Wendy Davis, classic Texas four-flusher

There was much more of this from Davis and her surrogates, who couldn’t stop talking about Davis’s supposed “struggles” and Abbott’s supposed callousness toward them. A little of this goes a long way, especially since Greg Abbott is a paraplegic. His “struggles” from having his spine crushed at age 26 dwarf those of having a well-to-do husband put you through Harvard Law School while taking care of your children.

Moreover, the countercharges were dishonest. It wasn’t all that long ago that Wayne Slater’s tough coverage of Karl Rove endeared him to Texas Democrats. And Slater, who has a reputation for probity, stated flatly that he spoke to no one associated with Abbott for his piece on Davis.

In poker, a four-flusher is someone who claims to have a flush—five cards of the same suit—and then shows only four of them when called, hiding the fifth, non-suited card. Wendy Davis’s response when exposed as a four-flusher is to insist the hole card was true—even when everyone sees it isn’t.

As a chaser to such deceit, the campaign added a gaffe in the form of a Wendy Davis statement that Abbott never “walked a day in my shoes.” One doesn’t have to wonder how liberals would respond if George W. Bush had said that about a paraplegic opponent. And then, a surreptitious videotape began circulating in conservative circles purportedly showing Davis backers laughing about Abbott being in a wheelchair.