Playing To A Different Gallery

Don’t know about you, but in watching and writing about the confrontation between state senator Wendy Davis and Gov. Rick Perry over the GOP’s shut-down-the-clinics bill in the Texas legislature, I didn’t realize the National Right To Life Committee was holding its annual meeting in Dallas from June 27-29.

It’s no surprise, then, that Perry made haste to call a second special session of the legislature to make another run at the legislation before appearing at the NLRC clambake. He also followed the script by identifying Davis–once a teenage single mother living in poverty–with “unborn children” rather than with the women whose reproductive options will be sharply curtailed if his legislation is enacted:

It is just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.

Perry, of course, is faithfully following the mendacious NLRC playbook by combining a late-term abortion ban with “health and safety” measures that will vastly and disproportionately affect the availability of early-term abortions. I haven’t seen a full transcript of his speech in Dallas, so I don’t know if he openly boasted about that particular slight-of-hand. But it is clear now that when the deal went down in Austin late Wednesday night, Rick Perry was playing to a very different gallery.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.