Monday, August 01, 2011

Is Gabrielle Giffords Still Competent to Serve in Congress?

I don't mean to be insensitive, but don't we have to ask: is Gabrielle Giffords competent to continue as a Congresswoman? If so, how do we know? Are we supposed to just trust what those in her inner circle say? The public hasn't seen her speak or be interviewed since she was shot, have they? Who decides these things? It seems no one.... With all due respect to what she's been through, brain injuries are, of course, extremely serious and can change cognitive abilities and even one's personality. Will voters in her district still have the representation they thought they voted for? Can she still reliably process information and make competent decisions? Can she handle the workload?

People asked questions about Strom Thurmond in the last years of his Senate career (he finally retired at age 100). Why shouldn't they be asked now?


Anonymous said...

I am a physician who takes care of people with cognitive impairment. It is sad that the US public avoids difficult questions like the one posed here by David Appell- Is Gabrielle Giffords competent to cast a vote. In this very tragic situation, we want to avoid the hard questions that need to be asked. It would be better to portray a realistic picture of how Gabrielle Giffords is doing, instead of avoiding the questions posed by David Appell.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. Since when is competence a requirement for the job? Since when is representing your voters a requirement for the job?

I don't want to sound cynical (but I know I do), but these questions could be legitimately asked for a long, long list of congresspeople...

Anonymous said...

This is a horrible situation. I have compassion for the dynamics around her. No body in the media wants to come out and say what we all are thinking. How do we know her level of metal ability. From what I have seen her Dr.s won't comment on it.

All I see from her are "statements released" from her camp. I have yet to hear her speak. We don't know if she could even spell her own name never mind vote on major legislation.

Anonymous said...

This is a very valid question and is the right of the American public to know her mental condition rather than the short, controlled, tight-lipped information released thus far.
I'm sure her constituents are very concerned with her recovery and well-being (as the rest of the nation is, I'm sure) and should also be privy to how her condition does or may affect her ability to perform her job.

The Croquist said...

I've wondered the same thing too. She got beat up pretty bad and there is still a full year of her term left.

The only previous time I saw her was when she flew out to Kennedy for the first launch attempt of the shuttle flight. What bothered me most was that the video was shot from 100 plus yards away. It gave me no confidence.

When congressmen roam the halls of the capital building they are open game for reporters. If they have no access to her that's a bad sign.

Speech issues are one thing but the rest of her worries me more. Maybe she's given local interviews but so far this is the closest I've seen to her in a real situation.

Dano said...

Her aide was on NPR and the way he was hemming and hawing and wording his responses makes it clear she has a long way to go.

It is great she is alive and recovering. Competent?



Anonymous said...

There is no way she is competent to be a senator after suffering a brain injury like that. A good chunk of her brain is literally gone. With the type of brain injury she has she will never have the same intelligence as before and be able to make the kind of decisions required of a senator. She is a political puppet that others are more than happy to influence and use. She should be focusing on her recovery and retraining her brain to compensate for her brain loss for the next couple of years when she has the best chance of getting back closer to normal. She is wasting her best recovery time doing politics. She should step down. There are plenty of other competent people who should be given the opportunity to replace her and serve our country. I think Daniel Hernandez her aide who stayed calm under pressure would be a good replacement.