In an exclusive* Hot Air interview, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst of Texas insists that the attempt to hijack the legislative process by pro-abortion activists this week will not stop the state from passing a limitation on late-term abortions and requirements for clinics to meet the same standards as other ambulatory surgical centers. Dewhurst also says that his office is reviewing the security tapes from the demonstration that derailed the bill at the end of the regular session, and that arrests may be made for inciting a riot — including perhaps some members of the media.
“I had the votes,” Dewhurst told me, “I had the strategy.” He had wanted the Senate to tackle the bill, SB5, a little earlier in the session to prevent the obstructionism that he foresaw. When it came time to clear the galleries, Dewhurst lacked the resources to finish the job on time. “These are common sense … measures that the majority, the big majority of Texans support,” Dewhurst insisted, “so I was frustrated. I’m not going to let a minority group of demonstrators — Planned Parenthood and ACLU — block the will of the majority. And I will pass this bill.”
Dewhurst talked about how the “ugly mob … went wild,” and ripped the media for its coverage of the event. When I asked whether the same media would provide the glowing coverage of a demonstration where Tea Party activists blocked a tax increase, Dewhurst said, “Absolutely not.” Dewhurst went on to tell me that he suspects that reporters may have helped incite the crowd to riot, and that his office plans on reviewing security tapes to identify any individuals who did.
“We have reports, and I have my staff taking a look at the video,” Dewhurst explained, “and if I find, as I’ve been told, examples of the media waving and trying to inflame the crowd, incite them in the direction of a riot, I’m going to take action against them.” Dewhurst continued, “We take a democratic policy seriously.” I asked whether Dewhurst could confirm whether members of the media took part in pushing the demonstration forward. “We have reports that members of the media on the floor, on the floor of the Senate, were looking up at the people in the gallery, waving their hands, trying to motivate them to yell more,” he replied. “If I find examples of that, proof certain on our video,” Dewhurst warned, “I’m going to address this firmly.”
Dewhurst says he’s prepared for the next attempt to derail the legislature. “I expect some demonstrations,” he said. Texas does have an open-meetings policy, but he can determine — at least in the Senate, where he presides — whether a threat to public safety exists. If visitors attempt another demonstration, “I’m going to clear the gallery.” In lieu of access to the Senate, Dewhurst will set up a closed-circuit video feed to committee rooms to those interested in observing rather than demonstrating. “We’re all for openness and transparency,” Dewhurst said, “but if you’re having a demonstration which is going to impede the legislature from moving forward, I’m perfectly at ease with clearing the gallery with our state police.”
Dewhurst plans to combat the media coverage with grassroots support on Twitter and other social media. He will ask pro-life supporters to use #Stand4Life hashtag while the Texas legislature is in session. He reviewed the possible timing of the bill, which has to start from scratch in both chambers because of the new special session, although the specific timing may prove somewhat different. Either way, Dewhurst pledges that he will pass the ban on late-term abortions and require abortionists to meet the same standards as all other ambulatory surgical centers meet in Texas. “I’m a strong believer in values.”
* – Using the media definition of “exclusive,” which means no one else was on the call at the time.
Update: Elizabeth “The Anchoress” Scalia compares red shoes to pink sneakers, although I called them orange in the interview:
A pope choosing to wear red shoes reminds us that Peter, in every iteration, proceeds through the blood of those who have gone before him — the martyrs who have been slainand are still being slain for the sake of Christ.
Likewise, a pro-abortion flame-fanner choosing to wear #standwithWendy pink — “rouge red” — sneakers reminds us that she proceeds through the red blood and shredded pink tissue, sucked out brains, collapsed skulls and snipped necks of those who will never be — human beings who have been slain, and are being slain, martyrs for the sake of…well…not Christ?
You can tell a lot about people by the kind of shoes they mock and sneer at, and the kind they celebrate and gush over.
Fascinating to consider, as well, which person you would trust with your life, or the life of your child, or the life of your elderly mother.
The distraction of the shoes. If you talk about the shoes, and get other people talking about the shoes, you don’t actually have to talk about what the wearers are saying.
Who knew shoes could be so instructive? Lessons worth absorbing.
Update: There was some initial confusion over the word “arrest,” but after a couple of reviews, my original take was accurate. It’s been put back the way it was.