Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Watched it all, still couldn't believe it

A banana republic, run by the apes in the GOP.

Capping a chaotic end of the special legislative session, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said early Wednesday that proposed abortion restrictions didn’t pass after all.

The abortion requirements were in Senate Bill 5, which was called up for a vote that couldn’t be heard over shouting and screaming from opponents in the gallery. Sen. Dan Patrick, a Houston Republican pushing the legislation, had said the bill passed.

But Democrats disputed that, saying the action was taken after the required midnight end of the special session. Patrick had said the vote was started before midnight.

The vote was taken after a filibuster to try to kill it by Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, was abruptly ended when Dewhurst upheld objections that she hadn’t strictly abided by filibuster rules, a disputed assessment.

Dewhurst’s announcement that the bill failed came after 3 a.m., following a Senate caucus meeting.

“Regrettably, the constitutional time for the first called session of the 83rd Legislature has expired. Senate Bill 5 cannot be signed in the presence of the Senate at this time. Therefore, it cannot be enrolled,” Dewhurst said.

He added, “It’s been fun, but see ya soon.”

I suppose if I had been in a couple of places in Florida, or DC, in December of 2000 I could say that I have seen worse displays of American democracy epically failing, but I wasn't. So I can't.

What I watched last night was, by every single account, a bad joke that just kept on going even after the deadline. If you want some sense of what it was like, here's 30 seconds of video that encapsulates the time from about 11:45 pm -- when a third and final point of order was sustained against Wendy the Filibusterer -- until about 12:15 am, when the DPS dragged the last of the gallery members out.


Scroll through the pictures at the top link as well. At 12:35 am I threw in the towel; nothing had yet been resolved. Look at my Twitter feed there to the right or the hashtag #SB5 to get a taste of the chaos.

It's a small and short-lived victory for the Dems, as the matter will likely produce another special session call today from Rick Perry to finish the business. It's not a Pyrrhic victory, though; a new army has been galvanized for the battle to take place this November.

With every Alamo, there is also a San Jacinto. Back to the future.

Off the Kuff and BOR have more and more links.

Update: I also like this little bit of exasperation from Dewhurst, who has -- among all of the award-winning demonstrations of asininity by the GOP -- singularly and repetitively disgraced himself throughout the special session...

But at 3 a.m., Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the presiding officer of the Senate and a Republican supporter of the bill, told lawmakers and reporters that although the bill passed on a 19 to 10 vote, the bill could not be signed in the presence of the Senate and was therefore dead, blaming “an unruly mob using Occupy Wall Street tactics” as the primary cause. 

Texas Observer's liveblog also has the timestamp photographic evidence as shown by Sen. Chuy Hinojosa. That's when the Republicans were forced to concede.

You simply cannot elect people who run on a platform of "government doesn't work" and not expect that they will demonstrate it. Even if a person reading this was pro-life and did not object to such onerous restrictions on a constitutional right (imagine that if instead of ladyparts, the bill was about guns), they would be forced to admit that their elected officials are complete morons when it comes to doing their one job.

The Republicans in the Lege got bamboozled again on parliamentary procedure. For the millionth time.

Update: The best blow-by-blow comes from Christy Hoppe of the Dallas News, whose Tweets last night were also invaluable in describing the proceedings.

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