Unless you’re a conservative, suburban white male over 40, Rep. Joe Walsh, Tea Party-Ill., has said something to offend you. Walsh’s rhetoric has been a caricature of the image of Republicans as a party devoted only to old white guys.
Last week was Ladies’ Week in Walsh’s parade of tasteless remarks. On Saturday, he went after Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University student who was called a “slut” by Rush Limbaugh after she testified before Congress in favor of a rule requiring health insurers to pay for birth control. Fluke also spoke at the Democratic National Convention.
Walsh responded at a campaign event in Addison on Saturday: “Think about this, a 31-32 year old law student who has been a student for life, who gets up there in front of a national audience and tells the American people, ‘I want America to pay for my contraceptives.’ You’re kidding me. Go get a job. Go get a job, Sandra Fluke.”
Walsh’s opponent, Tammy Duckworth, spoke at the DNC on Tuesday. Here’s what Walsh had to say after her speech: “It has become abundantly clear that at this point the only debate Ms. Duckworth is actually interested in having is which outfit she’ll be wearing for her big speech.”
(Walsh and Duckworth have debated twice, and have three more debates scheduled.)
That drew criticism from Ms. magazine founder Gloria Steinem, who called Walsh’s comments “sexist”:
I think Tammy gave a fantastic speech Tuesday night, giving voice to the concerns of the 8th district and making it clear exactly what values she’ll stand for as a Member of Congress. It’s disappointing that Joe Walsh’s response was to resort to petty and sexist attacks.
Not only were Walsh’s comments sexist, but they were also blatantly misleading. Tammy has already debated Walsh once and has three more debates scheduled, including one on Friday. And as for Tammy being concerned about her outfit, she’s worn one color for much of her adult life. It’s called camouflage.