Not to slight the White House, but Texas Republicans in Austin deserve their own reality TV show.
Call it the search for “The Biggest Conservative.”
Every session of the Legislature, lawmakers wallow all over each other rushing to the political right, just so one can waggle a scorecard and declare himself or herself the conservative big dog of them all.
But no matter how far lawmakers go — and they’ve shifted further to the right since the 2016 election — there’s always someone calling them squishes.
“If Republicans really want to save the life of the unborn child, just do it,” lawyer Bradley Pierce of Abolish Abortion Texas said Thursday.
That group turned a Texas House committee hearing on the care of fetal remains into an anti-abortion event Wednesday. Forty speakers called for punishing abortion as a felony crime, to heck with the U.S. Supreme Court.
“When legislators call themselves pro-life, but they’re not for bills that go further, that looks like hypocrisy,” said Pierce, 34, of Liberty Hill.
“Republicans talk a lot about the fetus being a life. But when they have a chance, they don’t do anything about it.”
The Legislature can decide … We shouldn’t have to ask permission from any court.
Luke Macias, spokesman for state Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington
The House State Affairs Committee was gathered to hear chairman Rep. Byron Cook’s (R-Corsicana) bill requiring a burial for miscarriage and abortion remains, a rewrite of 2015 rules thrown out in court.
Abolish Abortion Texas, an affiliate of national Abolish Human Abortion protesters, supports state Rep. Tony Tinderholt’s (R-Arlington) House Bill 948 making abortion an assault and jailing patients and doctors.
State Reps. Mike Lang, R-Granbury, and Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, are among 10 House co-authors in support.
Cook, honored in 2013 for presiding over long hearings on Texas’ abortion restrictions, pleaded with speakers to stick to the fetal remains bill and “the dignity of the deceased.”
Pierce’s comment: “Why are we spending all this time testifying if the baby is dead?”
The way he sees it, if Texas made abortion a crime, then President Donald J. Trump’s Justice Department might not sue to enforce U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
The Texas Legislature will consider about 20 bills regulating abortion before adjournment May 29.
“States have ignored federal law on marijuana,” Pierce said.
“If they can do it for a plant, we can do it for human life.”
Tinderholt’s spokesman, Luke Macias, told the Austin Chronicle that Texas “shouldn’t have to ask permission from any court system.”
Oh — by the way, Pierce said Republicans are “disingenuous” to claim abortion restrictions are meant to guard women’s health.
“I don’t think passing bills that regulate abortion really go all that far to help women’s health,” he said. “It’s a pretext.”
Did I mention this reality show only lasts 80 more days?