Oh, Texas Republicans. You act like this is such a dark-red state, and then, well, you freak out when Democrats come up with a candidate for Governor who isn't a no-name.
Predictably, Republicans have taken to picking apart Wendy Davis's life story. Well, perhaps with a hand from the state's major newspapers:
But the Dallas Morning News reported Sunday that Davis was 21 — not 19 as stated in her online Texas Senate biography —when her first marriage ended in divorce. Also, Davis and her daughter Amber lived only a few months in her family's mobile homeI am not sure what, exactly, the substance of this attack is. So it turns out that Wendy Davis was separated from her first husband, not divorced, at 19 and the divorce wasn't finalized until she was 21. (As a Texas attorney, yeah, I can tell you that that's a fairly normal timetable for a contested divorce.) So... what's the problem here?
Oh, wait, but there's more:
Things got easier financially when she married her second husband, attorney Jeff Davis. His income helped raise Amber and the couple's daughter together, Dru, as well as pay for her to finish college and attend Harvard. Jeff Davis also kept the couple's two daughters while their mother was studying in Boston and, when the couple divorced in 2005, he won parental custody and she was ordered to pay child support, according to the newspaperGet this: her (then) husband supported her and her daughters while she was finishing school. Stop the presses.
I am not certain just why the Republicans think that this is a winning line of attack. Are they trying to suggest that she's a liar for saying that she was a divorced mother at 19 (when in fact she was only separated)? Or that she's a bad mom for having her (then) husband take care of the kids while she went to school? The latter attack mostly just shows how out of touch Republicans are with the struggles of everyday Texas mothers, who often must make difficult choices when it comes to raising children and education or career advancement. Some women are fortunate enough to have supportive husbands through all of this, but many unfortunately do not.
This line of attack seems more like the kind of thing that is only going to serve to humanize Davis. And yes, Republicans are running scared: Wendy Davis outraised presumptive Republican nominee Greg Abbott in the second half of 2013, and around 85 percent of her contributions were in donations of $50 or less -- suggesting that she has broad support and isn't just raising money from a handful of large donors. Republicans keep riling up the base by connecting Sen. Davis to out-of-state interests and President Obama's political operatives, in order to suggest that Texas Democrats are not concerned with ordinary Texans; yet this is only to obscure the fact that it is the Republicans who are far more interested in doing the bidding of out-of-state interests (like, say, the Kansas-based Koch brothers) and the vast majority of Davis's support is coming from within the state.
It is Texans who want change, not out-of-state interests. And it is out-of-staters who worry that the last bastion of deep-red conservatism will flip.