Photo: Tim Pierce
After President Obama won reelection in 2012, I pointed out how progressive ideas did really well when put to the vote by the public on ballot measures. While the Republican party is celebrating their non-surprising gains in the legislative branch, progressive ideas absolutely dominated on the ballot, even in red states.
Taking a look at the 13 initiatives highlighted by CNN, 12 have been decided as of this writing. In only one case did the progressive side lose and even that was not a majority loss (58% approved medical marijuana in Florida, 60% was needed). CNN’s list did not include other victories for progressive thought, such as the legalization of marijuana in D.C. or the lopsided defeat of the North Dakota anti-choice measure. Whether it was marijuana, minimum wage laws, birth control or most other issues, the left won.
The fact is, progressive thought is winning and winning big everywhere in the country, even in the alleged “red states”. But the Republican wins would suggest a different story. How to explain this?
The reasons are many but I’m reminded here of something Bill Maher recently asked of Senator Elizabeth Warren: “Why aren’t there more people who talk like you in the Democratic Party?”
Again, there are a lot of factors at play here but there is little doubt Democrats have been (and many still are) terrible at pointing out what is a progressive position and what is a conservative one on so many issues. And when they fail to do that it not only makes voters ignorant as to who stands where, it takes all the energy out of your base and they will only lackadaisically support you, at best. Seriously, Democratic candidates. If you are going to lose, at least have some guts to speak forcefully about what it is your ideology means to the everyday person. Maybe then you won’t have to watch so many of your candidates lose while so much of your ideology wins.
There’s a great piece in The Atlantic from yesterday entitled “The Rise of The DIY Abortion in Texas” that everyone should read.
The article by Erica Hellerstein reports that there is a medication for ulcers called misoprostol being used to induce early-term abortions providing the appearance of a natural miscarriage. The pill is available over the counter in many Latin American pharmacies, including Mexico, and is now being smuggled into Texas where abortion clinics are becoming fewer and fewer due to restrictive State legislation.
The Hellerstein story goes in-depth surrounding the black market for misoprostol and every other aspect of the issue. She reports on abortion attempts in unhygienic conditions with coat hangers and punctured uteri being the only reality that many women have. Remember that pre-Roe v. Wade, rich women were able to pay to have illegal abortions in doctors’ offices with sterile conditions while the poor were reduced to back-alleys. The World Health Organization reports that 21.6 million women experience an unsafe abortion worldwide each year, and 47 000 women die from complications of unsafe abortion each year.
What I came away with after reading the story is that no legislation will be able to combat the need for women to terminate there unwanted pregnancies. Nor will it’s attempts be curbed. More and more women, including many mothers, will die as a result of this type of legislation.
Last night authors of STL went to see the new romantic comedy film “Obvious Child.” Here’s the synopsis of the movie and here’s the link to the official website:
For aspiring comedian Donna Stern (Jenny Slate), everyday life as a female twenty-something provides ample material for her incredibly relatable (sic) brand of humor. On stage, Donna is unapologetically (sic) herself, joking about topics as intimate as her sex life and as crude as her day-old underwear. But when Donna gets dumped, loses her job and finds herself pregnant just in time for Valentine’s Day, she has to navigate the murky waters of independent adulthood for the first time. As she grapples with an uncertain financial future, an unwanted pregnancy and a surprising new suitor, Donna begins to discover that the most terrifying thing about adulthood isn’t facing it all on her own. It’s allowing herself to accept the support and love of others. Never failing to find the comedy and humanity in each awkward situation she encounters, Donna finds out along the way what it means to be as brave in life as she is on stage. Anchored by a breakout performance from Slate, Obvious Child is a winning discovery, packed tight with raw, energetic comedy and moments of poignant human honesty. Written and directed by Gillian Robespierre.
This was a funny yet still tragic movie that everyone, especially those concerned with women’s issues, should go see.
An article from the NYT regarding the controversial cases planned to be taken up by the Supreme Court this term. There are some very important cases that make soon be before the judges.
UPDATE: The Lt. Governor of Texas, David Dewhurst, stopped the passage of a strict abortion law that was being filibustered by democrats in the state Senate due to a technicality; Republicans upset by Dewhurst’s ruling.
To update a prior post regarding Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis’ attempt at a 13 hour filibuster to prevent a bill that would issue tight restrictions against abortion rights, unfortunately she has failed. The Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said she went too far off topic in her rhetoric and stopped the filibuster. Follow the link to find out more details.
Wendy Harris, a Texas State Senator, is attempting a 13 hour filibuster to stall a female reproductive bill that would strictly limit the access to abortions in the state. An article in The Guardian spells out the restrictions that would be enforced if the bill would land on Gov. Rick Perry’s desk for he is expected enact the legislation. And at the The Guardian’s website you can see a live feed of the ongoing filibuster by Sen. Harris in the Texas State House. Let’s all get behind her and keep up with her effort’s status via the web!
Read & Watch Here.