Two days ago, it was revealed that Brian Schweitzer said his “gaydar” detected something in Eric Cantor and that it might have been the reason conservatives voted against him; that southern men are often “effeminate sounding;” and, that Dianne Feinstein’s willingness to give the NSA a blank check, coupled with her later criticism of the NSA, is the equivalent of a hooker saying she’s a nun.
Not Schweitzer’s finest moment and comments that must here, on a feminist blog, be condemned. The remarks about Cantor and southerners are not appropriate; the Feinstein remark is not exactly a wise or feminist thing to say about a female politician.
I do suppose calling a politician a whore is a unisex thing too: you do hear the phrase uttered all the time equally about male politicians who sell themselves to the highest bidder. Nevertheless, had a GOP member said these things I’d have enjoyed slamming him, so here must we too must too denounce the democrat for the utterance. That said, those who know Schweitzer know that his record bears no resemblance to these remarks, something that has not been remarked upon in all the coverage. He has always been a social progressive and especially so on women’s issues. So the incident has a strange asymmetry to it.
They have often said that Schweitzer’s strengths are his weaknesses, and lately he is certainly the victim of what has often been a great strength: always trying to serve up a new, different, provocative and fresh dish to the voter and the consumer of politics. But the customer, this week, got a bad piece of fish which is being returned to the kitchen. The chef has apologized. He went on Facebook yesterday to do so, and I suspect we’ll see him reiterate early and often, as media personalities must do these days.
Schweitzer has also taken his lumps inside Montana, with state legislators and political activists of both parties expressing their disappointment on Facebook and Twitter. The piling on is not surprising at all. Schweitzer played a zero-sum game as governor in which you either had to join him or beat him, and if you lost he liked to squish you like a mosquito on the wall. It was what made the administration successful and also good political theater, but it also earned him many enemies. I can’t wait to hear what they say about it all at the Montana GOP convention this weekend.
So conservatives, but also the various democrats in the orbits of Jon Tester and Max Baucus who never warmed to Schweitzer and were never happy about the amount of water he displaced from the pool, are today enjoying some Big Sky Schadenfreude*. Now we will see if Schweitzer can recover and return to form.
Also Intelligent Discontent has already written about this here.
*For my TEA Party readers that means taking pleasure in the misfortune of others.