Opening Act: Filemon Vela

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 3 2013 8:41 AM

Opening Act: Filemon Vela

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The Rio Grande stretches westward, forming the border between Mexico (L), and the United States on May 20, 2013 near Havana, Texas.

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

He only got to Congress this year, and the representative from Texas is the first Democrat to kick over the chessboard because of the security components added to immigration reform.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Texas Rep. Filemon Vela, who represents a South Texas border district, resigned from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in protest of the group’s embrace of a Senate immigration bill that contains millions of dollars for drones, fences and border agents. ... It followed an impassioned floor speech last week in which Vela invoked the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and its symbolism of unity and economic growth.

Molly Ball had felt the first tremors of reformers saying "OK, finally, enough, we're done."

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Fifty-one percent of all Americans frown on the Supreme Court's Voting Rights Act ruling. Among black voters, disapproval spikes to 71 percent.

Steve Hildebrand, who helped elect Tom Daschle and Barack Obama, has quit politics to run a cafe.

"Politics just isn't as interesting as it used to be," he tells me. "The vast majority of politicians are in it for their own reelection and not doing what's best for the country or the state or the community. As long as that's the case, I don't really want to waste any of my time working for them. It's just not where my passion is."

And the story of Jason Everman is the most interesting non-overthrow-of-government story of the week.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.