Tuesday night, while CNN discussed the calorie count of blueberry muffins, something amazing happened in Texas. In spite of, numerous challenges, and several very obvious attempts to ignore the Texas Constitution, House Bill 5 was defeated… by a filibuster… by a woman… and the crowd of people supporting her.
House Bill 5 was intended to greatly limit the reproductive freedom of women. In spite of the fact that the Special Session of the Texas legislature was called to deal with a myriad of things… none of which were done. The GOP leaders kept the legislature in session until the 11th hour. Apparently, to Texas Republicans, the 11th hour is actually 2AM the next morning.
You see, Senator Wendy Davis (D-Tarrant Counrty (That’s Forth Worth to you non-Texans)), attempted to filibuster HB5 and allow Texas women to retain their reproductive freedom. She failed. Of course, Texas law allows for three warnings before the senate can vote to overturn the filibuster. She got one warning for having someone help her put on her back brace. Her other warnings were for drifting off topic.
They finally declared the filibuster over at 11PM. One hour shy of the legal end of the special session at midnight.
The something amazing happened. Senator Leticia R. San Miguel Van de Putte (D-Bexar County (That’s San Antonio)), started getting all technical on their asses. She kept them tied up in parliamentary procedures until almost midnight.** Then the crowd outside in the capital building and inside the senate chambers started acting up.
Slightly after midnight, the senate voted and the GOP declared the bill passed. Which lead to this great tweet…
Things that confuse Texas Republicans 1) Women 2) Science 3) Clocks
It wasn’t until after 2AM that Lt. Governor Dewhurst said that he couldn’t sign the bill because it was after midnight and it was dead.
The Texas Democrats may have found someone to rally behind. In one of the previous Texas elections for governor, Rick “Good Hair, I can’t remember the third thing’ Perry was up against 3 others. The vote was massively split with Perry winning with almost 40% of the vote. Had even one of the two independents dropped out and those votes gone to the Democrat (Chris Bell), we wouldn’t have had to deal with Perry for the last 6 years. Texas has had either George W. Bush or Rick Perry for governor since 1995!!!*
With Wendy standing up for women’s rights and Leticia in support, Texans may have some Democrats that are recognized state-wide as leaders. I’d vote for either of them.
While reading about this, I came across many, many people who kept of the classic Texas mantra.
Texas is Republican. There’s no point in a Democrat going to vote.
But there is a huge… massively huge reason for Democrats to go vote. The Republicans don’t want you to, because you will win.
In the 1012 presidential election, just over 40% of Texans voted for Obama. Obama lost by almost 1.5 million votes. The GOP machine was in high gear, doing everything it could to get their people out to vote that black guy out of office.
And it worked. In 2012, only 58.8% of registered voters in Texas voted. That amounts to 7.5 MILLION people who didn’t go vote in the election. I’m not saying that all of them were Democrat, but even if 1/4 of them were and they went and voted… Texas would have been blue.
It’s possible. The numbers are there to turn Texas from a guaranteed GOP win to at least a state that Democrats can contest.
And finally, today, in a moment of astonishing cluelessness, Rick Perry said
“In Texas, we value all life…
Two and half hours before Texas executed its 500th Death Row inmate.
* Which really illustrates one of the problems with a two-party, straight majority vote.
** I’d like to add that her father’s funeral had been on the same day and she still came in, stayed until midnight and kicked ass.