I figure this is about how the Republicans think of Sen. Wendy Davis right now:

Well, they probably think a few more things, too, but this is a family blog.

If you didn’t stay up late last night and follow the Wendy Davis filibuster by one means or another – I’m pretty sure the Senate livestream would have gotten higher ratings than half of NBC’s fall lineup – I doubt I can explain to you what happened. Go read the Trib and Observer liveblogs, and check the StadWithWendy Twitter hashtag. I spent more time on Twitter last night than I had in the previous six months combined.

It should be noted that the Senate had other business to attend besides SB5 yesterday.

A proposal from Senate Transportation Chairman Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, that raises nearly $1 billion annually for state road construction and maintenance is within striking distance of heading to Texas voters for approval. Senate Joint Resolution 2 would ask voters to approve amending the state constitution to divert half of the oil and gas severance taxes currently earmarked for the Rainy Day Fund to the State Highway Fund. The measure passed the House Monday after House Transportation Chairman Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, amended it to, in part, address concerns about the Rainy Day Fund’s future. Under the amendment, severance tax revenue would only be diverted from the Rainy Day Fund for roads in years when the fund has a balance of at least one-third of its legislative cap, a figure that varies over time. If senators approve the changes Tuesday, the proposed constitutional amendment will be placed on the November ballot. Nichols has requested that the Senate take up the measure before SB 5, the abortion bill, to ensure that a possible filibuster doesn’t doom both bills.

Sen. Wendy Davis

Sen. Wendy Davis

Despite Sen. Nichols’ request, SB5 was first on the agenda. As such, both it and SB23, the bill dealing with capitol murder sentencing for 17-year-olds, also were snuffed out by the filibuster and the ensuing chaos. Make no mistake, putting them behind SB5 was by design, so that if Rick Perry needed to order double overtime, he could blame the unfinished business on those nefarious Democrats. I’m sure Dan Patrick would be happy to go along with that.

Sen. Davis successfully talked for 11 straight hours, without stopping or even pausing for more than a few seconds, without eating or drinking or relieving herself or leaning on anything, before the farcical third ruling that she was talking about something not germane to SB5. (She was talking about sonograms, which of course have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO with abortion and its restrictions in this state.) It’s a massively tall order, and from the beginning it likely would have been for naught, at least if stopping SB5 were the only goal. We all know that the Republicans hold the cards. Rick Perry can order another special session five minutes after this one ends, and without redistricting to clog the calendar a bill like SB5 would pass with plenty of time to spare. But some fights aren’t about whether you win or lose, they’re about whether you fought or rolled over. Say what else you want, Democrats didn’t roll over. Wendy Davis sure as hell didn’t roll over. Oh, and she kept standing after her filibuster was interrupted by that last point of order.

And as with the Killer Ds in 2003, Davis and the Dems have received loads of national attention for their refusal to go quietly. Slate tweeted that however this ends, Wendy Davis is going to be a hero for women around the country. Damn right she will.

Here’s some background on Sen. Davis if you’re not familiar with her already, and here are five contributions you can make to support the cause of reproductive freedom. Everybody was fundraising off of this last night, so I’ll leave it at that.

All other points aside, if you want a reminder of what this is all about, read stina’s very personal story. Sen. Wendy Davis read many stories like that as part of her filibuster, because that’s what this was all about. If you’re not inspired, I don’t know what could inspire you. For the ironic last word, see Texas Redistricting.

UPDATE: The final verdict after the chaos died down is that SB5 did not pass because it was not voted on until after midnight, so by the state Constitution it could not have been voted on and thus cannot be enrolled. Nice to know that at least one rule was still in effect for the Senate.

I really have to wonder what Dewhurst et al were thinking. Everyone knew they were ultimately going to win – it was just a matter of how long it took and how they got there. Imagine if at 6 PM or so, after Davis had been talking for seven hours, instead of trying to stop her via ridiculous points of order, they simply announced that SB5 had been withdrawn, brought the other measures to a vote, and adjourned. Then, while everyone who had been Standing With Wendy began to celebrate, Rick Perry announced that Special Session #2 would begin tomorrow, and abortion restrictions would be the only agenda item. Sure, that would take another week or so to get done, but it would have avoided last night’s clusterfsck, kept Davis from becoming a national icon (while also preventing Sen.s Watson and Van de Putte from raising their profiles as well), and completely crushed the energy and spirit of Davis’ supporters. Now they have to have a second session anyway, and the Republican leadership looks like a Keystone Kops tribute band. Tell me that wouldn’t have been a vastly better outcome for them. Texpatriate, BOR, and Wonkblog have more.

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