Oh boy! So many douchebags to choose from this week. YouTube clips and transcripts abound, so come on down and take a peek into our quartet of Douchey US Senators!
First offense goes to new Massachusetts Senator-elect Scott Brown. Yes, he’s a douchebag for his anti-choice and anti-gay-marriage stances, and for shamelessly running a substance-free television-friendly campaign full of misleading soundbites and JFK comparisons, but this decree is for his already-infamous attempt to play matchmaker with his daughters and the American public.
In an astoundingly ill-conceived moment of jest, Scott Brown announced the “availability” of his 19- and 20-year-old daughters in his Tuesday night victory speech… then continued in that lighthearted vein despite the visible displeasure of his family for the next minute or so. It was awkward, especially because Brown’s position behind the podium and forced introduction of his daughters really added to the whole “auction” feel. Delightful!
Senator-elect Brown: “As always, I rely on [his wife] Gail’s love and support and that of our two lovely daughters, so I want to thank Ayla and Arianna for their help as well. And just in case anybody who’s watching throughout the country - (smacks podium) yes, they’re both available! (crowd goes wild) No no no… no… only kidding, only kidding… only kidding, only kidding… Arianna is definitely not available, but Ayla is…”
Gail Huff (joking but not really joking): “Stop!!”
Senator-elect Brown: “(holds up Arianna’s arm) This is Arianna….. (holds up Ayla’s arm) and this is Ayla… (Brown and Arianna bump fists for no apparent reason) Oh… I can see I’m going to get in trouble when I get home.”
The next sexist senatorial gaffe comes from Pennsylvania Democrat Arlen Specter, who angrily instructed Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann to “act like a lady” when she attempted to talk over him during a discussion on a radio talk show. The exchange can be heard at RealClearPolitics.com.
Specter: “I asked you a question as to what you voted for, and you didn’t say anything, because you - “
Bachmann (over Specter) “I voted for prosperity.”
Specter: “You didn’t - you didn’t - you didn’t - now wait a minute, I’ll stop and you can talk!”
Bachmann: ” ‘Kay.”
Specter: “I’ll treat ya like a lady! So act like one!”
Bachmann: “Well I - I am a lady…”
Specter: “My question to you was, what did you vote for!”
Bachmann: “I voted for prosperity. I didn’t vote for the government takeover of private industry….” (etc)
I’m not a fan of Bachmann’s views, or her creepy Stepford voice, but Specter was way out of line. Salon’s Tracy Clark-Flory sums it up best:
It’s hard to get too worked up about such a juvenile exchange, but it’s worth pausing for a moment to make note of his choice of the word “lady.” Only Specter knows what he truly meant by it – but, as a public service announcement for all the men out there, let me just say: Many women interpret “act like a lady” to mean “know your place, little girl.” This comes from spending a lifetime being instructed in various ways to sit back politely, speak up only when called upon and defer to the male ego.
Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards is our third recipient of this week’s Decree. He released a statement today admitting that he is the father of baby Frances Quinn Hunter, daughter of Rielle Hunter, a former Edwards campaign cinematographer. This is where it gets really douchey: when the National Enquirer (weird, I know) broke the story of the Hunter-Edwards affair in 2007 and then confirmed its continuation in 2008, Edwards admitted to the affair but denied that he was the father of Hunter’s as-yet-unborn child. He even said that it was “not possible” that the child was his (“due to the timing of events”) and “would be happy to take a paternity test”.
But wait! Edwards’s personal assistant Andrew Young took the bullet, stepping up to claim paternity of the child! No paternity test was publicly released. Young alleges that Edwards asked him to arrange for a fake paternity test, and even told him to steal a diaper from the baby so that he could do a secret DNA test for himself.
Edwards finally released a statement (full text here) this morning admitting to the paternity of Quinn Hunter, sparking a flurry of headlines gleefully overusing the phrase “love child”. Edwards now faces a grand jury investigation on the charge of using campaign money to keep Hunter quiet.
And the very last of our douchey senators today is Oklahoma Republican James Inhofe, who thinks white people are too special to have to go through airport security.
Sen. Inhofe: “A terr’ist is a terr’ist. That’s what they do for a living, they kill people. And I’m, for one, I know it’s not politically correct to say it, but I believe in racial and ethnic profiling. I think if you’re looking at people getting on an airplane, and you have X amount of resources to get into it, you need to get at the targets, not my wife. And I just think it’s something that should be looked into, the statement that’s been made is probably 90 percent true, with some exceptions like the Murrah Federal Office Building in my state of Oklahoma. Those - they were not Muslims, they were not Middle Easterners. But when you hear that not all Middle Easterners or Muslims between the ages of 20 and 35 are terr’ists, but all terr’ists are Muslims or Middle Easterners between the ages of 20 and 35, that’s by and large true.”
This speech, by the way, was the latter part of Inhofe’s criticism of airport security’s failure to catch “Christmas Bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Just to clarify, Abdulmutallab is from Nigeria, which is not in the Middle East. He is a Muslim though, so I guess in Inhofe’s book, it’s pretty much the same thing.