The Heroism of Wendy Davis


why-the-rise-of-wendy-davis-could-actually-spell-trouble-for-texas-democratsWendy Davis, the Texas state senator running for governor, became a liberal superhero last June when she filibustered a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. (This was the good filibuster, not that awful filibuster three months later by Ted Cruz – thatwas just grandstanding.)

Apart from her enthusiasm for abortion (and you have to admit, abortion is really cool), the centerpiece of Davis’ campaign is her life story. Also the fact that she’s a progressive woman who doesn’t look like Betty Friedan.

In a typical formulation, Time magazine said Davis was someone who could give the Democrats “‘real people’ credibility,” based on “her own personal story — an absent father, a sixth-grade-educated mother, a teen pregnancy, followed by life as a single mom in a mobile home, then community college and, at last, Harvard Law School.”

The headlines capture the essence of Wendy-mania:

CNN: Wendy Davis: From Teen Mom to Harvard Law to Famous Filibuster

Bloomberg: Texas Filibuster Star Rose From Teen Mom to Harvard Law

The Independent (UK): Wendy Davis: Single Mother From Trailer Park Who Has Become Heroine of Pro-Choice Movement

Cosmopolitan: Find a Sugar Daddy to Put You Through Law School!

Actually, that last one I made up, but as we now know, it’s more accurate than Davis’ rags-to-riches life story.

The truth was gently revealed in the Dallas Morning News this week. Far from an attack, this was a puff-piece written by Wayne Slater, rabid partisan Democratic hack and co-author of the book, “Bush’s Brain.” (He is not an admirer of Bush’s brain.) It would be like Sean Hannity breaking a scandal about Ted Cruz.

The first hint that Slater was trying to help Davis get ahead of the story and tilt it her way is his comment that Davis’ life story is “more complicated” than her version — i.e., completely the opposite — adding, “as often happens when public figures aim to define themselves.”

Actually, the truth is much simpler than her story. Also, be sure to look for that “as often happens” excuse the next time a Republican gets caught lying about his resume.

Slater’s peculiar obsession with whether Davis was 19 or 21 when she got her first divorce, and exactly how long she lived in a trailer home, is meant to deflect attention from something much more problematic: the huge whoppers Davis told.

Her big lies were about the obstacles she had to overcome and how she overcame them, not about how old she was at the time of her first divorce.

She claims she was raised by a single mother, went to work at age 14 to support her family, became a single mother herself in her teens, and then — by sheer pluck and determination — pulled herself out of the trailer park to graduate from Harvard Law School!

The truth is less coal-miner’s daughter than gold-digger who found a sugar daddy to raise her kids and pay for her education.

Point No. 1: Davis’ family wasn’t working-class. Her father owned a sandwich shop and a dinner theater, which puts Davis solidly into middle-class land.

Point No. 2: No one who works at MSNBC would know this, but everyone whose parents run a family business starts work at age 14, if not sooner.

Point No. 3: Her parents were separated, but that is not the commonly accepted meaning of “single mother.”

Point No. 4: As for being a single mother at age 19 — she wasn’t a “single mother” in the traditional sense, either. She was married at age 18, had a child at 19 and divorced her first husband, a construction worker, at 21. (He couldn’t afford tuition at Harvard.)

So she got married young? That isn’t a hard-luck story. Well into the 1950s, nearly half of all first-born children were born to married women under the age of 20.

But Wendy Davis’ harrowing nightmare of poverty and sacrifice wasn’t over yet.

Just a few years after her first divorce, Wendy was on the make, asking to date Jeff Davis, a rich lawyer 13 years her senior, who frequented her father’s dinner club. In short order, they married and had a child together.

The next thing Jeff Davis knew, he was paying off her college tuition, raising their kids by himself and taking out a loan to send her to Harvard Law School.

(Feminists rushed to the stores to buy the shoes Davis wore during her famous filibuster. I’d like the shoes she was wearing when she met her sugar daddy.)

Then Wendy left her kids with the sugar daddy in Texas — even the daughter from her first marriage — while she attended Harvard Law.

Slater says Davis’ kids lived with Jeff Davis in Texas while she attended law school. Wendy Davis claims her girls lived with her during her first year of law school. Let’s say that’s true. Why not the other two years? And what was the matter with the University of Texas Law School?

Sorry, MSNBC, I know you want to fixate on how many months Davis spent in the trailer park and her precise age when the first divorce went through. And that would be an incredibly stupid thing for conservatives to obsess on, if they were, in fact, obsessing on it. But I’m still stuck on her leaving her kids behind while she headed off to a law school 1,500 miles away.

The reason Wendy Davis’ apocryphal story was impressive is that single mothers have to run a household, take care of kids and provide for a family all by themselves. But Wendy was neither supporting her kids, nor raising them. If someone else is taking care of your kids and paying your tuition, that’s not amazing.

Hey — maybe Jeff Davis should run for governor! He’s the one who raised two kids, including a stepdaughter, while holding down a job and paying for his wife’s law school. There’s a hard-luck story!

Mr. Davis told the Dallas Morning News that Wendy dumped him as soon as he had finished paying off her Harvard Law School loan. “It was ironic,” he said. “I made the last payment, and it was the next day she left.”

In his defense, a lot of people are confused about the meaning of “ironic.” That’s not “ironic.” Rather, it’s what we call: “entirely predictable.”

It’s ironic — my car stopped running right after I ran out of gas.

It’s ironic — my house was broken into, and the next thing I knew all my valuables were missing.

It’s ironic — I was punched in the face right before my nose broke.

In his petition for divorce, Mr. Davis accused his wife of adultery. The court made no finding on infidelity, but awarded him full custody of their underage child and ordered Wendy to pay child support.

Wendy boasted to the Dallas Morning News: “I very willingly, as part of my divorce settlement, paid child support.” Would a divorced dad get a medal for saying that?

In response to Wayne Slater’s faux-”expose,” naturally Davis put out a statement denouncing … her probable Republican opponent, Greg Abbott. Again, Slater wrote the story. But Davis blathered on, blaming Abbott for the Dallas Morning News story and complaining that he hasn’t “walked a day in my shoes.”

About that she’s certainly right. Greg Abbott could never walk a day in her shoes or anyone else’s. He’s a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair.

I guess Wendy could teach him a lot about suffering.

Davis also said these attacks “won’t work, because my story is the story of millions of Texas women …” Yes, for example, Anna Nicole Smith. Though at least Smith had the decency not to ask for a paid education.

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  • southwood

    Ann, if you’re right (as I suspect) then this is a pathetic whitewash :

    “http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-22/wendy-davis-s-essential-truthiness.html”.

  • Naresh Krishnamoorti

    Wendy Davis is not less ugly than Betty Friedan. Take away the hair and all the plastic surgery, and she is truly frightful. Have you seen the law school yearbook photo?

  • tickletik

    HEROIC! SINGLE! MOTHER!

  • CowboyUp

    It seems like only yesterday that democrat star james carville was telling us what they really think of people who have lived in “trailers.” Instead of a twenty, it’s tuition to ivy league law school, 24-7 childcare support, a place to dump her children, bling, and a nice wardrobe, no doubt. I’m half surprised they didn’t tack on, “You’ve come a long way, baby!” Oh wait, they basically did

  • Toa

    I don’t expect that these revelations will have any effect on Wendy Davis’ popularity, at whatever level it might be. The support base of these folks tend to be made up of people who are just like they are.

  • T-Rex

    Forget Texas governor. She sounds like prime leftist material for the WH in 2016, Another Ivy Leaguer with a false persona.

  • tagalog

    She went to work at age 14? Wow, what a sacrifice! Myself, like a lot of other people I’ve talked to, went to work at age 11. I worked to save the money to pay the tuition to private high school, something my parents couldn’t afford, being poor and all, and stayed with that job all through my four years at that school. I also worked my way through law school (though not Harvard Law). I was married at the time as well.

    I mention my own story only to make the point that I know how common a story it is. Many people do it and have done it, and in periods when it wasn’t as easy to do as when Wendy Davis did it.

    • Peter Wightman

      THANK YOU – for sharing your story.You make Wendy Davis ‘s story one of hypocracy and she really should not even dream of walking in your shoes.

  • Biff_Maliboo

    But…but…the shoes!!!!

    It only took Zeleny two questions to reach the topic of Davis’s sneakers: “Why did you decide to wear your running shoes? Let’s take a look at those, they’ve kind of been rocketing around the Internet.”
    As Davis took the shoes out of her bag and placed them on the table in
    front of her, Zeleny muttered, “Wow,” as if he had just been shown a
    rare diamond.

    Having seen what he called “probably the most famous shoes in
    politics,” was Zeleny ready to move on to more serious questions? Nope.
    He had to verify the color of the shoes, asking Davis if they were
    indeed pink. She replied, “I would call it a pink, or a salmon pink,
    yeah.”

    Having confirmed that the shoes were pink, Zeleny still wasn’t done with them: “But you’re also a runner. I mean, these are legitimate running shoes.” Keep in mind that this man is a senior Washington correspondent, not a style editor.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/paul-bremmer/2013/07/03/abc-s-jeff-zeleny-conducts-puffy-shoe-focused-interview-wendy-davis

  • onecornpone

    The point of running the dregs of society for positions like IL senator, and Texas governor, is to redefine ‘normal’ to the lowest common denominator possible. Only then will having made poor choices in life no longer be admissible evidence of a lack of character.

    • Drakken

      Well with a prostitute you know exactly what you are getting, versus this gold digging whore. Before you ask, no I am not advocating for prostitution.

      • onecornpone

        … you know exactly what you are getting…
        Really? I thought some of those maladies were indistinguishable with the naked eye?;-D

        • Drakken

          Touche! ;)

  • lgeubank

    Apparently Wendy Davis has read Kipling and taken him to heart:

    Down to Gehenna, or up to the throne,
    He travels the fastest who travels alone.

    Who needs excess baggage when you’re on an insane megalomaniac trip to wealth and power? Right, Hillary?

  • De Doc

    Gotta admire Coulter’s dripping sarcasm with humor in this piece! At least I can get a few laughs from this story that is mounting to be the next big tragedy for the Lone Star State.

  • pupsncats

    What, no lesbian lover and one or more abortions in her story?

  • Atikva

    Harvard, hey? Did Percy Sutton and
    Khalid al-Mansour sponsored her candidature to this Ivy League School too? Or was
    she accepted based solely on her outstanding academic record? It would be interesting
    to check – provided the academic record of this politician has not been sealed
    by a team of lawyers, too.

  • ZZ

    Exactly. Adultery isn’t even a consideration for judges and neither are the wishes of the children, to any great extent, on the rare occasion that they are considered at all. Why all the visitation restrictions on the sociopath? Why would she agree to pay child support?

    I would love to see her husband give an honest interview to a decent journalist, assuming he didn’t agree to some sort of non-disclosure order from the court.

  • JohnG911

    Other than being democrats, there are many similarities between Wendy Davis and Obama’s lives. Both were abandoned by their fathers and raised by screwed up mothers. Both owe their achievements to other people. Both are members of liberal victims groups which empowers them with special rights and privileges. Both are idolized by the liberal media. Both are recreational drug users – and I bet the same drugs too.

    Davis and Obama are both sociopaths and liars!

    • tagalog

      I don’t know about Obama except that he appears to be faithful to his wife and kids, which is more than Wendy Davis can say. In her case, it appears that she shed herself of husbands and children when they became inconvenient to her career plans, giving the lie to the claim that she held her family together during her difficult years. Seems as if she got rid of such family-type impediments as soon as feasible.

      • JohnG911

        I listed their SIMILARITIES and I have no idea if Obama is faithful Given how the Obamas acted at Mandela’s funeral, his faithfulness is questionable.

    • Cuda

      think you forgot “will sleep with damn near anything from either side of the fence….”

  • Crassus

    Wendy Davis isn’t fit to clean urinals at the Alamo.

  • Gunny L.

    Hmm, I wonder how she got through law school? Chuckle, chuckle…

    • Drakken

      The same way a few WM’s got promoted in the Corps.

      • Gunny L.

        That’s the BS I got tired of, and retired.

  • laura r

    why do politicians lie, when they know its so easy to find the truth? theres nothing wrong w/ the way her life really was. as for the student loan & the divorce, we cant judge. we dont know what was going on between the 2 of them. if it were me, i could reframe the whole story & still be honest. when will modern people know that honesty is the best policy? not only from a moral standpoint, but an embarrassment standpoint. it is almost 100% certain that information can be uncovered w/in seconds. dont know the pupose it serves to invent tall tales. (??).

    • james1114

      Like Elizabeth Warren claiming she was Native American to better her employment prospects at Harvard, they lie because they know they can get away with it.

      • Roy_Cam

        They forget that they cannot get away with it, but they don’t care all that much. Their co-dependents will either believe the lie or dismiss the significance of the falsehood.

        • james1114

          I agree with that, too. I imagine in the case of Davis all of this was focus-grouped out and it was probably determined that they could ride the false narrative for as long as it was viable thereby sticking it in the heads of less informed constituents. I assume, too, those funding her campaigns must have run some kind of cost benefit analysis on the risk of her real story coming out and have had a contingency plan in place to get out in front of it and spin it into an appeal for sympathy if or when it did.

          • Roy_Cam

            Agree.

    • Roy_Cam

      Politicians lie for the same reason that they become politicians: they want to exalt in themselves and that requires heroic qualities and the agreement of a lot of people who elect the politician.

      The politicians want to/need to exalt in themselves because that is how they cope with the actual negative aspects of themselves: by being in denial.

      Then they project onto others the very negative attributes or weakness or immorality that they themselves embody.

      They make one whole dysfunctional unit of narcissism (often malignant) and the co-dependents who are sucked into backing the whole myth creation.

  • Bob Almighty

    Becoming a single mother is a profound life change that requires deep transformations in a person. To ride on the coattails of those women is despicable in the extreme.

  • Roy_Cam

    Dear Ann Coulter,

    That was one of your funniest columns ever.

  • freemycatfish

    You know, almost of political society joins in the rush to call ANY single mother “heroic” because they have to work, raise kids and keep house alone. BUT, what is it we are promoting to goddess levels of achievement here? Bad choices, that’s what. We have the pill, the morning after pill, femidoms, condoms, pessaries a whole arsenal of things that will kill sperm AND we often hand them out free and these dimwits STILL manage to get pregnant, AND then, we queue up to call them hero’s! That makes us as dumb as them. To top all of that, we then give them tons of money and stuff to ensure we make it financial viable to go on producing endless kids to suck the economy dry and create the next generation of feral, out of control kids to kill each other and others on the streets! I mean, how dumb can we get? The statistics show again and again that marriage is what creates the most stable children but no, we create a political and social climate where churning out bastards is highly rewarded and lauded as heroic. I mean…C’mon!

  • Rivkah F.

    I cannot understand how a mother can leave young or even older children voluntarily & go to law school far away from home. My mother finished graduate school in social work in the late1950s while she was working and raising my brother, my sister and me and making a home for all of us (my father included of course). It would never have occurred to her to enroll in grad. school & live away from home. Davis’ career seems to be more important to her than her daughters. But they are a great campaign prop. Mr. Davis was/is an unusual husband/father. That is why she could have her education & career As always, Ann Coulter is spot on with her incisive articles.

  • nomoretraitors

    “No one who works at MSNBC would know this”
    No one who works at MSNBC knows anything

  • Cold in Canada

    I think she has the perfect qualifications for a politician
    Ruthless,Liar,Cheat,and Whore
    I like her, would vote for her , and think she should be the
    Next President . I mean “what does it matter anyway”
    Certainly better than Hillary.
    Does anybody know her phone number .
    Maybe I could get a date.

  • Nabuquduriuzhur

    This is very much like how feminists trained women my age to act. There’s a reason that 80% of genx Christians are male.

    http://www.holodiscustechnical.com/documents/jina.html

  • cassanovafrankenstien

    horrible human being