When your opponent seems to break the rules, you call them out quickly — but when breaking rules and indeed attempting to time travel, the rules don’t apply, do they? In Texas last night, after an extensive filibuster from Senator Wendy Davis (the marathon champion of filibuster, it seems!) the Texas Senate voted on Senate Bill Five (SB5) despite it being a few minutes after the midnight deadline that they had to vote on the bill prior to it being shelved for two years. It was perhaps brought to their attention that the vote could not be considered if it was taken after the deadline, and so someone craftily changed the timestamp on the votes, making it appear as if they had happened before midnight.
The problem with doing this sort of thing in an era where everything is being watched and can be watched by just about anyone (Hi, NSA!) is that despite pretty much no national television news coverage of the event, the filibuster and the after midnight voting was witnessed by nearly two hundred thousand people, almost all of whom had functioning timepieces and who were well aware of the fact that the deadline had passed before the voting started.
At first, the Associated Press tweeted that the bill had passed.
Later, when it became clear that the vote happened after midnight (despite the failed attempt at time travel) the AP tweeted that it had, indeed, failed.
All of this happened, incidentally, after Senator Davis was challenged on two occasions regarding her breaking filibuster rules — once when something she said was deemed not germane to the topic, and once when a staff member aided her in putting on a back brace. I would argue that if the Senator has to go by the rules, should not the Senate also go by the rules? The rule, of course, being that votes after midnight would not count.
This isn’t the 1950’s, Texas Senate, despite any attempts to pass legislature to make it more like it. You can’t change time records when so many people watched you vote in real time. The vote failed — and for many women who would have suffered immensely had the bill passed, Wendy Davis is a hero.