An Open Letter on the Recent Events in the Texas State Senate

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Let me start by making a few clarifying remarks. I consider myself neither liberal nor conservative. It is depressing to watch as society serves up some linear, bipolar model of ideology and individuals buy into wholesale. Without going into great detail, this is the mark of our tribalism, our wish to have others validate our own views, because if we step out of the model given, we can only do so alone, and, for most people, that is terrifying.

So how do I describe my ideology concerning the function of government? Here is the basic premise of my stance: I am a problem solver. The point of government is to better provide for the joy and peace of its constituents than the naked state of nature can. Therefore, any change to our current form that I espouse can be best viewed as a solution to some problem I see hindering that goal.

Furthermore, I am in favor of the continued legality of abortions. I would not say I am for abortion, and I think the “pro-choice” epithet is as misleading and dishonest as the “pro-life” epithet, but I do stand by the upholding of Roe v. Wade. My reasons are complicated, especially given that my vegetarianism is provoked by a belief in the essential possibility that all life can be wonderful, but I would characterize them as a saddened choice of the lesser evil. Even without pointing to the extremes women have gone to in the past when abortion was not legal, I see that, though the possibility of all life being wonderful is my essential truth, not all life has a good probability of the same; and when a mother rejects her child before it is even out of the womb, I know that probability is low, and I do not wish a bad life on any being, so I think it best to let it go before it gains consciousness and the pain starts.

But, despite my fundamental support of keeping abortions legal, I want to discuss the absolutely disgusting liberal response to the events in the Texas State Congress this week. For a recap, republicans were trying to push through a bill that would greatly restrict access to the medical care needed for an abortion. It looked like the bill was going to succeed after passing the House of Representatives and entering the Senate for a vote. As most official actions in a democratic government though, there was a bureaucratic restriction: the vote had to occur before midnight on Wednesday morning. Of course, this does not seem to be too great a restriction. I mean, unless there were the mother of all traffic jams clogging up every street in the entire state of Texas, the republicans could get their vote in on time, right?

Wrong.

You see, there’s a funny little strategy any senators opposing a bill up for a vote can implement: a filibuster. Since there is a time deadline on the vote of any bill, a deadline that, if not met, will kill the bill, someone can stand up and begin talking about the bill. And keep talking. And when they’re done saying anything of substance, they can still keep talking, so long as they do not stray too far from the subject matter on hand. And that’s exactly what democratic senator Wendy Davis did: she talked. Senator Davis talked for roughly¬†twelve hours starting around 11 AM Tuesday morning. And why? Because, so long as she was talking, the vote could not take place, and, once the deadline passed, it would die. So, in essence, this senator held up the democratic process, hindering the function of our government to operate, and as a result, threatened the possibility of a vote occurring on the bill.

You know what, though? That’s government for you. Holding up the democratic process, upon which this nation was supposedly founded, for thirteen hours is, sadly, just a drop in the bucket. So she’s a sleazy politician who is willing to manipulate the system to get her way, who in an elected political office isn’t?

But the story did not end there. Late in the evening, roughly twelve hours after her filibuster began, the republicans seemed to regain control by pointing out that she had fallen off topic. One of the restrictions of maintaining a filibuster is that you have to stay on topic, and how long can someone without any background in medical sciences really talk about an abortion bill? Frankly, I’m surprised she lasted that long. So, with about an hour left to vote, they got her off the floor.

But for anyone familiar with the National Convention government under Robespierre you can already guess that even this is not the end of the story. You see, people who were opposed to the bill were actually present. Just as the republican government of the National Convention was overrun by Parisian mobs who happened to live close by the center to which delegates from every province had to come, a mob of protest erupted in the Texas state capitol after Senator Davis’ filibuster was stopped. This was the final commotion which delayed the bill enough to kill it. In a last ditch effort, it seems the republicans tried to claim that they got the vote in on time, but the whole event had been recorded so that, of course, did not work.

So how long after midnight did they get the vote in?

Two minutes.

People, I have four time telling devices in my apartment. Here are what each of them say right now: 12:57, 12:58, 12:59, and 1:06. The spread demonstrated is nine minutes. So, unless they’re running atomic clocks over at the Texas State Senate, I’m going to go ahead and say two minutes, compared to the thirteen hour filibuster and mob protest which aimed their power AGAINST the DEMOCRATIC PROCESS, is not a big deal.

Unfortunately, other people did think it was a big deal.

I’m a fan of a few webcomics and general funny sites on the internet, and found that most of these people, being wholesale buyers of whatever ideology the democratic party is peddling, whether it be gay rights (good) or the screaming over rational discourse so as to halt the representatives of the people from voting on something they don’t like (bad), saw the “two minutes” as some great example of republican corruption, and completely overlooked the thirteen hour cessation of democracy prompted by their beloved party. I will not point fingers and call names, but I will post a few of the quotations I found:

“So just to be clear: The Texas Senate *changed the timestamp on the vote* after it clearly showed the vote was taken after midnight.”

“GOP senator claiming that the vote was taken at 11:59, unaware that we’re all recording this shit apparently.”

“If you have women in your life that you care about, you should be enraged about what happened in Texas tonight.”

“If you’re not totally ignorant and evil you should be enraged about what happened tonight.”

These are real quotes, and real examples of how limited our partisan way of thinking really is. I know I’ve mentioned this enough times to call the horse not just dead, but also skinned with bones bleached, but it needs to be said again: republicans tried to cheat the system by two minutes, whereas Democrats are proud of having basically screamed as loud as they could for thirteen hours in an attempt to halt the democratic process and “get their way.” I know three year olds who would get their asses beat for such behavior, but these people are actually proud of this.

So, from a supporter of the decision made in¬†Roe v. Wade, here’s my message to any of you who wrote the above statements, or anyone else who believes the democratic process should be detoured any time a vote might not go their way: you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. You are the reason this world and all its governments have been unable to produce the joy and peace we know is possible, because you are so self-absorbed as to believe that a better world can only come on your own terms. You are crying children, no more than the white noise that stops us from having rational discourse, trying to force your own morality on others. You are no better than the forces you claim to despise, because in principle you are the same: fascists.

3 thoughts on “An Open Letter on the Recent Events in the Texas State Senate

  1. After getting burned enough in Scrabble by points-mongers who lay down an “S” to sack in an easy sweep from a singular word, it can be difficult to restrain the same tactic on my end. Now with higher stakes on a legislative board game, how could we protest the same would not have been done by the Rs instead of the Ds?

    Thanks for posting your take on abortion. I did not think about what the child’s life would be like with a mother who did not want him. There’s so much emphasis placed on the fetus as living, but we ignore what disadvantages he may start with even after birth: an unloving parent. I guess there are worse things than charting a forced destiny, to have been lifted from oblivion into none at all.

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