I can't say I was surprised to hear Gabrielle Giffords announce that she would step down from the House of Representatives. That's an incredibly demanding job for anyone in great health. And from what I could tell, it looked like Giffords still had a long ways to go before she would be up to the task -- if ever.
Let me be clear here: I agree that stepping down is what's best for Giffords and the people she represents. I wish her a full recovery and a long, happy life. She is serving no one well if she is serving while incapacitated. But her announcement still stings. I feel like it means the terrorist won.
Never mind that Jared Lee Loughner appears to be mentally ill. I think you could question the mental health of just about any terrorist. Allegedly he's been known to say women shouldn't hold positions of power. He wanted to stop Congresswoman Giffords. And he did.
Giffords was a voice of reason and tolerance in a governing body that has become increasingly shrill, obstinate, and dogmatic. Will she be replaced with someone equally reasonable? Or will the people who run to replace her feel obligated to pander to people's darker side? I guess we'll have to wait and see.
I wish I could be optimistic and say we've all learned something from Giffords and that she will exert an influence for good no matter what position she holds. It makes me so sad to say this. But just going by how Congress has behaved since that horrible day when Gifford was shot, I have very little reason to hope. Nothing would make me happier than to be proven wrong in this case.
Do you think we learned to be kinder and more tolerant after the Gabrielle Giffords assassination attempt?
Image via giffords2/YouTube