As Republican state Senators convene to debate and vote on their obscenely restrictive and unconstitutional “abortion bill” Friday afternoon, the objecting echoes of filibuster heroine Wendy Davis and all who Stand with Texas Women hang in the air, unheeded by Republican lawmakers.
Texas state Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) wrote a powerful op-ed Friday for CNN in which she asked Texas Republican lawmakers and Governor Perry if they can hear real Texans now, “I have a question for Perry and the state’s powerful politicians who have ignored real Texans for so long: Can you hear us now? And, more important, are you listening?”
It was a profoundly suitable question, with the Texas legislature having troopers escort a young woman out of the chamber just for speaking her mind, and the legislators refusal to listen to supporters of women’s health, experts, and the general public- referring to champions of women’s health freedom as an “unruly mob”. And then they made fools of themselves trying to shut down Senator Davis’ epic filibuster with petty challenges over a back brace and other shamefully transparent attempts to silence the female Senator.
In her op-ed for CNN, Davis explained that she started her filibuster hoping Republicans would listen to how cruel their bill was, “I stood up and began talking on the floor of the Texas State Senate not long ago because I hoped the Republicans in power would listen to how their latest cruel health care proposal would hurt the women of Texas. Simply put, this bill would take away access to the most fundamental form of health care women need.”
Davis pointed out that the average Texas doesn’t want any woman to die of cancer because she can’t get healthcare, “Real Texans don’t want any woman to die of cancer because she can’t get decent health care or medical advice. Real Texans don’t want any woman to lose control of her life because she can’t get birth control.”
The Senator is correct, and according to a recent poll, “real Texans” also don’t trust Governor Perry or any politicians to be in charge of their healthcare.
She said her filibuster will be remembered as the moment when real Texans said enough, “The “people’s filibuster” that put a temporary stop on the misguided bill that powerful Republicans are still intent on ramming through will long be remembered as the moment when regular Texans — real Texans — stood up and said “enough” to the self-interested politicians who have run our state for too long.”
In a rather poignant ending, Senator Davis pointed out that her first filibuster two years ago — an attempt to protect Texas schools and children from reckless cuts — was rewarded by Republican leaders by removing her from the powerful Senate Education Committee. Just another way of saying “Sit down and shut up.”
But just as real Texans have had enough, so too have real Americans. No, not the people chanting “USA” while voting to subsidize foreign oil companies with our tax dollars or give our land away to corporations in the name of alleged “freedom”, but the usually silent majority; the moderates and a-political, who just can’t abide lawmakers appointing themselves in charge of American women’s medical decisions.
Republicans are fools for awakening this giant, but they have to do what they have to do to appease their increasingly fringey, extremist base. Even though the national party knows better, they just can’t keep their self-interested pols in line with their necessary rebranding efforts.
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Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.