At 7 pm tonight, with nothing better on the TV schedule, I switched to MSNBC to watch Rachel Maddow. I usually don’t watch MSNBC; I find them so aggressively anti-Republican that even when I agree with them in principle, I detest the way they espouse it. Maddow, however, is refreshing in her calm, pleasant demeanor; intellect; and formidable education. Guests would be right to feel intimidated.
This evening, however, Maddow wasn’t on. Someone I didn’t know was filling in: Melissa Harris-Perry, professor of political science at Tulane University. Well-spoken, but not Maddow, so I turned my attention to my computer.
At some point, Harris-Perry started talking about Texas Governor Rick Perry. I disagree with her liberal view of social safety nets for everybody, but she presented in some detail Perry’s oft-proclaimed aversion to big government butting into state, local, and personal matters where government has no business.
Then came the “except.” Except for when it’s the Texas state government and it wants to get “all up in a lady’s uterus” and require her to have an ultrasound and wait a day before returning to her doctor for the abortion that could have been done the day before. She shredded the law and Perry with it. It was a dandy two-fer, if you happen to dislike both Perry and the onerous anti-abortion laws that are being passed or proposed in many states this year. It would have been even stronger if it had been a bit shorter.
Turns out the new Texas law ran into a legal stumbling block today when a federal judge ruled parts of it violate the free speech rights of both women and doctors. A story in the Boston Globe did a good job of explaining it. Of note is the fact that such sonograms are not medically necessary. Makes me wonder who’s expected to pay for them.