We've all waited to see this moment.
The House of Representatives decisively passed a bill tonight to raise the nation's debt ceiling, capping months of negotiation between House Republicans and President Obama.
And Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, made her first appearance on Capitol Hill since being shot in her district in January. She voted in support of the deal that would raise the debt ceiling.
"Gabrielle has returned to Washington to support a bipartisan bill to prevent economic crisis," read a tweet from her office account as the vote was starting.
Lots of very positive words can describe her appearance to cast this vote.
I don't think I need to explain any of those word choices.
However, I can think of a few more that I will have to explain.
Let me offer a proviso here. I don't direct these words against Giffords. I direct them against the Democrat leadership that no doubt prevailed upon her to make her return at this moment for this particular vote.
After all, there was no indication that Rep. Giffords, who has spent most of the last six months recovering from her grievous wounds, is ready to return to Congress to resume her duties. Democrat leaders wanted to be able to emotionally blackmail the recalcitrant to vote for a bill they opposed by pointing to how important Giffords felt the bill was to cause her to return to Washington at this moment to cast a vote in support of this bill. They did so despite clear evidence that the bill would pass in both Houses of Congress. And, having used Giffords as a bludgeon to silence conservative political speakers of allegedly inciting rhetoric, they brought her back after spending the last couple of weeks calling those same conservatives "hostage-takers", "assassins", "traitors", and "terrorists" for standing up for their principles on the debt ceiling.
In other words, the Democrat leadership used Gabrielle Giffords in a shameful, indecent manner. It was wrong on a fundamental level. And it breaks my heart, because this dear woman deserved better of those who claimed to be her friends and more concerned about her welfare than politics in the wake of her wounding by a madman.