Texas Democrat Wendy Davis has had a very awkward few weeks in her bid to become the Governor of Texas, and her seemingly recent conversion to being a gun rights activist doesn’t seem to be winning her any converts.
For those of you who don’t follow Texas state politics, Davis shot to stardom among liberal Democrats last year for an eleven-hour filibuster of Texas Senate Bill 5, a bill which stopped late term (20+ weeks) abortion, recognized that the state had a compelling interest in protecting the unborn from pain, and required abortion clinics meet the standards of other surgical health care facilities, among other issues (we’re not here to debate that, just providing background).
Davis announced her candidacy for governor in October, but in the past few weeks her campaign has all but imploded from a series of scandals, including claims that she fabricated parts of her life story, to revelations that her campaign staff mocked her wheelchair-bound opponent.
Perhaps in an effort to boost her sagging support as a liberal extremist (4th most liberal voting record) in a “red” state, Texas Democrats are now trying to claim that Davis is a gun rights supporter.
A photo op showed an uncomfortable-looking Davis receiving a shotgun that belong to former Texas governor Ann Richards.
— Texas Democrats (@TXDemParty) January 29, 2014
— Jan Soifer (@jansoifer) January 29, 2014
This symbolic passing of the
torch shotgun was not warmly received in Texas, nor did it come across as especially believable. The photo-op was awkward and contrived, and earned Davis only more mockery.
Oh, honey. You tried. | The PJ Tatler » PHOTO: Wendy Davis Awkwardly Holds Ann Richards’ Shotgun For Some Reason – http://t.co/0xpQGyL1a1
— Stevie J. West (@StevieJWest) January 31, 2014
— BattleSwarm (@BattleSwarmBlog) January 31, 2014
Even though the shotgun stunt fizzled, the campaign is doubling down on an attempt to portray Davis as a gun rights supporter. She is now claiming that she supports open-carry:
Rising Democratic star and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has joined her top Republican rival in supporting a proposed “open carry” law. It would allow people with concealed handgun licenses to wear a pistol on their hip, in full view, while in public.
Davis has said she supports expanding gun rights in Texas. In a statement to The Associated Press, she said that includes open-carry — a position that puts her at odds with her own party but could keep her from alienating gun rights advocates in a deeply conservative state where the Second Amendment is sacrosanct.
Davis’ position now aligns her with her Republican gubernatorial rival, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, marking her latest effort to eliminate it as a wedge issue in the campaign.
Of course, the Washington Post is only telling part of the story.
Davis is copying Abbott’s position on open carry now to move this into the realm of being a non-issue during the campaign, but this open carry stance is a nearly adopted position that seems motivated by base political gamesmanship, not any deep-seated moral convictions. Further, Davis still supports maintains other positions that align her more with gun control supporters than gun rights supporters, such as her calls “universal” background checks and votes against campus carry.
In the end, her campaign’s attempt to adopt Abbott’s pre-existing condition on open carry simply comes off as insincere and contrived… like every other aspect of her political life.