Sometimes, only a Yiddish word is capable of adequately conveying the disdain of an insult. Chutzpah is infinitely stronger than gall, its most common English translation. It’s also more earthy than hubris, and more all-encompassing than smugness.
And chutzpah absolutely permeates a measure that has been introduced in the Indiana House of Representatives by Representative Curt Nisly. Here is the digest of House Bill 1089:
Protection of life. Repeals the statutes authorizing and regulating abortion. Finds that human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm. Asserts a compelling state interest in protecting human physical life from the moment that human physical life begins. Provides that court decisions to enjoin the law are void. Specifies the duty of Indiana officials to enforce the law. Specifies that federal officials attempting to enforce contrary court orders against Indiana officials enforcing the law shall be subject to arrest by Indiana law enforcement. Redefines “human being” for purposes of the criminal code to conform to the finding that human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm. Makes other conforming changes.
Where to begin…
Ignore, for purposes of this rant, the fact that the only life Rep. Nisly is interested in “protecting” is that of the fetus; if the pregnancy threatens the life of the woman carrying that fetus, evidently that’s just too bad.
There is, of course, the enormous chutzpah displayed by a man with no medical credentials–a man who owns a sheet-metal company–who feels entitled to determine when life begins, and the chutzpah of a person who can never be pregnant dictating behavior to those who can be. (Pregnancy, as people with medical credentials will confirm, is a greater risk to women’s health than abortion. But Rep. Nisly is willing to force all women, whatever their medical or emotional or financial circumstances, to assume that risk. No skin off his nose.)
That’s bad enough, but what really is astonishing about this piece of excrement–what demonstrates both outrageous chutzpah and monumental constitutional ignorance–is Nisly’s apparent belief that the legislature can pass a bill that overrules the courts and prevents the executive branch from enforcing court orders.
Checks and balances? Piffle.
Separation of powers? What’s that?
The Constitution? If Trump doesn’t have to read, understand or obey it, why should Rep. Nisly?
Even in a legislative chamber as overwhelmingly rightwing as Indiana’s, this is highly unlikely to pass. (I use the term “rightwing” rather than “conservative” because there is absolutely nothing conservative about people who don’t want to conserve the values of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.) Even our legislature’s dimmer bulbs aren’t likely to endorse a measure that simply ignores our country’s entire legal structure. But you have to ask yourself: who votes for the sort of ignoramus who would propose a bill like this?
And what sort of ego–what monumental amount of chutzpah–does a person have to have in order to run for public office without bothering to understand the government he wants to be part of?