Wendy Davis has become a ticking time bomb for the Democratic Party. Raising a third of the funds her Republican opponent has and cornered into supporting stances unpopular to the left, Davis abandoned her pet issue–support for abortion–on the day The New York Times ran an effusive feature on the up-and-coming “progressive.”
The timing is uncanny and deeply unfortunate for the narrative The New York Times sought to drive home about Davis. With the headline, “Can Wendy Davis Have It All?”– an ode to the irritating meme that first surfaced with news that Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer was pregnant–author Robert Draper attempts to tell the full, accurate narrative of Davis’s life story while still holding her up as the liberal icon she was when the media believed she had been a single teen mother who paid her way through law school. Neither, of course, is true.
As for the half-truths, Draper tries to paint them as a strength in itself that Davis lied so openly and refuses to back down from those who demand a correction of her life story, at least on her website. The lies, he argues, are “politically exquisite” and serve to create a very desirable candidate. (Never mind that that candidate does not actually exists.) Draper sticks close to the triumphant image of Davis in the Times last June: the “overnight sensation” who “put herself through law school” and has a “stellar record” among “powerful women, organizations, and advocates.”
Central to that image is the ideology that the Times believes Wendy Davis to possess. “Her positions,” Draper writes, “are in keeping with progressive ideology and are inherently at odds with a state where a low-taxes-low-services economic model carries the day.” He cites same-sex marriage and abortion among the top of the list, but immigration and education, as well.
The timing for such a declaration of ideological fealty could not have been worse.
On February 12th, the Dallas Morning News reported that the Democratic candidate revealed in an interview that she had entirely abandoned the issue that made her a national star. Davis told the paper that she supports a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, despite her filibustering specifically to prevent such a law from entering the books. While she opposed that particular bill, she claimed she could support a bill that