It’s been only a week since the contentious Texas State Senate drama and already the revision of history has begun. It is as if, by repeating the lie often enough, the broadcast narrative has become true. At least in the popular understanding, apparently it really does work that way. After all, one of the immutable laws of marketing is that reality doesn’t matter: it is perception of reality that is the only thing that really matters.
In this case, I can’t fall prey to a redefined reality. I saw it live. But the majority of Texans (and the larger group of Americans) did not, and so the melting of truth has begun, turning the truth into some Dali-esque version of the preferred Liberal story.
That story goes something like this:
The Texas legislature was trying to end their session by passing a landmark law that would destroy the reproductive rights of women, and force them to get back-alley abortions. This was perpetrated by the out-of-touch old white men in the government, against the will of the people. We needed a hero. We found Wendy Davis.
In a legendary move, State Senator Wendy Davis stood up for 13 hours and filibustered, speaking non-stop without drinking water, leaning, or going to the bathroom, and defeated the evil Republicans: The leader we needed, right when we needed her!
It is a beautiful story. It could be a movie. And just like most movies you’ve ever seen, it is completely untrue.
If I’m to be completely candid, I’m not an unbiased observer. I worked actively for the opposition in last year’s election to get Wendy removed from office. It was an election where the Democrats spent more money than in any previous State Senate race. They outspent almost every national congressional race—let that sink in—they outspent most national candidates. I read the Democrat internal memos, saying that she was a key part of their plan to “turn Texas blue,” and that they were positioning her in a race for governor. I was also there as Democrats from Chicago bussed voters to the polls to insure victory in their $2.8 million gamble.
But, me being as biased as I am, doesn’t make me incapable of being a witness. In fact, from about 9:30 that night, I watched the filibuster live. I saw when the Republicans determined Davis had gotten her “third strike” and she was made to sit down, ending the filibuster.
Then I saw State Senator Dan West and other Democrats repeatedly flood the floor with Points of Inquiry (questions about the proceedings). All of these sounded like, “I…have…a…question…about…” (with sometimes 2 or 3 seconds between words) Many of these were simply repeats of a question just asked mere moments before.
No less than three times did the Democrats ask to hear about each of the “strikes” Davis had incurred. This dragged on for over half an hour. It was a mockery of the democratic process. It finally became obvious that their game had worn thin, and it was determined to go to a vote.
San Antonio State Senator Leticia Van de Putte (who should not be allowed anywhere near a place where decisions are made) had the microphone as the vote was announced. She had asked the last question. As it was announced, she loudly complained that her motion was being ignored. She was being ignored in favor of the Republican men (forgetting of course that she had taken up much of the preceding 15 minutes on her own time-wasting questions).
She showingly crowed, “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?” Apparently, she forgot that she was holding the microphone the whole time, and had not actually made a motion in the first place. Maybe she just forgot. It was late after all. It is far more likely that she was lying.
The voting began. Finally, the bill would be passed…but then the Democrats turned around and began waving their arms into the air. The crowd packing the Capitol started to shout and scream. They screamed so loud that no one could hear the roll call. They screamed until it was past 12, and the Special Session was officially over, meaning that the bill hadn’t passed. The mob defeated the democratic process.
I don’t really blame Wendy Davis in all of this. Her political career has been engineered by forces bigger than she is. She decided to filibuster (an allowed process) a bill that her politics and beliefs require her to fight. But, Senators like Van de Putte who stupidly lied in order to achieve her ends, and all of the Democrat operative that organized a mob in order to force their political will, are villains. They should never be celebrated, even by those who agree with their political goals.
The next day, the news media began to celebrate. I heard on an NPR show days later that Wendy Davis had defeated the Republicans with her courageous filibuster. The TV said that the Republicans couldn’t get the votes needed in time. The newspaper told of the swelling of support for “women’s reproductive rights.” Commentators prattled over the Republican plan to subvert the democratic process by calling another special session. Wendy Davis appeared on national news shows. The local TV showed only tweets of Democratic activists. I read an article about how people were “clamoring” for Davis to run for governor.
The fact is that 60% of Texans favor this bill, and those numbers haven’t changed since the filibuster. If the language of the bill is listed without mentioning SB5 (the name of this particular bill), 85% of Americans agree with it. This is the will of the people. This is also the will of the elected officials we voted into office.
SB5 does not take away “women’s reproductive rights” in any way. A woman who hasn’t made a decision before the 6th month of pregnancy is not losing her right any more than a woman who hasn’t made up her mind after the 90th week post-conception. Those who haven’t made up their mind before then are usually using abortion as a sex-selection option.
The bill also raises the standards of abortion clinics to be equal with that of clinics that perform prostate exams, and other medical procedures. It is an interesting bit of propaganda to claim that people wanting adequate medical facilities performing abortions, instead of places that couldn’t even get legal authority to conduct even simple procedures, are anti-woman. Isn’t the opposite more truthful? Are we that Orwellian that we blindly accept that people who want women to have abortions in appropriate medical facilities, are doing it because they hate women, while those advocating abortion for even sex-selection (which means more baby girls aborted) and in virtually any type of facility are women’s protectors?
But all of this is quite inconvenient to the Liberal-activist Left, just as the actual events of the night of the failed filibuster are inconvenient. It seems that in their eyes it is far better to demagogue their opponents, whip up emotional mobs into frenzies, cheat in the democratic process when you are losing, and then lie to everyone about how it all happened. It couldn’t be any easier if Winston had handled it from the Ministry of Truth. -Ryan