Follow us on Twitter @PolliticsToday for more insight, commentary and updates concerning this blog or “LIKE” us on Facebook (click the links). Seriously, do those things, I’d love to hear from you and for you to get updates on our website. Thanks!
As we take into account changing demographics of the country, one of the biggest dreams for all of Democrats is to turn Texas (and its 38 electoral votes) either blue or at least a lighter shade of purple. With Democratic hotbeds such as Austin and Houston already in tow; Democrats are really banking on future demographic shifts (an aging white population and a young Hispanic population) to soon put the state in play.
As of right now, however, that day of a Democratic Texas is still in the future as the state continues to be reliably Republican. But one advantage that Democrats in Texas have is in the trio of three fast-rising state (and possibly national) stars in Julian & Joaquin Castro and state sen. Wendy Davis.
The Castro twins are obviously more well-known thanks to Julian’s well-received keystone address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention and Joaquin’s recent election to the House of Representatives but Davis isn’t as nationally known…yet.
But today Wendy Davis finds herself in the midst of not just a huge statewide news story back in Texas but also one that is starting to make waves in the national landscape.
Let me explain what’s going on in the Texas state legislature which is currently in a special session. Right now the legislature is debating an abortion bill that would basically close down almost all abortion clinics in the state. Since Texas is the second-largest state in the union after California, this would quantify as a pretty big deal. As per the Huffington Post link, the bill would:
The proposal would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, require doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, limit abortions to surgical centers and stipulate doctors must monitor even non-surgical abortions.
The bill is in its final stages and is awaiting approval by the Republican led State Senate and the signature of Republican Governor Rick Perry. Since the bill would require abortion clinics to upgrade to hospital-style operating rooms, and many abortion clinics cannot afford such an upgrade, the ramifications of this bill are huge.
But there is one thing, or in this case I should say person, holding up this restrictive bill from being passed. Enter Wendy Davis.
Davis, who represents Fort Worth, launched a filibuster today to try and wait out the special session. Doing so would require 13 hours of standing, staying on-topic and Davis can not even lean against her desk nor eat or even make a quick trip to the bathroom. Davis, who is a triathlete and definitely someone you can classify as being in great physical shape (which is needed, you try standing for more than 30 minutes talking) will have every single word she says scrutinized because the minute she even wavers off-topic Senate Republicans can prepare the bill for a vote.
Keep in mind how many people were touting Rand Paul for his bravery when he filibustered the appointment of John Brennan as head of the CIA. Paul didn’t speak the whole time, remember Marco Rubio was quoting Jay-Z on the Senate floor during the lengthy filibuster, and you can’t really say they were on topic the whole time. What Davis is doing is simply astonishing and something that is missing in our politics. If you don’t like something, you can speak up.
Davis is doing just that, and her profile and status amongst the Texas Democratic Party should skyrocket today. Davis is only 50, has a compelling backstory and now has something that most Texans (women, Democrats and everyone in-between) can associate her with. Fighting to protect a women’s right to choose.
Wendy Davis did decline a run in the 2014 gubernatorial election but in 2018 there will be a gubernatorial and Senate race (Ted Cruz’s seat) in play. One can only assume that Davis and Castro will both launch a charge as Texas will be six years closer to being more favorable for Democrats.
If you are a Democrat, get excited and Stand with Wendy.