Patterico's Pontifications

2/9/2011

Giffords Regaining Her Voice

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 10:49 am



[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Encouraging news on the Gabby Giffords front, she is starting to talk again:

U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, recovering from a gunshot wound to the head sustained January 8, is regaining part of her ability to speak, her spokesman said Wednesday.

C.J. Karamargin would not divulge what Giffords has said, other than saying she asked for toast.

“It’s very good news,” he told CNN.

Read the whole  thing.

As I have said from the beginning, I don’t know or particularly care what she stood for on each of the issues.  She could have been for everything I am against and against everything I am for.  Because to me the issue is higher than normal politics.  It’s the fact that she was chosen to represent her district and as such they are entitled to the representative they have chosen.  And one man has vetoed that decision, an act that is unacceptable in a Republic.

So Godspeed.  Hopefully you will regain your seat soon, and we can agree and disagree with you as we normally do on the ordinary political questions.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

37 Responses to “Giffords Regaining Her Voice”

  1. Well said, and I agree with you.

    jim2 (6482d8)

  2. Thank God. I’m amazed.

    I also have to disagree just a bit. I think Giffords should be replaced with another representative (and I think her husband would be an ideal choice). Sure, the voters want Gabrielle representing them, but she can’t. It would only magnify the damage that weird little loser did to allow him to deny that district any representation until Giffords is recovered, which I suspect will take a very long time.

    Her place on committees and in the House should be taken by someone selected to carry on her political direction.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  3. From what I hear, her words were clear, not stuttered, and she spoke without having to really work at what word she wanted to use.

    Which is way better than most politicians. :)

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  4. dustin

    i could be wrong but i think that there is no provision at law for a temporary replacement for a congressperson to be appointed. meaning have someone come in, do her work for her while she recovers, and then step aside when she is ready to do her job again. and this case might highlight the need for that kind of rule.

    anyway, even if she can’t talk that doesn’t mean she isn’t doing much of the work of a congressperson. she might be typing like a fiend via email and keeping tabs on things.

    i think it depends on how long it goes. but congresspeople do take off time like this when they have to. hell, Charles Summner didn’t regain his seat for at least a year after he was beaten by Preston Brooks. He was even re-elected before regaining his seat, so they literally re-elected a guy who at the moment couldn’t do the job. so its not like its unprecedented.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  5. she might be typing like a fiend via email and keeping tabs on things.

    I certainly hope something like this is true, but I don’t think it is. After all, we’re getting pretty vague PR because she somehow expressed a desire for toast. If she was writing emails, we’d be reading them.

    there is no provision at law for a temporary replacement for a congressperson to be appointed.

    I didn’t mean this sort of arrangement. I mean for her to be replaced with someone who is not incapacitated, until the next election. Not a placeholder, and not temporary (except insofar as House terms are pretty short).

    Arizona law is that if someone is vacant from this office for three months, they hold a special election, but I don’t know that this is constitutional (US Constitution). I would suggest Giffords actually resign, or be declared vacant from office (with respect, of course), and a special election be held with her spouse or a senior staffer representing the direction Giffords believed in.

    Now, I certainly hope I’m completely in error about this, and Giffords is actually representing her district right now, or can be in the near future.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  6. Dustin, A1S2: “When vacancies happen in the Representation from any state, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.”

    The US constitution doesn’t define vacancy, however, meaning that the state law should be able to do so.

    However, a temporary replacement system wouldn’t be consistent with Article 1; the position would have to be declared vacant and a replacement elected.

    If Arizona law doesn’t specifically provide for this kind of situation, then I would conclude that Arizona is fine with the situation as it is.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  7. Thank you, Aphrael. That’s very informative. So gov Brewer could declare a vacancy and order a special election, so I think there is a legal solution to this situation.

    And again, I don’t see any reason for a temporary replacement. It’s just a short term of office, and if she is recovered in 2012, I hope she runs.

    I admit there’s the other issue Aphrael mentions. The district/state might be satisfied by this situation without replacing Giffords, but I still think we should do all we can to minimize someone’s ability to deny a district actual representation.

    Anyway, I do grant that this isn’t going to happen. If Brewer were to touch this with a ten foot pole she would be demonized. It seems dysfunctional to me, but democracy is like that.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  8. I could imagine that some state definitions of vacancy would be so absurd as to give rise to a claim under the Guaranty Clause (if, for example, Arizona were to pass a law declaring that the office of any Congressman affiliated with the Peace&Freedom Party were now vacant), and still others which would be ruled unconstitutional under the principle that states may not tell federal officeholders how to perform their federal office (say, for example, if the Arizona legislature passed a bill declaring vacant the office of any Congressperson who did not vote to impeach the President by a certain date).

    But a rule which says that the office is deemed vacant if the officeholder doesn’t attend sessions for -n- days seems like it should be allowed by the terms of Article 1.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  9. With all that said, I suspect there are mechanisms to allow a temporary change in committee assignments.

    jim2 (6482d8)

  10. Dustin, I think there’s a problem there.

    Right now, a lunatic can deny a district representation by injuring the representative and causing a long recovery.

    Under the kind of plans which follow from addressing your concern, a lunatic can’t deny representation, but he can get rid of *particular representatives* whom the district has chosen, by injuring them and causing a long recovery.

    I’m concerned that establishing rules of the sort we’re discussing might encourage people who don’t like particular representatives to try to injure them, figuring that then the district will elect someone they think is more “reasonable”.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  11. The US constitution doesn’t define vacancy, however, meaning that the state law should be able to do so.

    Uh, no. The U.S. Constitution provides the qualifications for service in Congress. More importantly, it makes the House the sole judge of those qualifications.

    States have tried to get into the game, as it were, particularly with term limits, and each time, the courts have rebuffed them. And always for the aforementioned reasons: only Congress can determine when someone becomes unqualified to serve.

    Kman (d30fc3)

  12. That’s a good point, Aphrael. There’s probably no solution that completely resolves it.

    I’m tempted to note how sympathetic people are to Giffords, and how this would play out in the special election, but anyone crazy enough to shoot an elected official can’t be reasoned with (and I guess there’s the game theory aspect, where someone might be happy to make a martyr of their target).

    That’s part of what I find appealing about her spouse taking her place. But at the end of the day, we can’t escape the reality that Giffords was harmed terribly. We can’t fix it.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  13. Aph, the Republican Guarantee clause isn’t justiciable. At least, that’s what the Supreme Court said the one time it was asked, during the unpleasantness in Rhode Island. The democratic forces petitioned the Court, claiming that under the Republican Guarantee clause they were the legitimate government and representatives of RI, and the Court said it was up to the political branches to make that decision. In other words, the president could have sent troops to support the petitioners, but his decision not to was within his discretion. And Congress could have seated the petitioners, but again its decision not to was none of the Court’s business.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  14. Uh, no. The U.S. Constitution provides the qualifications for service in Congress. More importantly, it makes the House the sole judge of those qualifications.

    States have tried to get into the game, as it were, particularly with term limits, and each time, the courts have rebuffed them. And always for the aforementioned reasons: only Congress can determine when someone becomes unqualified to serve.

    Comment by Kman —

    I googled the issue and found a dumb lefty blog that said exactly this. When I saw that, I said ‘I bet Kman comes in here to parrot this, in his typical fake-lawyer persona’.

    Ah, but Aphrael already cited the US Constitution, and it says “When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.”

    Therefore, the blog you’re ripping off was wrong. This isn’t like an added qualification like term limits, but rather “vacancies”, something the state executive is allowed to recognize and react to.

    Let’s do this issue more respect, Kman. Aphrael’s thoughtful answer is very much appreciated, and you should have read it before dismissing it.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  15. dustin

    i didn’t mean to imply that you wanted a temporary placeholder. i was saying that i felt that we should put something in the law allowing for that. i think she should be able to say, “this person speaks for me until i get better.” it should be limited to physical ailments, but a temporary situation where a person can act as the agent of the congressperson, voting in her stead, etc. would seem to be the best compromise.

    i mean she has been out a month and you are ready to replace her. that seems to be pulling the trigger a little too fast for my blood. i think we shouldn’t talk permanent replacement just yet. but i would like the idea of her being able to hire someone to step into her shoes, that she can fire if this person misbehaves. just spit-balling an idea, but fwiw.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  16. Milhouse, fair enough, but I suspect that if the states were to start playing political games like the one I described, some constitutional violation would be found. It makes more sense to me to seat such a violation in the Guaranty Clause, but if that isn’t an option, the courts will settle on some other explanation for why it isn’t ok.

    Kman: term limits is totally different, I think. There’s a difference between what qualifies you to run for office, which it’s clear is laid out in the constitution and cannot be added to by the states, and what constitutes a vacancy in the office. I don’t see anything in the constitution which says that the latter is not subject to state law.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  17. i didn’t mean to imply that you wanted a temporary placeholder. i was saying that i felt that we should put something in the law allowing for that. i think she should be able to say, “this person speaks for me until i get better.” it should be limited to physical ailments, but a temporary situation where a person can act as the agent of the congressperson, voting in her stead, etc. would seem to be the best compromise.

    My mistake.

    Anyhow, this is interesting. I think it would greatly (obviously not perfectly) solve the problem Aphrael is lamenting, about the calculations of an assassin. Obviously this would take a constitutional amendment.

    i mean she has been out a month and you are ready to replace her. that seems to be pulling the trigger a little too fast for my blood.

    Point taken. I hope to hell I’m out line. I have this assumption that she really is badly incapacitated, with no real hope of recovering to capacity in the near future.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  18. that seems to be pulling the trigger a little too fast for my blood.

    BTW, Chris Matthews’s head just did this due to your unfortunate metaphor.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  19. dustin

    ah, crap! I meant METAPHORICALLY!!!

    lol

    and i expected that video to be so much funnier than it was.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  20. 10. The same place electing someone the lunatic deems more wanted, and of course, the same voters are going with the lunatic….NOT !
    After seeing all the hugging and crying and whimpering, and knowing what kind of social enforcement comes down the pike in this nation – the actual reaction will be in lieu of an actual clone, overwhelming numbers for the next best thing most closely matching that as possible.
    If it looks like that might not occur, rules and laws will be bent and broken and rewritten till that’s locked in. That’s what happens. It’s HUMAN NATURE.

    I forget what else I wanted to comment about, I’m sure many will be grateful and attack in thanks, and then of course, I will be blamed for it when I retaliate in kind.
    That’s also what this place is like. PERIOD.

    SiliconDoc (7ba52b)

  21. *puzzled look* I don’t recall ever having been attacked in thanks, nor (the handful of times I have been attacked) have I responded in kind.

    As a general rule, I find, when people are attacking you in an online forum, being calm and rational and explanatory works better as a responsive tactic than attacking back.

    Unless, of course, the people are just looking for a fight, in which case doing so gets you nowhere.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  22. Further, if this now vegetable of a person isn’t replaced, as in, all those involved can just pretend the vegetable is working for the people, it won’t surprise me at all.
    I have found the most astounding idiocies occurring, and I apologize for the obviously flawed notion that an ounce of common sense is left in the USA.
    I cannot believe she hasn’t been removed and replacement set up ( a new vote if that’s the law) already.
    This nation will fiddle with this for ETERNITY, since it cannot bring itself to face reality.
    I am disgusted by it, and expect whatever consequences the widespread insanity delivers to be coming down the pike more and more often, as this little “problem” of absolutely ridiculous insanities passing as “doing the right thing” is becoming the rule and not the rarest of exceptions.
    Yes, in a sane world, this “still serving” situation is a JOKE.

    SiliconDoc (7ba52b)

  23. and i expected that video to be so much funnier than it was.

    Comment by Aaron Worthing

    Yeah, I’m not so good with the Python or wherever humor videos. I guess that’s why you make the big bucks.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  24. The House has more than four hundred members, and the term of a Congressman is but two years. I don’t really see the absence of one person from recovering from wounds to be a crisis that needs a solution myself.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  25. SiliconDoc – you may not be aware of this, but back in the 1850s, a sitting Senator who was completely incapable of doing his job because he’d been beaten unconscious, and left grievously injured, on the floor of the Senate, was nevertheless re-elected.

    Which, in a sane world, would be taken to indicate that it isn’t a modern notion, or the result of some recent decrease in the amount of common sense available in America, that a sitting legislator might be allowed to continue sitting despite not being able to do their job.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  26. Thanks be to God!

    Thank you also to everyone involved in assisting the Congresslady.

    Now, let’s work like the dickens on claiming the seat she currently holds and return her to Arizona in 2013!

    Ed from SFV (9e2a0c)

  27. Ed, are you suggesting we target her seat? Perhaps put a bullseye on it, and go on campaign against her, and put her in our crosshairs register marks?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  28. Damn, what is with the strikethrough tag on this site?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  29. Trying again:Ed, are you suggesting we target her seat? Perhaps put a bullseye on it, and go on campaign against her, and put her in our crosshairs register marks?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  30. Got it. Patterico, is there a reason <s> doesn’t work, and one must use <strike>?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  31. Uh, no. The U.S. Constitution provides the qualifications for service in Congress. More importantly, it makes the House the sole judge of those qualifications.

    That is an excellent description on how one it judged able to be a member of Congress…

    But it does nothing to define what is a vacancy of a seat is.

    You can tell the difference between the two, yes?

    F**king moron.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  32. Got it. Patterico, is there a reason doesn’t work, and one must use ?

    From what I have been able to tell, the only reason is to screw with us.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  33. I think that part of it is that in some markup languages, s designates smaller, so it’s an attempt to save users misery from their fingers. (Of course, that would mean that b should designate bigger, not bold. The love of consistency …. )

    htom (412a17)

  34. test 1

    test 2

    Patterico (c218bd)

  35. On mine, when you hit “strike” you get strike and it works.

    No for others?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  36. Yes, but I rarely use the buttons; I’m used to typing in my own markup tags, and to using <s> for strikethrough.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  37. aphrael at 25 – Summner was returned to office as a Senator by his states legislature as Senators were selected by the state governments at that time. In part he was returned to office as a “in your face” to the pro-slavery Democrats, one of whom was responsible for his beating. Full recovery, particularly for an elderly person, from the kinds of injuries he sustained at that level of medical science was enormously difficult.

    I believe that that incident also led to the practice of “waving the bloody shirt” as abolitionists would literaly bring the shirt Summner was wearing to rallies to fire up the crowd.

    Have Blue (854a6e)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.3135 secs.