Thursday, June 19, 2014


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.

"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." ...
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.

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].

"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."
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."

(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 four five of the last five six presidential elections. A guy nobody thinks ever owned a hunting dog won two straight elections. It's a new day. And if you're going to try to appeal to the white working class, do it by promising to improve their economic lot -- and then make good on the promise. They'll let you eat all the quiche you want.


John Magnum said...

Four out of five, not five out of six? Were the Democrats the pork-rind party in 1992 but not 1996?

Steve M. said...

Thanks -- fixed now. (How could I forget that '92 was the year we beat the phony pork rind guy?)

marieburns said...

Okay, not exactly presidential.

As a straight person, I find the gaydar comment offensive because it's ridiculous to associate a person's mannerisms with his/her sexuality. Besides, gay or straight, few would want to be equated with Eric Cantor.

But I am a woman & a feminist, & Schweitzer's comment about Feinstein seems about right to me. His point, obviously, is that she had been whoring for the NSA & now she's not so much. Seems fair, at least to everyone except prostitutes.

After all, Schweitzer is a guy who, according to Cogan, jokingly accused a friend of bestiality, & the friend played right along, extending the joke. They both thought the conversation was hilarious.

Schweitzer's crude metaphor re: Feinstein is not nearly as offensive as Rick Perry's associating homosexuality with alcoholism. Schweitzer doesn't believe or imply Feinstein is actually a prostitute; Perry is serious about gays & alcoholism.

Political correctness has its place, but maybe that place isn't rural Montana.


Victor said...

Remember folks, it's Brian Schweitzer, not 'Brain' Schweitzer!

peabody nobis said...

Sounds like ol' Brian had a couple of drinks in him at the time. Lips get pretty loose after a few belts.
Not an excuse, just an explanation.

Zandar said...

Because Schweitzer is an asshole? I'm going to go with that.

Joey Blau said...

"but you still called Feinstein a dirty whore"

uh.. but. but.. DiFi IS a dirty whore! The truth is an absolute defense and DiFi is one of the worst establishment cronies of the military and intelligence complexes.

she lay down with, or rolled over for, or sucked up, to these powerful interests time and time again at our expense...

then again.. I thought the metaphor jarring in its sexism. why not just call her a farking crook?