Back when George W. Bush was at the helm, driving us toward bankruptcy and two endless wars, one of the bills in his energy policy spoke to the urgency of changing the efficiency of the lightbulbs we use in this country, encouraging us all to stop using the less expensive incandescent bulbs and opting for the much more expensive, albeit, much more efficient CFL bulbs. Admittedly, as a screaming liberal, there was never much I liked about that administration but, still, this seemed like a good idea to me. Besides, I’d heard Thom Hartman, a radio guy I admire who’s actually smart, (and not just a shrill bully) talk about this, too. He said that if we all changed out just one lightbulb in our house to a CFL bulb, we could cut our oil imports in half. Well. Nobody in this country would love to thumb their nose at those greedy Saudi bastards more than I would, so my partner and I raced to Home Depot and bought enough CFL bulbs to last well into the next millenium. We changed out every bulb in the house we could reach without a ladder, slapped each other a high-five, then sat around waiting for a nice letter from Congress or Thom Hartman, or, perhaps, even a snotty or desperate one from Saudi Arabia to arrive which, as you might imagine, never happened. Still, in terms of patriotic self-esteem, we felt pretty good about ourselves. We had done our part and somebody else’s, too. Then, Congress changed its mind.
Apparently, just the other day, the Republicans in Congress decided that requiring US citizens to purchase a more efficient lightbulb, something that might well serve the common good of this nation, well, that was actually a really bad thing. Want to know why? BECAUSE IT TOOK AWAY OUR CITIZENS’ RIGHT TO CHOOSE – A LIGHT BULB! So, that clunking sound you heard yesterday that you thought was a tractor tire being dropped from the top of someone’s barn? It was my jaw slamming onto the keyboard of my computer when I read that. Here’s why: Because right now, in my beloved home state of Texas, there is a fight unlike any I have ever seen going on over a woman’s right to choose. And that choice is an important one, because it is not mine, nor is it the choice to make of the Texas State Legislature. It is the choice to be made by each woman faced with an unwanted or dangerous pregnancy. Let me be clear about this, because I am not saying I am pro-abortion; I am pro-choice. Women choose to terminate a pregnancy for a variety of reasons, none of which are my business. Nor are they yours. Or Rick Perry’s.
I watched a very disturbing video of a young woman being dragged away from the podium by Dept. of Public Safety officers because the lady with the gavel didn’t like what she was hearing. Excuse me? The right of the public to stand before their governing body and state their views in a civil way is part of our process in this nation. Has the Texas State Legislature forgotten what democracy is all about? I posted that video on Facebook in hopes that it will go viral. It should. It was shameful, like watching Nazi brownshirts in action. The Texas State Legislature and that lady with the gavel should be ashamed.
So, what I gleaned from reading about the lightbulbs and watching that disturbing video is this: THE REPUBLICANS WANT TO MAKE SURE WE CAN ALL CHOOSE WHICH LIGHTBULBS WE WANT TO USE, BUT THEY DON’T WANT WOMEN TO BE ABLE TO CHOOSE TO END AN UNWANTED OR DANGEROUS PREGNANCY. Somebody feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am wrong about this. So, I had an idea. I’m heading to Home Depot again this weekend and buying as many of those long, fluorescent bulbs as I can afford. I’ll find out the names and addresses of every Republican state legislator in Austin and send them each a bulb, along with my compliments, encouraging them to stick these where the sun don’t shine. I’ll remind them that their buddies in Congress have, once again, given me the choice of how best to use my lightbulb money and, so, I’ve chosen to send them a gift. They can choose to be upset about it or not. I’ll tell them where they can put this long, fluourescent tube, and I’ll tell them to just think of it as an ultrasound. We know where their heads are. We are just trying to find their hearts.