The purest of politics

The American and Texas flags. Via Flickr user jmtimages.

The American and Texas flags. Via Flickr user jmtimages.

No matter what you believe, this has proven an exciting week on the political front.

All in one morning, the Supreme Court overturned a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act and let stand a lower court ruling overturning California’s Prop 8. It’s a big day on the gay marriage front.

But one of my favorite political maneuverings of the week was Texas Sen. Wendy Davis’ 11-hour filibuster, which killed a state abortion bill.

I love filibusters. It’s down-and-dirty American politics at its purest, trying to stall until the deadline to approve a bill passes. The deadline for this Texas abortion bill was midnight.

A filibuster is a test of political and physical endurance. Davis spent 11 hours talking, no bathroom breaks, which is harder than it sounds. It’s not that she could just talk about anything; she had to stay on topic.

Ultimately, Republicans cut Davis off because they said she strayed from the topic at hand, but she put up a good fight. After Republicans took this action, there was a long discussion with Democrats and protests from the gallery that resulted in the bill missing its deadline.

That’s politics. A lot of the time, it’s sneaky. Filibusters are one of the few times during the political process that it’s almost a physical battle. There’s no fighting, but you have to be able to stand and talk and provide facts and figures for hours.

Filibusters are a last-resort move — and they’re a fun one to watch.


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