I didn’t want to write about abortion.
Nothing I say or you say or any expert says is going to change anyone’s mind, especially for the people who hold rallies over it or stand at intersections with signs that say “Honk if you love women’s rights/ respect human life”.
On Wednesday, State Rep. Lisa Brown, D – West Bloomfield, dared utter the word vagina while discussing the legislation (VIDEO).
On Thursday, Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas, R – Midland, denied Brown and Barb Byrum, D – Onondaga, who proposed legislation that would ban vascectomies if a man’s life wasn’t in danger, the right to speak on the House floor, citing a breach in decorum.
That Stamas would deny Brown and Byrum, both duly-elected, the right to speak seemed to prove both womens’ point — that this legislation is not about principles or even human life, but about power. About the power of a group of guys in Lansing, acting on the behest of the pro-life movement, and with little female input — not one female opposing the legislation was brought in to testify — to remove choice just because they have the votes to do it.
Had the Republicans only gone that far, they might’ve gotten away with it. But, in a fashion resembling the bad guys in Scooby Doo cartoons, who, rather than completing their nefarious plans, would instead round the gang up and tell them why they were committing the caper, just before some last-second turn of fortune saves the group and the bad guy gets his comeuppance, the Republicans couldn’t just make their move. They had to crow about it. They had to silence dissenters.
“I would’ve gotten away with it, if it weren’t for you meddling kids,” the bad guy always says as he’s being hauled away.
In the aftermath of silencing Brown and Byrum, House Speaker Jase Bolger’s staff took to Twitter to defend the move.
“Reps. Byrum & Brown didn’t keep the proper level of maturity & civility needed to maintain decorum on the House floor,” Bolger’s staff wrote.
“Decorum” has a long history of marginalizing minorities in this country. It allows inherently uncivil actions to go on unchecked while portraying dissent as problematic. This language allows the majority to play hardball while the minority has to play by Duchess of Queensbury rules.
One last note: This incident should highlight the falsity of the idea that this election or any election is about “jobs” or “the economy.” Jase Bolger and company have given voters an election-year debunking of the myth that politicians have enough discipline to look out for our wallets while leaving our personal lives be. In an election Republicans are praying is about the not-yet-recovered economy, this incident is a damning window into what happens once the rich have their tax cuts and the “job creators” are satisfied.
In many ways, Michigan is the canary in America’s coal mine. So too with a group of avowedly no-nonsense legislators who swept into power in 2010 promising to shrink and smarten our government.
And they might’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for those meddling women.