Collateral Damage

What prompts Texan politicians to pass strict voter identification laws or restrictive abortion rules?  Are there problems in Texas (comapred to the rest of the country that need fixing?  Why does the US Senate pass a ridiculous immigration reform bill whose provisions are reminiscent of the Berlin Wall?  And, on what planet is the House of Representatives’ majority party living when they essential say the Senate immigration bill is dead?

In one way or the other, these legislative examples are all about the control of the legislative body and the moneys these bodies control.  The politicians real objective is to return as much money as possible to their supporters (and ultimately to themselves).  This is the human condition of politics.  It is that way and always has been.

So the legislative game is all about ensuring one gets reelected.

Voter ID laws (like complicated registration and photo ID at the voting booth) are designed to thwart efforts by a changing electorate to vote.  Demographic shifts are very worrisome to these in place politicians.

Abortion restrictions are a shameful pandering to a conservative base.  Keeping unfriendly voters from voting needs to be paired with ensuring friendly voters keep voting.  The merits of the legislation is never at issue.

Opposition to immigration reform is a two-fer.  Keeping the 11 million undocumented immigrants undocumented eliminates a flood of new voters who would probably vote against the entrenched party.  Undocumented workers also represent to conservatives something inherently wrong while anti-immigration reform is singing to their choir.

In these examples the good guys are progressives and the bad guys are conservatives.  These dynamics, sadly, would also apply to Democrat controlled legislatures.  It’s about the money, stupid.

The collateral damage falls on everyone else.  Governments are inherently inefficient when there is no effective checks and balances (between the executive, legislature, and judiciary, AND between political parties).  Sound and constructive debates around spending programs simply can not exist if one party has locked up a solid voting majority which is immune to real competitive challenges.  

The abortion challenge is an attack upon women, plain and simple.  No one is required to seek an abortion.  It is a very personal decision.   If a woman makes this decision, roadblocks should not be put in her way.  A political faction who are sincerely opposed to abortion would pack any abortion restricting legislation with means to prevent unwanted pregnancies like family planning information such as sex education, condom availability and wide distribution of Plan B.  They are totally silent.

Texas State Senator Wendy Davis has just had her 15 minutes of fame conducting a successful filibuster blocking the passage of restrictive abortion rules.  Her performance suggest strongly that legislatures could be improved by electing far more women and breaking, for a time, the old boys club.


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3 Comments on “Collateral Damage”

  1. FLPatriot Says:

    Your strawmen do not represent real conservative stances on any of the three issues you identify (voter ID, abortion and/or immigration). This type of nonsense is what is splitting America in two… well three if you count the ones who just don’t give a damn anymore.

    • FL, I am not sure what your point is… here’s what I tried to say…
      1. all politicians are concerned first and foremost in helping supporters and expecting the supporters to help them.
      2. To accomplish this they must get elected and then reelected.
      3. Conservative or progressives champion causes that will get them elected or reelected.
      4. In this post, voter photo ID and abortion limits (as proposed) are purely pandering to their base and rejecting immigration reform is clearly motivated by picking the least worst option… have Hispanics dissatisfied with the GOP or have new Hispanic voters (formerly undocumented residents) voting.
      5. One way to break this dysfunctional cycle might be to replace most of the current elected men with women…

      Now what about that is driving the country apart?

      • FLPatriot Says:

        I understood the point of your article, and agreed with it completely.

        My criticism is on your representation of the conservative stance on issues. You state “In these examples the good guys are progressives and the bad guys are conservatives.”, when the stances you define do not represent conservative stances at all.

        It is the use of exaggerated strawmen in political discourse that does nothing to further the conversation and only distracts, as you can see from our discussion. Your point is the pandering nature of politicians to whore after money, but instead your use of strawmen to create a hateful conservative to bash has distracted from the original topic.

        This needs to stop if we have any hope of honest discussion in search of real solutions. You have a valid topic that should be discussed, don’t lower your standards to use strawmen that are not needed. I know you can meet a higher standard than that.

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