Monday, January 23, 2012

Giffords resignation long overdue

Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords will resign her position this week, causing a special election in Arizona to fill her seat. In my opinion, her actions are long overdue.

Giffords was badly injured in an assassination attempt in Arizona a year ago. A deranged gunman with mental issues also killed several others in that shooting. Giffords took a bullet that traveled through the left side of her brain. She is extremely lucky to even be alive.

The left side of the brain is the part that controls speech and communication. Giffords was left severely impaired, similar to a stroke victim. It was clear to everyone involved that Giffords would never be the same again. She could not read or understand the complex legislation she would be required to cover in her job. She could not give complex speeches in order to defend her votes nor could she vocally encourage others to support her.

If she had been an airlines pilot, there is no way they would ever let her fly again. If she had been a police officer or race car driver...again...she would be unemployed for life.

But because she was a Congresswoman... which is basically office work (much of it done by staffers) she was allowed to continue on for an entire year.

Voters had sympathy for her situation, and I don't believe they would have forced her out until the next election. However, at that point, her mental impairment would become an issue that her fall opponent would have to discuss. Nobody wanted to see that. So Giffords is stepping down.

I think it is the right thing to do. I just think it should have happened sooner.

When Giffords and her staff realized how badly she had been harmed, she should have stepped down immediately. The job of Congressional Representative is bigger than the person serving it. There had been others who had served Arizonas 8th District in the past, and there will be many fine other Representatives serving it after Gabby Giffords is gone.

Having the voters of Arizonas 8th District adequately represented is what is important here.

Sympathy for Giffords needs to be set aside in the greater pursuit of good governance.