Monday, January 27, 2014

The Political Biography of Wendy Davis

As this Christian Science Monitor article notes, Wendy is learning the hard lesson of fudging her biography.  It's not like she reinvented herself, as so many politicians do, but she "blurred" the lines enough that Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News felt compelled to spell out the distinctions in a story he wrote on the gubernatorial candidate for 2014.

You see Davis got the jump on her prospective Republican opponent, Greg Abbot, raising more money for her prospective run than he did in December.  This seems to have come as a bit of a jolt to Texas GOP fundraisers, and so they seek a way to curb all this appeal Wendy Davis has been garnering since her epic filibuster in the Texas state legislature last summer.

Slater categorically denies he was requested to write his story at the behest of the Abbott campaign.  He felt he was compelled to tell it how he sees it, digging into Wendy's personal narrative and pulling out a few inconsistencies that are enough to doubt her story.  Even he admits that what she has said is mostly true, but in thinly disguised sexist terms notes that there was a man there to support her and her children while she pursued her law degree at Harvard, essentially stripping her of the claim that she was a single mother working her way through college.

Not surprisingly, the conservative blogs have run with this, and there is even a "Real Wendy" web site and facebook page to enlighten Texas voters as to the impertinent Texas state legislator who dared to hold back a draconian anti-abortion bill that the Republicans claim most Texans wanted.  This is the price of overnight fame.  Just like the "liberal press" goes after Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, Paul Rand and the other Tea Party darlings, we have the conservative blogosphere to set the record straight on up and coming liberals who might break the stranglehold the Tea Party apparently has on Texas politics.

It's bad enough the Tea Party backed GOP has gerrymandered the Texas voting districts (thanks largely to Greg Abbott) so that it is difficult for Democrats to win beyond their etch-a-sketch districts, now one has to run the gauntlet of politically paid newspapers to keep your good name.

The Dallas Morning News is owned by the Media News Group, a conservative news media group that owns newspapers throughout the country, including the Denver Post and Detroit News, and has been under fire for antitrust violations since 2006.  So, it is not surprising that the DMN would run with a story like this when for the first time since Ann Richards, a Democrat has a real shot at being the governor of Texas.

Remember Ann?
Wendy Davis appears to be a real threat, hence she has to be taken down a peg, and nothing like a little bit of Rovian smear tactics to do the trick.  After all, this is what brought the mighty Ann Richards down, who many considered a sure bet over her upstart challenger, George W. Bush, in 1994.  But, now the GOP is dealing with an upstart challenger, so the shoe is on the other foot so to speak.

It seems Wendy is ready for the challenge, especially since Greg Abbott isn't exactly a household name.  He fits the Tea Party profile to a tee, but his only claim to fame is having appointed Ted Cruz as state solicitor general.  Wendy has already shot back at Slater's piece, and in an age where the Republicans have thoroughly disgraced themselves among women, going after her with too much vigor will only make them look even more like bullies.


  1. I wish her response weren't completely devoid of specifics.

    1. Best not to be too specific in politics, but she does offer more in this article,