I would like to first start this post by thanking one of my fellow bloggers, Kuya’s Notebook, for watching the TX filibustering with me via Twitter and Gchat. I had a thoroughly fun time watching and explaining the political and parliamentary minutiae throughout the last 4 hours of State Senator Davis’ (ultimately successful) filibuster. Although Governor Rick Perry promptly called for another legislative session, basically ensuring that the abortion bill will pass then, it was quite amazing what one woman tried to, and did, do.
I would like to talk about a different aspect of the event. Substantively, the bill called for many restrictions on abortions that it’d cut the number of clinics from 42 to 5, in addition to other restrictive actions. In a TIME article, the author points out that even though this was one of the most dramatic political events to happen on a legislative floor, basically none of it was broadcast on TV. Nearly all the views of her filibuster were through a Youtube video stream seen by thousands upon thousands of people.
Legislative procedures are definitely not most people’s cup of tea. I, myself, loved the parliamentary maneuvering of both sides to either continue or stop the filibuster. When most people barely know what’s going on with their national legislature, let alone their state legislature, I think it was a disservice of the television networks to not show what was happening in Austin, Texas. Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) filibuster was widely mentioned throughout news TV when he spoke out against the U.S. government’s use of drones, also known as unmanned aircraft systems. However, State Senator Davis’ filibuster against the abortion bill had the added drama of being required to stay germane/relevant to the bill and being peppered with various points of order to end her filibuster as well as having a midnight goal to essentially kill the bill. This would have been a great way to introduce normally disinterested people to politics and, no matter what side they are on, to engage on the issues they care about and be better informed citizens in their local and state politics.
When a majority of one’s life is dictated by local and national politics as compared to the U.S. Congress, shouldn’t your attention also be similarly placed?
- The best tweets from Wendy Davis’s filibuster (storify.com)
- Wendy Davis’ Filibuster: By the Numbers (trendpo.com)
- Perry, filibuster star clash over Texas abortions (bostonherald.com)
- Texas Republican Says Senator Wendy Davis Is A Terrorist For Filibustering Anti-Abortion Bill (IMAGE) (addictinginfo.org)
- Texas Governor Rick Perry calls for special session after filibuster loss (syndicatednewsservices.com)
- The Internet Celebrates Texas State Senator Wendy Davis’s Filibuster (buzzfeed.com)
- John Oliver mocks unbelievably shady Texas GOP for ‘aborting’ Wendy Davis’ filibuster (rawstory.com)
- Meet the Woman Behind the Texas Abortion Filibuster (nation.time.com)
- #SB5: Stand With Wendy! A Primer On Texas Filibusters (burntorangereport.com)
- Wendy Davis Abortion Filibuster Suspended By GOP Lawmakers (huffingtonpost.com)