Everyone has been buzzing all weekend about a Wayne Slater article in The Dallas Morning News that asks some tough questions about Davis’ narrative. Specifically it alleges that certain details about her life have been blurred following the lawmaker’s rise to stardom, including her exact age when she divorced and exactly how long she lived in a trailer park. I noted these allegations and a brief summation of personal views on them in the Editor’s section of today’s Houston New Post:
“I am laughing this evening at the absurd standards we hold our public servants to in a random couple of categories without any rhyme or reason to speak thereof. I speak of the article from The Dallas Morning News that sure made the rounds this weekend, in which the honesty of Wendy Davis’ life story has been brought into play following details that do not line up with one another.
The basic falsehoods that the Morning News points to with such indignation and happiness involve rather small discrepancies in the grand scheme of politics. Politicians are not perfect, and given that the blunders occurring here involve venial offenses such as lack of detail, and involve no malice, I do not see that anyone should really care for this type of pedantic posturing all that much.
If we demand total perfection in these categories from our public servants, we should not be surprised when our politicians act like robots, without any sort of human qualities or any personality to speak of.
And lest one accuse me of just blind defenses of a politician I personally support, I would think the Abbott campaign or the Morning News would be better put to use questioning her specific policy prescriptions; or, should I say, lack thereof.”
In response, as the Texas Tribune notes, Wendy Davis has responded to the allegations about her. Specifically, she cleared up the discrepancies noted about her life story. While it was true that she did not actually divorce until 21, she separated from her husband at 19, thus becoming a “single mother” in a way. Further, the dispute over the trailer park residence is rather silly, as she did live in a mobile home. I think the point Abbott and co. is making is that she did not live there long enough.
Wendy Davis’ campaign even has a more thorough explanation of these points in a prepared statement, that went on a little further. The Wayne Slater piece went on to detail and chronicle the early events of Davis’ life, including both marriages and subsequent divorces. It is a good reminder that there are generally two sides to every story, politicians notwithstanding.
The story, however, has been picked up by national outlets, most notably Rush Limbaugh. In fact, google some variation of Davis and Limbaugh’s names together and you will find a plethora of posts from right-wing media about him huffing and puffin about the Texas Democrat. Here’s one from Breitbart, for example, that references such disparaging phrases as “abortion barbie” and the like. In an example of unmistakable irony, many simpletons on the left have now turned on Slater –the author of the piece– for his alleged bias. Slater is not a right-wing operative, but this is neither here nor there.
The most important thing about the whole spectacle is that it shows the Republicans are not fooling around. I think this tweet by Scott Braddock sums up the whole issue quite well: “Remember when Texas Republicans were in all-out attack mode on Bill White? Me neither. This is an actual race for governor.”
Also important to note is that it has been 20 years since a woman ran for Governor (Ann Richards in 1994, for those incapable of doing math). In that election, the viciousness of the attacks against Richards was simply unparalleled. It looks like we will be headed for the same result. Perhaps even more important to note is that Richards lost in 1994, and she lost bad. That is arguably because she did not fight back against Bush and Rove. Davis will need to fight back or she will be buried, plain and simple.
UPDATE: The New Republic piles onto the alleged fact-spinning from the Morning News.