Northeast Texas is one of the state's (and the country's) most backward areas. I want to show you 3 rural counties that are emblematic of a big part of what troubles Texas: Hopkins, Hunt and Van Zandt. Let's look at the 2020 presidential vote in each county:
Hopkins- Trump 79.8%, Biden 19.1%
Hunt- Trump 75.6%, Biden 23.1%
Van Zandt- Trump 85.6%, Biden 13.5%
How about the Beto vs Cruz Senate contest in 2018?
Hopkins- Cruz 78.1%, Beto 21.4%
Hunt- Cruz 74.1%, Beto 25.1%
Van Zandt- Cruz 84.7%, Beto 14.7%
You get the picture? And these three counties make up one of Texas' most backward state House districts, HD-2. Right-wing conservative Dan Flynn, a nut-case anti-Choice rancher (watch him spar with Samantha Bee at the link), had been the district rep since 2003. Democrats don't even run in this district but in 2016 batshitcrazy pastor Bryan Slaton primaried Flynn and almost beat him-- 14,918 (51.0%) to 14,337 (49.0%). Slaton tried again in 2018 but slipped in a low-turn-out primary-- 11,696 (51.7%) to 10,921 (48.3%). Undettered, Slaton ran as an unabashed Trumpist goon, forced Flynn into a run-off and then won big in an even lower turn-out election-- 9,757 (61.07%) to Flynn's 6,221-- half the votes he had in the first round (38.93%).
Buy-Bull school "educated," Slaton has been one of the most extremist members of Texas' legislature and yesterday the Texas Tribune reported that he filed a bill (clearly unconstitutional) that would "criminalize abortions, leaving women and physicians who perform the procedure to face criminal charges that could carry the death penalty." Of course there are no exceptions for rape or incest, primarily because Slaton is intellectually incapable of understanding the difference between a fertilized egg and an infant.
Slaton: "It is time for Texas to protect the natural right to life for the tiniest and most innocent Texans, and this bill does just that. It’s time Republicans make it clear that we actually think abortion is murder… Unborn children are dying at a faster rate in Texas than COVID patients, but Texas isn’t taking the abortion crisis seriously."
Under the bill filed Tuesday, women who receive an abortion and physicians who perform the procedure could be charged with assault or homicide, which is punishable by death in Texas, confirmed Shannon Edmonds, a staff attorney with the Texas District and County Attorneys Association. The association does not have a position on the bill.
The bill could require people to give evidence or testify about offenses involving the death of or “bodily injury to an unborn child,” and would offer immunity to those who do.
It also instructs the state attorney general to monitor and to “direct a state agency to enforce those laws, regardless of any contrary federal statute, regulation, treaty, order or court decision.”
The bill bans abortions starting at fertilization; most abortions in Texas are currently prohibited after 20 weeks. The bill’s language cites one justice’s opinion in a recent Supreme Court case, June Medical Services L.L.C. v. Russo, that says the Constitution “does not constrain the states’ ability to regulate or even prohibit abortion.”
Slaton, a freshman Republican from Royse City, previously tried to stop the House from naming bridges or streets without first voting to abolish abortion. The amendment failed, but was supported by more than 40 lawmakers, about half of the Republicans in the House.
It becomes harder and harder to understand why women still vote for Republicans at all.