I love the time we're living in now when I can sit in my living room on the couch with my IPAD open to stream the Texas Legislature session as it's happening. Could I watch it on teevee? No. But either directly from the Texas Legislature Online or from one of a couple of other live streams, I could follow the proceedings.
I saw David Dewhurst break Senate rules to push his own agenda. I saw his twitter account that showed that the abortion bill was not about health but about preventing women from getting legal abortions. The most amazing thing to me is that not only I, in Texas, could watch this, but anyone from around the world. And there were a lot of people watching this circus sideshow. That included the ones that saw him leave the debate so he could go drink some wine at a steakhouse with Rob Johnson.
Here’s the real buzz: Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s decision to slip out of the Senate last month during an abortion debate — so he could have a glass of wine with Rob Johnson, his former chief of staff and current political consultant, at a steakhouse near the Capitol – may pose political problems for him over the next eight months.
My jaw dropped when I heard yesterday that the DPS Troopers that Dewhurst had called in were confiscating tampons from women. Apparently after this news become national, they stopped doing it, could they have been embarrassed?
More hilarity on this from Wonkette
You do have to wonder about this. The next step is to interrogate Texas women who want to come into the capital to make sure it's not their time of month.
The worst was last night listening to the wrap up speeches from both sides. Every single Republican that got up to speak in the hour I was listening treated the Senate as if it were a Baptist church. Dan Patrick was the worst.
State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, a supporter of the bill, disagreed. “I believe when a baby is destroyed we are destroying the image of God,” he said.
That prompted State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, to say Sen. Patrick crossed the line by challenging the faith of those who vote against the bill. “Don’t question the faith of any member on this floor,” he said.
But what really took the cake was David Dewhurst pretending, after all that, that the Texas Senate was some kind of collegial body where they were all working together. At the beginning of the second session, he said "Remember there is more that unites us than divides us"... "(Now that the rape is over, aren't you happy?) I want to thank each and every one of you. .. I want to thank all the orange shirts and blue shirts... whether you're Christian or a person a person of faith... fought for our first amendment rights Right That's why Dewhurst railroaded through a bill for his thug pal Rick Perry, refused to allow even one amendment (including one to allow for rape or incest as legitimate reasons to have an abortion), and we don't even have to consider how he treated Wendy Davis. And first amendment rights ? Please, from the man who called the people who outburst in disgust "unruly mobs".
And not to forget about how Mr First Amendment Rights wanted to arrest Texas media.
Here's what the DMN editorial board thinks
What we think:
"What I have problems with is disingenuousness. If you want to stop abortions, say it. Don’t call an abortion measure a women’s health bill. Don’t stand up and spout rhetoric about women’s safety after bragging on Twitter that the bill would probably cause the overwhelming number of abortion clinics to close.
When Idaho and Arizona passed similar laws, courts ruled they were unconstitutional. And that’s where all this is headed: to the courts. Without – thankfully – the blue and orange shirts and the prayers and chants."
— Ralph De La Cruz, editorial writer (@delacruzDMN)
"It is supremely irresponsible for this Legislature to force women to have babies under these circumstances while systematically yanking away the support network that would help improve the quality of life for their children. The Legislature won't fully restore the budget cuts to schools, which means less money for Texas school districts to cope with a higher influx of children who are under-prepared, under-fed and under-socialized for a school environment. The Legislature's message to schools and teachers: Just cope with it."
— Tod Robberson, editorial writer (@trobberson)
"I oppose late term abortion limits and think both the old standard and new bill standard fall within the time frame I find objectionable. But I take the position that as long as abortion is legal, access should be assured and that the entire show in Austin has been an unfortunate setback for a responsible policy on women's health."
— Jim Mitchell, editorial writer (@jimmitchell18)
"DPS officers outside the gallery said they had no knowledge of any attempts to bring feces or urine inside the Senate, despite rumors alleging some protesters had tried to take some in the gallery. ...Sheesh. Pass the bill already.
Even the most loyal of the loyal opposition concedes the outcome. If you haven't been following this too closely, that means state Sen. Wendy Davis, the Fort Worth Democrat whose 11-hour filibuster helped delay this vote beyond the first special session into this second one. In fact, the last bit of news for me will be what shoes Davis chooses for the vote, expected tonight or early Saturday. And then it's time for everyone to go home and leave Austin be for a while."
— Mike Hashimoto, editorial writer (@mikehashimoto)
"We understand politics will be part of any abortion debate, but that doesn’t obscure the value of looking to medical professionals for guidance. In this case, we don’t see the medical need for changes. What we do see is the triumph of political gamesmanship, once again."
— Editorial board position from June 25, 2013 (@DMNOpinion)