MSNBC anchor Joy Reid lampooned Texas this week over its promotion of conservative legislation — including a constitutional carry provision, election security reform, and a ban on abortions — comparing the state to a satellite republic of the USSR.
"Texas is basically a small Soviet Republic at this point, with neighbors spying on neighbors, hoping to collect a cash bounty, in addition to being an apartheid state for nonwhite voters," the progressive anchor claimed in a tweet, likening private American citizens to the former Soviet KGB.
"What woman or [person of color] could possibly feel safe there?" she asked. "To say nothing of the gun proliferation."
On Wednesday, a number of laws took effect in Texas, including one allowing residents to carry a handgun in public without a permit and another barring abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which typically occurs at six weeks' gestation. The latter provision is to be enforced not by the state but by private citizens now empowered to file a civil lawsuit against doctors who perform an abortion or anyone who "aids and abets" the procedure.
Republicans have also over the last several weeks pushed for a new election security reform bill, which, in part, would increase protections for poll watchers.
In the tweet thread, Reid exasperatedly questioned what the "private citizen bullies" would be permitted to enforce next?
"They've enacted laws letting (potentially armed) thugs "watch" (Black and Latino) voters, prompted Texans to spy on women and file lawsuits for a $ bounty against anyone helping them end a pregnancy," Reid lamented.
"Will Texans be prompted to spy on teachers to ensure they are not teaching the true history of slavery and are only upholding the prim dignity of the white founding fathers? How about urging citizens to inform on and sue parents who send their children to school masked?" she asked.
The anchor then warned that similarly dangerous measures will soon be passed in Florida.
"[Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis] isn't just gonna sit back and let [Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott] out-Viktor Orban him," she said, alluding to the Hungarian prime minister who, ironically, is famous for openly demanding that Soviet troops leave the country during a 1989 speech.
"After that, it's the floodgates in Red America. We are two countries. The United States, and Gilead," she concluded.