Wendy Davis: Feet of clay in pink jogging shoes

Wendy Davis
Davis held the floor of the Texas State Senate for 13 hours in these pink jogging shoes.

I was one of thousands of women across the country last year who cheered the filibuster of Texas State Senator Wendy Davis against a restrictive new anti-abortion law. Thirteen courageous hours, standing up for the rights of women. It was electric.

But the spark is gone. In the months since, chinks have appeared in her rags-to-riches biography. She was 21, not 19, when she got divorced. She only lived in a trailer for a few months. Her second husband financed the majority of her schooling and took care of the kids while she attended Harvard Law School. Then, according to one source, she left him the day after he made the last tuition payment.

Okay, so maybe she fudged a bit on those details. Who hasn’t burnished a résumé here and there, now and then.

Then it came out that she supports expanding gun rights in Texas. To include “open carry.” How very Texas of her. How very un-Democratic. How politically expedient.

Finally, in a recent interview with The Dallas Morning News, she revealed that she’s not so pro-choice after all. She would have supported that bill she filibustered if … well, I’m not quite sure if what. I’ve read the story several times and I’m still not sure I understand her position:

WendyDavissm
Wendy Davis (Photo: Photo: Eric Gay/AP)

Davis, a Fort Worth senator and the likely Democratic nominee for governor, told The Dallas Morning News’ editorial board that less than one-half of 1 percent of Texas abortions occur after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Most of those were in cases where fetal abnormalities were evident or there were grave risks to the health of the woman …

But the Democrat said the state’s new abortion law didn’t give priority to women in those circumstances. The law allows for exceptions for fetal abnormalities and a threat to the woman’s life, but Davis said those didn’t go far enough.

“My concern, even in the way the 20-week ban was written in this particular bill, was that it didn’t give enough deference between a woman and her doctor making this difficult decision, and instead tried to legislatively define what it was,” Davis said …

Davis said she could have supported a bill that contained only a 20-week ban, but the law’s restrictions on clinics and doctors have greatly curtailed access to the procedure in parts of Texas.

Maybe Davis knew what she meant but didn’t say it very well. Or maybe she said what she meant but the reporter didn’t explain it well. Or maybe my reading comprehension is not what it used to be. But whatever Davis’s position is, it’s clear she’s not as gung-ho pro-choice as she appeared last year. She’s not the unflinching, uncompromising defender of women’s rights that we thought she was during that filibuster. Apparently she never was.

She started as the underdog and she’s trailing her primary Republican opponent in a hypothetical matchup for governor. And, perhaps not surprisingly, her support has been gradually eroding. Women like me are realizing she’s not who we thought she was. Or maybe she’s just not who we wanted her to be.

16 comments

  1. Very sad to say, PT, I agree with you. There’s just too many things that she’s back-pedaling on. I As Betrand Russell said: “Be scrupulously truthful, even when the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.”

    My hopes for her…are waning

        1. It’s just sad to see how easily principles crumble when an election is a stake (assuming there were some principles there in the first place).

          Pro-life. Pro-gun. And pro death penalty. Texas Republicans are a strange breed.

  2. I’m not big on conspiracy type stuff, but this smells a lot like a calculated move to gain a whole lot of name recognition through deceit and then trying to use it to make a big move up in the world of politics. I was an ardent backer of Wendy Davis. Now I hope she suffers a major defeat.

    1. I don’t know if she plotted all this from the beginning (whenever that was) or if she’s just trying to hold onto as many votes as possible. But it’s apparent she’s not the person I thought or hoped she was. And I don’t like what she seems to be. Politics. I hate politics.

      1. I honestly think that unless we can get big money out of politics, there will always be very little difference between the parties because they will continue to be beholden to the deep pockets. At least it seems that if we kick up enough of a fuss, we can nudge the Dems a bit easier than the crazies on the Right….. but the current system still has money having the strongest influence. That’s the real issue IMHO. 🙂

        1. I agree, and the Citizens United decision just made it worse. Much worse. For the most part corporations and special interest groups have taken over our election system and basically own Congress. I don’t see any way to fix it. I think term limits would help, but lawmakers won’t pass those and limit themselves. So depressing.

  3. I thought we had a light in the storm, but sadly no. I’ve a post like this started, – did some research ( like I do with anyone I am thinking about supporting) and found so much disturbing stuff she said and did – calculated. So not as advertised.
    Keep hoping somewhere out there is someone…but the political climate is so ugly, many honorable people have no interest.

    1. Even if you allow for negative spin by her opponents, much is on the record and undisputed. Very disappointing. Must be especially disappointing for a Texan like you. Even the most well-intentioned candidates usually find that once they get to Washington, or their state house, they have to start compromising if they want to get anything done.

      I keep telling myself that for all its flaws, we still have the best governing system in the world. We still have the best …. We still have the best ….

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