Via Andrew Stiles, I’m reluctant to give any virtual ink to this sure-loser’s candidacy/MSNBC tryout, but conservative Twitter’s burning up over this comment and I feel obliged:
Wendy Davis is under fire following a Dallas Morning News report that found a number of factual discrepancies in the personal narrative she has made a centerpiece of her long-shot campaign for Texas governor…
Davis said that for Abbott, who has been a paraplegic for nearly three decades, to question her story proves that he “hasn’t walked a day in my shoes.”
Intentional shot at Abbott’s disability? Nah, almost certainly not. Would intent matter, though, if it were a Republican who’d made a tin-eared but innocent remark like that? Nah, almost certainly not. Specifically, if someone had taken a cheap shot of that order at Davis herself, you’d never hear the end of it. John Sexton’s right:
Any criticism of Wendy Davis is a) a personal attack b) by her opponent c) aimed at all women. #bullpuckey
— John Sexton (@verumserum) January 21, 2014
Policy has next to nothing to do with her campaign, almost necessarily. You’re not going to win a straight-up “conservatives versus liberals” fight in Texas, especially when your claim to fame is filibustering an abortion law that most of the state supports while having bouquets thrown at you by lefties in the coastal media. The only way she wins is by turning the election into some sort of referendum on women in politics, and to do that she needs to seize every opportunity at victimhood. Men don’t understand her “story,” men don’t understand women’s ambitions, men don’t understand how important it is to be able to kill a baby in the womb in the third trimester. (Most women in Texas don’t understand that either.) Point is, the last thing she’d want to do when she’s setting up a “men versus women” ultimate victim narrative is give people a reason to see Greg Abbott as himself a victim of her campaign’s nasty cracks over his handicap. No way would they do it intentionally.
But again, who cares? Team Davis would never let a valuable slight like that slide, intended or not, so why give her a break? In fact, I’d say this is just as callous as the “walk in my shoes” remark and far more revealing of the basic defect in her campaign:
The only thing Abbott & his allies have proven with these desperate attacks is that they don’t understand these Texas stories of struggle.
— Wendy Davis (@wendydavis) January 21, 2014
I’m reasonably sure a guy who’s spent nearly 30 years in a wheelchair can relate to struggle, but it’s telling that Team Victim still thinks they can win a “my life sucked even harder than yours” debate with someone like him. Sure, he was crippled and needed spinal surgery and extensive rehabilitation and overcame it all to become attorney general of Texas, but what hardship is that compared to a woman overcoming young motherhood to attend Harvard Law? That’s Davis-ism, though: When you vote for her, you’re not voting for Democratic policies so much as you’re voting to send a message about social progress and challenging old assumptions and empowering a type of candidate who would have stood no chance of winning in earlier days. (Ann Richards notwithstanding!) At least when Obama ran on that idea in 2008, he was sunny/hopey/changey about it. Davis just seems aggrieved. Anyway, I’ll try in the future to focus only on elections whose outcome is in doubt.