I had mixed feelings about Brian Schweitzer as a possible Democratic presidential campaign, but now I've had it:
... The former Montana governor had harsh words for the Senate Intelligence chairwoman [Dianne Feinstein] in a profile published by National Journal on Thursday, criticizing her in untoward and graphic terms as too close to the Central Intelligence Agency to then turn around and criticize it.You know what? At the big-league level, even the worst Republicans avoid being insulting in a way that's this crude. Sure, Rick Perry compared gay people to alcoholics, but there's a difference between following a traditionalist belief system to its intolerant conclusion and simply insulting women and gay people in a crude barroom way strictly to make the point that you're not some damn citified metrosexual.
"She was the woman who was standing under the streetlight with her dress pulled all the way up over her knees, and now she says, 'I'm a nun,' when it comes to this spying!" Schweitzer said in the profile -- in which he also said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) set off his "gaydar." ...
In the "gaydar" quote, Schweitzer claims he's not even anti-gay:
"Don't hold this against me, but I'm going to blurt it out. How do I say this ... men in the South, they are a little effeminate," he offered when I mentioned the stunning news [of Cantor's primary defeat]. When I asked him what he meant, he added, "They just have effeminate mannerisms. If you were just a regular person, you turned on the TV, and you saw Eric Cantor talking, I would say -- and I'm fine with gay people, that's all right -- but my gaydar is 60-70 percent. But he's not, I think, so I don't know. Again, I couldn't care less. I'm accepting."Just shut up. I'm sure you're "accepting" of women, too, but you still called Feinstein a dirty whore. At least I know that Perry isn't fine with gay people, or wants to position himself as not fine with them. At least that's a fully formed opinion and not just -- what? Bourbon talking? Testosterone talking?
Democrats who position themselves as real salt-of-the-earth types fall prey to this tendency. Recall the Southern Democratic strategist Dave "Mudcat" Saunders back in 2006, when an anti-gay-marriage amendment was put on the ballot by conservatives in a year with a hotly contested U.S. Senate race:
Dave "Mudcat" Saunders, an author and rural political strategist who lives in Roanoke County, is the adviser in Southwest Virginia. The longtime Democratic political consultant said he is an unpaid volunteer for the coalition [fighting the amendment].Talk like that didn't help one bit -- the anti-gay marriage amendment passed, 57%-43%, though it was later overturned in court. Saunders was presumably worried that people motivated to go to the polls to vote against gays would also vote against his Senate candidate, Jim Webb. But Webb won anyway -- and gay marriage is winning now in much of the country, though not because guys like Saunders are saying they're totally cool with "them queers."
"I'm pretty sure I ain't a queer. And I've never had queer thoughts, but I do have several queer buddies who called me and asked me to help," Saunders said. "I think it's blasphemy to put this on the ballot and try to divide God's children for political gain. God loves them queers every bit that he loves the Republicans."
(Saunders, by the way, was last seen endorsing Ken Cuccinelli over Terry McAuliffe, so screw him.)
Even Howard Dean succumbed to this tendency a bit -- recall that he said during his presidential campaign that he wanted to be the candidate for "guys with Confederate flags on their pickup trucks."
Please, Dems, just don't do this. The pork-rind-and-country-music party has lost the popular vote in