It's a little strange here on Tuesdays at Weekly headquarters when there's live news happening somewhere. We spend most of the day getting the week's issue together, proofing pages, adding last-minute copy, laying everything out, plus the normal office stuff that happens here most days, so it can be a little hectic. Just like an episode of the HBO show The Newsroom, except the women here are intelligent, competent and not generally confused by the idea of email.
So, while we were still trying to get our work done, basically all of us were keeping one eye on a computer screen while Texas State Senator Wendy Davis' filibuster attemped to thwart a vote on the wildly woman-hating anti-abortion Senate Bill 5 (which would likely lead to 42 of the state's 47 clinics to close). Keep in mind, this is the same Legislature that includes such all-stars as the bill's sponsor, Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, who believes that rape kits stop pregnancies because the victims are "cleaned out," and Rep. Michael Burgess, a former obstetrician, who stated last week that male babies put their hands between their legs to "feel pleasure," so her last ditch effort was certainly an uphill battle.
While I'm writing this, she's still going, with four hours or so to go, so I can't say how her effort turned out, but it was a deeply compelling political moment. Odds are, Texan conservatives will likely get what they want eventually (or, at least, they will until the demographics of Texas change creating a Democratic majority around the end of the decade or sooner), but I think we all appreciate those rare Mr. Smith Goes to Washington moments when a politician stands up against the odds to do what they think is right. Talking for more-or-less thirteen hours, standing the whole time, without taking breaks, eating/drinking, or even leaning against anything seems like a dare from an old episode of Fear Factor more than a political tactic, but in an era where it seems most politicans are looking for their next office or paycheck, it's somewhat comforting that someone in a state fought against the odds, at least for a day.
Between this and the weird moment of bipartisianship in our own state to extend Medicare, it's almost enough to make me drop the cynicism for a day, or at least until Frank Antenori opens his mouth again. It was fun while it lasted.