One nice thing about having an entire ascendant political class utterly divorced from pragmatism or reality is that, since the people involved do still have to live in the real world, their own efforts occasionally backfire in hilarious ways. My favorite one of these is probably still the time that Texas, in its zeal to ban gay marriage, overshot the mark and accidentally amended the state constitution in a way that techincally banned all marriage. But now there’s a new contender.
Texas, like many other conservative-controlled states, has passed strict Voter ID laws in an effort to disenfranchise the poor, minorities, and women. In Texas you must now be able to show a current government ID whose name “substantially matches” that on the voter registry to be able to vote. This is actually somewhat weaker than the version of the law pushed for by Texas attorney general Greg Abbott, who wanted an exact match to be required. But State Senator Wendy Davis, Democrat and noted superhero, pointed out that women who had gotten married and changed their name would frequently be unable to vote, and got the law changed so that if the names were similar but not identical you could still vote providing you signed an affidavit.
In an ironic twist, Greg Abbott turned out to be registered to vote under that name, but arrived at his polling place to discover that his driver’s license reads “Greg Wayne Abbott.” So under his preferred legislation, he would have been unable to vote at all. Which is especially interesting given that he’s the presumptive Republican candidate to replace Rick Perry as Governor. And his presumptive opponent? Wendy Davis, the woman who preserved his franchise in 2013.
You’ve got a year to improve the optics on that one, Greg.