Governor Rick Perry of Texas made little impression on the 2012 election.
Once billed as a class act, he emerged as a comic turn. There was the “I’ll never forgetwhatshisname” debate flub when he couldn’t remember one of the Cabinet departments he was committed to abolishing was Energy. And there was his tired and emotional stump speech in New Hampshire when, well, I’m not quite sure what he was talking about. Perhaps it was his Dean Martin impression.
But Perry is sure to make a strong impression on the outcome of the 2016 election. When he signs into law the Texas anti-abortion measures, he will spark a women’s revolt that is sure to reverberate across the nation.
The 2012 contest left the Republican Party backed largely by old white men. The 2016 election is likely to be dominated by women’s issues. When the Coen Brothers set their movie “No Country for Old Men” in the high desert of West Texas, they could not have imagined their title would become an election slogan.
The proposed new Texas anti-abortion law, sure to be passed before long, does not just restrict itself to preventing terminations after 20 weeks, a practice that is rare in any case. (The number of abortions conducted after 20 weeks is just 1.3 percent.) The measure goes well beyond, swamping clinics with so many regulations that 37 are expected to close, leaving only six to serve 13 million Texan women in a state that is 773 miles wide and 790 miles long. In addition, women who have been raped may not cite that as a reason for wanting an abortion.