Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 24, 2014/ 23 Shevat, 5774

Wendy Davis's Struggles

By Mona Charen




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "I came from a place of struggle," insisted Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis after The Dallas Morning News revealed that key details of the life story she had successfully shopped to the mainstream media were false. She wasn't a 19-year-old mom when she was first divorced, but 21. She lived with her second husband in the very comfortable Mistletoe Heights neighborhood of Fort Worth, Texas, not in a trailer park made famous by a thousand admiring profiles. She lived in the trailer park for just a few months. One of Davis' struggles, apparently, is with the truth.

Davis isn't the first politician to campaign falsely as an up-from-poverty candidate. William Henry Harrison, scion of a wealthy family, campaigned in 1840 as the "log cabin and hard cider" candidate against Martin Van Buren. It worked, though Harrison didn't live to relish his success. The story about his two-hour inaugural address, which caused him to catch pneumonia, is probably untrue — he didn't fall ill until three weeks later. It may have been the snakeweed or leeches that gave him the septicemia that killed him, or it may have been the office seekers, who reportedly crowded the White House to the point he couldn't find a place to rest when he felt sick.

You might suppose that reflections on the Internet age — and the impossibility of hiding the truth — will now follow the tale of Harrison's successful deception. Not really. What's surprising about the Davis tale is that someone actually took the trouble to question her account, because her "narrative" appeals so strongly to the liberal imagination. We just love the "little woman who conquers the world' stories, especially if (well, OK, only if) she favors abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy, a higher minimum wage and universal pre-K.

Davis did grow up in difficult circumstances — her parents divorced, and Davis went to work early. She also made poor decisions, moving in with a boyfriend at the age of 17. Her story of working hard to better herself, first at community college and then at Texas Christian University and Harvard Law School is a tribute to her tenacity and intelligence.

But it requires a pretty calculating coldness to omit from her story husband No. 2, Jeff Davis, the lawyer she married when she was 24 and lived with for 18 years. It was he who paid her tuition at TCU and Harvard Law, cashing out his 401(k) and borrowing money to do it. It was he who cared for her two daughters while she went to Boston to study law for three years. And it was he who got custody (with no contest) after the divorce. He notes ruefully that she left the marriage at a key juncture: "It was ironic," he told the Dallas Morning News, "I made the last (Harvard) payment, and it was the next day she left."

No outsider can ever know what goes on in a marriage, and it isn't our place to speculate, but Davis herself made her single-mother-beats-the-odds personal story a key part of her campaign. Just before the Dallas Morning News story broke, Davis was the subject of a fawning profile on the "Today" Show. Maria Shriver introduced the story of the plucky gubernatorial aspirant over chyrons touting "Doing it all" and "On her own two feet." Her personal story, we were told, "resonated across this country." Davis visited the trailer park with Shriver and spoke of having to scrape together enough money to keep the lights on, sometimes working two jobs. Her 18-year marriage to a man who committed himself to her welfare and went into debt to help her achieve her career goals was practically airbrushed out, mentioning in passing — "she married again for a time" — to explain the appearance of her second daughter. The rest is Harvard triumphalism and her star turn filibustering an abortion law in the Texas Senate.

Davis achieved success the way most successful people do — through hard work and the support of a loving family. She, and the press who lionize her, seem all too eager to suggest that she somehow did everything all by herself. This false heroic tale is a common trope on the left these days — women doing it all by themselves. It's more than partisan hackery. It reinforces the very damaging notion that women don't need husbands. Many, many women are swallowing this propaganda and acting on it. They, their children and our society are suffering mightily as a result.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Comment on JWR contributor Mona Charen's column by clicking here.

Mona Charen Archives

© 2006, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast