The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Abortion in Texas, The Filibuster, and the MSM

Texas passed its much-contested abortion law on Friday, and it appears to be immediately headed to the courts. The hubbub from the pro-late term abortion camp is that the new law in Texas is insane and outrageous. We will see whether the courts uphold it, but to many voters this will look like a law aimed at making abortion “safe, legal and rare.”

But leaving the specifics of the case aside, VM would like to draw our readers’ attention to the tone of the coverage the case is getting in the New York Times:

The bill had come nearly this far before: a version had been brought to the Senate in the previous session of the Legislature, in June, and was killed by State Senator Wendy Davis, a Democrat from Fort Worth, with an 11-hour filibuster that stalled the bill until after the deadline for ending the session. The filibuster became an overnight sensation on Twitter and other forms of social media, with more than 180,000 people viewing the filibuster live online.

Almost immediately, however, Mr. Perry called for another special session to reconsider the bill, resulting in Friday night’s vote.

We advise all party comrades of the new politburo line: filibusters in Washington are evil incarnate. They are the tool of the slavering hyenas of capitalism to block the will of the people. In Texas, however, they represent the noble and legitimate will of the working people and suffering masses. Anybody who is unable to perceive the logical consistency of this principled stand is a petty bourgeois lackey and an enemy of all progressive people. Death to the evil Washington filibusterers and obstructionists! Eternal glory to the filibustering Texan heroine!

Published on July 13, 2013 3:00 pm
  • NH Indi

    Prof Mead seems to have used the wrong example to make his point. Both Wendy Davis’ and Rand Paul’s filibusters are examples of how it should be done. It’s not the filibuster itself that is the problem so much as it takes no effort to impose one in Washington. Merits of each aside, both Rand Paul, and Wendy Davis are examples of the correct way to filibuster. If you want to use the procedure, you should have to stand and talk.

  • ojfl

    Thank you professor for pointing out something that to some of us seemed obvious.

  • Corlyss

    When are we conservatives going to learn that allegations of hypocrisy matter only when made against Republicans and conservatives. The charge has no meaning against Democrats/Progs/Liberals because they are seriously unprincipled and people expect that from them.

    • bpuharic

      If the GOP hadn’t adopted a scorched earth policy regarding filibusters. They have used it to shut down govt. Talk about hypocrisy.

  • bpuharic

    SSHHHH….no one tell WRM that the TX law bans abortions at 20 weeks which is NOT ‘late term’.

    • avery12

      yes, it is. these days premature babies survive from 23 weeks. how soon will medical advances push it right back to 20?
      As any modern mother knows, having seen the ultrasound of her fully formed child at 20 weeks, living and moving – we aren’t talking about a mass of undifferentiated tissue at 20 weeks.

      • bpuharic

        More massive govt interference by the socialist conservative nanny state. Abortion is a business like any other and the govt has no right to impose unnecessary regulations.

  • bpuharic

    Incidentally, regarding filibusters…try to go to the bathroom in Washington…the GOP has more filibusters than any other term in history… a record. Comparing that to Wendy Davis’s stance is pure nonsense and I’d expect better of the good professor.

  • circleglider

    In a recent essay entitled A Constitution in Full: Modern Political Tendencies and the American Departure, Richard Reinsch captured the essence of the Progressive Movement in one perfect paragraph:

    Progressivism’s powerful emergence in the closing decades of the late nineteenth century challenged federalism and separation of powers as the essence of American constitutionalism. The abstract humanitarian ideal underlying progressivism is its commitment to the evolutionary ascent of human consciousness through elimination of the perceived hyper-competitive self-interested striving that dominates civil society and republican government within the classical liberal framework. Achieving a more wholesome development of man has entailed a firm national superintendence of the supposed atavistic tendencies in civil society and government with an eye towards their gradual elimination. Eliminating the perceived negative externalities of a largely free and competitive social, political, and economic order has meant creating new fields of energy in government that reform the national spirit, moving citizens towards a grander, more consequential national telos

    • Corlyss

      David Horowitz sums it up nicely too:
      “If you believe you can end war, poverty, and racism forever, what crime will you NOT commit, what lie will you NOT tell? That’s why progressives have committed such horrendous atrocities and told such big lies in the 20th and 21st centuries.”

      • bpuharic

        No one knows what ‘crimes’ progressives have committed. Progressive is to communist as conservative is to nazi.

        Godwin’s law applies

        • Jim__L

          Well, if you read the biology textbook that Scopes got in trouble for teaching from, you get to see the Very Progressive Idea of Eugenics laid out in all its glory. There’s even a passage that regretted that America could not pursue policies like Germany’s.

          How about the Very Progressive Ideas of Woodrow Wilson on race?

          Also, please get your analogies straight. Both of the malignant ideologies who duked it out at Leningrad, Stalingrad, etc, were Progressive. Both ideologies were self-consciously different than what came before. Both ideologies fervently believed they represented Progress for humanity. The Germans represented Darwinian / Nietzchean Progress, and the Russians represented Hegelian / Marxist Progress. Neither was conservative.

          Alas, the Conservative powers, who fought to keep borders and governance constant, did not represent progress. They championed the sadly out-of-fashion ideas of individualism, Christianity, freedom from coercive government innovation, and sovereignty of the population rather than rule by an elite with Very Progressive Ideas.

          Somehow, such Conservatives still exist. It’s a mystery how this happens, in the face of such a Very Progressive educational system as ours, and so Very Progressive laws as our credentialed elites are stuffing into the books as fast as their Very Progressive minds can conceive them.

          Could it be because Conservative ideas make sense, based on the vast history of typical human experience in this world?

          • bpuharic

            Comparing evolution to eugenics is like saying chemistry is composed of Zyklon B. Nonsense.

            And the GOP was very big on race as well, expelling black politicians, etc. Which is why an avowed racist like Strom Thurmond would join it after leaving the Democrats after Harry Truman’s statement on civil rights.

            Nazism was a conservative ideology, based on traditional values of ‘nationalism’, women in the home, etc, which is why many Christian leaders embraced it.

            The civil rights movement was progressive, and was fought against by CONSERVATIVES like William F Buckley

            But go ahead. Tell us what a red he was.

            Your attempt to link the fact of evolution to eugenics, though, betrays the shallow thinking of the extreme right.