June 26, 2013

It has come to this

Last night in Austin, Texas, the state legislature was attempting to do their jobs.  I am not condoning or condemning the bill they were set to vote on, simply making an observation about the process.  Now, that is sort of a cop out, since abortion is a very touchy subject and one I certainly have an opinion on - but it really isn't germane to my point.

A filibuster was staged, and as you may imagine, the opposing party did all they could to break it.  In rules that I won't try to detail here, the legislature has a three strikes policy - they give you three warnings and then you are done.  In this case, the speaker went off topic twice and was assisted in putting on a back brace.

With the filibuster broken and a vote imminent, the 'citizens' that were present in the capitol began chanting and screaming.  Our local news correspondent was drowned out trying to give a live report.  The lieutenant governor was seen waving his hands and trying to gain control of the mob, so that the business of the state could be concluded.  Ultimately, the bill was passed by vote, but because of the noise and confusion in the chamber, it was determined that the vote actually occurred after the midnight deadline, so the bill was defeated.  Supporters referred to the screaming as a 'people's filibuster'.

How sad that our democratic process has been diminished to mob rule.  I don't agree with every decision made by those that govern my town, state and country, but I respect the process.  When the process is broken, I try to change it, not make a mockery of it.  It never occurred to me that if my elected officials are doing something that I don't agree with, I should just gather up a few hundred friends and scream at them until the clock runs out.
Congrats to Texas Democrats, you could teach toddlers a thing or two about throwing a tantrum.

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