No one in Texas was gripped by a filibuster staged Wednesday night by a Democrat member of the Texas Senate, Carol Alvarado of Dallas. Her performance perfectly encapsulates the miserable state of Texas Democrats: meaningless and uncreative obstruction. It also reveals the weakness of Republicans in the Legislature’s lower chamber.
Before her attempted publicity stunt, the Texas Senate had already twice passed comprehensive legislation securing the state’s elections and increasing ballot integrity measures. But, since Democrat members of the Texas House are vehemently opposed to honest and secure elections—or, rather, the white liberals for whom Texas Democrats pander are opposed to restrictions on stealing elections—they have made a month-long show of busting the quorum requirements of the House.
So, along comes Carol Alvarado, proving Shakespeare was right: A tempest in a teapot signifies nothing.
First, the senator announced her filibuster by means of recycling the meme of a failed filibuster from a decade ago: a pair of sneakers. For those who remember, disgraced State Sen. Wendy Davis (D–Fort Worth) made D-list celebrity status by wearing pink sneakers to filibuster against pro-life legislation that ended up passing with bipartisan support. Davis parlayed her 15 minutes of meaningless fame into a gubernatorial campaign that went down in flames, making her the butt of every political joke in the nation.
That Alvarado recycled the imagery is a reminder that the Texas Democrats haven’t had an original thought in years. Whether it is social media memes or policy talking points, Texas Democrats have hopelessly tethered themselves to the fantasies of East Coast liberals.
But let’s get back to the “filibuster.” It began after the debate was basically concluded on a bill that had already twice passed the chamber—neither time before had she or any other Democrat mounted a filibuster. This was, at best, a desperate plea for attention. Then there was the strange timing. Alvarado started her “filibuster” in the evening, on a Wednesday in August—ensuring it would be ignored by real people. Yes, she yapped all night—but ended in time for the regular workday to begin.
This is roughly analogous to a high school junior pulling an all-nighter to study for a test in a class he is not taking. Except, in that scenario, it is conceivable the student learned something.
For Alvarado and the leftist media cheering her on, her blustery filibuster ended in a silent whimper … with the Texas Senate voting to pass the election integrity bill she opposed.
The month-long House quorum-busting has been more … successful? … but equally fruitless. House Democrats have succeeded only in delaying the inevitable while becoming something of a national joke. The Republicans in the Texas House who have enabled them aren’t enjoying the publicity that comes with having given them power. Meanwhile, the Democrats in Texas’ congressional delegation have reportedly been embarrassed by them all while in the nation’s capital. (And, to embarrass a Democrat in D.C. takes effort. Remember Anthony Weiner?) The White House wouldn’t schedule a meeting with them. And the “best and brightest” of the cadre were made to look like bumbling fools in what should have been friendly media interviews.
The reality is this: Texas’ Democrat politicians exist to appease the sensibilities of white leftist media hacks on the East Coast and white leftists donors on the West Coast. They’d rather have a latte with AOC than protect actual Texans from South American cartels. Democrat politicians are more interested in getting a mention on MSNBC than in protecting the fragile residents of nursing homes from having their votes stolen. Texas Democrats are more interested in protecting the sexual proclivities of perverts than keeping children safe from the coercive sexual desires of adults.
For all that, Texas’ legislative Democrats are essentially irrelevant as an independent political force in the Lone Star State. The Democrats’ bland, recycled obstructionism only exists as a shadow of something that once existed.
Carol Alvarado’s failed stunt is a reminder that Democrats in the Texas Capitol only have the power given to them by Republicans. Some Republicans, like those in the Senate, are happy to oblige such antics on their path to legislative victory. Others Republicans, like those running the Texas House, cannot seem to muster the moral strength to articulate – let alone substantively advance – their own agenda.
Laughing off the meaningless filibuster of a senator who doesn’t matter is easy. Explaining why House Republicans refuse to act decisively is more frustrating.