Discover more from Oklahoma Columnist, by Clay Horning
State Republicans should be made to wear Senate Bill 612 and other invasive policy
Outlawing abortion in line with other initiatives that would have elected Republicans, from the top down, doing each Oklahoman's thinking for them
They are who they say they are.
Looking for a lesson from the Oklahoma House’s Tuesday passage of Senate Bill 612, that would restrict abortion in all cases but threat of death to the mother?
Go with that.
Go with that and run with it.
Previously passed by the Senate, nobody appeared to know the House would be taking up the bill on Tuesday. Nobody appeared to be prepping for a debate.
Heck, even though our perpetually disappointing governor had pledged to sign any anti-abortion legislation coming across his desk, it’s not like Kevin Stitt was busy whipping up support for it. It’s not like he’d gone full McGirt or even 10 percent McGirt on it.
Nor was there a victory lap on Wednesday.
Maybe not a backroom deal, but a strange one nonetheless.
Just last week, proud to have signed into law a solution to a non-existent problem, Stitt surrounded himself with 28 young girls and women, pre-teen to college-aged, a group so diverse three or four hair colors might have been represented, because, presumably, they were the only young people in his sphere the misguided legislation sought to defend.
Should that ethic hold for a signing ceremony pushing Senate Bill 612 into law for the 10 or 15 minutes it might stand before being set aside by a judge content to enforce Roe v. Wade as long as it stands, the ceremony’s bound to include 28 men of similar diversity, who are happy to tell Oklahoma girls and women what they can and can’t do with their bodies, because that’s who a law like that, a boon to toxic masculinity, benefits.
Unless there is no signing, because the one thing Oklahoma Republicans, who live to kill abortion rights, have never had to do is wear it.
Put a truth serum in each Oklahoman and most would prefer their daughter, niece, cousin, sister, girlfriend, wife or themselves be allowed to make their own choice when the question is giving birth.
But should that signing ceremony come, Stitt should be made to wear it and the Republicans who passed it should be made to wear it, too.
It’s a bold strategy, one Oklahoma Democrats are not trained to take.
Though they’ll vote their conviction, choosing choice, they’re unlikely to trumpet their position, fundraise off it or, pretty much, draw any attention to themselves about it.
They live in Oklahoma.
They’re Democrats, but not crazy.
That’s the thinking.
It’s got to go.
Was it two or three weeks ago the governor tried to divert public funds to private schools?
Has there been a day during his administration Stitt has not attacked tribal sovereignty?
The river running through such policy is the governor and his Republican allies not being conservative, nor libertarian, nor populist and certainly not progressive. Instead, they’re just telling people whom they don’t care for nor respect what it is they can and cannot do. Or how, them being them, it’s all about them, not you, so get out of the way.
It is in their commitment to steal women’s dominion over their own bodies from them. It is in their trying to run new turnpikes through private property belonging to Oklahoma families and businesses. It is in their wish to tell our state’s teachers how to teach. It is in their compulsion, the governor’s at least, to not work with the tribes but nakedly against them.
As to abortion, though well meaning people may disagree about it, for or against and perhaps even disagree, too, about who’s choice it ought to be, what’s undeniable is the pattern of the governor and his Republican allies believing they can do the thinking, top down, for everybody.
Democrats cannot be afraid to not only defend the right to choose, but to champion those who might choose it, just as they champion others caught in Republican power grabs.
They cannot be afraid to vilify those who need vilifying, like state Senator Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, an author of Senate Bill 612, for his audacity to tell a 14-year-old incest victim, a 16-year-old with no resources, a 20-year-old college student, a 30-year-old single working woman, a 45-year-old mother of four, who has already raised her children, and all in between, what they can and cannot do with their bodies, because it’s the most personal and ludicrous kind of invasion.
On this and other issues, Oklahoma Democrats should not seek merely to be the more palatable alternative. They should instead explain why the other side is against the very things it espouses to be for, like freedom and self determination, because how can you be for that if you’re always telling people what they can and cannot do.
Democrats should make the case they’re right and the other side is wrong, that they’re just and the other side isn’t, that they’re for everybody while the other side cares only about themselves, and they should have five undeniable examples ready to go they can hit in 30 seconds.
Because they are who they say they are.
It’s not even a culture war.
It’s truth and facts.
In the name of Oklahomans who can think for themselves, who deserve good governance, who should not be invaded nor tossed aside, Democrats should wield that truth and those facts like a cudgel.
Thanks for reading Oklahoma Columnist. Subscribe for free and not miss a post.