Wendy’s so fortunate to be a Democrat, because they’d already be shoveling dirt over her career and using her as the answer to trivia questions if she wasn’t. Telling a paraplegic to walk in her shoes? Absolute, instantaneous, eternal pop culture penetration by now, if she was a Republican. By the end of this weekend, she’d be a globally recognized symbol of vapid stupidity, mocked unto destruction by every late-night comedian for days on end. Her big donors would be pretending they never heard of her by Monday morning. Media analysts with deeply furrowed brows would be pontificating that her candidacy was the sign of a deeply sick GOP that doesn’t properly vet its candidates; she’d be a symbol of the party’s callous hostility to the disadvantaged.
But, you know, Democrat, so no problem. The media will keep treating her as a lively candidate until she’s pumped a few more shotgun rounds into her own feet. The dark warnings of Republican “overreach” for making too big a deal about her serial biography fabrications are already rolling through the mediaverse.
She’s a perfect avatar of this sad era, a nothingburger candidate who didn’t even know all that much about the bill she famously opposed. She’s a pure media creation… and let us be brutally honest, those do catch on sometimes, because the Democrat Party is all about hardcore identity politics now, and that machinery needs little more than a stylish figurehead to get rolling. Her signature issue, abortion, is actually a pure distillation of vacuous identity politics, a tribal identifier for liberals who are united primarily by their scorn for the people who oppose abortion-on-demand.
It’s interesting that the party of Nanny State hyper-regulation thinks abortion clinics are the only business operations in America that should have utterly relaxed health and safety standards, isn’t it? But it makes sense if you see the unifying principle of modern “feminism” as reflexive opposition to whatever those Bible-thumping patriarchs and their captive baby-factory wives in the pro-life movement want, even when what they’re after is the sort of thing liberals would eagerly embrace in virtually any other context.
I’ll go out on a limb and predict that Wendy Davis’ very bad, no good, terrible week will have a fairly modest effect on her candidacy, unless things get considerably worse for her. She’ll only seem more sympathetic to her die-hard supporters, who are quite hungry to consume her theories about how the Dallas Morning News is riddled with Republican operatives. Some of them will squirm uncomfortably at the implications of the true, unedited narrative of her early life, but they’ve invested far too much in her to have any explosive moments of clarity. Her opponents might be a bit more opposed to her now, but this has always been Greg Abbott’s race to lose anyway.
As for the media… I’ll once again ask the question that occurred to me after first reading the Dallas Morning News piece. The media has been eagerly pumping Davis’ candidacy, which is based almost entirely on two things – her big abortion filibuster, and her biography. The DMN reporter did nothing other than read the biography Team Davis was shoving in his face and ask a couple of very basic questions about it. He did a little research and talked with people who could corroborate (or, as it turned out, fail to corroborate) her story.
So… where was the rest of the media all this time? Nobody in any of the high-powered network organizations that wrote ten thousand stories about the pink-sneakered dashboard saint of life termination every bothered to question a single detail of her life story? The same media that sent an army of people to Wasilla, Alaska to dive through dumpsters in search of info on Sarah Palin, and later crowd-sourced an effort to read every email she ever wrote? The media that told us allegations of Mitt Romney giving a classmate a haircut 50 years ago was a story of intense interest and immediate relevance, as was the journey his dog undertook on the roof of the family car decades ago?