As I was reading Texpatriate’s post on the Senate’s passage of HB 2, the omnibus abortion bill, Where do we go from here? What came to mind that was a take on the saying, “Living well is the best revenge”, that electing Democrats is the best revenge.
2. The Ballot Box
Since the first filibuster, I have seen a lot of my contemporaries, who couldn’t have cared less about politics just a few weeks ago, become involved and outspoken on the process. If this motivation and anger will translate to mobilized and dedicated voters on this issue, it will be a wonder for the Democratic Party. That is still an open-ended question at this point, however.
2014 will see all Statewide positions, roughly half of the State Senate and all 150 State Representatives seek re-election. If the Democrats do their jobs (a big if), we could have a meaningful impact.
3. Activist Lane
Remember, don’t get mad, get even. Or at least get involved. This whole controversy has propelled Wendy Davis into the national spotlight. As I have been arguing somewhat perpetually now since the filibuster, she truly needs to run for Governor, regardless of her feasibility as a winning candidate. Be the Democrats’ Barry Goldwater.
Find people riled up by this, and register them to vote. Get people involved with the local Democratic Party. And, my gosh, find some candidates for Statewide office next year. Wendy Davis is obvious, but there are so many others. Rodney Ellis, Jose Rodriguez, Leticia Van de Putte and Judith Zaffrini are among the talented Democratic Senators who are not up for re-election next year. Cecile Richards is a great possible candidate as well.
There was a huge rally at the end of the evening tonight, where Cecile Richards and Jessica Farrar led thousands of protesters from the Capitol down Congress Street. Stuff like that needs to continue happening.
So, I guess Wendy Davis really was prophetic when she said this is only the beginning, and not the end. Don’t pout, don’t cry, don’t complain. What we need to do right now is to get to work. I will part with a line from an old Bob Dylan song that I find quite fitting for this evening.
“The loser now will be later to win, oh the times they are a-changin’”
No one should be under the illusion any longer that the Texas GOP will not implement it’s radical campaign rhetoric if given the chance. Or the illusion that this will just change some day in the future because of demographics. It will take sustained hard work over the course of years and there will be setbacks. Even once power is taken back it will take time. As this Ross Ramsey article shows, A Weak Governor System, With a Strong Governor, (via Kuff, Rick Perry will be with us for a long time).
It’s not the system that makes the governor strong or weak necessarily. It has to do with the person, and much more important, the length of time that person is in office. Becaue until the 1970′s the governor was only a two year term. And no one has ever been the Governor of Texas as long as Perry. Here’s what EOW wrote back in 2010 about Perry, We must end Perry’s unprecedented time as governor – he’s been in office too long.
Because of the staggered terms of boards and commissions it can take years for a governor to get their people in place and get control the bureaucracy. And Perry’s time in office is unprecedented. At the end of his current term Perry will have done something no Texas governor has ever done, serve two consecutive four year terms. He will have been in office a total of 10 consecutive years, which has allowed him to “burrow-in”, or imbed, his people into the bowles of state government as no other governor before.
That means it’s possible that there will still be Perry imbeds in office until 2020. And if Perry clone Gregg Abbott is elected the same kind of cronies will be there even longer.
That’s why it’s imperative the current momentum is used to create a movement for governmental change in Texas. While women’s rights and health issue are important, more issues must be included. Inequality, equal pay, equal rights, health care, education, etc.., must be included to make sure the movement can grow and endure.
Stand With Texas Women: In Houston, a Rally Inspires and Energizes
When tampons are outlawed, only outlaws will have tampons
The battlefield shifts now
Texas’ New Abortion Bill Will Go to Court and Texas Women May WinAbortion Rights Are at a Crossroads: This Is NOT a Time to Lay Low – It Is Time for Massive Uncompromising Struggle!