In an article published on theloop21.com, John Wilson, a “regular contributor to Hip Hop Republican,” mused that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) should resign her seat as she recuperates from her gunshot wounds. Citing media reports about Gifford’s medical condition, Wilson compared Giffords to the late Rep. Gladys Spellman (D-MD), who went into a coma while in office. He then asked, “Should constituents allow members to hold onto their seats like political Brett Favres with no concept of when it is time to go?” FrumForum, the conservative news site managed by former Bush administration official David Frum, promoted the article on its website this afternoon.
Thankfully Rep. Giffords is on the road to recovery. However, it will be long, arduous and unpredictable. There is no doubt her constituents mourn for her and her family. But does that mean they should also go without representation in Congress? Certainly not. [...]
Stepping down from one’s office is nothing to be ashamed of. In actuality, the shame lies in not being honest with one’s own self about the responsibilities that voters have entrusted in one and the expectations they have. Constituents should expect that an official will either be appointed or a special election held within six months, not years. This current Congress should take this issue up immediately and in consultation with Giffords’ family and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer come to an appropriate remedy.
Wilson says he is calling for Gifford’s resignation in deference to her constituents who need active representation. However, it seems quite early to make that call. Giffords could be released from the hospital and enter rehab as soon as this week. Since the tragic shooting in Arizona, she only missed one substantive vote. Furthermore, Wilson never voiced a demand for resignation last year when former Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) missed over one hundred votes while campaigning for governor or when former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) missed a crucial vote on unemployment extension.