I have to admit, Wendy Davis’ open carry support didn’t offend me all that much, nor surprise me. That she is calling “backsies” on her support of open carry, though, has really disappointed me considering she supported immediate deportation of the Central American children escaping violence and poverty, as well as Rick Perry’s boondoggle of a DPS surge that has amounted to nothing. Now, I don’t support open carry, but playing politics with defenseless children is a lot more offensive to me than open carry. I think she flip-flopped on the wrong issue if she intends to run again in the future.
Now, Davis got a few points for defending driver licenses for immigrants and joining the usual Dem call for “comprehensive immigration reform,” but when hit with the issue of Central American children, she joined the Republicans on using them for political points.
I was among a few (if that many) liberal bloggers willing to call her out on her Hillary-like hawkishness toward the children to the point where it earned me a contact from her campaign trying to explain her position away. Whether it was her letter to Obama calling for more deportation judges, her support of the wasteful militarization of South Texas, or a call for a special session to give more money to local border cops (who had previously supported Rick Perry when he bought them with money and toys), all of it was bad. But, no, there were conservative votes to earn, supposedly.
Some Dems were telling me I shouldn’t “cannibalize” Democrats, while they defended Davis. Hell, I thought I would lose my papers–the Democratic ones–by pissing off Democrats.
Some will say she was following her “handlers” orders, but if a candidate can’t tell the difference between good and bad, right and wrong, and feels playing both sides of an issue is an effective vote-getting strategy, then that’s just a loser of a candidate. It happens all the time to Democrats who play that game. “She should have fired the handlers,” some say, but, who has the power to hire/fire handlers; the candidate or the check-writers? Ultimately, the candidate decides which policy track to take, and, unfortunately, based on political calculations rather than on doing what is right.
Of course, I played nice because, what else did we have? Why be mean and call her #deportationbarbie or #migrabarbie if most of us knew what the outcome would be? Sometimes, I’m just too nice, I guess. In reality, it’s not like a flip-flop would have satisfied most voters who winced at her position; if anything, it just would have made voters a lot more cynical (Jim Mitchell at DMN has a good piece on the open carry flip-flop.)
In other words, it was a straight out campaign team decision, not a core belief. This of course raises the question of what else did she say that wasn’t a shading of her beliefs but an outright capitulation of her principles.
The solution: Always go with what’s right the first time. Of course, some of us are waiting for the flip-flop on this position.