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Vasaris, the Fuzzy Dragon
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March 2014
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Vasaris, the Fuzzy Dragon [userpic]
Really, Rick Perry? Really?

This has been a remarkable week for feminine badassery -- whether one agrees with Texas State Senator Wendy Davis or not, it seems to me that one has to be impressed by any person who can talk for 11.5 hours and stay on topic (because the times they said she wasn't on topic -- it's only off topic if you're an ingorant twit), do so without water, food, or a bathroom break, and still look like they're willing (and able) to take on the world. Texas State Senator Leticia Van de Putte's pointed -- and timely -- comment still makes me smile. And Rep. Duckworth? She is a warrior goddess whose disguise as a double leg amputee does not work very well. I will never believe she is anything other than Adrasteia incarnate.

I have to admit, it takes a bit of of a song and dance routine to follow up the -- literally -- overnight sensation caused by Wendy Davis' filibuster and it's immediate fallout. Even when you've got a decent notion that your next special session will pass the bill that was killed, even when you think that the celebrating Liberals are obnoxious, wrongheaded fools, even when you think it's darned well unfair -- negotiating one's way around a sudden swell of an opponent's popularity, opposing activism, and a brightened national (even global) spotlight can prove a challenge.

It's a pity that Texas Governor Rick Perry doesn't seem to be able to meet it.

Personally, I can understand the vows to hold a new special session and get SB5 passed. I may not like it, I may be offended that the bill exists, I may be frustrated that anyone, anywhere, thinks that their religious views belong anywhere in making legislation for people who may or may not share them -- but I can understand that he and his political party are committed to their opposition of reproductive rights and as such will do whatever they believe is necessary to force their vision through.

That's his right and, indeed, his job as an elected officials of their constituency. He was elected to do what he thinks best -- and just because I think it's ridiculous doesn't mean that he didn't get a majority vote in his state.

Thus and so. Gov. Perry declares there will be an emergency session to get the bill passed. Does he surround this declaration with his belief that it's necessary, that it's somehow, magically about women's health and saftey?

No. Well, yes, but in the end, it's about making pro-Choice lobbies scream, increasing the difficulties abortion clinics face, and gosh, gee isn't it a pity that "the woman" who filibustered the Texas senate didn't learn from her own example?

PERRY: In fact, even the woman who filibustered the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances. She was the daughter of a single woman, she was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas senate. It is just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.

Seriously, Rick? Seriously?

There are so many things wrong with this statement that it's actually difficult to decide where to start.

1. Senator Wendy Davis has a name. Barring that, you might have referred to her by her title. The fact that you couldn't even grant Sen. Davis an identity beyond the fact she filibustered shows an egregious lack of respect, both for Sen. Davis herself and women in general. You've reduced a vibrant, passionate, brilliant opponent into a gender, a stereotype, a grudging education, and a job -- and said it as though those things are somehow demeaning. She's a woman, has been a single parent, has the will and smarts to get an education denied to -- oh -- almost everyone in the country, and has chosen to serve her people rather than take up corporate and tax law in order to screw them (and get rich doing it).

2. What exactly are you trying to say? No, really -- what is the point of bringing up Sen. Davis' life history? That if she'd been aborted she wouldn't have managed the things she has? That she did what she did without having abortions herself (which, by the way, you wouldn't actually know one way or the other)?

3. How ironic it is that you say that Sen. Davis doesn't recognize that every life must be given a chance to realize it's full potential and that every life matters when you are in the process of dismissing the relevance of the lives and potential of women who find themselves pregnant. While I'm not here to discuss the ethics of abortion, it's impossible to miss how much more important the unborn are to you than the women that carry them.

Of course this comment incited all kinds of backlash, even from his own party. Joe Straus, the House Speaker for the Texas legislature stated “Disagreements over policy are important and they’re healthy, but when he [Perry] crosses the line into the personal, then he damages himself and he damages the Republican Party.”

But the real cake stealer, IMO, is Gov. Perry's attempt to defend his comment:

Gov. Rick Perry on Friday morning defended his comments about state Sen. Wendy Davis, saying he was "sad that she does not understand that every life is precious, certainly her own."

Appearing on the Laura Ingraham Show, Perry stressed that he had said he "was proud of what Wendy had accomplished," but asked rhetorically, "How many young men and women across this country didn't get to accomplish what Wendy Davis just accomplished because they weren't born?"

Again, really?

1. Gov. Perry, congrats on correctly identifying the woman who filibustered the Texas Senate. You get minus about a million points for "being proud of what she accomplished." I'm not entirely certain you could have been more, well, patriarchal and condescending if you'd been trying (and I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt, here.) You're not Sen. Davis' father, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, friend, or even party member. You have no reason for "pride." No reason to act like like she's a pet that learned a new trick. There are a lot of words you could have used: amazed, impressed, even inspired (as she has, no doubt, inspired the GOP in Texas to look after it's tailfeathers, at least for the moment).

2. Honestly, Gov. Perry, I'm not even going to touch the fact that apparently Sen. Davis doesn't consider her own life precious. I'm not certain where you were going with that thought, and I don't really want to know.

3. "How many young men and women across this country didn't get to accomplish what Wendy Davis just accomplished because they weren't born?"
This? This is the wrong question, Gov. Perry. The right question is: How many men and women in this nation and around the world have not accomplished the wonders that Wendy Davis has achieved because they lacked the support to do so? How many brilliant, capable men and women, of any age, race, sexual orientation, parental status, creed, or calling have watched their dreams die, stillborn, because they lacked food, shelter, education, and healthcare? How many people have had the drive, skill, and instincts for greatness, only to run into unemployment, bigotry, illness, injury, or natural disaster? How many people are sold the tale of "anyone can make it if they try hard enough" even though there isn't room in the US for 300 million CEOs, lawyers, doctors, scientists, and superstars? How many try until they break? Given that the GOP has repatedly proven that they are not interested in helping anyone rise from the bottom to the top, your question is meaningless -- because those hypothetical children that you hold so dear would no more be given the chance to accomplish what Wendy Davis has accomplished were they living, breathing people than they are as theoretical beings.

Understand this: Sen. Wendy Davis is a lot of things -- but none, absolutely none of them is average. She is awe inspiring, brilliant, and determined. She is strong, powerful, and fearsome. She is everything the GOP is terrified: an articulate, intelligent, charismatic woman who rose through social strata like a rocket. She's committed, concerned, and capable. And she's unlikely to about-face and allow herself to be used to strip women of reproductive, civil, and human rights.

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