“The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion.”
These words of the late Texas political columnist Molly Ivins kept running through my head as I watched coverage of Wendy Davis’ amazing one-woman marathon filibuster of the Texas State Senate the other night. In fact, I was almost expecting to see Molly’s ebullient ghost, the rowdy shade of Governor Ann Richards, even Representative Barbara Jordan’s serious and dignified spirit, all whooping and hollering, stomping and shouting encouragement from the gallery. Lone Star politics seems to breed such formidable fighters, such tough, tenacious, principled and pragmatic women and men now and then. They almost make up for the … well, less principled political animals we also find in Texas. Almost.
Ann, Barbara and Molly might be deeply disappointed by the reasons for such a dramatic filibuster — the need to stop yet another draconian anti-choice measure that would force the closure of almost all Texas abortion providers. They know Texas though, and ‘The Leg.’ so I’m sure these feisty ladies would not be too surprised. And of course this won’t be the end of it; Governor Rick Perry has already threatened another special legislative session to get this objectionable bill passed. But if anyone can take down the entrenched forces of cynicism, greed and corrupt power in their state, a determined and focused group of Texas women are a pretty good bet. Is it ever wise to deliberately stir up a nest of hornets? We could use a billion such indomitable scrappers! The struggle carries on, always!
And here’s another of Molly’s lines I tend to use and abuse, but it’s good anyway –
“You can’t ignore politics, no matter how much you’d like to.”