Then Sometimes You Win

This is what a badass looks like.

This bill was gonna pass, you guys.

I mean, come on. It had passed other places, this was a red state, and how many times have we lost these fights?

How many times have we had our hopes crushed already?

How many times have we heard people talk nobly about how they did all they could, and what more do you expect?

I’ll tell you what more I expect. I expect this. In every state legislature. In every state in the union. In every day of every month of every year in which there is something to stand for, I expect to see someone standing up.

Tens of thousands watched last night as Wendy Davis and Texas Senate Democrats filibustered, delayed, argued and fought for more than 12 hours to keep a bill restricting women’s medical care from becoming law. They fought it how these fights should be fought, with every last weapon, with every last breath. Not with the army they had, not with the powder that didn’t need to be kept dry, not within the bounds of reason. Within the bounds of necessity.

And when they were about to lose, when the odious Republican men in charge refused to hear the women demanding to be heard, something extraordinary happened.

The people in the gallery, the people in the statehouse, the people watching, the people outside?

They shook those windows and rattled those halls for 10 solid minutes so that no vote could be taken over the voices of those who’d been silenced, and the Internet erupted in joy, and the Republicans cut their mics and you could still hear them, calling out, from miles away.

And they won:

Although some Republican lawmakers later claimed the bill had passed in time, Democrats denied that the vote was completed before the clock ran out on the session.

A time stamp showing the vote completed after midnight was the deciding factor. “This will not become law,” Sen. John Whitmire (D), told The Austin American-Statesman.

Republicans are whining about how uncivil it was to not sit quietly while women’s rights were violated:

According to The Texas Tribune, Dewhurst was less than pleased by the evening’s turn of events. After ruling that the time on SB 5 had expired, he told reporters that “an unruly mob using Occupy Wall Street tactics” had derailed legislation that was designed to protect women and babies.

And I’m sure our profession concern troll class is readying a series of columns on what that unruly mob should have been wearing in order to really be legitimate, but you know what? They can all eat a dick. Because what we saw last night was something we ain’t seen in quite a long time.

Nine times out of ten, you stand up and nobody listens. Nine times out of ten, you lose anyway, and everybody clucks about how foolish you were for calling attention to yourself like that. Nine times out of ten, you go home trying to convince yourself a moral victory is a victory, when you know damn well it’s not.

The tenth time, you stand on your feet for 10 hours, and your friends come to your aid, and in your moment of extremity a hundred thousand strangers raise their voices and lift you up, and the voices that are trying to silence you are drowned out, and what you’ve done echoes from sea to shining sea, and you win. Sometimes, you win.


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