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The real poop on the GOP's silly "Poopgate"
With deep regret, I bring you yet another tale of official nincompoopery from inside the Texas legislature. My regret is deepened by the fact that the story is, indeed, about poop. Or, more accurately, non-existent poop.
On July 12, the state senate was going to pass an especially-repressive GOP bill that would both lockdown the right of Texas women to control their own bodies and lock out low-income women from access to reproductive health care. Just 10 days earlier, this bill was defeated, thanks to Sen. Wendy Davis' now-famous filibuster and the outcry of 1,500 angry women protesters in the Capitol. This time, the senate's macho leaders said they'd heard that feisty women might toss tampons from the gallery in protest of this vote – so the brave men had state troopers seize any such "dangerous" feminine projectiles from purses as the ladies passed through security.
Then, to demonize the female opposition, senate authorities made a stunning claim that troopers had actually confiscated 19 jars suspected of containing urine or feces intended to be hurled at senators. Lt. Governor David Dewherst, a prissy multimillionaire businessman, said he personally saw the offending containers of excrement. "Just despicable," he shivered, "Despicable."
Only, he and state police were unable to produce a single bottle or photo of any of those bodily fluids, nor could the media find any front-line trooper who'd ever heard of such a plan, much less found any poop. Finally cornered, Dewhurst wimpily admitted he had not actually observed the "despicable" contents, but had been told about them by someone. "It's not a question of what I saw or didn't see," he weaseled.
Gosh, Dewy, that's precisely the question – and you've clearly answered that you have even less integrity than courage.
"No evidence of jars of feces, urine at protests," Austin American Statesman, August 27, 2013.
"DPS Releases Poopgate Docs," The Austin Chronicle, August 30, 2013.
"Political Intelligence," The Texas Observer, September 2013.