Witch Wendy Davis, the ... OTHER!!!

Categories: Schutze

wicked_witch.jpg
Ah, yes, my pretty, we know what Wendy Davis really looks like, don't we?
Here in the city where Republican swiftboating was invented, we have good reason to wonder what's really at the heart of it. In 2004 when the character assassins went after John Kerry, I assumed their motivation was straight-up cynicism. Muddy him up so Bush will look better.

But this new assault on Wendy Davis makes me wonder if my assessment was superficial. Maybe there was always something deeper in it than simple opportunism. Is it that Republicans look at Democrats like Kerry and Davis and see people who have eclipsed them according to their own values?

See also: The Backlash Against Wendy Davis Is Getting Pretty Vile

There simply is no question that John Kerry was a war hero, with a decorated service history. There is no question that Wendy Davis was a young single-mother from a poor family who got through Harvard Law School -- a story straight from Horatio Alger.

Is that what it is? Especially now in the Age of Roger Ailes, I wonder sometimes if Foxoholic conservatives have been stroked into believing they are a Chosen, a species, a people endowed with superior personhood. Does it just drive them right out of their skulls, then, when moderate Democrats outdo them according to their own purported values?

And let me say right off the bat that Wayne Slater's original story in The Dallas Morning News was not character assassination but good old fact-checking gotcha journalism of a type that has paid my own rent for a good many years. If Davis said this and Slater could prove that, his story was fair game.

But not a very big story, would you say? She got her age wrong by two years when she said she lived in a trailer? She said she paid her way through law school, but now her ex-husband says he paid for some of it?

Listen to me: After lifetimes spent interviewing people about their own lives, I know and Wayne Slater knows that nobody remembers his own life with perfect precision or even much precision. People think they do, especially smart people, but they do not. Dates slide. Stories meld. Names blur. Everything drifts into personal mythology. It's how people are.

Sure, it would have been smart for Davis to take time to sit down with a tough staffer who knew how to pin her down on details before people started writing speeches and ad copy for her. But here's another thing Slater and I both know: No candidate who hasn't yet been the subject of Prime Time glare ever does that ahead of time. They do it only after they get good and burned.

Beforehand, they don't know why it's necessary. They don't like doing it. The staff members don't want to do it. No one wants to act like a damn reporter. So now Wendy Davis does know why details are important. Now she's ready to rock and roll.

Where the thin gruel of Slater's story got turned into dirt stew was in the after-writing, like the essay by Morning News editorialist Tod Robberson. Robberson took small flubs, mixed them together with innuendo and came up with ... go on, you guess! What do the Foxoholics always come around to when they get up a good mad lather? You've seen it. All red in the face, eyes spinning around, they're about to start talking about ...

Sex! Yeah! Robberson writes about the time Davis, a married woman, took herself up to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Alone!

"Something happened while she was up there," he says (and we imagine a raunchy saxophone and rattling snare drum in the background, indicating that something dirty is about to happen). "The couple apparently drifted apart, as can happen when two people are separated for such a long period. There are hints of infidelity."

Oh, come on. Please. What hints? Wait, wait, don't tell me. Even if there are hints of infidelity but nobody got shot and killed over it, can't you just keep it to yourself, Tod? Do you really want to be out here in the street stooped over wringing your hands and rolling your eyes around like that?

Sadly, he does. He writes, "Uh-oh, suddenly, this isn't turning into the kind of story we want to tell our children ... Maybe the true story was so horrendous that Wendy Davis sought deliberately to keep it from public view. Maybe she feared that if she started correcting the skewed public perception of her background, it would open a can of worms."

Horrendous, Tod? What on earth could she have done that was horrendous? Has she been seen grabbing song birds from the air and gulping them down? I would find that fairly horrendous, I guess. But if you had something truly horrendous wriggling in your paws, I do not believe you would be so shy and coy about bringing it to our front door.

The camp of her opponent, Greg Abbott, of course, was not shy or coy. They were off to the races with it. Matt Hirsch, Abbott's spokesman, said "Senator Wendy Davis systematically, intentionally and repeatedly deceived Texans for years about her background, yet she expects voters to indulge her fanciful narrative."

But see, there it is. The narrative. That's what they're really after. It's the underlying truth of her story that drives them to the swiftboats.

I'm still curious about Davis. There are details of her political past in Fort Worth that I find intriguing, if not troubling. Was she a little too fast to accommodate conservatives on the City Council who wanted to trim the budget by trimming city pensions? What's the full story there? But of course Abbott isn't going to raise that question, because cutting pensions will only make her look better in the eyes of his own base.

So it's back to the cheesy paperback bodice-ripping stuff: What did she do all alone up there in Cambridge, Massachusetts, during those long winter months? Why would any good Texas girl go to Cambridge, Massachusetts, by herself anyway?

The real story here, the spectacle, is not in the questions raised but in the people who raise them. It's this same thing again and again: Democrats from the president on down are not who or what they appear to be. They are The Other, beings whose true stories are so horrendous that they cannot be told, only hinted at with saxophone and snare drum. Ba-bump!

I was wrong when I wrote this all off to simple opportunism. It's probably way worse than that.


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94 comments
Catbird
Catbird

Jim, are you saying Wendy Davis served in Vietnam?

johnnyhorton001
johnnyhorton001

This is one of the more pathetic pieces I've ever read on the internet.  To call her "moderate" is laughable.  Her extreme views on late term abortion are so far outside the mainstream (widely supported by polling) that it's scary.  It'd be nice if the author could name one thing outside of her fake story that makes her so special and fit to run the great state of Texas but he's a putz and he can't. 

lantex
lantex

Wow....this is starting to sound eerily like politics.  Jim, you are being disingenious to even remotely act surprised or feign disgust for what amount to ho hum run of the mill tactics.  Believe me, if Ms. Davis or her handlers  had uncovered something so "shocking" about Greg Abbot's resume, the uproar would be at least at deafening

Rooster0620
Rooster0620

So let me get this straight, Schutze...

You think politicians lying/lobbing false accusations about each other is new?

RoyceW
RoyceW

If there were even the remotest possibility of Wendy Davis winning the Texas Governors race I might care that she is a coldhearted lying cheating opportunist, but there isn't and I don't. 

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Those that liked Wendy still do, those that did not like Wendy still don't.


Most folks will find a way to accommodate a politician's back story (no matter how twisty) as long as they're believed to hold good strong progressive/conservative beliefs

cajunscouse9
cajunscouse9

I don't have as much as issue with her narrative being off as I do with the fact that she doesn't mind a pair of scissors being jammed into the skull of a partially born baby.

Just-Sharon
Just-Sharon

Reading the comments here is proof that Wendy Davis is going to be the next Governor.  She has the Baggers all riled up or I should say MORE riled up as riled is a permanent state of being for them.

But they are scared shitless and we should enjoy watching them squirm with childish rants. 

libtard_apologist
libtard_apologist

Hey look, a "progressive" libtard blogger is an apologist for a liar. Wow I never would have seen that coming in a million billion years. I'm totally shocked and completely surprised at this utterly unexpected occurrence.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Republicans are bitter, selfish, hateful, greedy, miserable people.

Have you noticed how their mouths (jowls) are always hanging down around the edges, like a permanent frown? Men and women both. And they're just fixated on sex. It's all they talk about but they won't talk to their own kids about it. They sure do like to talk about whoever else is doing it, though, like it's some horrid, unnatural thing. ESPECIALLY when it's 2 guys or 2 girls, then they're just salivating at all those mental images they're generating. It's apparent that a lot of people have sex, a lot. And the world isn't ending, yet. But if the Republican Kelptocracy is allowed to continue on, it may well.

hinmanpe
hinmanpe

Hmm... Hints of infidelity??? And the courts gave the husband custody of the children?? I must be sexist and it is Gregg Abbott's fault!

animas
animas

Talk about a double standard.  The recent Sherman bio of  Foxy Roger Ailes  turns up more controversy than anything in Wendy Davis' plucky Theodore Dreiser narrative.  Roger was just a poor mid west boy with hemophilia who was a media room prop boy , rose through the ranks with Mike Douglas, met Richard Nixon and became a Republican strategist.  He married his college sweety but dumped her when he found a media saavy gal to advance his career and dumped her for a lady 20 years younger.  Ailes father told him his grandfather was dead BUT Ailes located "gramps"working for the Akron Health Dept.  He had a Harvard degree, had walked out on Ailes dad and grandmother  starting his own family.

fromtexasbygod
fromtexasbygod

If there were even the remotest possibility of Wendy Davis winning the Texas Governors race I might care that she is a coldhearted lying cheating opportunist, but there isn't and I don't. 

lebowski300
lebowski300

All the "usual suspects" in the comments section are upset by the article. That's how you know it stung close to the truth. We'll done.

roycew59
roycew59

It's always amusing to hear unhinged liberals (a few friends and family included) piss and moan about the evil and mean spirited Fox News Channel when it's so obvious that they have never watched Fox longer than a brief pause while flipping through the channels.  Even though I am a moderate conservative, in addition to Fox I still watch CNN, CBS, NBC, and ABC and only recently got to where I just can't watch MSNBC simply because it is stacked so deep with extreme radicals and racist like Thomas Roberts and Melissa Harris-Perry.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

hey.

she loves children

just not hers

barrbo
barrbo

Why big deal?  She is running for office.  They all pad their story to sound better than they are.  Her problem is she over did it a tad to much..  if went to Harvard I would know who paid for my school.  Is it the end of the world.....no!!

Guesty
Guesty

Jim,


You are absolutely right that this is a non-story, though I wish Davis would pivot to make the following points:  Every successful person has had some luck and helping hands along the way, and every successful person has made some family sacrifices.  


The first issue goes against the "pulled herself up by her bootstraps" narrative that Davis' people are trying to spin, but it actually is much more consistent with the truth and Democratic policies.  The truth is that Davis was not a single mother putting herself through Harvard law school.  She was married at the time and her husband emptied out his 401K to pay for her education.  This gives a rather poignant example of what we are missing out on under our current system.  How many people had the same potential as Davis, but without the good luck of marrying someone who can give a helping hand?  We are missing out on a lot of potential given the sorry state of public education .  It also illustrates the folly of the right's belief that the U.S. is a meritocracy.  It isn't.  A lot of wealth in this country is simply the result of good luck.  Success is not an indication of being a good person.    


The second issue, that success comes at the price of family, is a little more difficult for me because it is an issue I struggle with and that I don't think most people are willing to accept.  People still cling to the myth that they can "have it all."  Simply put, no one gets to be in Wendy Davis's or Greg Abbott's position by being the best parent they can be. Being very successful in politics or business is probably mutually exclusive with being a great parent.  The time commitment necessary to that kind of success simply doesn't allow both to happen (that doesn't mean the kids will suffer, a supportive co-parent may cover for the other's flaws).  But I do think far too many people let their sexism dominate the discussion by only raising the issue when it's a mother involved.  Me, I just assume that anyone at that level has already made the life choices I wouldn't make, so it's really a fool's errand to pick which one was a better parent or more committed to their family.  I would find personal fault in both of them, at best I would say it usually is close to a wash.    

Lorlee
Lorlee

The sad thing is that the fringes on both sides control the rhetoric and we get caught up in character assassination rather than being able to have discussions about the real issues.  As someone who has run about 40 campaigns, let me assure you that NONE of you could stand up to the scrutiny that is focused on candidates.   I used to joke that Bill Clinton must have been a paragon, they spent 80 Million bucks and the best they could do was a few blow jobs.  The rest of us, they spend a couple of thousand and we would be facing hard time.  


Good people refuse to put themselves or their families through this circus, so as a result, we get what we deserve until the vast middle rises up and says they have had enough.


ruddski
ruddski

Rumor has it that the O'Devil Himself has released a video not favorable to Davis.

ruddski
ruddski

Just as with Palin and others, political machines will go after candidates.

Poor, poor Wendy will get through it all. go on to lose the election, then she can be a martyr.

knoxharrington
knoxharrington

I wouldn't care that Wendy Davis got some facts about her life incorrect. I've struggled to fill out my employment and education history from memory before - I get it.  The problem I have is that Wendy Davis has used her "story" for political advantage - therein lies the problem.  I expect politicians to lie - it's what they do.  I also expect journalists to fact-check and screw them to the wall when they are caught. Wendy Davis got caught. Time to get screwed to the wall.

nd68
nd68

@RoyceW I've seen this exact comment on the DMN boards and below...are you copying and pasting? Lame.

nd68
nd68

@fromtexasbygod The exact same comment is popping up on the DMN boards and here. Either you're copying and pasting or you're plagiarizing. One of the two. Either way, it's totally lame.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@fromtexasbygod "

coldhearted lying cheating opportunist"

Yes, we already know she's a politician. 

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@roycew59

"...  in addition to Fox I still watch CNN, CBS, NBC, and ABC ..."

Isn't that similar to a white person saying:

"I am not racist, I have some black friends."

Just-Sharon
Just-Sharon

@roycew59 Thomas Roberts racist?  Did you know he use to date a black man?   I hope that Thomas was honest enough to let his black boyfriend know he was a racist.  That would be the fair thing to do. 

JFPO
JFPO

News for you: You are not "moderate."

Threeboys
Threeboys

She loves children? She filibustered for whatever amount of hours in favor of killing them!

ruddski
ruddski

"How many people had the same potential as Davis, but without the good luck of marrying someone who can give a helping hand?"

So now she's Hillary Clinton?

hinmanpe
hinmanpe

@LorleeWow, I didn't realize he lost his law license because of a few blow jobs. Thanks I may have to rethink my opinion of him!

ruddski
ruddski

They also got Bill to lie to the American people and American jurisprudence - but his supporters see it as a wink-wink, no biggie.

Then, the second black president gets controversial and widely-disliked law passed through calculated, deliberate fraud. Wink-wink, no biggie.

Then the president proceeds to make up changes to the law contra the Constitution, and chooses which laws are enforced or ignored, contra his oath of office.

Wink-wink, let's talk about old blow jobs and new traffic jams.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@ruddski 

Not all political campaigns are designed to put candidates into office.

Some are just ego-vehicles (well, all political campaigns are ego-vehicles), while others are about political positioning.

I don't believe that there is a person in the Davis camp right now that believes she actually has a shot at the office of Governor of Texas.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@knoxharrington 

I might agree with you had there been any sort of meat to the story, but it's just . . .  Nothing.

No drunken escapades, no rehab, no bodies, no spouse / child abuse . . . Davis is a piker in this regard compared to most pols.

johnnyhorton001
johnnyhorton001

@bvckvs Who said anything about "Republican wacko-birds"?  Show where I'm wrong on the polls and the point I made or if not go get your fucking shine box, moron.  

RoyceW
RoyceW

Roberts the radical (and member of a perverse less than 2% demographic) and Harris-Perry the racist are just two on the stacked deep list of reprobates at a network that continues to have no clue why Fox News has dominated ratings for more than a decade.

Just-Sharon
Just-Sharon

@JFPO Why are Baggers afraid to be called Baggers?   At one time they were very proud of the term. And why do old straight men fear young women (unless they are paying them online or at Baby Dolls) to such a huge degree?

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@ruddski 

'cept she'd be prone to a pool boy eruption.

That poor 1st Man.  

knoxharrington
knoxharrington

@TheCredibleHulk @knoxharrington If Wendy Davis acknowledges, which she did, the fact that her biography was materially inaccurate doesn't that constitute meat?  As I indicated, as far as lies go, this is not that consequential but for the fact that her public image is built on the aforementioned lie.


Is Davis equivalent to Pol Pot? No. Is she a liar? Yes.  She is just like every other politician and therefore there is nothing "special" or "noteworthy" about her or her story.  Davis needs to be ridiculed, laughed at and made the butt of jokes if for no other reason than all politicians need to be taken down several pegs - and pointing out their lies is a great way to do that.



johnnyhorton001
johnnyhorton001

@TeaBaggingJesus@RoyceWWith a name like "TeaBaggingJesus" it's certainly easy to take you seriously.  Keep on keeping it classy, guy.  We need the rest of your ilk to show their true colors as well so we can get this thing back on the right track.

Just-Sharon
Just-Sharon

@RoyceW Yes, The glory holish Robert Jeffress has been a great help with helping Fox to stay number ONE for the grey pube set.   Plus Megan Kelly is a  H.O.T.T.I.E.. 


Yet I never knew Robert's was an Irish Catholic.  

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