In interviews with the Sunday talks shows, and in a new video posted by the Lone Star Project, state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, described the abortion legislation she filibustered against as an act of “big government intrusion” and “bullying politics.” And she said the throng that descended on the Capitol last Tuesday to support her filibuster was not a “mob,” as Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst have described it, but democracy in action.
“They said these people were part of a mob; they even had one women in her 70s arrested, for heaven’s sake,” said Davis in the short video put out by a political action committee that backs Democratic candidates. “Well that was no mob. That was moms and dads and grandmas and little girls, everyday people who truly love Texas and want to this state to get back on track. That moment when people chose to stand and give voice to their values sums up what I love most about our country and our beautiful state.”
“Governor Perry,” she concluded, “that was not a lack of decorum. That was not discord. That was democracy.”
Less than a week since her filibuster – augmented in the end by the very vocal contribution of supporters who packed the Senate gallery — effectively ran out the clock on Senate Bill 5, which would restrict access to abortion services in Texas. Davis, a sudden national star, appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” CBS’s “Face the Nation” and ABC”s “This Week.”
“He’s awfully fond of talking the talk of small government,” Davis said of Perry on ABC in an interview conducted at the Stage West Theater in Fort Worth. “But this is big government intrusion, there is no question about it.”
On NBC, Davis said, “These are matters of personal liberty … I don’t think that we’ll concede that the battle is over. Even if this bill passes, obviously there will be challenges against it.”
Perry has called another special session, beginning at 2 p.m. Monday, with the abortion legislation at the top of the call.
Before it opens, Davis will speak before a noon rally on the south steps.
In the only criticism aimed at Davis during her three network appearances, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, a roundtable panelist on “This Week,” said that while she admired Davis’ spirit, energy and commitment, “it seems to me — and I think it seems to many Americans — that what she is speaking for and standing for is something we would recognize as infanticide, late-term abortion, the taking of a little child’s life. That is really, really serious. And so part of me thinks, fabulous young woman, and a part me thinks, oh my goodness, we’re celebrating something that even in Europe they call a matter of brutality and barbarism.”
Perry accused opponents of the abortion legislation of resorting to “mob tactics to force their minority agenda on the people of Texas.” Dewhurst blamed “Obama-style, mob rule politics.”
But in her Lone Star Project video, Davis said, “Texans don’t want the heavy hand of big government making personal choices for them but the Republicans in power don’t seem to like it when real people participate. Rather than trying to find common ground, they insult the people who cared enough to come to the Capitol to be heard.”
Davis has said she has not yet decided whether to seek re-election to her state Senate seat or run for governor in 2014.
In the ABC interview Davis said that she felt the spirit of the late Gov. Ann Richards hover over her during the filibuster, that she “came prepared” to the filibuster with a catheter that allowed her to avoid bathroom breaks, and that she “was going to wear just some little flat dress shoes,” but at the last minute decided to grab her now-famous Mizuno running shoes.
“I thought maybe I might need something with a little more support,” she said.