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Hold off on the round of applause, please...

In Texas "today", Senator Wendy Davis attempted to scupper an anti-abortion bill by filibustering (time-wasting) it for 13 hours straight. This lady deserves some serious credit for literally standing up for her beliefs; for the entire duration, she was not allowed to sit down, rest on anything or otherwise take a break from stalling the vote.

People the world over are going hog-wild about this act of bravery and fortitude. Though her protest was cut short, it "should have" achieved its goal, but the vote was conducted anyway - "illegally", after the midnight deadline. Regardless, the bill was killed after hours of late-night protesting.

Now, opinions on abortion aside (let's not open that can of worms), this "tale of heroism" has really got my goat. I'm astounded at how people think that, well, what Senator Davis did was somehow acceptable. As many others have already said: apparently, filibustering outrageously is perfectly okay given you agree with the motive.

If this was the reverse, if it was a person ruthlessly filibustering to prevent an anti-abortion policy from being revoked, how would you feel? If someone deliberately exploited a loophole and bullshitted their way to a victory when they were the minority, bypassing the fundamental tenets of democracy by wasting time?

The simple fact is, you don't have any right to fuck with how a legitimate vote is going to turn out. Regardless of how detestable the bill is, especially to us non-Texans (in my case, non-American), the fact is? Texans voted those representatives in; Texans are now responsible for what they do; Texans, by implication, want this anti-abortion bill passed.

If Texans disagree? Too fucking bad, you voted wrongly. Or didn't vote at all. Get off your arses and fucking vote next time. Be aware of the issues, and contact your representative to let them know how you feel. If they act against your wishes, then where is the alternative? Why isn't there a representative you could have elected who is in line with the majority of the state's beliefs? Why haven't you run for office? Where do you think these politicians come from? Could it be, perhaps, that you actually don't represent the majority of your state?

Hours of protesting is irrelevant. If it was a majority of people protested the bill, then why didn't their earlier voting reflect that? Why were representatives instated that went so flagrantly against the will of their own electorate? Or is it perhaps that it was a vocal minority?

Texas wanted that awful bill passed. Texans wanted abortions to be out of reach for victims of rape (after 20 weeks). They wanted it. Texas is a hideously regressive bastion of hatefulness. And if any Texans disagree with my assessment there?

Say nothing to me. I don't care. Actions speak louder than words. VOTE!

As much as I think Wendy Davis is a full-blown hero, and I absolutely do agree with her politics here, and I would love to see this bill obliterated (and it was), the fact is she abused a stupid loophole to sabotage the bill. That's not acceptable. Respectable, but not acceptable. By rights, the bill should have passed, and that'd be Texas' own fault. This isn't over, because it was achieved by, frankly, underhanded methods and some loud protesting right in the legislature's face. They'll try again.

Unless this shit is killed, decisively, at the root of the cause, a despicably cold anti-abortion bill is going to be back, and they won't let someone filibuster it to oblivion the second time. I don't mean to be insulting to Texas, or to Senator Davis; I am pointing out the fact that action and involvement from the enfranchised public is what's needed here.

If you stayed home on state election day, then you're to fucking blame. You left the fighting to people like Senator Davis, who could only fight with the inadequate weapons afforded to them, and excused yourself from your civic duty with your pseudo cynicism and jadedness. You can't hide behind excuses or accusations of corruption unless you've actually tried to get involved.

Please remember: whenever you don't vote, whenever the majority doesn't vote, that leaves the stage wide open for lobbyists. For whichever group is whipped into a frenzy at that exact moment. If the typical Texan doesn't vote, the rabid ultra-conservatives will.

Urgh. Sorry...

EDIT -- just a heads up, folks. I actually do understand the challenges Texas especially presents, with the two-party system, homogeneity between those parties, gerrymandering and the like. My point here is just to encourage grass-roots/public involvement. You won't change a THING by sitting there on election day, remaining uninvolved but for a few vocal protests, and so on. Get involved. Contact your representatives. Vote. At least try.
If all else fails, a Mister Jefferson once said something about manure... what was it again? Hm.
Viewed: 56 times
Added: 6 years ago
6 years ago
I might be treading on slippery ground here, as I'm unsure as to whether or not you want replies to this journal. Since I've studied American Politics for two years now, I want to make a couple of things known. Granted, you're a lot smarter than I am, so my arguments may just be unworthy dribble.

I have not studied the Texas State Legislature specifically, but it appears to be one of the few states that openly allows filibustering in its Senate. Texas can at any time reevaluate their decision to allot that power to Senators, and revoke it if they feel it is being abused. In fact, filibusters are one of the few overt ways to kill a bill; many more bills succumb to backroom handling and voting bribery.

From what I can gather, your real issue is with the notion of the filibuster itself, or, more broadly, the notion that representatives can work against the will of the people. The original purpose of the filibuster (in the U.S.) was to pause the passage of a piece of legislation to ensure that it was truly the best course of action, which elevated the requirement of votes from a simple majority to a super-majority. The purpose of the filibuster, and its utilization, has alter immensely. Because of intense party struggle, the mere threat of a filibuster removes a bill from plausible passage, at least until it has been worked to be more bipartisan or more vague. There are other, more covert ways to ruin a bill, so filibusters aren't pulled out very often.

Now for the broad tackling. Remember, I am only talking about American Senate structure here, as that's all I've studied. One of the key elements of the Senate is that it does not have to bow to the will of the people. It is a body established for the purpose of debate, reflection, and moderate resolution. That is why Senator terms are longer than terms for representatives in the lower houses for states, and the House of Representatives nationally. They deal with the long-term impacts of legislation on their state. There are less senators than members of the other body, meaning that they deal with broader constituencies. More moderate voting patterns result, typically. Senators are meant to speak for the broader interests of their state, and not get as bogged down by local affairs. Is it the most democratic? No. Is it the best system? Probably not. But that's how it functions from what I've gathered.

I honestly find it more shocking that the Supreme Court, a group of nine members with zero connection to the public can make wide-sweeping decision on legislation, as they just did for DOMA. Granted, I greatly approve of their decision, but still.

Voting is still 100% essential to getting things done, as well as working with your representatives. Please understand that I'm not trying to devalue the power of the vote.

Apologies if you didn't want a response.    
6 years ago
It's really not that I... don't want comments here, it's more that I'm kicking myself wondering why I posted a journal like this to begin with. I think my brain ran away briefly. But I always appreciate comments and discussion, and I will always do my best to reply.

That said, I'll have to wait until tomorrow, and the first chance I get to properly respond, because I really need to sleep. I can't believe I was dumb enough to stay awake so late as it is. I was waiting for feedback from someone who was proofreading something of mine. What, you ask? It's a secret. :D
5 years, 6 months ago
Oh my god, I totally forgot to reply to this..

Seriously sorry about that. :S
6 years ago
I comepletely agree with your reasoning. I think an example of the ACTUAL majority of the population going out and using their democratic power was the 2012 election between Obama and Romney. I don't think anyone passed up that vote and shows just how fucking split these opinions of both parties are at the moment and then. And about your Jeffereson thing, I think Washington also said something about parties and the spliting of nations.

P.S. Uhm... Any updates on Astray/ TS you're willing to share? =3
6 years ago
At least she actually did the filibuster. In congress they don't even require the act, you just have to say you will and the bills are pretty much dropped. It just amazes me what governments can get away with and the citizens have just let it happen.
6 years ago
I dont know a single Texan who voted for who we have in office.
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