S-s-same As It Ever Was?

September is a month of change, but you’d hardly know it this year. The weather is warm, the Fed still hasn’t raised rates, and the Republican debate still focused heavily on one person (who will remain unnamed).

But that last one is where the more things change the more they stay the same.

My famously conservative friend Mitch Berg complained on facebook about a diatribe regarding parenting responsibilities by a childless 20-something associate, which sounded like an ugly situation. Turns out it was very ugly – it started as a discussion on defunding Planned Parenthood. The young woman in question, described as normally very level-headed, had a serious fire under her that needed venting. It’s a passionate issue, for sure. Mitch and his more conservative friends rolled their eyes as well as anyone can in English prose.

But they shouldn’t have – this is important stuff. Why? Because I think we’ll see a lot more of this in coming months as the Republicans do what they have to do, thus doing a lot of the work that Democrats need to do. It deserves examination.

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The Rhyme of Texas History

Senator Wendy Davis knew exactly what she was getting into.  Her stand was to be a 13 hour test of endurance, constantly speaking without any food or water.  Since she couldn’t even sit, a back brace reinforced her spine.  Her feet that would carry the load were shorn with pink running shoes, the uniform of a marathoner.  She girded herself for the physical strain of a filibuster, the only way to stop SB5, a series of restrictions on abortion that would close 37 of the 42 clinics in the state if passed.  The rights of all women of Texas were on the line, and Senator Davis would not yield.

On a warm day 177 years earlier Jim Bowie heard the army of General Santa Anna was approaching San Antonio.  Though he was ailing, he readied for the fight.  He and 188 other men made their last stand for freedom in the mission known as the Alamo.   After a 13 day siege, Santa Anna’s troops stormed in and slaughtered them all.  But the process wasted 3 weeks, giving Sam Houston time to organize – and the news of the slaughter confirmed it was now a death match.  They would either win their freedom or die trying.  The Texans rallied and eventually won their independence.

Senator Wendy Davis’ fight is not over, and with a new special session it is likely to end in defeat.  But like the Alamo, sometimes a battle lost is a war won.

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