Yesterday marked the announcement that Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords would step down as she attempts to recuperate from a horrendous assassination attempt that has left her mostly inactive but making great progress. Now many will say that of course this is a huge disappointment for me and my personal beliefs as 1. Giffords was one of the lone Democrat politicians in an overwhelmingly red state. 2. A special election will have to be held for her vacant seat and since Republicans have an overwhelming success rate in poorly attended special elections, her seat will almost certainly go to a Republican. [With more and more veteran Democrats retiring I’m beginning to wonder if any Democrats will make it to the November election.]
Of course, those two factors DO pay a role in why I’m sad to see her step down but there are also much less political and larger reasons I’m sad to see Giffords. For one thing, if you have a heart in your body, then it goes out to Giffords who was very nearly murdered by a madman who did successfully kill five other people. By all accounts, Giffords is a great congresswoman AND (even more rare) just a great person period. The thought of her getting gunned down solely because she works for the government and a young man’s mind was poisoned by anti-government rhetoric makes me want to vomit. It’s a sad situation where there are no winners, but I still held out hope Giffords would make a full recovery in time to hold onto her seat.
None of this is to say I blame her even in the slightest, and I’m just grateful she’s been able to make such a remarkable recovery after an event that could have easily killed her. A less strong person might not have made it. So you can see why I’m disappointed that not just a Democrat like that is leaving our congress, but a PERSON like that is leaving our congress.