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Saturday, October 1, 2016

A few years ago, during consideration of a bill being pushed by a Republican elder in the Texas Senate, first-term Sen. Wendy Davis asked him a question about it. Rather than respond to this Democrat, this woman, the old bull replied dismissively, “I have trouble hearing women’s voices.”

No more. Even a stone-deaf old bull would’ve been jerked to attention by the clarity of Davis’ voice on June 25. Starting at 11:18 a.m., she literally stood tall for more than 11 grueling hours, filibustering a mean and demeaning attempt by extremist Republican leaders to put the state government in charge of the most personal right women have: controlling decisions about their own bodies.

Davis’ principled stand — in Texas, no less — rallied over 2,000 mothers, grandmothers, girls and others to come to the capitol from all over the state, packing the gallery in quiet witness. Quiet until 10:04 p.m., that is, when GOP leaders tried to silence her by unilaterally ruling her filibuster over.

Suddenly, the ruling Solons were startled by a high-decibel reprimand from their subjects — the gallery erupted in citizen outrage, causing chaos on the floor. Then, when the “leaders” tried to force a vote, the “followers” took charge, with jeers so loud that senators couldn’t hear themselves. With the session set to expire at midnight, panicky leaders tried to push the clock back, which led to deafening chants of “shame, shame, shame,” ultimately blocking the GOP’s brutish ploy.

Texas Republicans have already re-rigged the rules so they can get their way on another day, but they can’t escape the huge significance of this defeat. As Davis rightfully noted, while she was the one standing on the floor, “it was the ‘people’s filibuster’ that stopped (the bill)” and awakened a new movement in Texas that won’t be stopped.

Texas has long experience with animalistic approach to public policy. In 2007, a local school superintendent rejected any need for sex education classes in his district. Noting that many students there live on farms, he said, “They get a pretty good sex education from their animals.”

Guess which state is No. 1 in teen pregnancies? Yes, Texas.

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    As I have often commented, Conservatives develop considered opinions that are never hampered by trivialities like facts or history.

  • dtgraham

    I can’t really recommend the idea of rejecting sex education classes due to many students living on farms and getting “a pretty good sex education from their animals.” As a kid, I learned about sex from watching neighbourhood dogs. I think the most important thing that I learned was; never let go of the girl’s leg no matter how hard she tries to shake you off. Turns out, as I got older, I had to make some modifications to that. It’s a method that has it’s drawbacks.

    • RobertCHastings

      Great post! I guess that describes Texas in a nutshell.

      • dtgraham

        Thanks Robert. Sometimes a little humor helps to put absurdities into context.

  • RobertCHastings

    To all the Texas apologists, I really feel for you. Your education system may NOT be the worst in the country, but it sure has produced some of the stupidest politicians in the country. And that is not just the current generation of Texas “leaders”. Based upon per capita contribution to the Federal coffers, Texas receives more money per capita FROM the Federal government than any other state. They spend less per student on education than the majority of the other states. Their record of helping those who NEED a helping hand from the government is among the worst in the country.

    • 4sanity4all

      And yet their politicians are proud of all that. They would state it all, and more, in glowing terms, of how they shut down the takers, and stimulated the economy (put the money into the greedy hands of big oil and big business, which pay paltry wages). They delude the citizens into thinking that these are all good things, then they gerrymander the thinking voters into having no voice.

      • RobertCHastings

        And one of the proudest was George W Bush, who touted his No Child Left Behind mandate as the savior of American education. Within two years of Bush’s first election, Texas had disbanded their own version of No Child Left Behind for precisely the reasons so many teachers around the country chafed under its mandate – excessive paperwork and teaching to the test instead of to life.