I have my suspicions.

I suspect that, as the day wore on, he became increasingly aware of the attention he and his colleagues were drawing. He's managed to stay out of the spotlight all these years, which has been, in part, the source of his longevity as an office holder. But his maneuverings seemed cautious and lackluster. The backlash of a success might cost him more than a failed bill. Closing most of the abortion clinics could actually wake people the fuck up. But he couldn't be perceived as weak. He could not back down, because his public image rests on his pro-life stance. (I happen to think that the pro-life brand is hollow and born out of several faulty conceits. I mean, I think most Texans, when push comes to shove, would prefer to have affordable healthcare rather than some falsely pious politicians dictating their sex life. But then, I have to admit that I've now lived longer in Austin than I've lived anywhere else. So I might be out of touch.) By accepting defeat and running out the clock, he was able to transform the concerned citizens into an unruly mob and complain about trampled democracy, oh woe is me.

There is a reason that Perry and Dewhurst use special legislative sessions to do their dirty work. It is exactly contrary to the democratic process. They save all their least-popular topics for these sessions in the hopes of sneaking them through, and if Texas citizens hadn't been alerted and mad as hell, it would have worked. This would have been a page 2 afterthought in all the major newspapers.

But that's why Dewhurst's complaints about unruly mobs ring false. He and his party have forced us into this position. Through gerrymandering he has disenfranchised most Democrats and liberals. And by trying to close down abortion clinics, he and his ilk have tried to sneak a baldly legalistic maneuver around Roe v. Wade. So this is the democracy you get when you try to ignore the rights of half your population. You get angry citizens knocking at your door demanding to be heard. Let's hope he hasn't seen the last of us.


Based on what I've seen in the past, I'm not even a little surprised that the Republicans tried to change the time stamps on the voting record. They are dishonest through and through. But I don't think they've ever been spotlighted like this before, and I'd like to see them squirm a bit, even if nothing ultimately comes from it. They need to be disabused of a few notions.