Common sense – even in politics where it isn’t so common – would dictate that once you get into a hole, you stop digging. But Wendy Davis has never been accused of having common sense in her political strategy, unless, of course, as I suspect, her candidacy is an elaborate prank pulled on the people of Texas, and she is actually a middle-aged actress from southern California hired by Funny or Die.
Last week, Greg Abbott was a monster because he was hit by a tree in the 1980s and won a legal case related to his paralysis. Then, yesterday, Greg Abbott was a horrible person because, despite being in a mixed-race marriage himself, it was clear to all affiliated with Wendy Davis’s operation that Greg Abbott would defend a ban on interracial marriage, despite it’s unconstitutionality and despite the awkwardness it would cause in his relationship with his wife (a Texas progressive blog later “cleared up” Greg Abbott’s stance on anti-miscegenation laws by noting that Greg Abbott is married to a Hispanic woman, and the laws were targeted specifically at black-white marriages, so he could still definitely be a racist). And now, ladies and gentleman, Greg Abbott has declared war on your dildos.
In 2008, Abbott chose to defend the state’s ban on the sale of sex toys, a case that emerged from the fallout of Lawrence v. Texas. Over the years, Abbott has deployed novel legal arguments against gay marriage. But this wasn’t a case about gay marriage, a subject that still animates sincere moral disagreements. This was a case about every American’s god-given right to buy dildos.
At the time, anti-sex toy laws were widely understood to be unconstitutional, but Abbott suited up for battle. The state, his lieutenants argued with straight faces before the 5th Circuit, had an interest in “discouraging prurient interests in autonomous sex and the pursuit of sexual gratification unrelated to procreation.” The state of Texas has a pressing interest, Abbott said, in discouraging you from masturbating or blowing your boyfriend. That was just six years ago.
The Davis campaign used The Texas Observer‘s rambling thoughts in one of their campaign emails. Because if there’s anything that’s a top priority for Texas voters, it’s whether they have to order their adult entertainment devices over the Internet instead of being able to walk down to the corner shop. And it’s not as though that’s even Greg Abbott’s fault. Defending the states laws as they are on the books is the job of an attorney general.
There’s not much farther the Davis campaign can go, though there are still almost 20 days left until election day. Some have guessed that she’s saving her best material for last, and by that, I mean she’s probably going to try to say that Greg Abbott’s wheelchair is fake and that he’s secretly been able to walk all this time. At least, I hope that’s what she’s going to try. Because that would be amazing.