, as the right doubles down on alienating women, the Hispanic vote, the Asian vote, and of course, the Black vote.  Add to that those who have only come of age to vote recently, or who will be voting for the first time in 2014 and 2016.

As the right continues to persist in their efforts to disenfranchise the voting bloc of the left, the results have been the opposite of their expectation and intent -- and make no mistake, this IS a calculated effort to deny people legal and legitimate participation in the electoral process.  This is a carefully calculated effort to deny people their lawful right to vote, no matter what kind of spin or lipstick they apply.

We saw in 2012 people returning to vote as many as 3 times; we saw people waiting in lines for up to 12 hours in some cases, despite the hopes of the right to discourage people from voting.  And now we are seeing the right's efforts to force their culture war on the rest of us that it is awakening a new demographic who has not previously voted in large numbers.  This is the key to turning those states blue where Obama lost, including gaining white votes from traditionally conservative women, and turning out the Hispanic vote as well, particularly Hispanic women who are disproportionately as a demographic pro-choice.

The problems with the ideology and politics of the right demonstrate this perfectly in the right wing microcosm of Texas.  In the filibuster performance of Wendy Davis, we see a tipping point in Texas politics engaging and energizing a previously apathetic and non-participating segment of the electorate that appears to be mirrored in other states.  That was further fueled by the ridiculous misstatements about embryonic and fetal in-utero masturbation claims of a state legislator who ought to know better (he's a licensed MD, specializing in OB/GYN medicine) and by another state legislator who inaccurately made the claim that there should be no exclusions to abortion for rape, because use of rape kits ARE a form of abortion, because they  'clean a woman out down there'.  Of course, neither statement is true, but the right has a long long long and inglorious history of errors and omissions and outright hatred for human sexuality and accuracy on the topic.

If liberals are going to win at all levels in 2014 and again in 2016, it will be because they further energized and expanded their base.  At the rate the right is doubling down on their badly flawed and fact-averse ideology, as they continue to wage culture war that alienates the majority of the country, there will be gains not only from minority voters, but increasingly from white suburban women.

Right wing gerrrymandering is unlikely to give the right the advantage that is did in 2010 and 2012.

When Rick Perry tells a gathering of his anti-abortion fanatics that Wendy Davis failed to learn the lessons of her own life, what most of us hear is that Wendy Davis learned from her life experiences very very well.  What most of us hear Rick Perry saying is that he and his fellow fanatics want to deny us our liberty, our constitutional freedom of choice, and to force, coerce women, to lie to women, to dictate to women the decisions he prefers and they prefer.  The right is the party that wants to criminalize women for exerting their choice, their rightful liberty, their empowerment. The right is the party that wants to marginalize women, dominate women, be sympathetic to rapists and those who otherwise violently abuse women, who discriminate against women, who pay women less, and who treat women badly as part of the labor force.

The right wing continues to be the party of stupid, the party of hypocrisy, and the party of hateful. The right wing continues to be the party that is trying to regain privileged/upper class white male dominance over everyone else.  The genuine harm that results from that does not concern them.

As I wrote yesterday (cross-posted from MN PP):

The Long and Short of Right to Life and Right to Kill

Rick Perry has been posturing about on stages in front of anti-abortion groups, and in media interviews, telling anyone who will listen that he is all about every person – and by that he presumably also means every potential person, in the vein of  the Monty Python song “Every Sperm is Sacred”.  He used the occasion to take a swipe at state Senator Wendy Davis for her effective and very popular filibuster of a right wing attempt to enact unconstitutional abortion legislation that would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks.

Ironically, in the same approximate time period, Rick Perry was touring a number of states, particularly in the north eastern United States, trying to induce businesses to move to Texas, where they have lax regulation and very little taxation, resulting in deficient social services.  Among the areas in which Texas appears to have very lax regulation is that which protects women who are pregnant while employed.   Texas makes it as easy as possible for employers to refuse to protect their workers during pregnancy, resulting in miscarriages and still births like this one in California, where a woman went into premature labor and lost her baby — at 20 weeks.  While Texas is one of the few states with specific laws to protect women during pregnancy, the enforcement of that regulation is spotty at best, and employers do not appear consistently to be well informed of legal requirements in practice.  Perry, like so many other right wingers, has been adamant about opposing any legislation or regulation that is pro-labor, which is erroneously characterized as anti-business.

Because all those unborn fetuses are SO important — unless they and their pregnant mothers are inconvenient to profits.  Business first in Texas!  Between the let-those-babies-die-to-be-business-friendly, and killing the wrongly convicted, Texas conservatives like Perry claiming to be pro-life seems terribly, horribly false, an egregious lie.  Add in the horrific racial inequalities of Texas, and it seems not only anti-life, but racistly so.

During roughly the same time frame, Texas carried out its 500th execution since 1982, a black Dallas woman, Kimberly McCarthy,  killing her by lethal injection.  Texas executes more people than any other state, even though a couple of other states have more inmates who have received the death sentence.  They’re singularly eager to execute people in Texas, as was indicated by the applause for Rick Perry during the Republican primary debates when the topic came up.  This is significant, since Texas also leads the nation in wrongful convictions; it can fairly be argued that Texas is far more eager to execute people, than to convict only guilty people, especially people of color.

While Perry is applauding every potential human life to develop to it’s full potential, he is not too concerned about that life fulfilling an unfair death potential, which seems classic right wing hypocrisy.

As the non-profit news organization noted:
A 2012 Texas Tribune poll indicated that a mere 21 per cent of Texans were opposed to the death penalty, evidence of which came during Governor Perry’s 2011 run for the presidency, when he was roundly applauded for overseeing so many executions.
I’ve never struggled [to sleep at night] at all,” he said. “In the state of Texas when you kill one of our children, you kill a police officer, you are involved in another crime that killed one of our citizens – you will face the ultimate justice in the state of Texas.”
The nationwide decline in executions is, at least in part, attributable to unearthed evidence that has exonerated wrongfully convicted Americans across the country. Earlier this year the National Registry of Exonerations revealed that Texas – and Dallas County, in particular, where McCarthy was convicted – is the national leader in exonerations. 
A probe, ordered after that study and published April 2013, revealed that at least 117 people in Texas were imprisoned over the last 25 years for crimes they did not commit.
Texas has been showcased as the number one state in the nation for wrongful convictions,” state Rep. Ruth McClendon told the Houston Chronicle. “Each conviction of an innocent person reveals a tragic failure of the justice system.”
It is rumored that Rick Perry, like Michele Bachmann in MN CD6, will NOT run again in 2014 for governor of Texas, but rather run again for President — as might Michele Bachmann.  They appeal to the same right wing nut extremists, who are tolerant of poor reasoning and factually inaccurate statements, and outright lies.

We can only hope for a repeat of the outrageous entertainment this could provide to political observers and comedians.

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