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Photo: Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons license 2.0

As a member of the Texas Senate in 2014 -- why yes, old folk, that IS five years ago now -- Wendy Davis electrified womenfolk all over the USA with a 13-hour filibuster of a terrible abortion bill. The bill went on to pass anyway, then was later mostly struck down by the Supreme Court. And Davis went on to run for Texas governor, although good lord her campaign team was a disappointment (hoo lordy was it!) and Davis ultimately lost the election to current Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, helped along with a heaping helping of bullshit from rightwing media (ABORTION BARBIE, Y'ALL!). She should have unveiled the Wu-Tang Clan shirts earlier in the election, probably.

But if she has a bunch of those shirts in storage, she may soon be digging them out, seizing the podium, and shouting "LIQUID SWORDS!" The hot political rumor in Texas is that Davis may decide to challenge freshman US Rep. Chip Roy, the rightwing fartenberry who a couple weeks back blocked a huge disaster relief bill in the House for the sake of being a dick. Davis says she hasn't actually decided, but the wingnuttosphere is already gearing up to trash her, because rightwing media is preemptively dickish that way.


The story blew up quickly on social media last Thursday evening, when Austin businessman Marc Winkelman excitedly said at a Texas Observer gala whoopdedoo that Davis had told him she planned to run against Roy. Davis attended the very same dinner and told Dallas Morning News reporter Lauren McGaughy that actually, she hadn't really decided yet, but would say one way or another within three weeks.

Friday, Davis explained to the Austin Chronicle she was just as surprised by Winkelman's news flash as anyone:

"I was really caught off-guard. [...] Marc is a very, very dear friend, and he's been encouraging me, but he jumped the gun a little bit."

Davis said she does believe Roy needs to be challenged by a Democratic opponent, in the district that runs from Austin, through the Hill Country, to San Antonio. "He's demonstrated he is not representing the values of the people in this district and in Texas," she said. "It's clear we need to take him on, but I need to make the decision whether I'm the right person to do that"

Roy's peevish obstruction of the disaster relief funds -- over $4 billion of which are aimed at rebuilding Houston after Hurricane Harvey -- was his first real brush with national news, although the full House passed the aid package as soon as it returned from the Memorial Day recess. But while that particular dick move may no longer be fresh in voters' minds by 2020, a lot of Democrats hope Roy can be bumped off in the next electoral cycle, particularly given that he only beat his 2018 Democratic opponent by 2.6 points. Before that, the District 21 seat had been held for over 30 years by Republican Lamar Smith.

Elizabeth Simas, a University of Houston political science prof, told the Texas Standard that the 21st is a "very traditionally Republican district," and it's possible Roy's obstruction on the disaster bill may not be a liability for Republican voters, since he said he blocked it to protest the lack of funds to build WALL and make Messicans go away. "People may see that as him just really standing up for his district, for Texas and his beliefs," she said. We'd add that by 2020, Roy may have found a whole bunch of entirely new ways to make an ass of himself, too. After all, the dude was once Ted Cruz's chief of staff, so we're sure he's already working on eleven different ways to be awful.

Just to be on the safe side, though, Roy and his rightwing allies are treating even the possibility of a run by Davis as if she were threatening to put abortion juice in the water supply. Roy tweeted Friday that Outside Agitators -- the "turn-Texas-blue crowd" -- were clearly behind all this talk of Davis running, and OMG LOOK, ILLEGALS!!!!!!

The San Antonio Express-News notes the National Republican Congressional Committee, "which has lagged behind Democratic counterparts in Texas preparation for 2020," was happy to comment:

"There may be no worse congressional candidate in the country than socialist abortion fanatic Wendy Davis, and her accidental announcement is just another laugh inducing moment for her joke of a campaign," spokesman Bob Salera emailed.

Gee, Bob, if you'd really tried, maybe you could have gotten Barack Obama's birthplace in there, too.

Rightwing media have also cranked the reaction machine up to eleven. While the lamestream media have gone with mere accuracy, pointing out that Davis says she hasn't decided yet, the wingnut media has already nominated her for the Democrats, and are all busy insisting that No True Texan wants Davis to run, resurrecting 2014's rightwing narrative that only effete outsiders support Davis.

Ben Shapiro's outfit, the Daily Wire, inaccurately reported that Davis herself had announced her candidacy Thursday, because after all, it was on Twitter wasn't it? The hed was a bit mild by Wonkette standards: "Failed Texas Gov. Candidate Wendy Davis Announces Run For Congress." But despite being completely wrong about Davis announcing anything, the piece was careful to note that Davis's run for governor "failed spectacularly," and that Davis had failed to "convince Texas women they were oppressed," which is why she lost.

Tucker Carlson's very serious internet concern The Daily Caller had a heck of a headline, too: "'Abortion Barbie' Wendy Davis Running For Congress 5 Years After Landslide Loss In Gubernatorial Race." That story too said that Davis is definitely running, based on Twitter reports of the comment by Winkelman.

And the Washington Free Beacon ("Wendy Davis Announces Run for Congress") also got in on the act, misreporting that Davis herself had made the announcement, quoting the same tweet as the others, and adding "Many others confirmed the news." Weirdly, as an example, the story reproduced, without apparently noticing the actual words, the Lauren McGaughy tweet clarifying that Davis hadn't announced anything at all.

In the days since, not one of the three outlets has corrected the inaccurate stories, proving that you cannot trust the mainstream media.

We briefly considered tweeting Free Beacon writer Brent Scher to ask him why he hadn't bothered correcting his error -- like, he said it three times! -- but decided not to bother after we noticed Monday he was busy blaming Google for committing a MASSIVE COVER UP about Jussie Smollett:

Timely news for June 2019, that's what he's all about. In any case, once Davis announces, if she does, we're sure we can look forward to a serious discussion of the issues. And for fuckssake, if she does run, we hope she hires different people.

[Austin Chronicle / Austin American-Statesman / Lauren McGaughy on Twitter / Texas Standard / Photo by Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons license 2.0]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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It was bound to happen. We're now watching Republican congressmen react to Donald Trump sitting in the Oval Office and saying "RUSSIA IF YOU'RE LISTENING" during an interview with George Stephanopoulos, literally inviting hostile foreign powers to attack the 2020 election for him like Russia did in 2016. And if you thought there wouldn't be at least one of them to say the quiet part loud and state for the record that crime is good if it helps Republicans win, then you haven't been paying attention to the Republican party in quite a while.

Enter GOP Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, AKA the committee whose members really should know better, even the Republicans, but unfortunately they don't because A) they're idiots and B) they've been sucking at Devin Nunes's dairy cows' teats (ALLEGEDLY) for too long:

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