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Opponents Offer Unhelpful Critique of Wendy Davis: She's A Bad Mom!

Illustration for article titled Opponents Offer Unhelpful Critique of Wendy Davis: Shes A Bad Mom!

Texas gubernatorial candidate and pro-choice It Girl Wendy Davis announced just last week that she'd raised over $12 million dollars over the second half of 2013. And, on Sunday, like clockwork, a Dallas paper ran a barbecued garbage "expose" that slammed her for being a bad mother. Texas-style sexism really sticks to the ribs, doesn't it?

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The Dallas Morning News ran a piece this Sunday that called into question certain aspects of Wendy Davis's personal story. Here HuffPo's Laura Bassett breaks them down,

Davis has said she was a divorced single mother at 19, when she was only separated at 19. Her divorce did not become final until she was 21. She has told stories about the difficulty of living in a trailer with her daughter, but the article noted they lived in that mobile home for just a few months. Davis mentioned in 2012 that her mother had a sixth-grade education; in fact, her mother has a ninth-grade education.

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Wow. This is some Congressman Francis Underwood-level fuckery. Lying about how much school your mom had? AND WE THOUGHT THIS WOMAN WAS FIT TO GOVERN. WHAT FOOLS WE WERE!

Predictably (and completely, 100% justifiably), conservative shoutmakers on Twitter and on the radio and on the toilet or wherever were quick to jump all over Davis, calling her a bimbo and a Barbie and implying that because she went to law school while a human child existed she was a bad mother who had abandoned her kid in favor of her selfish career in Professional Feminism. It was good old fashioned red meat apoplexy, made extra silly by events that were yet to transpire later this week. But we'll get to that later.

Davis responded by clarifying some of the details of her backstory and saying that she should be more careful with conveying details now that she's under the public microscope. And, you know, from as objective a standpoint I can muster, lying about personal details in your past when you're running for elected office is both weird and sloppy. But, like, nowhere near warranting the kind of slobbering response it got from the right. In fact, in a state as red (turning purple-ish, but still red) as Texas, why are conservatives even wasting their time drawing attention to Wendy Davis in such a sexist, shitty way when all the overreaction does is remind people that Davis's opponent, Greg Abbott, is of a party of petty, sexist bigots? It's like using a gun you keep in your house for self-defense to accidentally shoot yourself in the leg while horsing around.

And the overreaction of the right looks especially silly in light of what happened today in Virginia, when Republican ex-Governor Bob McDonnell, he of mandatory vaginal ultrasound fame, was indicted (alongside his wife) on federal corruption charges. Apparently during all that time making his state a national example of Why Women Should Not Vote For Republicans, he found time to accept $120,000 in illegal loans — ironically, after a probe. I wonder how many of the people absolutely shitting American flags over allegations that Wendy Davis maybe didn't accurately represent how long she lived in a trailer are equally upset that one of their anti-choice darlings was Illinois-level corrupt. Can't wait for all the Vaginal Probe Ken jokes; McDonnell's certainly got the hair for it.

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DISCUSSION

And, you know, from as objective a standpoint I can muster, lying about personal details in your past when you're running for elected office is both weird and sloppy.

And as objectively as I can muster I don't see where she lied. Most people talk as though they are divorced once they separate with an intent to divorce. Most people talk about their "ex-spouse" at that point. I consider myself a single mom from the time I left my ex-husband and established a home without him although we were not divorced until 14 months later. So as long as she was living as a single mom at 19 I don't really care if the papers weren't signed until she was 21 (god bless you for living through a divorce that dragged on that long Wendy!). So she only lived in the trailer a few months. Does that mean it was not hard during that time? Still not seeing a lie here either. And her mom got a 9th grade education and not a 6th grade education. Maybe her mom told it to her wrong. Maybe she forgot. Shit her mom did not graduate high school. Can't we really say close enough at the point that you're niggling over 6th grade or 9th grade? It's not like her mom actually graduated from Harvard. These are small potatoes that Wendy should treat exactly as she's done. "My bad I should have used more exact language and I will do so now that I know people are going to act like talking about your past in a way many people do (in inexact language) is the same as lying." This is no Ann Romney talking about the struggles she and Mitt had as a young couple who had to cash in some stocks when the going got tough. The essence of her story is exactly what she has portrayed it as. I mean shit separated but divorce papers not signed? Give me a fucking break. Someone get me a flipping the bird or "bitch please" gif stat.

ETA This is not aimed at you Erin. Just the ridiculousness of the whole thing.