Here’s the thing, regardless of your stance on abortion*, we were all losers last night. It’s not because of some high and mighty reason. I’m not going to sit here and lecture you on the repercussions of this bill.
The reason we all lost last night is this–the State Legislature took a good portion of its time–time we pay for with money we are very short on–to legislate about something that isn’t even settled yet. (In this case, we don’t know what the exchanges are going to look like and we don’t know how broadly the language of the bill might be interpreted and whether that breadth might put us in violation of Griswold. Which is fine. As they say, that’s for the courts to decide. Of course, we pay for the courts to decide this.)
If you can overlook the emotional stakes (and, believe me, your legislators are really, really hoping that you can’t), they are legislating in order to reform something that doesn’t yet exist.
When the chips were down–and the chips are down, folks–in a bipartisan effort, your state legislators turned from your real problems to passionately embrace voting on some made up problem.
This means something very, very sad and scary for the state of Tennessee:
They don’t know what the fuck to do to help us.
I repeat, they don’t know what the fuck to do to help us.
And so, they are going to do nothing. Instead of trying to figure out what would bring jobs to Tennessee and what would make us an irresistible workforce, instead of passing the budget, they’ve turned their attention to theater–to making dramatic votes on made up crap in order to have stuff to put in their re-election materials.
Everyone who voted ‘yes’ on this has told you in as plain a language as our state legislature can give you that they have given up on trying to help us get back to work and have moved on to the important task of trying to help themselves get reelected.
That should put a chill in the bones of everyone in the state, regardless of your political persuasion.
*Here’s something fun to consider, when you’re feeling cynical. With the amount of money that anti-abortion groups in this state can move, can someone like, say, Fowler, really afford for abortion to be illegal? Or even anti-abortion politicians? If they can’t do stuff like this–“I must ride to Nashville to save the babies!!!!! Vote for me!”–what can they do? There are a lot of anti-abortion “leaders” who are in a high-stakes game of chicken with people who are truly anti-abortion, because one of those groups really, really needs for abortion to stay legal without the other group wising up to it.
And you should totally read Your Liberal Friends on this whole brouhaha.
AND I’m not going to begrudge any pitcher the joys of singing “Long Black Veil.” Which is neither here nor there. I thought I’d just drop in a treat for those of you who’ve made it this far.