The Filibuster

So, last night at 11:50 I sat and watched (with slightly misty eyes) Democracy work. It was surreal almost, movie like. From what I’ve heard form folks who were there the lines to get in the Senate chamber wrapped around the rotunda twice and spanned all three floors.

As the special session’s midnight deadline approached, Democrats used parliamentary maneuvers to try to appeal Davis’ third strike, stalling debate for about two hours. The tension escalated at about 11:45 p.m., when Democratic state Sen. Leticia Van de Putteof San Antonio, who earlier in the day had attended her father’s funeral, objected as Republican leaders refused to recognize one of her motions.

“At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?” she said, sparking a chorus of cheers and screams that swelled as protesters tried to run out the clock. The pandemonium drowned out a last-minute effort by Republicans to vote on the bill, but Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, after about three hours of confusion on the floor over whether the bill had been approved, announced that the vote had come too late.

So. What does it matter? Another session could be called, something equally as onerous could probably be passed with more brutal-handed tactics. No, what’s really interesting is you saw David Dewhurst completely loose control of a chamber he perviously ruled with an iron fist. It showed the petty and fraudulent lengths that state Republicans were willing to go to. It made a laughing stock of cable news as a quarter-million people say glued to YouTube feeds while CNN discussed muffins. And somewhere in those shouts from the gallery were the echos of  Texas Democrats of the past and a future Texas that might yet turn blue.