Make no mistake: Rick Perry is a tool. A giant, megalomaniacal tool. But he is a democratically elected tool, and right now he’s calling the shots in (the Former Republic of) Texas. For the time being, anyway. Fortunately, you cannot gerrymander a statewide office. Nonetheless, when he says “dance,” the Republican legislators line up to fill their cards at the Special Session ball.
It is without a hint of irony that Texas Governor Rick Perry announced a second Special Session of the Texas Legislature to pass the failed abortion restriction legislation on the same day Texas murdered their 500th person since 1976. His comment at the time: “In Texas, we value all life.”
So Wendy Davis’s filibuster had no practical effect. We knew that anyway. She knew that going into it. But sometimes you have to fight the good fight, choose your hill, and die trying. Her heroism is not diminished in the slightest by her stand for women’s rights.
The other night someone suggested that things getting so spectacularly craptastic might be what is needed to finally get enough people to turn against these supposed public servants. I don’t particularly want to welcome a grim meathook future with open arms, but if it is going to happen anyway, why not capitalize on it?
I think we saw some of that the other night, but that was the choir. If you want to see real change, you need, to extend the metaphor, to energize the Easter and Christmas crowd. Nearly every social movement is the same. African-Americans didn’t win recognition of their civil rights because they marched, rode buses, sat at lunch counters, and were arrested, beaten, and sometimes killed. They won because the majority recognized a wrong and determined to right it. Thus was it then, thus must it be now.
That’s all I have for now. This week has been a roller-coaster of emotion and historic change. Tom is right: someday, someone will write the definitive narrative of the last week of June, 2013.