Ms. Davis goes to Austin

I have a dream. The date is Nov. 1, 2014. The place is Austin, Texas. The candidate is state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), nominated by Texas Democrats to run for governor after a grassroots groundswell that began with her courageous filibuster against an extremist anti-choice bill that was pushed by a Texas Republican governor — a governor who recently declared war against the University of Texas, against pay equity for women and against voting rights and fair representation for Hispanics, and now wages war against the right of choice even for women who are raped.

I have been singing the praises of Wendy Davis of Texas for some time now. If the Good Lord would grant me one political wish, it would be that every Democrat at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue would battle for principle with the spunk, heart, courage, tenacity and grit that the gentlewoman from Fort Worth has shown throughout her career.

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As Mr. Smith had gone to Washington, Ms. Davis has gone to Austin. Her filibuster in defense of pro-choice rights for women in the state has rallied women everywhere. Her fighting spirit has electrified Democrats everywhere. Her conviction politics offers a model for political leaders in a state that is tired of the corruptions of crony capitalism and the extremism of radical right partisanship, and a nation that rejects insiderism and gridlock without principle in Washington and gives Congress favorable ratings comparable to those of Saddam Hussein.

Texas is going blue. The only question is when. If Davis runs for governor in 2014, and Hillary Clinton runs for president in 2016, it will be “High Noon” in Texas with these two leading ladies starring in the Gary Cooper role.

The great story in Texas and national politics is the ascendance of three large wave groups of voters who heavily favor Democrats and find rightist Republicans threatening and repellent: women, Hispanics and young people.

Add increased loyalty to Democrats and increased voter turnout of these wave groups to the traditional base for Democrats — in Texas and nationally — and we have the chance of a Democratic governor of Texas in 2014 and a historic Clinton victory in 2016 that could bring an FDR-magnitude realignment comparable to 1932 and 1936.

It is no coincidence that the five conservative men of the U.S. Supreme Court and Texas’s leading Republicans are repeatedly hostile to equal pay and equal rights for women and voting rights and worker rights for Hispanics, blacks and others.

According to Pew Research, every year another 800,000 Hispanics reach voting age, while every day brings more news of the great surge of women. The more the far right dominates the GOP — in Austin or in Washington — the more Hispanics, women, young people and other targets of their extremism will vote Democratic.

Several years ago I wrote a column titled “The Female Century,” about the profound advances toward equality and leadership for women now underway.

Countless women know that Wendy Davis in Texas and Hillary Clinton nationally are standing up for them. They know that a Clinton presidency will almost certainly bring a transforming new era of Supreme Court justice.

Those who wage a war against the interests of women and Hispanics are waging a war against history and demographics that they will inevitably lose. If Davis runs for governor of Texas, experts will be amazed by the enthusiasm of her supporters, the power of her fundraising from donors large and small and the wide appeal of a stand-up leader with integrity and guts.

I have posted the story of Wendy Davis on The Hill’s Pundits Blog. It is the story of a good woman, single mom and conviction politician with a big heart and fighting spirit who overcame adversity through hard work and great talent.

As Ms. Davis continues her battles in Austin, her great dream is that every Texan will have the same chance she had.


Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog and reached at brentbbi@webtv.net.