Wendy Davis and Tips to Make Your Filibuster Extra Fun!
Democratic Senator Wendy Davis has been blowing up all over the news and internet lately for her 11+ hour filibuster used to stall voting on a controversial abortion bill in Texas. If you’re just getting back from a two-week trip of eating blubber in your cabin that sits on the arctic circle , a quick Google search will get you caught up. Whatever your political affiliation is, it’s impossible to ignore the fact: Wendy Davis is one of the toughest people we’ve seen in awhile. Can you think of the last time you did anything for 11 hours straight? I can’t mindlessly sit on Facebook for 11 hours, let alone argue a point and remain standing on my feet. Needless to say, she’s tough like blue jeans… or rawhide and barbed wire or something… Texas…
A filibuster is a political move usually used to run out the clock on a topic before it can be voted on, effectively prolonging or preventing a political motion from going through. There are a number of rules you have to follow – laid out somewhere in a rulebook – and as long as you remain within these restraints, you’re allowed to speak to your heart’s content. Basic requirements include staying standing (you’ll want comfy shoes), and staying on topic for the entirety of the speech, or you’ll be cut off.
Spice it up!
Why keep this wonderful tactic stuck in the chamber? Why not break out a fun filibuster to eat up time during a meeting? Or entertain guests at a party? Maybe all your friends want to go see the new Superman movie tonight at nine and you’d like to actually enjoy using 12 dollars.
Here are some tips to help you filiBUST the filibuster blues.
- Consider dressing yourself up in nothing but body paint. You’re gonna wanna check the rules before this one, but there’s no better way to stop a group of old, politically-correct people dead in their tracks. Theme the colors for some extra fun. Red, White and Blue around Independence Day. Camouflage around Veteran’s Day. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination and whether or not you have a really good friend. Could you get my back, bro?
- Starch your clothes. At one point during the filibuster, Senator Davis tried to put on a back-brace to help her stand up straight. This is cheating or something, because I imagine that it would offend many politicians who are in need of some sort of a spine, prosthetic or not. Still, you can work around this. Starch up every square inch of what you’re wearing. That way, you’ll have no choice but to stay on your feet and babble about the issues. Or fall forward. But then you could pretend to have a heart attack, further stalling the proceedings.
- Finally, read a children’s book. This is a tactic that has actually been used in Congress before, so with a little finagling, you can make it work too. The trick is to know your audience. Let’s say, for example, you’re performing a filibuster for an average group of politicians. You wanna read something at a second grade reading level – so that the slower members can get it – but you don’t want to stifle and bore the ones who can handle third or even fourth grade level reading material. I suggest a Shel Silverstein book like The Giving Tree, but you have to make sure you read the boy’s voice in a way that’s high-pitched and kind of funny, while giving the tree a nurturing, motherly voice. This is sure to lull the older members of the group into napping your filibuster away.
These are just a few of the many things you can do to spice up your next filibuster. With a little creativity, you can play by the rules while still putting on a great show. Plus, it’d help make politics more interesting, while still keeping the process running as inefficiently as ever.