There’s a lot in the Wendy Davis story besides Davis and her constructed and false “narrative.” Here is one of Davis’ most recent official statements on the matter, a little masterpiece of accusing the accusers:
We’re not surprised by Greg Abbott’s [her Texas governorship opponent] campaign attacks on the personal story of my life as a single mother who worked hard to get ahead. But they won’t work, because my story is the story of millions of Texas women who know the strength it takes when you’re young, alone and a mother. I’ve always been open about my life not because my story is unique, but because it isn’t.
The truth is that at age 19, I was a teenage mother living alone with my daughter in a trailer and struggling to keep us afloat on my way to a divorce. And I knew then that I was going to have to work my way up and out of that life if I was going to give my daughter a better life and a better future and that’s what I’ve done. I am proud of where I came from and I am proud of what I’ve been able to achieve through hard work and perseverance. And I guarantee you that anyone who tries to say otherwise hasn’t walked a day in my shoes.”
Poor dear, being attacked by that big bad man who doesn’t understand the travails of single women everywhere! Like all Republicans.
That’s the ticket, as Annie’s List Executive Director Grace Garcia writes [Annie's List is a group "dedicated to changing the face of power in Texas politics – and thereby combating the assault on issues of most importance to women and their families – by recruiting, training and supporting women candidates across the state"]:
We’re not surprised Republicans have attempted to undermine Wendy Davis’ campaign by calling her past into question – we have seen similar attacks launched against women candidates before. The recent personal attacks on Wendy Davis and her family are blatant attempts to thwart her campaign and undermine her success…Greg Abbott is running scared and for good reason. Senator Davis’ personal story is a compelling narrative of perseverance and hard work that millions of Texans have responded to. It is appalling that Republicans would attack the details of that story rather than focus on the issues affecting Texas families.
Disputing the details of Wendy Davis’ life is especially offensive to the many Texas women who can relate to her story. In trying to tear down Senator Davis’ campaign and her personal story, Republicans are also tearing down all Texans who have overcome difficult circumstances. It’s clear Greg Abbott doesn’t understand Wendy Davis’ struggles and the struggles of millions of Texans, nor does he want to.
“Appalling” to question her story. She must not be questioned! To question her is to question the story of all downtrodden women. And Greg Abbott, Man (Republican Man, that is), does not understand or want to understand anything about the struggles of women. The irony that this is supposedly a feminist approach that will empower women only points out the blatant hypocrisy of Davis and her supporters, and way too much of feminism as well.
When I first wrote a draft of this post, the title was shorter, and it ended with the paragraph right above this. But before publishing, I decided to take a look at the history of Greg Abbott, about whom I knew practically nothing except that he was a man, a Republican, and white. I wondered whether there was any “narrative” of strife overcome that could be compared to Davis’s, of struggle against odds or difficulties, or if he’d had smooth sailing.
I didn’t expect to find much trouble in his background; perhaps a bit of financial difficulty while growing up, at the most. I was therefore surprised to discover the following:
Greg Abbott was elected attorney general in 2002. But his political trek began decades earlier – in agony.
At age 26, Abbott was partially paralyzed in a freak accident and bedridden for a month. His dream to practice law withered. But he tilled new ambitions, reading about politics during his recovery and internalizing a credo from his mother: Never say I can’t.
“That is one of the more guiding principals that got me through,” said Abbott, now 52. “Just because this happened doesn’t mean I can’t do whatever it is I wanted to do. It picked me up off of the hospital bed and got me going.”
The accident – an oak tree fell and struck his back as he jogged by – kept him hospitalized and in rehabilitation for more than three months. The recovery was often excruciating. He has used a wheelchair ever since.
It also hardened his resolve and propelled him on a path toward politics. He passed the bar exam a year after the accident, excelled as a Houston lawyer and eventually was elected a judge. Abbott, a Republican, has won two terms as attorney general and is running again against retired Houston lawyer Barbara Ann Radnofsky, a Democrat.
He has used his tenure to combat child predators and human trafficking and to chime in on highly charged topics from climate change to health care.
Please read the whole thing.
This is the guy, remember, about whom Davis says:
I am proud of where I came from and I am proud of what I’ve been able to achieve through hard work and perseverance. And I guarantee you that anyone who tries to say otherwise hasn’t walked a day in my shoes.”
Since Abbott doesn’t walk at all, it’s a rather infelicitous figure of speech, don’t you think?
And then there’s Davis’s parrot Garcia, who writes:
In trying to tear down Senator Davis’ campaign and her personal story, Republicans are also tearing down all Texans who have overcome difficult circumstances. It’s clear Greg Abbott doesn’t understand Wendy Davis’ struggles and the struggles of millions of Texans, nor does he want to.
It turns out that “hypocrites” is way too mild a word to describe Davis and Garcia.