The Texas Freedom Caucus made me a liberal

Last Thursday, the Texas Freedom Caucus decided to lash out in response to “personal affronts” by stalling and ultimately killing more than a hundred bills in the Texas House.

Several of those bills would have saved lives.

(I was too angry to write about it last week. For the record, I’m still salty.)

According to the FC and their supporters, HB 948 by Rep. Tinderholt (a total abortion ban) and HB 844 by Klick (a dismemberment abortion ban) were the only “real pro-life bills” because they would outlaw all abortions and the most common method of abortion, respectively. Rep. Stickland kept trying to bring up both these bills toward the last hours and minutes of Thursday night and getting called to order. There were other bills and political ickiness that came into play, but those two bills were a big part of it.

Because they couldn’t get these and several other of their pet bills heard on the floor, the FC elected to stall the proceedings. They made random parliamentary inquiries, asked excessive questions, handed in amendment after amendment, talked about their own military service, and (my personal favorite) discussed their weekly meetings from early in the session.  (They met every Monday evening for dinner, in case you were wondering.)

As a result, the 100+ bills that died included:

  • HB 2063 by Rep. Bonnen that would have forbidden DNR orders by doctors without knowledge of patients and/or their surrogates. (This isn’t already a law???)
  • HB 200 by Rep. Burkett that would have banned partial birth or “intact D&E” abortion and banned the sale of fetal organs. The former has been outlawed at the federal level for years.
  • HB 2043 by Rep. Thierry that was intended to address the high maternal mortality rate among African American mothers by authorizing a study.
  • HB 3476 by Rep. Huberty that would have made a cardiac exam mandatory for student athletes. This bill was written in response to the death of Cody Stephens, a teen athlete who died as the result of an undiagnosed heart condition. Rep. Huberty has been trying to get this bill passed for some time and had promised Cody’s parents he would get it through this session, as he said Thursday night.

Members of the FC and their supporters are blaming Speaker Joe Straus. I have read their arguments and those of their supporters several times over. They still make no sense. As best I can tell, Straus and his allies aren’t conservative enough and therefore letting people die is okay.

Egos take precedence over human lives, so long as you can blame it on a “liberal” or “false conservative”?

I thought I was a conservative for a long time, but it’s not just what happened last week. These past months, hearing these “true” conservatives’ views on immigration, LGBTQ people, pro-choice women, and the views some of them hold on racial/religious minorities, I just…yikes.

I thought I was a conservative. Unfortunately, I happen to think the LGBTQ community, immigrants (legal or not), people involved in abortion, and racial/religious minorities should be protected in every way possible. They should be treated as human beings, right? Just like straight, American-born, white-passing, Christian little me.

I happen to think personal pride is less important than human lives.

Granted, the FC are the extremists. The Democrats and liberals have them, too. The Freedom Caucus is to most conservatives what the Spanish Inquisition was to Christianity. All the same, the FC is quite effectively ruining the label “Republican conservative” for me.

Every pie has its nuts, but these people who call themselves “true” conservatives are just f***ing crazy.

Wanting to pass bills that will survive the Supreme Court and actually go into effect isn’t “pro-life” because it “regulates murder” instead of outlawing it, if you listen to FC supporters. It also makes me *gasp* a liberal. At this point, I don’t care. Call me what you like.

If wanting to save some lives instead of none makes me a “liberal,” by gosh by golly, I’ll be at the next Pride Fest waving a little rainbow flag. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

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