When a public officials says something so completely stupid and offensive, he or she gets one chance to apologize. Rep. DebraLee Hovey, in trying to walk back her Facebook comments objecting to US Rep. Gabby Giffords visiting Newtown, blew it, actually made things worse. Republican Minority Leader Larry Cafero should seriously consider whether someone with this degree of selfishness and cluelessness should be his “assistant.”
The firestorm started when, after Giffords visited with some families and elected officials in Newtown, said, Hovey wrote on Facebook, “Gabby Gifford [sic] stay out of my towns.” She then went on to write that the Giffords visit was purely political.
Hovey’s apologizing statement read in part, “My comments were meant to be protective of the privacy of the families and our community as we work to move on, and were in no way intended as an insult to Congresswoman Giffords personally.” Please.
First, the Giffords meeting was off-limits to the press and closed to outsiders other than family members and some leaders—leaders that didn’t include Hovey but did reportedly include the Republican first selectman of Newtown. Hardly a photo-op or an attempt to politicize anything.
Second, Hovey didn’t write, “Gabby Gifford(s), please don’t infringe on the privacy of those mourning their murdered love ones.” She wrote “…stay out of my towns.” Big difference. And Hovey insults our intelligence by suggesting she made her comments for any other reason than her rank selfishness and anger at not being invited to the Giffords visit (and Hovey was sunning herself in Florida when she made the offending comments anyway).
Gabby Giffords is still a still-recovering survivor of a vicious, murderous attack. She is a model in courage and has an obvious connection to the Newtown Victims and their families. DebraLee Hovey is a model in self-centeredness.
A small point but still annoying is that Hovey apologized “if anyone was offended.” Are you kidding? Do you think there would have been such an uproar “if” anyone was offended? Of course people were offended.
Some other commentators have called Hovey (or suggested she be nominated for) a–hole of the year. This is a family blog so The Shad has a rule against writing or saying such disparaging remarks—ok, it’s more of a guideline than a rule. But I can’t say I disagree with them.