On Tuesday night, Texas Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis became a hero by successfully launching an epic filibuster that ran enough time off the clock (13 hours) to end a special session of the legislature, thus defeating a sweeping anti-abortion that posed a serious threat to women across the state. Her stand for a woman’s right to choose has energized the Texas Democratic Party enough to fuel an effort to call upon her to make a run for Governor in 2014.
The filibuster was completely legal according to parliamentary rules and is part of the democratic process when not abused as Republicans in the US Senate have done since President Obama took office. Yet, because Wendy Davis followed procedure and took a stand for women in her state, one of her Republican colleagues took to Twitter and called her a “terrorist.” According to ThinkProgress, upon the victorious blockage of the bill Republican State Senator Bill Zedler sent this tweet:
We had terrorist in the Texas State Senate opposing SB 5
— Bill Zedler (@Bill_Zedler) June 26, 2013
Here’s the image via ThinkProgress.
Republicans are calling Davis a terrorist for blocking their legislation that would have essentially dictated what decisions women can make about their health and bodies. These are the same Republicans who passed a law mandating that women be forced to undergo a transvaginal probe if they want an abortion. Even raped women have not been immune from these policies. One has to wonder, if a man had stood for 13 hours to filibuster this bill would Republicans call him a terrorist? Or do they only reserve such pathetic and cowardly rhetoric for women? We all know how conservatives would rather women give up careers to slave away in a kitchen. Is this temper tantrum by Zedler just an extension of such feelings?
This kind of remark also smacks of hypocrisy. Since 2007, Republicans in the US Senate have filibustered over a record 360 times. I wonder, does that make them terrorists too? Or is it “different” when Republicans do it? For some reason, Republicans believe that when Democrats filibuster their bills, it’s terrorism, but patriotic when they filibuster Democratic bills. Since the terrorist label is being thrown around as a descriptor of a politician who filibusters, perhaps Republicans would like to explain why they have been terrorizing Americans for five years in what seems to be an effort to sabotage the United States.
What Wendy Davis did on Tuesday night was an incredible and completely appropriate use of the filibuster rules, which Texas Republicans will likely try to change because a woman beat them at their own game. Except that unlike Republicans, Davis stood up on the Senate floor for 13 hours instead of phoning it in like most Republicans do. When not abused, the filibuster is a valuable and viable tool in the legislature that is used to beat back extreme legislation like SB 5. What Texas Republicans were trying to pass in Texas is unconstitutional and despicable. It’s an unfair assault on women and their constitutional rights and Davis was right to block it. She’s not a terrorist, she’s a hero and she should be respected not only as a woman, but a fantastic and brave politician who did her job by protecting her fellow citizens. That’s more than any Republican has done over the last decade.