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Monday, June 2, 2008

Dave Reichert, Sexist

posted by on June 2 at 13:54 PM

As Eli noted last week, Sen. Dave Reichert seized the occasion of the statewide Republican convention to make a hi-LAR-ious joke about Hillary Clinton falling to her death from a plane.

While I shouldn’t have to point out why joking about the death of a fellow politician is outrageous and offensive, I think it’s important to add that for a male politician to joke about the death of a female member of the rival party is really, extra not OK.* Especially when that female member of the rival party has been the subject of increasingly violent “jokes,” many of them using her actual death as a metaphor for the “death” of her campaign.

Don’t believe me? See here (“take her into the closet and only he comes out”), here, here (“run her over with a flat-bed truck”), here (“the only filly in the crowded field… who was euthanized”; “put her out of her misery”), here (“death with dignity”), here (“Clinton is as good as dead”), and here. (“Die Hillary Die!”).

By the way, this isn’t the first time Reichert has joked about how funny it would be if Clinton died. As Niki Sullivan at the Tacoma News Tribune points out, he’s been telling the “fall from a plane” joke since at least February, when Clinton’s campaign at least still stood a fighting chance. To make such a belittling (and violent) joke about Clinton now, when her campaign is coming to an end, is tone-deaf and totally inappropriate.

It’ll be interesting to see whether Reichert uses similarly condescending rhetoric against his challenger, Darcy Burner. Last time, Reichert wound down his campaign with an ad that mocked Burner’s resume, and was roundly criticized as sexist; the ad paints Burner as a know-nothing bubblehead who titters her way through a “job interview,” telling Reichert on her way out, “You won’t believe it — they’re looking for experience!” The smirk on his face at the end is priceless.

(Further context, including why violence against female politicians shouldn’t be a punchline, here.)

RSS icon Comments

1

oh man, all the republicans here at slog will surely vote for darcy burner now! Thank you for pulling back the curtain on this misogynist and allowing us to make a more informed vote!

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 2, 2008 2:01 PM
2

@1, Yeah, like any of us were going to vote for him anyway.....

ECB: Post that on a conservative blog. That is who needs to see it!

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | June 2, 2008 2:05 PM
3

I'm not voting for a PTA mom. Reichert is not only smokin' hot, but as you've so clearly shown, is a sexist. So I'm on his side.

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 2, 2008 2:05 PM
4

I remember that god awful commercial back from aught-six. Good times.

Posted by Marcel Duchump | June 2, 2008 2:06 PM
5

Erica, you'd bust a bloodvessel if you saw my 78-year-old leftie mom the other day, fulminating at top volume "Oh! I just want to kill her! I want to kill that bitch Hillary!" We had to shush her in the restaurant; I thought the Secret Service were going to bust in and take her away. Prime Hillary demographic, too.

In short, it's not gender that makes people blind with rage against the Clintons.

Posted by Fnarf | June 2, 2008 2:09 PM
6

isn't joking about anybody's death always extra not OK, regardless of the gender or political affiliation of the joker or jokee? violence and death are just bad. period.

i just don't get these "feminist" double standards. you can't demand equality* *except when inequality works in your favor. well actually, you can. but don't expect people to take you seriously.

Posted by brandon | June 2, 2008 2:14 PM
7

Hillary? Leaving the race by some mean? Surely you jest!

Posted by Sirkowski | June 2, 2008 2:15 PM
8

Hillary? Leaving the race by some mean? Surely you jest!

Posted by Sirkowski | June 2, 2008 2:16 PM
9
I think itís important to add that for a male politician to joke about the death of a female member of the rival party is really, extra not OK.*
Not sure what the asterisk is for, but I don't think a male politican making a joke about the death of a female opponent, while admittedly utterly tasteless, is the equivalent of celebrating male domestic violence against women, which is what your post appears to imply. Many, if not most of us women are very sensitive about these issues, but shouting "sexism" in response to every ill-chosen word does not further the cause.
Posted by thin skin? | June 2, 2008 2:17 PM
10

brandon@6, your privilege is showing. Exactly how it's showing I don't know, but that line always seems to work by itself for feminists when they want to shut down an argument, so ...

Posted by youknowitstrue | June 2, 2008 2:18 PM
11

For the record, Clinton hasn't had a chance at winning since February. To understand how little sympathy she deserves, imagine how strong the Dems challenge against McCain would have been if she had conceded at the end of February or early March and gotten behind Obama like just about any other candidate would have. Of course Reichert shouldn't joke about her death. And she shouldn't have indirectly invoked Obama's death either.

Posted by Trevor | June 2, 2008 2:34 PM
12

Is Erica always like this? She reminds me of Meathead from the show All in the Family. Everytime he would speak, it was always about all the racial and equality injustice going on in the world. He would never shut up about it. Mr. Poe is like Archie Bunker.

Posted by yeahbud | June 2, 2008 2:38 PM
13

That Reichert commercial is a good reminder of what sexism endorsed by an opponent's political campaign really looks like. It's not exactly what's been happening in the Obama-Clinton contest.

And can I just say, I'm so glad I don't live in the 8th District? I mean, I want another Dem in Congress for sure, but Darcy Burner's half-baked Iraq plan (as though a first-term member of Congress has any hope of making anything happen in Iraq at all) and her reliance on fundraising outside her district just rub me the wrong way. Being against the Iraq war should just be a position, not her entire platform. I want to be convinced she'd be a savvy, effective member of Washington's delegation, making up for dear old useless Jim McDermott in Seattle. I've been utterly unconvinced.

Posted by annie | June 2, 2008 2:40 PM
14

Darcy Burner's resume is kind of thin, isn't it?

Posted by elenchos | June 2, 2008 2:42 PM
15

Oh please... Everyone knows that the monster never really dies... It always comes back in the sequel.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | June 2, 2008 2:49 PM
16

#14, yeah, really. How do you go up against the man that single-handedly caught the Green River Killer?

Posted by w7ngman | June 2, 2008 2:54 PM
17

@13: "not Dave Reichert" looks like a sufficient resume to me. I'm not a McDermott fan either, but there are worse things than being an ineffective but reliable D vote. Reichert is a liar and a con artist who needs to be gone.

Posted by Fnarf | June 2, 2008 3:09 PM
18

@17: Yeah, I agree. But urgh. I'm not giving her any money, and the cloying appeals her campaign keeps sending me are getting on my nerves.

Posted by annie | June 2, 2008 3:14 PM
19

i love the "your privilege is showing" line because i don't even know how that is an adequate critique of an argument. Sure, it might play on the pathos but the point isn't invalidated because I lack a black, lesbian jewish, vagina.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 2, 2008 3:42 PM
20

You need some newer material, Belv. That joke was funnier when Henny Youngman told it in 1971.

Posted by Fnarf | June 2, 2008 3:45 PM
21

sexist joke i heard from a freshly divorced drunken asshole this weekend:

q. Why do brides smile when they walk down the aisle?
a. Because they know they've given their last blowjob.

Posted by max solomon | June 2, 2008 3:48 PM
22

fnarf, your age is showing. thats some sort of privilege, i guess.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 2, 2008 4:00 PM
23

I could be wrong, but wasn't it Clinton herself who first compared herself to Eight Bells? Before the race obviously and not that it excuses the jokes.

Posted by Mike of Renton | June 2, 2008 4:28 PM
24

Other than the inane parachute joke I'm not sure that one of ECBs links proves her point in any way. In particular, it was HRC who first compared herself to a "filly", that's what the editorial was alluding to.

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/05/01/969552.aspx

Sorry you backed the losing candidate, but its time to get over it.

Posted by mikeblanco | June 2, 2008 4:29 PM
25

Annie - Actually, Darcy Burner's "reliance on fundraising outside her district" is a myth that isn't supported by the data:

http://www.kirkdorffer.com/ontheroadto2008/2008/05/in-depth-look-at-wa-08-fundraising.shtml

Burner has raised as much money as Reichert both from within the 8th Congressional District and from within Washington State.

Posted by Daniel K | June 2, 2008 5:42 PM
26

@25: Fine, in comparison with Reichert I'm sure she's about equal in the 8th. But I get lots and lots of fundraising appeals from her, and she can easily see that I live in the 7th. If she's not relying on money outside her district, I'm sure she'd like to. And the link you provide does show that she relies more heavily on out-of-state donations, which is arguably much worse.

Posted by annie | June 2, 2008 5:51 PM
27

Hey ECB...did Reichert get elected to the Senate? Is that why you're calling him Sen. Reichert in this post?

Posted by cuyahoga | June 2, 2008 5:59 PM
28

Annie - Again, no, she doesn't rely on more money from out of state than Reichert, but she has raised more money from out of state than Reichert. That's only because Reichert has not done as well in tapping out of state donors - that's not Burner's failing, that's Reichert's failing.

That said, Burner hasn't had the benefit of having the President of the United States of America and the First Lady, and the Vice President, fund raise for her, like Reichert has.

We all get a lot of fundraising appeals from candidates we've in some ways shown some interest or support in to get on a mailing list or emailing list. Rather than be annoyed by these appeals, you could choose to read them and move on, giving when and as you choose, or not. I wouldn't base my vote for a candidate based on getting too many such contacts as each of us has a different threshold and feeling for what is too much. They're trying their best to get elected and that takes money. People give if they can, and if they can't that's ok too.

Again, as the data shows, Burner is raising as much money as Reichert is from the 8th district, and I suspect when the next report comes out the data will show she is raising more money than he is from the 8th district. But winning candidate will likely have raised $4 million by the time the race is over, and so each candidate will need to tap every possible resource that they can to do so.

We may not like that it has to be that way, but it is a reality of high profile races that will go down to the wire.

Posted by Daniel K | June 2, 2008 6:24 PM
29

Of course, it's perfectly okay for Hillary Clinton to invoke contemplation of Obama's assassination (RFK). It's especially okay when your opponent is the most prominent black politician of his time. Seriously, what Reichart said was despicable, but when Hillary's been playing the race card this whole race, I have a hard time feeling to sorry for her because of the sexism directed her way. Reichart's obviously a douchebag. So's Hillary, though. That's why they'll both be losing.

Posted by Mr Me | June 2, 2008 6:25 PM
30

I was hoping before this thread was over somebody would explain why it's sexist to talk about Hillary dying. In comparison to a politician of some some other gender, such as male. Anybody? ECB? Bueller? Anybody? ECB?

Seriously. I want to be enlightened.

Posted by elenchos | June 2, 2008 8:00 PM
31

violence against women, elenchos. that's the premise here. of course, it's a stretch, but don't you know erica's got something to prove? she's determined to believe in the victim status of her girl hrc, and all the bile that hrc elicits must stem from--sexism! ALL of it.

Posted by ellarosa | June 2, 2008 8:20 PM
32

I am pretty sure that Dave Reichert would laugh about killing most anybody on the left, which makes him a nutjob, not a sexist.

Now -- we should make fun of him for being an arrogant, elitist, sociopathic nutjob! But he would have to see Clinton as a human to see her as a woman.

Posted by Steve | June 2, 2008 8:33 PM
33

and again ECB finds sexism where there is none.

Lemme guess, you'd call me sexist for not liking your reporting right?, cause after all, the only possible reason I could feel that way is because you happen to be female right?

suuuuuuuuurrre

Posted by Wurm | June 3, 2008 8:04 AM

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