Tammy Duckworth Wins in Illinois, As Does Gerrymandering and Deadbeat-Dad Shaming

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Nov. 6 2012 11:05 PM

Tammy Duckworth Wins in Illinois, as Does Gerrymandering and Deadbeat-Dad Shaming

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Sorry, Joe

Photograph by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Tammy Duckworth just trounced Tea Party favorite Rep. Joe Walsh, which is to say that a half-Thai, Indonesian-speaking, double-amputee war hero who also happens to be a woman will soon represent Illinois’ 8th congressional district.

The race was among the ugliest—and most entertaining—of the election. The district, which Walsh currently represents, was redrawn by Democrats in the state legislature to better accommodate one of their own. Walsh accused Duckworth of feeling entitled to a gerrymandered gift from her fellow Dems. She, in turn, accused him of being a deadbeat dad who vacationed in Europe while his kids waited for their $100,000 in child support. Walsh responded with this rather unconvincing plea from his son to “stop attacking our family” and accused Duckworth of talking nonstop about her military service. She did like to talk about her military service, but voters didn’t seem to mind hearing about it from a woman who was co-piloting a helicopter as it was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade.

Kerry Howley's work has appeared in the Paris Review, Bookforum, and the New York Times Magazine. She is currently finishing a book about consensual violence, ecstatic experience, and the body.

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