Monday, January 23, 2012

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Steps Down

A sad video, but the correct move, I think. I’m not going to comment on her politics or the timing of the announcement or the incident that led to this result, except to note how remarkable her recovery has been. I hope she continues to improve to the point where she’s happy with the result.

However, I'd strongly urge that people don’t read the comments on YouTube—they’re filled with the usual anonymous Internet haters, some extremely vile and many outright deranged (like the one that said all the vile comments were being posted by Democrats trying to make Republicans look bad. Whatever.).

I get that politics in America are polarised, with an unbridgeable divide between Republicans and Democrats, but can’t there be at least some situations in which people just, you know, restrain themselves? It seems as if some people just haven’t learned the lessons from that fateful day, about how toxic and extreme rhetoric benefits no one, only making things potentially dangerous. I’m not saying people shouldn’t criticise their opponents and adversaries, just that a little common decency doesn’t get in the way of robust debate—and it sure would be a nice change.

Update January 26: Today Rep. Gabrielle Giffords officially resigned from the US House of Representatives. US Representative Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, head of the Democratic National Committee and a friend of Giffords, read the letter to the House (video below). Wasserman-Shultz was often tearful, as were other representatives. I thought that the way the House treated her was classy. If only they could be like that more often.


Roger Owen Green said...

Nope, no filters, no restraints in American politics.

Roger Owen Green said...

Foolish me - I didn't take your advice. Who ARE those idiots who would write such things about someone who almost died, and through no fault of her own? I hope they never experience such a fate (though, in the dark recesses of my mind, maybe I do...shameful, I know.)

Arthur Schenck said...

I did warn you! Shameful or not, the same thing crossed my mind, too.

AZGeo said...

That's too bad, but I'm frankly amazed at what she's already accomplished in her recovery. It looks like she might make a full recovery in time. A lot of us in Arizona were hoping that she'd be well enough to run for Jon Kyl's senate seat that will be vacant in 2012. There are rumors that her husband might run either for her seat or for the senate. I'd certainly vote for him, since as a former astronaut he'd be certain to vote for funding science and exploration.