The Long View

(When I started writing this, Texas Senator Wendy Davis, D-Ft. Worth, had been standing for over 8 hours and was running short of “germane” material in her filibuster,  previous passed bills regarding abortion – Roe v. Wade and the trans-vaginal ultrasound requirement – having been ruled by the Republican-controlled State Senate as “not germane” to the topic.)

The threat of a wire coat hanger has reappeared in my lifetime.

I did not expect to move backward. Or be forced backward, more accurately. I thought, erroneously, that gained ground – that ground – was so intrinsically linked to the idea of American freedom that it was unassailable to rallying political rhetoric. It would be like advocating for a return to slavery, I thought. But then, I am in Texas.

They are calling for our stories and I don’t have one.  I’ve never faced that decision. Through luck and medicine, or rocky biology, I’ve avoided that condition. And I’m grateful. And I can’t imagine imposing my choice on anyone else – or the hubris of people who would.

Senator Wendy Davis stands in pink tennis shoes, speaking. Stuck at work, I catch moments of the live stream from my phone.

Now Republicans are claiming a third strike on Davis, effectively ending her filibuster at 11 hours.

I’m outraged at Republican attempts to derail the filibuster by labeling Roe v. Wade “not germane” to the issue. Not germane? How is that possible?

People are outraged in the Gallery too;  the spectators there are shouting, hooting, screaming. The filibuster is over, and even though Senator Watson has displayed deft and comprehensive skill with legislative rules, and even though Senator Van Putte has refused to be brushed away like a fly, they have called a vote.  But they can’t hear the results. It’s chaos on the floor. For twenty minutes the Gallery echoes back the cacophonous anger of those who have been forced silent for too long.

They cannot hear themselves over the voices of the people.  How appropriate.

(Read more)


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