Hundreds of jeering protesters helped stop Texas lawmakers from passing one of the toughest abortion measures in the country, shouting down Senate Republicans and forcing them to miss a midnight deadline to pass the bill.
Initially, Republicans insisted they had started voting before the midnight deadline and passed the bill that Democrats spent much of Tuesday filibustering. But after official computer records and printouts of the voting record showed the vote took place on Wednesday, and then were changed to read Tuesday, senators convened for a private meeting.
An hour later, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst was still insisting the 19-10 vote was in time, but said, “with all the ruckus and noise going on, I couldn’t sign the bill.”
He denounced the more than 400 protesters who staged what they called “a people’s filibuster” from 11:45 p.m. to well past midnight. He denied mishandling the debate.
“I didn’t lose control (of the chamber). We had an unruly mob,” Dewhurst said. He then hinted that Gov. Rick Perry may immediately call another special session, adding: “It’s over. It’s been fun. But see you soon.”
Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, spent most of the day staging an old-fashioned filibuster, attracting wide support, including a mention from President Barack Obama’s campaign Twitter account. Her Twitter following went from 1,200 in the morning to more than 20,000 by Tuesday night.
Here is a little memo to Harry Reid, Democratic Senate Majority Leader in the US Senate:
Harry, this is what a real filibuster is supposed to look like.
Not the silent filibuster you are allowing the GOP to engage in to block all legislation with a spurious claim that 60%, not 51% is required.
Harry, you and the Democrats in the Senate are spineless cowards.
If only you had the courage of this elected member of the Texas legislature.
Please learn from her. And stop your cowering.
Tell the GOP to suck it up, declare an end to the silent filibuster they are engaging in.
If they want to filibuster, make them get up and talk and actually do it.
Otherwise, change the rules, and start approving all the languishing nominations to the judiciary.
The fact you have not done this after five years makes you complicit in the GOP obstructionism, and no better than them.
Your failure to act on this has become a laughing stock, and has contributed to the complete dysfunction of Congress, and has done nothing but help the GOP in its goal of using obstructionist tactics to deny effective governance, while doing everything in their power to continue the war on women, the war on voting rights, in fact, their war on the American People on behalf of their masters, the Corporate Oligarchy.
History is not going to reflect kindly on any of the current useless excuses for elected officials in the Congress of the United States.