The night echoes softly with the cries of “Let Her SPEAK!” Three little words spoken with such vehemence that they quite literally shook the walls of government. I was not in Austin when it happened, like many Americans, I watched what went down in the Texas Legislature on my computer. So glued to the events as they happened I did not move from my seat for many hours. I read social media sites and followed the news as it was posted online. It was madness. It was chaos. It was politics. I watched as politicians fought one another, using words as weapons and literature as armor.
It all started after Wendy Davis’ “third strike” for “lack of germaneness” and her removal from the podium. She had already been up there about 11 hours. The crowd, already impatient and worked up, got…worse. It was so bad I was sure there would be a riot. Luckily, that did not happen. Dewhurst kept trying to hurry things along to get the SB5 passed. But some of the senators decided to, as someone on Twitter put it “Yo, dawg, I heard you like filibusters, so I put a filibuster in your filibuster.” And that was what happened, senators took turns asking questions, looking for explanation from Dewhurst, and generally being awesome. I won’t give you a play by play, there are others doing that. I’m just going to comment on a few of my favorite bits of the night:
- There was even a point where Kirk Watson went on a beautiful cultured rant explaining WHY their removal of Wendy Davis was wrong. Loved it.
- Judith Zaffirini flipping through multiple books and then coming up with an argument that would have made any Gygaxian rules-lawyer proud.
- “People are asking where are the torches and the pitchforks.” ~ Christopher Dido on his UStream channel.
- “At what point must a female senator raise her hand to be recognized over the voices of her male colleagues?” ~ Leticia Van De Putte
Eventually, the clock was ran out by the citizens themselves as they screamed, shouted, and protested until the clock struck midnight and the bill turned into a pumpkin. Of course, it didn’t stop there. That would be too easy, no Dewhurst decided to try to literally turn back the clock on women’s rights. The Internet just wasn’t having that. They [the senators] had to be called back in and actually had to VOTE to make sure that the illegal vote on SB5 was in fact, illegal. No, I didn’t make that up. That was actually, what happened. Google it for yourself. It’ll blow your mind. Shortly before that, the Texas Legislative YouTube channel went dark but Christopher Dido’s UStream was still up. Finally, after waiting until almost four in the morning, Davis sent the text to heard ‘round the world “The Lt. Governor has agree that SB5 is dead.” The applause and screaming was deafening. Somehow. SOMEHOW, the underdog won. Even though the opposition had used every dirty trick in the book including trying to change the rules.
But the night didn’t go without causalities. First, the mainstream media wasn’t reporting on what was going on in Texas. Most of them were talking about muffins or Paul Dean. That’s right. MUFFINS. Second, this is only one bill, in one state. There are dozens out there trying to do the same thing in other states. I may not be a woman, but the idea that my girlfriend, sisters, mother, aunts, or friends couldn’t get an abortion if they actually needed one terrifies me. It also pisses me off. Who are you to oppose your belief system on someone so drastically that it quite literally threatens that person’s life? Isn’t this why we are fighting battles oversea? To remove religious institutions that control puppet governments? Religion is a powder keg issue – there is no doubt about that – but really, do you want your pastor in your uterus telling you that it’s God’s plan for you to have an ectopic pregnancy? Even with modern medicine, that sort of thing kills more often than not. Think about that for a minute. There are people out there that think the life of the child outweighs the life of the mother. It boggles. For now, we’ve won. Nevertheless, who knows what will happen next. And when I say “we” I do not as speak as either a Republican or a Democrat. I’m neither. Both parties have ideals that interest me and both parties do things I wish I could slap them for. I think this is the case with most citizens. So I’m not speaking as either a Rep or a Dem, I’m speaking as an American. Moreover, as an American I am appalled. Republicans, please just drop this agenda you have for trying to enforce things that don't need to be enforced and get back to stuff we really need, like , medicine, jobs, housing, you know, the basics.