Patterico's Pontifications

10/10/2014

Wendy Davis: Greg Abbott Is a Cripple Yet Argues Against Cripples in Court!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:48 pm



Here is Wendy Davis’s ad making a pointed attack on Greg Abbott for seeking dismissal of cases brought by the disabled in court:

This is one of those tiresome situations where partisans on both sides oversimply complex legal issues into slogans that you can imagine being intoned by lumbering giants with sloping foreheads: “SHE INSULTING DA DISABLED!!!” (that’s the partisan Republican giant) or “IF HE DISABLED HE SHOULD NOT FIGHT DA DISABLED!!!” (that’s the moron Democrat giant).

Prepare for a shock: The media does this, too, as you can see from the lede of this story:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott has vigorously fought disability suits against Texas as attorney general, despite being in a wheelchair himself and benefiting from the 1990 federal law that helps guarantee access for disabled people, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Let’s clear away some silliness on both sides before we address the issue in a rational fashion.

First: this is the same line that lefties use against black conservatives who oppose affirmative action: you may have benefited from it, so it’s hypocritical for you to oppose it! Even if Abbott opposed the ADA (which he should, but does not), it would be OK for him to do so. Just because a law automatically confers benefits from you — benefits that you don’t think should exist — that does not obligate you to support the law.

On the other side, those of us who support Abbott should put aside the fauxtrage for a moment and concede: if it were the case (which it isn’t, as I will explain) that Abbott were actually showing insensitivity to the disabled, that would be a fair point for Davis to make.

As we will see, I don’t think Davis is making a fair point. But in order to reach that conclusion, you first have to show that Abbott is not being insensitive to the disabled. It’s not enough to just wave your arms and scream: look! she’s making fun of the cripple!

I did something I doubt anyone you read will do: a little bit of research into just one of the actual issues discussed in the ad. The ad mentions three supposed insensitive positions taken by Abbott, but only one directly relates to someone with a disability. Without this claim, there would not even be an arguable relationship between his disability and the position he has taken in cases. So this is the one I will concentrate on. Even though I am limiting the analysis to only one of three claims made in the ad, this is still going to be a long post.

The ad makes the following claim:

Abbott argued a woman whose leg was amputated was not disabled because she had an artificial limb.

What a monster, right? OK, now let’s soberly look at the facts.

I analyzed this case by reading Abbott’s brief, which is here (.pdf), and the Texas Supreme Court’s decision, which is here. Let me try to distill what I learned in a few sentences.

Basically, a woman with a prosthetic leg was trying to get a position as a Food Service Manager at Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). She claimed that she was more qualified than the other applicants, and was turned down only because of her missing leg. TDCJ responded that she wasn’t really the best qualified person, and the people who hired someone else didn’t even realize she was missing a leg.

First, some background. To be disabled under the ADA, one must experience “substantial impairment of a major life activity.” An issue arises when one uses medical help to correct, or mitigate the effects of, one’s potential disability. Namely, if someone uses mitigating measures (wears glasses for poor eyesight, for example, or wears a prosthetic leg in place of a missing leg), is one’s disability measured with or without these measures?

In other words, do we look at how well people get around with their prosthetic leg, or how well they would get around without it? In Sutton v. United Airlines, 527 U.S. 471 (1999), the Supreme Court said the former is true: you look at how a person does with the aid of corrective or mitigating measures, when you decide whether that person has “substantial impairment of a major life activity.”

So, at least at the time the case was argued, the issue wasn’t: are you disabled if you are missing a leg? It was: if you are missing a leg, but get around pretty well with a prosthetic leg, then is your ability to walk substantially impaired even with the use of the prosthetic?

Abbott’s brief argued that the plaintiff walks fairly well, with only a slight limp. He argued that, in her deposition, the woman had said that she “gets around pretty well.” Abbott argued that many of the people who had interviewed her had not even noticed her limp, and not even a single one had recognized her as a disabled person. Abbott cited Fifth Circuit authority holding that someone with a “leg deformity” who walked with a slight limp was not substantially impaired for purposes of the ADA. He argued that this plaintiff was similarly situated.

My daughter played soccer with a girl who uses a prosthetic leg. She was awesome. She was, objectively, a better soccer player than my daughter (my daughter would probably agree) and could probably run faster than my daughter. However, you could tell that her ability to run was affected when she tried to run at top speeds. When she was really sprinting, you could notice the limp. I supposed I was say she was “disabled” if you asked me. If you asked me if she was “substantially impaired” I would say maybe so, but she still seems to do pretty well. I would add that I admire the girl a lot.

Ultimately, the Texas Supreme Court said that, viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, the evidence showed that the plaintiff was “significantly restricted as to the manner in which she could walk compared to the manner in which the average person in the general population could walk.”

To me, this seems probably the right answer. But I don’t think Abbott’s position was ludicrous.

What’s more, I am pleased to see that he was willing to argue a legal position he agreed with, even though one might say it went against his “identity” as a disabled person. In other words, he rose above his disability to do his job in the manner he thought appropriate.

Ultimately, I think Abbott was just doing his job, and that Davis’s ad does not make a fair point.

And since it doesn’t, it does make me wonder: is Davis is trying to exploit possible voter discomfort with a disabled person running for governor?

I have to say, it would not surprise me.

UPDATE: The rule in Sutton was changed by Congress in 2009. That does not change what the law was, however, in 2004, when Abbott argued the case.

UPDATE x2: Double post. Dana put up something while I was composing this. Read her take here.

69 Responses to “Wendy Davis: Greg Abbott Is a Cripple Yet Argues Against Cripples in Court!”

  1. Ding. Of course she is.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  2. stupid wendy is always gonna be the mortifyingly-desperate child-abandoning cripple-attacking texas whore what got her ass kicked by a dude in a wheelchair

    the rest of her whole life

    done and done

    she shoulda stuck with the shoes

    she was way ahead of the game when people thought she was just a shoe thing

    happyfeet (a785d5)

  3. Is there a way to combine the wendy posts and the existing comments rather than keep 2 threads going?

    elissa (b69310)

  4. Unfortunately, Sutton was mooted by the ADAAA. Advocates for the disabled were outraged by the decision and used it and two others to change the law.
    In Sutton a legally blind individual sued United because she was denied a position as an airline pilot. You can’t make this stuff up.

    Bob (66dd3c)

  5. ‘impeccable logic, Captain, we’re are in grave danger’ but really what can one expect from Gosnell’s girl friday

    narciso (ee1f88)

  6. I agree with Ag80 and Patterico. This ad is intended to show Texas voters that Abbott is disabled in a wheelchair. Voters want to vote for charismatic, attractive candidates. Davis is young, energetic, and wears pink tennis shoes. Abbott is slight, pale, and confined to a wheelchair.

    Some people will be offended by Davis’ ad, but politics is a tough business and I think it will resonate with those who feel Abbott is being hypocritical. Abbott has faced these claims before. (Note: The link provides details about Abbott’s injury, including that the tree that hit him was owned by a divorce lawyer and the lawyer is going to vote for Abbott.) Davis’ ad is possible because Texas decided there should be special limits in medical malpractice cases that don’t apply in traditional tort cases, such as a falling tree that injured Abbott. Most people probably won’t realize there are different rules but, for those who do, they probably doen’t seem fair — especially to those who weren’t around for or don’t remember the debate about doctor flight that led to changes in medical malpractice cases.

    Finally, the ad will probably only air in places where voters are more likely to vote for liberals. It won’t run in the conservative towns where people will be offended. But I also think Davis is running this ad because she’s behind.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  7. Mr. Oscar Pistorius for example is very very adroit at performing war on women type activities PLUS also running really fast

    like JAGUAR fast

    CHEETAH fast

    would you say he was disabled, Wendy?

    would you? Seriously?

    oh poor little Oscar he has artificial legs and stuff don’t let him near that mean old Greg Abbott

    no Wendy

    that’s just stupid

    just please shut your stupid mouth

    go put on your cute lil shoes and shut your stupid mouth

    happyfeet (a785d5)

  8. Davis may also be running this ad because Abbott’s wife Cecilia is the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants, and he has aired effective Latino ads. This election will be interesting for several reasons, but especially because Texas Republicans haven’t conceded the Latino vote to Democrats.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  9. My Latino ad link doesn’t work. Here is another link.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  10. This ad is intended to show Texas voters that Abbott is disabled in a wheelchair. Voters want to vote for charismatic, attractive candidates. Davis is young, energetic, and wears pink tennis shoes. Abbott is slight, pale, and confined to a wheelchair.

    Totally.

    nk (dbc370)

  11. Well, I had been drafting a much longer post, but I hit the wrong button and it’s gone. So I will say this: Davis’ first slogan was “Stand with Wendy,” because, you know abortion. Except we could all see this coming.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  12. The impression I get from the visuals of the ad is how heavily it emphasizes Abbott’s disability. This reminds me of Clayton Williams refusing to shake Ann Richards’s hand.

    And I realize Davis was not going to win, and this is calculated to depress turnout, but this does not mean there’s a greater lesson. Partisanship lowers the bar. Millions of Texans with good values, who happen to be democrats, will support this candidate despite this behavior, just as millions of Texans voted for Williams in 1990. They will do it because they are deeply invested in a shallow version of politics where the other Team, R or D, is a caricature boogeyman. Any flaw on the other side is inflated to biblical proportion. Any flaw on your own team is overlooked, or at least compared disfavorably to the other side.

    Every election it seems to me that this situation grows more absurd. President Obama has done so many of the things that outraged the democrats during the previous administration. The GOP nominee in 2012 shared many of the fundamental philosophies that the GOP seemed to oppose in the 2010 midterm.

    Sure, we need to compromise some, in order to work together, but there are no inviolable principles to either political party. They are just teams at this point. Debt, corruption, scamming ballot access or vote integrity, nasty political advertisements, invasions of privacy… is there any way to play this game without supporting a team that will do the opposite of what I want?

    It’s a shame there is no realistic path out of partisan politics. Every single election will be sold, by both sides, as desperate enough where we must put our values on hold and just defeat the bad team, respectively.

    Dustin (a9c5eb)

  13. Politicians have no respect for voters.
    These hacks need to pour gas on themselves and have a smoke.

    mg (31009b)

  14. Mg!! Name a Republican who is as filthy as Wendy Davis. You can’t. You’re a LOW INFO DIMWIT.
    I have NEVER referred to myself NOR considered myself a Republican. I’ve never tied myself to the GOP, because the GOP is feckless and impotent. The GOP has NO BALLS. Like you!!!!!

    Gus (7cc192)

  15. Mr. Gus I do not understand your animosity towards Mr. mg

    it’s incomprehensible really, if the extent to which I do not comprehend it is any measure

    happyfeet (a785d5)

  16. Let’s face it: Politics brings out the worst in some people.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  17. Abbot’s suit was for compensatory damages from being crippled for life by someone’s negligence. He was out jogging as a young man and, as he ran by someone’s tree dropped a large branch on top of him, severing his spine. I’d sue, too. Is $10 million too much? Bet you Abbot would have preferred to have his legs back.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  18. Bet you the other Dems nationwide are falling all over themselves to denounce this Akin of the Left.

    What’s that you say?

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  19. Gus- Most republicans fit into the same house as democrats, you mindless oaf.

    mg (31009b)

  20. Just wondering, Gus, are you working to get a republican elected during this mid-term?
    I happen to be busting my ass to get Tim Whelan elected to the Ma. state house. He is a conservative. That’s how I roll.

    mg (31009b)

  21. poor wendy davis
    debates just like a robot
    wears little pink shoes

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  22. abortion barbie
    ambition pink shoes can’t hide
    you’re crippled inside

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  23. Kevin M #18,

    This link explains what makes the medical malpractice and other tort lawyers mad at Abbott and all Republicans who supported tort reform:

    Court papers show Abbott had incurred $82,811.85 in medical expenses a year after the accident, and he claimed two months of lost wages from a job that was supposed to start paying him not long after he was injured. He had future medical costs to pay, but most of the settlement came from noneconomic losses for pain and suffering and mental anguish, said Abbott’s former lawyer, Don Riddle of Houston.

    “The strength of this case was in the intangibles — the noneconomic items,” said Riddle, who has been critical of Abbott’s pro-tort reform stance.

    Not long after Abbott’s accident, sentiment against trial lawyers and large jury verdicts swept through Texas politics, which helped propel Republicans into dominance and laid the groundwork for new lawsuit restrictions.

    In 1995, the Legislature capped punitive damages stemming from noneconomic losses at $750,000. Lawmakers also erected hurdles for plaintiffs who try to collect from multiple defendants.

    I’m sure Abbott recovered for noneconomic losses, but I don’t know if these changes in the law would have altered Abbott’s compensation. It’s not clear how much, if any, of his compensation was from punitive damages.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  24. I think your assessment, in your first comment, the effect of pictures of Abbott in a wheelchair, is the real reason for the ad, DRJ, and not the “hypocrisy”.

    I’ve pretty much weaned myself from the walker and walk with a quad-base cane for just about any distance and terrain. Even to the mall with the daughter. Even to Aeropostale! But my feeling is that people would be more comfortable with me if I walked around with my zipper open than they are with my limp. They’ll open doors for me, and call me “Sir”, but they would rather they had not seen me at all. We all live with the illusions of immortality and invulnerability and cripples remind us that we are but flesh.

    nk (dbc370)

  25. I know what you are talking about, nk. Our oldest son was paralyzed and in a wheelchair for months when he was 12, and our youngest is profoundly autistic. They aren’t the same disabilities but it’s striking how people react the same to both disabilities. The disabled person, especially, becomes an invisible person to many people. In fairness, I felt that way, too, before my kids came along. I think disabled people make most people uncomfortable for various reasons, until they get close to someone who has a disability.

    Thus, while I agree the main goal of the ad is to highlight Abbott’s disability and hope that people will be uncomfortable with it, I also think it’s trying to appeal to liberal elites who want a reason to feel superior to Abbott. This provides that. I also think it’s showing allegiance to Texas tort lawyers who are still very mad about tort reform. It’s been reported that, in the early 2000’s, Texas personal injury lawyers funded 75% of contributions to Texas Democrats. I’m sure they’re still are big donors and they care about tort reform, so it’s not surprising they would make get personal about what they see as Abbott’s hypocrisy.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  26. That last sentence should have said: Tort lawyers remain big donors to Texas Democrats and they still care about tort reform, so it’s not surprising they would get personal about what they see as Abbott’s hypocrisy on the topic.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  27. I’m glad you are getting around better, nk. You’ve made incredible progress from where this started. I’m proud of you.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  28. The ominous music while the video shot pans an empty wheelchair is remarkable. Couple that with her “I stand with …” And it is pretty obvious that they are trying to drive home the “he is in a wheelchair” message.

    Every Dem in the country should have to answer for this ad, in the manner every Team R person got asked about Akin.

    JD (1a76f9)

  29. 29… Yep, Glenn Reynolds made that very point about it being the Dems’ Akin moment. Damn Straight!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  30. The GOP nominee in 2012 shared many of the fundamental philosophies that the GOP seemed to oppose in the 2010 midterm.

    Romney was unable to point out how wrong this was because the answers were too complicated for voters in 2012 politics.

    The best example is “Romneycare,” which he probably should have done a better job refuting the claims. First, an individual mandate for catastrophic insurance was advocated for a time by AEI. They later decided it was not a good idea but I’m not sure why. The argument was about “free riders” that are expensive for the emergency medicine field. The bill Romney supported was an individual mandate for basic catastrophic care. He vetoed the bill that the Mass legislature (80% Democrat) passed but they passed it over his veto. Then Deval gutted the bill’s few good features.

    “I’m optimistic, but time will tell,” Romney wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. “A great deal will depend on the people who implement the program.” Fatefully for Massachusetts, and for the country, the people who implemented the program were affiliated with Mitt Romney’s Democratic successor, Deval Patrick. And therein lies a story that has not been widely told.

    Part of that story concerns the worst feature of Obamacare.

    Just prior to the ceremony, Romney’s aides had announced that the Governor would be vetoing several key provisions of the bill, including its employer mandate that forced all companies in the state, employing more than 10 people, to provide health coverage for their workers or pay a $295-per-person fine. Romney vetoed several other provisions of the law, including one that extended dental benefits to Medicaid patients, and another that gave certain “special status aliens” the ability to receive Medicaid benefits.

    Democrats maintained their smiles on-stage, but back-stage, they fumed. Forcing employers to provide health coverage to their workers was a key component of their agenda.

    How was he supposed to put that on a bumper sticker ? Republicans are supposed to know more than bumper stickers. Democrats have the excuse that they are stupid, or lying.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  31. Greetings:

    A “substantial impairment of a major life activity” other than homosexuality, right ???

    11B40 (844d04)

  32. UPDATE: The rule in Sutton was changed by Congress in 2009. That does not change what the law was, however, in 2004, when Abbott argued the case.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  33. I just have to say what a pleasure it is to have DRJ commenting here. She elevates every comment section in which she appears, in both substance and tone. This place is not the same when she is gone, and it feels like old times with her here.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  34. I’m sure Abbott recovered for noneconomic losses, but I don’t know if these changes in the law would have altered Abbott’s compensation

    The noneconomic losses were catastrophic and plain to see. The non-medical economic costs of that kind of injury, going forward, are not trivial even if you remain employed. A personal attendant and other domestic help would cost at least $50K/year and probably more. You would not need punitive damages to get a jury to go to 7 figures.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  35. Kevin M,

    I’m not sure how Texas tort reform would impact current Texas cases or the Abbott case, because I’m not sure if the cap on punitive damages applies in all tort cases. But let’s assume the changes would have applied if Abbott’s case were brought today. It seems to me that, instead of settling as they did in his original case, the defendants’ insurance companies might have been more willing to litigate if there was a potential cap on damages. Since there wasn’t a cap at the time, maybe the insurance companies decided they weren’t going to litigate with a sympathetic plaintiff who had no contributory negligence and (as you note) substantial damages. Perhaps they didn’t want to take the chance a jury might impose punitive damages — something they might not have to worry about today since there is a cap.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  36. Patterico, there are many commenters here that fit that description, but I appreciate your kind words and your friendship.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  37. I think many conservatives are genuinely offended by Davis’ ad, but I want to explore whether there is merit to the ad — just as Patterico did in his post. I believe the criticism of Abbott is based on Texas tort lawyers whose livelihoods were impacted by tort reform, and I understand why they don’t like the changes in the law. I also think they want to use this as a vehicle (no pun intended) to make Texas voters uncomfortable with Abbott because he’s disabled. But that’s politics, and I suspect Republicans might do the same thing to FDR if he were running today. My hope is that Texas voters won’t care because Abbott measures himself according to his position in the Sutton case: He’s not a victim, and what matters is whether his disability prevents him from doing this job. Abbott says it doesn’t, and I think most Texans will agree it doesn’t, too.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  38. The disabled person, especially, becomes an invisible person to many people.

    I understand the reason. If we pretend they do not exist, we can pretend that it will not happen to us.

    Michael Ejercito (becea5)

  39. You may be right. Most of the time, I think it makes people uncomfortable because they don’t know what to say or how to act, and they don’t want to do something inappropriate or offensive. I know that’s how I felt.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  40. “How was he supposed to put that on a bumper sticker ? Republicans are supposed to know more than bumper stickers. Democrats have the excuse that they are stupid, or lying.”

    Mike K – The right just adopted the left’s talking points and expanded them into attacks of biblical proportions without any background knowledge. The same happened when they attacked capitalism from the left. Memories are strange things.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  41. DRJ – I am curious … why do you think that “Republicans might do the same thing to FDR if he were running today” ? Do you have any particular Republicans in mind when you type that ?

    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  42. Since it’s a hypothetical and I’m bringing FDR back to life in today’s world, I’d also bring back Lee Atwater.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  43. 32… Thanks for pointing that out, Mike K. Not that it will penetrate all of the ill-informed, malevolent, hardened skulls out there on the fringe.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  44. I am confused. The court eventually declared the plaintiff adequately handicapped, but did she prevail in the accusation that the TDJC discriminated against her because of it?

    Denver Todd (fe903f)

  45. DRJ,

    #37. Good point. I hadn’t considered the bargaining aspect.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  46. I just wanna know who I have to talk to about my unalienable right to WiFi and whether it’s too late to get a refund on the router I bought a few years ago.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  47. I’m confused about something. Well, many things, but something in particular.

    Abbot is “accused” of defending Texas, as AG, against injury claims even though he’s disabled. Isn’t that a lawyer’s job? To protect the interests of his client, which in this case is the State of Texas and its taxpayers?

    Yes, I know that there are AGs in places like California that put their own narrow interests above those of the people in their state, but that isn’t the standard is it?

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  48. Kevin – to many, actually doing your job, and upholding the laws as written, is an anathema.

    JD (b12e6e)

  49. There is an apt description for Wendy, but not used in polite company – I’ll wait until I next attend a Dem campaign strategy meeting to use it.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  50. Patterico (9c670f) — 10/11/2014 @ 9:50 am

    Is this what you meant?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUJmh9u15ZQ

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  51. I viewed a new movie, Dracula untold, today. I chose a seat in the handicapped row because I enjoy not having another seat immediately in front of me. This particular row begins with two seats, then two spaces, then two seats, then two spaces and ends with two seats.

    The row was empty when I entered, and chose the leftmost seat in the center. I noticed that two patrons had their feet on the bar that backs the two empty spaces. Since their feet where not too close to where my head would be, I decided to let them be. a few moments later, two men took their seats in the first two seats of my row. Then after a few more minutes, an elderly gentleman, pushing a young man in a wheelchair (equipped with a desk and head support) came into the auditorium. When this elderly gentleman had trouble passing the two men who occupied the first two seats, I expected them to stand up to make more room for him to pass – but they did not. they seemed not to even notice the wheelchair.

    I watched this gentleman carefully “thread this needle and when he made it past the two gentlemen, I stood up and offered my seat so they could enjoy the movie from a central position. He looked at the two people with their feet still on the rail and then declined by saying “we’ll go over to the end”. I watched as this gentleman carefully situated the young man in the wheelchair and then took the aisle seat and setting his bag on the seat between them. I was upset with myself that I had not had the presence of mind to ask my fellow patrons to put down their feet.

    I overheard the gentleman ask his companion if he was alright in his spot, which spurred me to again offer them my seat in the middle. He seemed appreciative of the attention I was giving him and reassured me that they would make do where they were. I agree that some people treat the disabled and their caretakers as invisible.

    felipe (40f0f0)

  52. MD in Philly (f9371b) — 10/11/2014 @ 1:33 pm

    Well done, MD.

    felipe (40f0f0)

  53. Since it’s a hypothetical and I’m bringing FDR back to life in today’s world, I’d also bring back Lee Atwater.

    better yet, lets bring back Regan, and save this poor country

    redc1c4 (4db2c8)

  54. I’d like to bring back Abe Licoln just so I could watch him B-slap some people.

    felipe (40f0f0)

  55. this picture sums things up nicely (link is SFW, etc)

    redc1c4 (589173)

  56. And you know what? Able bodied people prosecute other able bodied people in court, too!

    LTMG (94c4c3)

  57. Patrick, I commend you for your intellectual integrity and clarity in analyzing this Wendy Davis ad.

    I am certain to a moral certainty, however, that Davis and her media people did none of the careful analysis that you did. The plausible arguments which you imagine, and then impute to them — arguments based in fact and reason that might justify this attack — never occurred to them. I’m not sure they could even follow your arguments if they tried to read and understand them.

    Their analysis was: “Abbott was on one side. Someone with an amputated leg was on the other. Abbott is EEEEE-vil.”

    Fact-checking that is a waste of time.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  58. Indeed, fact-checking Wendy Davis’ ridiculous blather is not only a waste of time for you, but also for Texas voters — something they will demonstrate in overwhelming numbers as they ignore this kind of commercial to give Abbott a historic victory margin this November.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  59. Patterico, as a Texan, I have thought it important to investigate Davis’ charges against Abbott. (I have not investigated Abbott’s charges against Davis, because I would never vote for her.) If the claims were valid, I would have serious reservations regarding voting for Abbott.

    The results of my investigation? All of her claims seriously distort the facts.

    For example, she claims that Abbott took a hospital’s side in a legal dispute where people were legitimately harmed by a doctor. The truth is, the plaintiff’s lawyers chose, as a tactic, to attack the constitutionality of a Texas law that made it more difficult for them to win their cases. (They had to prove the hospital had intent to harm rather than was merely negligent.) Abbott intervened in the case, in his official capacity of AG, to defend the law. Of course Dems argue that the AG is not required by law to defend the laws of the state, but we all know that that is an unethical and dishonorable position only recently adopted by Dems.

    In the rape case, Abbott’s position, as a member of the Supreme Court (our SC is for civil suits, not criminal cases), did not believe that the manufacturer should be held liable for the actions of an independent distributor who failed to do a background check on his salesman. Two other justices agreed with him.

    The third claim you’ve already handled. It should be obvious that Davis’ claims are disingenuous at best and outright deceitful at worst, but who among the clear minded would that surprise?

    txantimedia (268a4f)

  60. In the rape case, Abbott’s position, as a member of the Supreme Court (our SC is for civil suits, not criminal cases), did not believe that the manufacturer should be held liable for the actions of an independent distributor who failed to do a background check on his salesman. Two other justices agreed with him.

    That’s right. He ruled she could sue the actual salesman and the actual employer who hired him, but not the third party (not having any control over this salesman being selected). Seems judicious to me.

    But that is evil because [slow dramatic dimly lit shot of wheelchair].

    I respectfully disagree with Beldar on both counts. I do not think it’s a waste of time to detail what this ad’s arguing. Even though most Texas voters will not be impacted, those who want to look into the matter are well guided when someone explains this well. I also honestly believe that the people who made this ad understood exactly how they were stretching the facts. They took a long hard look at Abbott months ago. The reason they are giving us these issues in such short form at the final moments of the campaign is because they know these issues would not be effective if explained in detail, or offered up early enough for an organic discussion.

    If Abbott really was all about thwarting justice for the disabled, that would have been a huge issue from an earlier stage, covered in exhaustive detail. There is no doubt. And thus there is no doubt this superficial coverage was intended to be superficial, and probably just an excuse for the dramatic wheelchair shot.

    Dustin (801032)

  61. First off I will say that I don’t condone attack ads in any form. I think it is basically just aiming for below the belt. However, I do think that Abbot’s position on the woman with the prosthetic is ludicrous.

    I speak from personal experience here because I am a below knee amputee. And for the most part I would say I “get around pretty well” on my prosthetic. BUT that is, by far, not the easiest or most comfortable way to get around. I actually prefer my wheelchair, but my prostetic is just more “convenient.” I take painkillers on a regular basis when using my leg and always have to keep special tools around in case of a problem with my leg (loose screws or bolts). I even had a leg start to fall apart on me once and someone had to help me hop back to my truck. I don’t like to consider myself disabled but the fact is that I am. The loss of my leg has forced me to make some very drastic changes to my life. Changes that affect me on a daily basis now.

    So anyone who claims a person on a prosthetic isn’t “disabled” enough is full of crap.

    Jeremy (8e1876)

  62. I understand your point, Jeremy, but that wasn’t the issue in the lawsuit. As Patterico said:

    o, at least at the time the case was argued, the issue wasn’t: are you disabled if you are missing a leg? It was: if you are missing a leg, but get around pretty well with a prosthetic leg, then is your ability to walk substantially impaired even with the use of the prosthetic?

    I think the key here is the use of the legal term “substantially impaired.” Someone can be disabled without being substantially impaired. It’s a fine line but the law draws fine lines everyday.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  63. Even then, does the substantial impairment create a preference? Does the impaired person get a (snicker) leg up over the unimpaired person who is more qualified? I’ll need to read the opinion more closely but I don’t think that question got a fair shake (giggle).

    nk (dbc370)

  64. The way I see Abbott’s view is he took ONE of life’s activities and determined level of disability based on that. I could do the same to Abbott and judge him on his ability to “sit” since he has an office job. He can obviously sit “pretty well” so therefore Abbott must not be “substantially impaired.” You can’t pick and choose like that, you have to make the determination based on ALL the usual activities of an “average” person

    Jeremy (8e1876)

  65. Well, Abbott is not claiming that he is impaired at all, as far as the job he’s going for is concerned, from what I see. He’s not asking for a disability preference. No accommodation, reasonable or otherwise. It’s the lady of negotiable affection with the big hair who is making an issue of it

    nk (dbc370)

  66. I think that’s true, Jeremy. Abbott is disabled but he would not be substantially impaired when it comes to doing many office jobs or being Governor, for that matter. It’s not an issue of disability, it’s an issue of whether he can do the functions of a particular job.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  67. the Texas Bimbo
    Wendy dug herself a hole
    and kept on digging

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.3440 secs.