Wendy Davis is definitely, for sure, has-had-buttons-made-and-everything running for governor of Texas in the state’s 2014 Democratic primaries. Only a soothsayer would be able to tell you if she’s going to go on to win a general election and ensure that her state stops taking advice about women’s health policy from a council of medieval barbers and bible verses, but Davis’s candidacy has already accomplished one goal: it has put fear into the hearts of Texas Republicans.
After Davis threw her own ten-gallon hat in the gubernatorial ring on Thursday, Texas Republicans tripped over themselves to out-hyperbolize Davis’s liberality the very best way they knew how, i.e. tell people that Wendy Davis wants to turn Texas into California. SPOOKY, SCARY CALIFORNIA!!!! There are already a small litany of attack ads running on Texas TV and radio, including a really creepy radio spot from Texas Right to Life and a filmstrip of moments from Wendy Davis’s badass filibuster set to a score of ominous drum beats as if the drums somehow make Wendy Davis’s finest moment seem suddenly insidious (they don’t, unless you have an inner ear infection or something).
Those ads, though, are just nervous outbursts from a political party that might be losing its grip on a state that was once blazing, brushfire red. You could make a scary webpage with a picture of Wendy Davis frowning, but all of these initial attacks have a common characteristic: they have no substance, not even of the ordinary political mudslinging variety. It’s just a bunch of black and white snapshots, scary music, and Wendy Davis frowning, probably at something some asshat in the Texas Senate said.
All Republicans in Texas can seem to agree on at all is that Wendy Davis is some sort of secret agent from California sent to make Texas more like its coastal nemesis. GOP gubernatorial candidate and tweeter of dumb things Greg Abbott has created a lovely Wendy Davis stamp insinuating that Davis is going to remake Texas in the image of California (the land of happy cows and delicious juice cleanses). Meanwhile, super-conservative candidate Tom Pauken insists that Davis is going to bring “San Francisco-style Democratic views” to Texas.
What views might those be? If the answer is tolerance, believing women should have control over their own bodies, and not insisting that every single thing from beyond the Texas border is evil, then maybe Texas’s political leadership could borrow such views.
Image via AP, Nick Wass