Election Day is just around the corner.
Hey! Stop groaning! I heard that!
Look, I know you may not want to vote. And I know that a lot of states have made it pretty doggone hard for you to vote. But it’s important that you vote anyway.
Yes, the government is broken. After all, many Americans widely regard this Congress as the Worst One Ever. I mean, just read the headlines: “14 Reasons Why This Is the Worst Congress Ever”;“Is This the Worst Congress Ever?”;“Congress on Track to Be the Worst Ever at Passing Laws”; and so on.
And yes, it’s easy to get discouraged and to think that your vote doesn’t count. After all, somewhere along the way, some politician made promises to you that they didn’t keep. You were pledged candy canes and roses, and all you got were Tootsie rolls and dandelions.
But it could get worse. Don’t think it can’t.
“How?” you may be thinking to yourself as you fall dead away onto your fainting couch. “How could it get worse?” you might ask, pressing the back of your hand lightly to your forehead.
A Republican takeover of the Senate, that’s how. This will lead to a political house of horrors, especially where reproductive rights are concerned. Don’t believe me? Keep reading.
1. 20-Week Abortion Ban
Since 2011, 20-week abortion bans have become all the rage. Thirteen states—Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Texas—have passed them, and others are waiting in the wings to get their shot. These bans are grounded in junk science about how fetuses can feel pain or how they masturbate in utero. (And heaven forbid we come between a male and his God-given right to wank off.)
At the federal level, the House has repeatedly passed 20-week abortion bans, only to be stymied by Democrats. (Thank you, Democrats!) But should the worst happen on Tuesday, you can bet your sweet ass that a Republican-controlled Senate would pass a 20-week abortion ban, sending it straight to President Obama’s desk. Even though a veto is almost certain at this point, these 20-week bans are part of a national plan by anti-choicers to force the Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade, where the perennial swing vote Justice Kennedy will sit in judgment of women’s reproductive rights. And as I wrote last year, that’s a pretty smart strategy. Forgive my narcissism and allow me to quote myself:
Anti-choicers understand that once junk science has been incorporated into legislation, courts are not inclined to question those scientific findings—no matter how agenda-driven they are—and will simply apply the law to those “facts.” In cases when junk science is presented to a court, a judge (or justice) hostile to abortion rights requires only the flimsiest reasoning to ground their legal opinion in fact, even if those “facts” are anything but factual.
Plus, if Congress keeps passing 20-week abortion bans, America’s stomach for them will become stronger. So they will keep hammering away at it.
And besides, why waste time passing a jobs bill or comprehensive immigration reform when you could figuratively crawl into America’s collective uterus and force whatever is there to remain there?
Speaking of crawling into America’s collective uterus, should Tuesday’s election go as terribly as it could, we can expect federal “personhood” efforts to resume with great haste.
Over the past six years, the country has survived scads of GOP attempts to pass personhood bills. Remember back in 2013 when Rand Paul—who is already positioning himself as the next GOP candidate—attached a personhood amendment to a flood insurance bill? We can expect to see personhood amendments attached to errrrrything, should Republicans take the Senate.
Want an appropriations bill? Add a personhood amendment to it! Want a comprehensive immigration reform bill? Wouldn’t it be better if we stuck a personhood amendment to it!? Want a—well… you get my point.
Meanwhile, two states are putting personhood bills to a vote on Tuesday—Colorado (which has twice before rejected personhood measures) and North Dakota. So if you live in either of those places, you might want to go ahead and vote “no” on those ballot initiatives. Because whatever anti-choicers might tell you, eggs are not people, my friend.
3. Tennessee Amendment 1
Speaking of voting “No!” on stuff, how about voting “No way, dude!” on Tennessee Amendment 1? See, in Tennessee, there are constitutional protections for abortion rights. But Amendment 1 would remove those protections, paving the way for Tennessee to follow in the footsteps of practically every other state in this country and start passing gnarly anti-choice restrictions willy-nilly. If you’re a regular reader of Rewire, you’re likely aware of the ongoing reproductive rights fuckery in Texas. Well, Tennessee could become the next Texas, but with fewer delicious breakfast tacos and more Rayna Jaymes.
4. Republican Control over Filling Judicial Vacancies
Speaking of Texas, guess which state has the most judicial vacancies? Texas. And guess which dudes have been a rather large pain in the taco about filling those judicial vacancies? Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, both of whom are from—you guessed it—Texas!
Of the 64 vacancies on federal court benches in states around the country, nine of those vacancies are in Texas federal courts, with two of those nine in the Fifth Circuit. As Texas’ senators, it’s up to Cruz and Cornyn to recommend nominees to President Obama, but they have been extremely slow to do so. Even though Cruz took office in January 2013, it took until April of that year for the two of them to even name a committee to screen potential nominees. (Presumably, Ted Cruz was too occupied with trying to repeal Obamacare during the beginning of last year to do anything about the judicial vacancies; Cornyn was evidently too busy complaining that their failure to nominate anyone was Obama’s fault.)
According to Progress Texas, the vacancies in Texas have led to a 12,000-case backlog. If that sounds like a lot, it is: That adds up to “19 years’ worth of cases that could have been heard if judges held those vacant seats.”
Although there has been some progress in Texas—analysts expect three nominees to be up for a confirmation vote in November—there are still plenty of vacancies to be filled across the country. A Republican-controlled Senate might take care of some of these vacancies, but will it be good for anyone? The answer is “probably not.” For example, who wants, say, Michael Boggs to be a nominee? Not gay people (He voted for Georgia’s same-sex marriage ban). Or women who have a large “KEEP OUT!” sign affixed to their underroos. (He’s pro-personhood.) Or Black people. (He’s a Confederate flag enthusiast.)
Republicans just might stop being obstructionist jackholes about filling these judicial vacancies, but do we want the GOP to have control over this process? The answer is “No. No, we do not.”
5. Republican Supermajorities
Speaking of stuff over which we don’t want Republicans to have control, how do you feel about Republican supermajorities? If you’re like me, you probably don’t feel good about them.
And if, for example, you’re a woman in Missouri who would rather not see a tiny government set up in her nether-regions, hold on to your jimmy hat! Because you’re screwed.
In 2012, Republicans gained a veto-proof supermajority in Missouri, and it’s probably going to get worse after Tuesday. Why is it so bad in Missouri? How about the fact that anti-choice Republicans there have done everything they can—including passing 31 anti-choice bills this year alone in an effort to close Missouri’s last remaining abortion clinic and sending a pleading letter to Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster demanding that he enforce the state’s unconstitutional abortion ban—to really stick it to women in Missouri.
They say Missouri is the “show-me” state. More like the “show me the way out” state.
6. Impeachment Proceedings
Speaking of “show me the way out,” should Republicans take back the Senate, they will likely attempt to show President Obama the way out of office.
In an email to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warned that a Republican takeover would likely lead to impeachment proceedings. For what? Who the fuck knows. I’m fairly certain if Republicans could impeach President Obama for being Black, they probably would. (Oops, did I just play “the race card”? You’re goddamn right I did.)
In reality, however, Republicans will probably file articles of impeachment over some nonsense like BENGHAZI!!!!11 or MEXICANZ!!one!1! because they’re the worst, that’s why.
Should you think this is a mere hypothetical, Wolf Huntress and Wink Enthusiast Sarah Palin has already called for President Obama’s impeachment. (Why there are still noises coming out of her face-hole is anyone’s guess, since she’s about as useful as a white crayon.)
Thus far, it’s worth noting, few people have backed her. Sen. John McCain—Palin’s former running mate and person on whom I blame her existence in the political sphere—said he “disagreed.” Another Republican, Rep. Blake Farenthold (Texas), called impeachment efforts “an exercise in futility.” Still, it would be foolish to underestimate Republicans. They don’t brain so good.
7. Climate Change
Speaking of Republicans who don’t brain so good, how about those climate change denialists? Eh?
The earth is getting warmer. You know it. I know it. Scientists know it. But you know who doesn’t know it? A hell of a lot of Republicans. Here’s a video that Lee Fang of The Republic Report put together which shows just which candidates have their heads so far lodged up their respective colons when it comes to climate science that they can probably taste the rainbow. I recommend giving your brain a good whiskey-soaking before watching how criminally uninformed many of these prospective legislators are:
8. More Attempts to Repeal Obamacare
Speaking of things Republicans are uninformed about, they’re apparently not so up-to-date on America’s stomach for repealing Obamacare.
I don’t know about you, but I like health care. I especially like affordable health care. (But that might just be my pre-existing condition talking.) Even though I now have employer-provided health care, there was a time when I relied on the Affordable Care Act to keep my brain from exploding. And I know that the ACA has helped a lot of folks out there, too. So no—I don’t want Obamacare repealed.
In fact, the majority of Americans don’t want it repealed, at least according to Politifact. But that won’t stop a Republican-controlled Congress from doing so. Certainly there’s no chance in hell that President Obama won’t veto Republicans’ frillionth attempt to repeal Obamacare, but what if, heaven forfend, we end up with a Republican president in 2016? People who currently have access to affordable health care will have it wrenched away from them. And I’d rather not think about that. It makes my pituitary tumor pulse.
9. Some Seriously Scary Races
Speaking of things that make my pituitary tumor pulse, did you know we could possibly elect a dude in Texas who believes that God speaks to us through Duck Dynasty? Because we could.
Or, did you know we might elect an Iowa senator who reserves the right to use a gun to defend herself, not just from intruders or other ne’er-do-wells, but from the government. This woman thinks she’s going to pew! pew! pew! her way out of a shoot-out with the ding-dang government.
So there you have it: Nine reasons you should get out there and vote. Why not ten reasons, you ask? Because “ten” is so mainstream, man.
The bottom line is this: You have to vote. If you don’t, the bunny gets it.
Hey! I guess I did give you ten reasons. But never fear, I would never hurt a bunny. Just make sure you vote. Seriously. Don’t make me come over there.