JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Gabby Giffords and political bullshit

So when, yesterday evening, I wrote something on Facebook about how cool it was to see Gabby Giffords at the big debt vote yesterday on the House floor, I was surprised when a friend responded with, “hook, like, sinker.”

Then I realized something: He’s right.

The whole thing was a show. A sad, pathetic, we-know-you’re-pissed-at-us-so-we’ll-show-you-this-display-of-typical-political-theatre bullshit. Yes, it’s absolutely wonderful that Giffords is up and walking. Her recovery is startling—this is a woman, remember, who was shot in the head. Amazing, and all praise is due. She’s a hero. An inspiration.

But … gimme a break. America’s elected officials routinely talk about how “sophisitcated” and “smart” the voters are—but they know the truth. We’re neither sophisticated nor smart. We’re sheep, anxious to follow whichever narrative makes us feel best about ourselves and our surroundings. Both Democrats and Republicans know 98 percent of aware Americans are livid about the debt limit proceedings, and they fear such outrage.

Hence: A heroic Gabby Giffords, casting the final vote.

And while we’re on the subject, I love, love, love seeing these officials—the ones in the pocket of the NRA—treating Giffords as if she were a long-lost sister. You vote time and time and time again against any and every possible gun safety measure … and then you act as if, hey, all’s good in the world.

I’d call politics dirty—but that’d be too tame.

It’s disgusting.