Portland City Council will vote this week on an emergency order banning the city from buying goods and services from Texas until the state lifts its draconian attack on abortion law. Officials in the city of Oregon hope the boycott will spread. “We urge other leaders and elected bodies across the country to join us in condemning the actions of the Texas state government,” said Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.
No doubt Wheeler will get buyers. But don’t imagine that Republicans in Texas or at the national level will give up the course they have taken. Texas is about much more than the fight for reproductive rights.
The state implements a template for the authoritarian future Republicans proposed to all Americans. The recent adoption of a right-wing wish list from extreme measures by the state legislature – denying a pregnant person the right to vote, curbing racism in schools, allowing people to carry unlicensed firearms in public – is part of an ambitious GOP strategy for the 2022 midterm elections other piece concerns the voting rights restrictions that Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed on Tuesday.
Republicans have marginalized their party’s popularity. Still, gerrymandering and voter repression programs have kept the GOP competitive nationally and in most states. The party has become familiar with pluralities as opposed to majorities. Republicans are happy with minority rule – as long as their minority rules.
In Texas, where Democrats have been gaining ground in recent years, it is now perfectly clear that Republicans’ strategy is to make it harder for likely Democratic voters to vote while advancing a legislative agenda designed to encourage maximum voter turnout who form the socially conservative base of their party.
More than 40 years ago, the Republican political scientist Paul Weyrich told a right-wing assembly: “I don’t want everyone to vote. Elections are not won by a majority. You have never been in our country from the beginning and are not now. In fact, when the electorate falls, our influence in the elections quite openly increases. “
Weyrich died in 2008, but his vision lives on. In fact, it enlivens Republican strategy in Texas, where the party has won all statewide elections since 1994.
IIn 2018, Democrat Beto O’Rourke won more than 48 percent of votes in his challenge to Republican Senator Ted Cruz, and Democratic newcomer Justin Nelson won more than 47 percent in his application for the critical post of Attorney General. The Democrats achieved significant gains in the state legislative elections that year and won several seats in the US House of Representatives. In 2018, Texas monthly observed, “The [O’Rourke-Cruz] The contest ended in a narrow defeat that felt like a victory to the Democrats, and voting on the results gave the party ways to expand the electoral map and perhaps even take control of the State House.