Gabrielle Giffords: Something To Cheer About

I believe that most people, like this pajama-clad citizen journalist, are pretty fed up with what takes place Inside the Beltway, as our elected officials spin the facts, posture for re-election and take to name-calling when the nation’s best interest is at stake. When it comes to legislation these days we are watching how sausage is made.

But in the midst of the deficit debacle, there was something to cheer about in the House last night. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords made a surprise visit to cast her vote in favor of the legislation.

What a remarkable story. Giffords survived an assassination attempt last January when she was engaged in representative democracy — meeting with her constituents in Arizona — and she now appears to have beaten the odds and is on the road to recovery. No matter how cynical you are about government and politicians, she stands as an example of what is good with this country and those who enter public service.

Here’s from the NYT, “Giffords Returns, as Does Unity, Briefly“:

With two minutes to go and roughly 20 votes needed to pass a bill to raise the nation’s debt limit, a smattering of applause rippled from a corner of the House chamber. After a few seconds of confusion, a flash of teal jacket could be seen almost floating among a sea of Democrats.

There she was, Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, appearing unexpectedly Monday evening to cast one of the last votes needed to send the measure over the top.

The full chamber erupted in loud applause as Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House whip, flicked his eyes from the vote board to Ms. Giffords. It was the first time she had been in the chamber since she was critically injured in an assassination attempt in January in Tucson.

As Ms. Giffords walked tentatively to her seat, accepting embraces and kisses from Democrats and Republicans both, the long and bitterly partisan spectacle that has engulfed the nation seemed to melt quietly away. In its place was a vital blink of hope that ideological  intransigence — something Ms. Giffords had little patience for as a lawmaker — had faded in a Capitol that seemed to be careering toward dysfunction.

“The Capitol looks beautiful tonight,” Ms. Giffords posted in a message on Twitter, “and I am honored to be at work tonight.”

Something for all of us to cheer about.


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