Did you hear that Randall Terry, the radical founder of the radical
anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, recently met with the radical Chief of Staff of the radical Congressman John Boehner, the next radical Speaker of the House?
Can this really be true? Well, what the heck were they
talking about? What are Randall Terry and the other radical right folks plotting? Surely, they are conspiring to unleash an unprecedented assault on abortion rights in this country. What can we do about it? We must act now before it’s too late!
I heard about this cataclysmic event from the Facebook page of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League. They posted the story and the panic ensued.
Look, I totally get that we pro-choicers need to be vigilant, we know that there are anti-abortion activists out there who would do anything to curtail the reproductive rights of woman. On the other hand, folks have got to chill out a little. Don’t panic (on the other hand, panicky people send money). Despite what some might suggest, the sky is not falling. Indeed, I worked on Capitol Hill for many years so let me explain exactly what is going on with this meeting.
As we all know, the Republican Party has now taken over the House of Representatives (cue the foreboding music). That means that the Republicans control the agenda. So, the new Republican Speaker of the House could theoretically schedule a vote on a constitutional amendment that would ban abortion or on a bill that would, for example, impose a national 24 hour waiting period at any time.
Knowing this to be the case, every radical right organization is now requesting appointments with the Speaker. But unless you’re the National Rifle Association or the head of the Tea Party, you’re gonna get passed on to his staff. So, Randall Terry asks for an appointment, along with every leader of every other anti-abortion organization. Terry – because he makes headlines – gets the meeting. And here’s how it goes:
CHIEF OF STAFF: Good to see you, Mr. Terry. This is Michael Pulte, who is
one of my staff people. So, what can we do for you?
TERRY: Well, I first want to congratulate you on your tremendous victory. Second, I certainly hope that now that you’re in charge, you folks will vigorously pursue any legislation that will stop the baby killing.
STAFF: We totally agree, Mr. Terry. We are as anxious as you to stop the baby killing. We’ll see what we can do. I will personally convey your message to the Speaker. Meanwhile, here is my business card. Please call me at any time if you need anything.
TERRY: That’s great! God bless you! I look forward to working with you over the next two years. Then, the good Lord willing, when we take over the White House in 2012 we’ll really make some progress!
(They all shake hands and when Terry leaves, the two staffers look at each other and start to chuckle. “What a friggin nutball,” says one of them. “Does he really think we’re gonna make our folks vote on an abortion ban that we know won’t become law? Doesn’t he realize the Senate wouldn’t pass it? What a moron. Well, we’ll just keep stringing him along, maybe toss him a bone somewhere if we can.”)
Meanwhile, later on that day…..
(When Terry gets back to his office, he is welcomed like a triumphant warrior returning from battle. He enthusiastically gathers his staffers together. “Praise, Jesus, we are back in business! I just had a great meeting with the Speaker’s staff and they are totally committed to stopping the baby killing. Let’s start gearing up the troops. And let’s start working on that fundraising letter right away!”)
Meanwhile, in another part of town…
(At a meeting of the pro-choice coalition, they are discussing Terry’s meeting, wondering what the Speaker and Terry are gonna push. They spend hours strategizing how to preserve legal abortion. Then, one of the leaders chimes in: “One thing we all need to do right away is talk to our direct mail people because we’re gonna have to start raising as much money as we can!”)
And the dance continues…….