Wendy Davis tried to broaden her appeal with a bit of mushy political-talk about 20 week abortions. But instead of making herself sound nuanced and thoughtful, she ended up looking all flip-floppy on her core issue.
The internet is all a-tweeter over comments she made in an interview with the Dallas Morning News. I had seen the claims that she had come out in favor of a ban for abortions after twenty weeks into pregnancy. Reading them made me kinda wonder who was smoking what.
After a bit of digging, it seemed clear to me that everybody involved had a toke or two.
Here’s what Senator Davis actually said. She is referring to the bill which was the target of her famous filibuster:
I would have and could have voted to allow that to go through, if I felt like we had tightly defined the ability for a woman and a doctor to be making this decision together and not have the Legislature get too deep in the weeds of how we would describe when that was appropriate.
Huh? Or, as we say North of the Red River, Come again?
Did she say she was in favor of banning abortions after 20 weeks, with provisos? Or, did she say was opposed to banning it? Or … maybe … she said she was in favor of abortion anytime, but would vote for a ban that didn’t stop a woman from having an abortion if she (and her doctor, of course) made the decision herself.
Humph. So … what she said was … nothing, all dressed up to look like something?
You betcha, boys and girls. That’s exactly what she said.
This is the woman who engaged in a 13-hour filibuster, complete with pink running shoes and a catheter, in a desperate fight to kill legislation that, among other things, banned all but a few abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Now, she’s saying she could have voted for that bill, if … well, if what?
Read her statement again.
If you think that statement says Senator Wendy Davis supports banning abortions after 20 weeks, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn we need to talk about.
This is mushy political-talk designed to give the appearance of a softer stand for the upcoming election. She’s not backing off of anything. She just doing what she has to do with an issue like abortion in red-state Texas. She’s trying to look like she’s nuanced and fair-minded and could be persuaded by other nuanced and fair-minded people.
She is, in Okie parlance, trying to pull the wool over our eyes.
President Obama engaged in some famous back-tracking of his own when he ran for president. In fact, he flat-out lied when he said that he had not used his power as an Illinois State Senate committee chairman to kill an infant born alive bill and then in another legislative session, voted against it.
The difference is that the boys who write the stories went along with then Senator Obama and his lies. It would have been as easy as taking a breath for a reporter to come back with, “But Senator, the record/recordings/testimonies show that what you say is untrue.”
But they didn’t. They let him lie, and by doing that, they helped him lie.
Senator Davis may well have been counting on the same kind of help with her electoral twists and turns. But it appears she’s wrong. The same commenters and reporters who shamelessly bearded the American public for Senator Obama are going at Wendy Davis with their full force.
The facts are that Senator Wendy Davis has built what national reputation she has entirely on her absolutist stand for abortion.
When she tries to soften that with obfuscations, she forgets that she’s not playing to the home crowd anymore. The same national notoriety that gave her the idea of running for Governor of Texas is going to plague her every step of the race.
The national press is not going to beard for her the way they do President Obama. When she gets lost on the way to the rodeo, everyone, everywhere, will know about it.