Due to the many gatherings that have consistently brought in a wide range of pro-choice supporters around Texas by the thousands, the opposition has been hard at work to delegitimize us at every step.
Forcing our opinions en masse from out of state or bust!
We know that trending tactic of far-right organizations and politicians has been to deny the fact that practical, pro-choice Texans exist.
Their claims range from accusing us of bussing people from out of state, to even paying protesters at rallies. Dan Patrick has initiated a lot of grief for organizations like Grassroots Campaigns in a desperate attempt to connect them to last Monday's rally. Unfortunately for them, their claims have only gone so far to convince the very ill-informed within their own base.
It's plain to see that the extreme right is scared of this homegrown, grassroots movement that has driven Texans out by the thousands to our state's Capitol in defense of reproductive freedom.
But now anti-choicers have their opportunity to rally with their own event tomorrow evening. However, they have decided to import their strength from out of state. For a group that claims to represent the vast majority of Texans on this issue, it's interesting to see that they refuse to rely on their own in-state resources. Anti-choicers thought it would be better to bring in out-of-state speakers like former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and TV personalities like The Duggars (also from Arkansas) to display true Texas values.
The right is afraid of not bringing in the same numbers as us, so they are pulling in resources across the country to combat our grassroots efforts to stand for reproductive rights.
Read more on this star-studded event by non-Texans, for Texans below the jump.You can see the entire list of speakers here.
Five out of the nine primary speakers are not from Texas. This includes the Huckabees, the Duggars, Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, Marilyn Musgrave of the Susan B. Anthony List, and Jeanne Monahan of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund. These are all primarily Washington interests who have no previous history of working in Texas.
Funny, because the right always seems to complain about “Washington interests,” right?
In looking at our guests from Arkansas, I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing any potential previous work here in Texas, just in case.
Mike Huckabee is from Arkansas, was the Governor of Arkansas, and has spent the majority of his life working for the state of Arkansas. He went to seminary school in Fort Worth for a year before dropping out to take up work in Christian broadcasting.
As for the Duggars, I couldn't find any involvement in Texas, but they do have an interesting background. Now they may appear on TV to be a harmless, wholesome family that just happens to be extraordinarily large, but don't be fooled- there is a political agenda behind all that denim.
Jim Bob Duggar served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2002. The Duggar family traveled the country in 2012 for Rick Santorum's presidential campaign. You can watch the Duggar parents utilize their large family for talking points for the 2012 Rick Santorum campaign here. They are co-founders of Life United, an organization which “seeks to educate and motivate Christians to run for office to end abortion in America.”
The Duggar children seem to have been trained well to follow in their father's footsteps. The eldest, Josh Duggar, was just recently hired as the executive director of the Family Research Council PAC, which has lobbied for “traditional family values.” The organization also happens works in partner with the Duggar Family Life United organization. The Family Research Council was famously designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group in 2010, primarily due to its efforts attempting to link gay men to pedophilia.
So what about the other Texans on the list for tomorrow? Two of them are David Dewhurst and Greg Abbott, no surprise there.
Another speaker is Dr. Robert Jeffress of Dallas. The Texas Freedom Network credits his most notable actions to include attacking Islam as a “religion that promotes pedophilia,” and criticizing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for his Mormon faith, calling Mormonism a “cult.” He has also argued that the Constitution allows the government to “demonstrate a preference for Christianity.”
Due to many of these speakers having a history of making mindless comments, (see the Concerned Women CEO attempt to link the Enlightenment to the Holocaust here) it might be worth keeping an open ear to what might be said tomorrow.
One has to wonder how else anti-choicers will utilize their out-of-state resources, especially with the Senate Health and Human Services hearing going on tomorrow.
Tomorrow we very well may have more representation from Washington DC and Virginia than from our own Amarillo, El Paso, or McAllen. As this fight goes forward, it'll be important to remember who was heard, and who was ignored in this process.