Unapologetic progressive. Fearless activist. Plucky liberal.

Yes, according to an opinion piece by Paul Sracic. He says her district of 650,000 Arizonans has gone long enough without representation, and she should step down so Gov. Jan Brewer can call a special election.

He is right that we tend to see resignations as punishment for bad behavior (e.g. Anthony Weiner). In Giffords’ case, she was incapacitated while doing her job: listening to her constituents’ concerns. And although she is reportedly recuperating amazingly well, she will never be able to return to the way she was before the shooting in January. No one can say with certainty how much of her life she will regain and how long it will take to reach that point. It could be months or years.

It pains me to admit it, because Giffords seemed to be a strong progressive voice in the House, but I think Sracic is right that she should resign. Not necessarily immediately, but hopefully soon enough to get a replacement who has the best interest of her constituents at heart. I would love for Giffords to be able to resume her duties, but that doesn’t look to happen anytime soon, and her district shouldn’t go without representation indefinitely.

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Comments on: "Should Gabrielle Giffords resign?" (16)

  1. Giffords’ district is overwhelmingly in favor of giving her the chance to recover. She was doing her job on a weekend day when many of us are goofing off. She went out of her way to do that job despite threats and vandalism to her office.

    I’m curious how you’ve decided that Giffords won’t return to anything near what she was after the shooting? Me, I look at facts. The best predictor of a good recovery is the Glascow Comma Scale. The scale goes up to 15. Giffords received about a 10. Statistically anything above a 9 has overwhelmingly great odds of a good recovery. I add that to the fact that her doctors have consistently said she is exceeding their expectations, has had little in the way of complications, and hasn’t plateaued at any point. Doctors are naturally pessimists. They can tell you every possible complication. Yet some of the finest doctors in the field are so positive. I can’t help but join their optimism.

    I hope we rally round Gabby, rather than giving her one more reason to worry, so she truly can get well soon.

    • I have read reports that say how well she is doing, but nowhere I have read anyone, even the most optimistic doctor, say she will recover to the state she was in Jan. 1. I am also going by what her chief of staff has said: that she has limited communication skills and no one knows what the future holds for her. (http://www.allmediany.com/details_news_article.php?news_artid=1253) I would love for her to retake her place in Congress, but is it reasonable to wait months or years for that to happen? It just seems like a long time to be out of the picture while vital issues that affect her district are being decided. However, if that’s what a majority of her constituents prefer, that’s their decision.

      • No one can guarantee the future and that is what you are asking. Can you walk across the street tomorrow? Good chance but not guaranteed. All Giffords’ doctors from Tuscon have predicted she will return to Congress. The GCS statistics I quoted above (which are considered the best indicator of ultimate outcome from a TBI) are on her side. That’s all anyone can tell you. The odds are very good.

        The bullet caused expressive aphasia, which is a big term for difficulty speaking (not understanding). That, along with weakened muscles in Giffords’ leg and arm on one side, are what she’s going through therapy for now. Which doesn’t make the now any less frustrating for us or for her chief of staff or Giffords. From what her doctors say, she’s making great progress.

      • There’s also the fact that her husband retired from the military that makes me think she won’t be back to full strength in the near future. I will be happy to be proved wrong. She has been in my prayers and her strength is awe-inspiring.

      • NASA isn’t going to fly anything else for years after the final shuttle mission. What did you expect Mark to do? He’s a pilot. He doesn’t seem like the pushing paper type. He’s got 25 years in the military so he’ll have a pension. I expect he would have retired even if Giffords wasn’t shot. I would not be surprised if his brother, who is also an astronaut, is right behind him.

        Perhaps the more interesting question is whether Mark and Gabby can figure out how to put both of them in the same city and still have dual careers in specific fields which aren’t too transferable (unlike, a teacher, for example) and two teen kids. There are certainly many space-related careers available but in Tuscon maybe not.

      • I wish them all the best, whatever happens. They deserve it.

  2. I have to disagree on this one. I think she should stay in office unless SHE feels it is in the best interest of her constituents to step down. If anyone should be resigning it is Clarence Thomas.

    • As I told Holly, the retirement of Giffords’ husband from the military also makes me think that she won’t be back to full strength in the near future, but I would be happy to be proved wrong.

      • I guess what bothers me the most about the idea of her being pushed into resigning would be that it feels like the victim is being punished.

      • That’s one way to look at it. But it could also be a reward; after years of service she could spend time with her family without demanding careers getting in the way. And she could always run for office again when she’s stronger.

  3. Good point Rick. I think what bothers me as well is that we never heard these suggestions of resigning when McCain or Obama spent a year or more away from Congress running for hirer office or when Kennedy fell ill with cancer. Why are we treating the victim of a shooting while doing her job so roughly while others are regularly excused?

    • To me the McCain/Obama situation is different for a couple of reasons: 1) They were physically able to do their jobs, which Giffords isn’t (through no fault of her own); 2) there was a definite end date to the campaign. As far as Kennedy, it probably would have been a good idea for him to step down, and he might have if he’d known how the race for his seat would turn out.

      • Folks may want to look at http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/06/25/zoellner.giffords.resign/ for an alternative viewpoint also published by CNN.

        “By all accounts from TIRR, she is now voicing complex thoughts, initiating phone conversations, receiving regular briefings from her staff and following the news daily. To have come this far in so short a time really is a hopeful sign of continued recovery.

        When voters elected Giffords, they didn’t just elect a person: they were expressing a preference for a whole fabric of issues and beliefs she stood for. While it is true that she hasn’t yet been able to cast a floor vote in the House, her policies are clear and her ideas are still present on the committee level. It is nobody’s idea of a perfect solution, but there is every reason to believe it is a temporary one.”

  4. Jane McClure said:

    Yes, I agree she should resign. I feel for her & her family, but her constituents have gone several months already w/out a representative on their behalf.

  5. The local Republican Party has weighed in on this says that they will not be pushing for resignation but will be directing efforts towards the 2012 race. Meanwhile, Giffords increased visibility may help constituents more. Perhaps her clout will even get therapy for our returning servicemen. 1 in 5 returning vets have suffered a similar injury to Giffords however they do not get Workman’s Comp even though, they too, have been injured on the job. Unfortunately health insurance for vets does not cover the therapy which Giffords is receiving.

  6. Holly shut the hell up. You go on like a broken record.

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