Many commentators and pundits have worried out loud that the Texas "precedent" of using vigilantism to end safe, legal abortion in that state is either wildly unconstitutional or, if it stands, will set a precedent to take down other rights like free speech or protest.
Republicans are playing with fire here, but it's not just around abortion rights. They're also explicitly going after a wide variety of other rights that Americans have fought to maintain for centuries.
If they achieve their endpoint — the direction they're currently heading — they will ultimately see their own rights stripped away as well, leading to the end of our democratic republic.
Just look at the horrors they're pursuing:
— Lacking any meaningful evidence whatsoever of "voter fraud," Republicans have now severely limited voting rights in 7 states and have bills pending with a good chance of passage in at least a dozen others.
— Compounding this, and empowered by the Supreme Court, Republicans are using voter purges to strip people off the voting rolls in heavily Democratic areas of GOP-controlled states (like Brian Kemp throwing over a half-million Georgians off the rolls just before "beating" Stacey Abrams by only about 50,000 votes).
— Ignoring decades of evidence (and common sense) that comprehensive sex education in schools lowers both sexually transmitted diseases as well as unwanted pregnancies, multiple states (Texas the largest) mandate that sex education be limited to "abstinence only" and forbid teachers from discussing birth control.
— Pretending the brutal history of religious fanatics in New England (see Monday's rant) and the warnings of everybody from Jesus to Jefferson that it's vital to separate church and state never happened, Republicans embrace hardcore fundamentalist hustlers who will turn on them as soon as it suits their own twisted purposes.
— Turning their backs on basic science, Republicans are rejecting both teaching evolution and wearing masks in our schools as, ironically, the Covid virus continues to evolve into more and more virulent strains.
— Spitting on the graves of our Founders who in many cases laid down their lives to codify and sanctify the right to protest, Republicans have passed laws giving a legal pass to bigots who drive their cars into protests and kill or injure people.
— Doing their best to prevent young people from learning that around half of our Founders were slaveholders, Republicans think they can whitewash (pun intended) our history rather than confront and learn from it to make our country better.
— Embracing anti-government militia movements, Republicans celebrate and empower people who openly deify the likes of Timothy McVeigh and Adolf Hitler while promoting anti-Americanism and even seditious insurrection.
— Tolerating blatant lawlessness and corruption within their own party, Republicans support politicians who participated in a conspiracy to "hang Mike Pence" and murder Speaker Nancy Pelosi, even calling the conspirators currently in jail "patriots" and "political prisoners."
— Sucking up to an obese orange-makeup-wearing billionaire who made his first fortune by stealing from his own family members and getting his Alzheimer's-addled father to sign papers he couldn't understand, Republicans continue to support a man who turned into a lifelong business model ripping off contractors and customers; lying to banks, insurance companies and the IRS; and taking dirty money from foreign oligarchs and tyrants.
— Taking billions in campaign contributions and other support from fossil fuel industries and its billionaires, Republicans use that support to maintain their power and build their own wealth while denying climate change — as the entire nation is hit repeatedly by "natural" disasters caused or exacerbated by global warming.
— Promoting rightwing media that traffics in hysteria, lies and racial hatred, Republicans replace honest policy discussions with jingoism, sloganeering and the "otherization" of anybody with whom they disagree or who looks, loves or prays differently than they do.
— Congratulating armed bullies in their "Trump trains" like those who drove Kamala Harris' campaign bus off the road and now regularly terrorize communities of color, Republicans embrace these 21st century Brownshirts.
In each case, the GOP — purely to seize and hold power — is moving America farther and farther from the goals and ideals this nation has traditionally held and ever more rapidly toward an authoritarian, oligarchic form of government like has seized Hungary, Brazil, Russia, The Philippines, and many nations across the Third World.
They think they can control this beast they've created, that they'll be able to pull it all back before it ends in utter disaster for our nation. However history, from our own Civil War to early 20th century Europe to today's countries where "conservative" parties have tried the same, gives the lie to their belief.
The monster of fear, hate, and greed that they've created — as it rises from the primordial mud and shakes itself into life — will eventually consume them every bit as enthusiastically as it has consumed dozens of other political parties and nations around the world.