April 8, 2014

"House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) sided on Monday with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) over Breitbart News..."

"... requesting that his column be pulled from the news outlet's new California website."
Democrats called the website, which featured sexually suggestive images of Pelosi, "foul, offensive and disrespectful to all women." They urged Republican leaders to condemn the site. McCarthy seems to have obliged.

“We didn’t condone them,” Matt Sparks, a McCarthy spokesman, told the Los Angeles Times, about the images. “We thought it was the right thing to do to ask for the column to be removed.”
Good call by McCarthy. As I said last night: "It's bad branding, and GOP mainstreamers have to get distance from it."

73 comments:

rhhardin said...

He's admitting that women aren't political adults and what can you do.

SMGalbraith said...

Smart move.

The tactic to use is to denounce it, distance themselves from it and then PIVOT and point the finger at liberals and demand they do the same thing with their far worst element.

This shouldn't be that difficult.

RecChief said...

I still fail to see how a Breitbart Hollywood (or whatever the name of the site is) poster is branding the GOP (who I view as the lesser of two evils when presented with a binary choice). I think this speaks to Roost on the Moon's post in an earlier thread about taking one extreme vocalization and applying it to an entire political party or ideology. And again, it's ok for the left to do that, but not the right. Good for McCarthy if he made that statement honestly, but I imagine it has more to do with 'optics' and how silence would be presented by the Democrat Party's media arm and ABC/NBC/CBS/MSNBC/PBS/NPR/NYTimes/WAPO/LAtimes/ etc. (but I repeat myself)

the wolf said...

Really? When are Democrats going to insist their constituents start living up to this standard? I won't hold my breath.

tim maguire said...

While I agree with you on the distastefulness of the ad and would prefer that the side I generally agree with refrain from doing such things, I think McCarthy committed an own goal.

"They do it too!" is weak tea, but "They don't do it!" seems appropriate here. When was the last time a prominent Democrat apologized for something liberals did? Why does the House majority whip have to distance himself?

All this does is reinforce the Democrat's strategy of making the Republicans look like Rethuglicans. McCarthy would have done far better to distance himself by ignoring it. Every apology feeds the beast and the beast will always be hungry.

Browndog said...

All better now. Respect of the Republican Party by the left now restored.

traditionalguy said...

I note that this bruhaha was not even from the Breitbart Big Hollywood section, but was an opening piece to set a tone for the new Breitbart California section.

It sure got that name out there big time.

SJ said...

I don't know if it would have been politically smart, but if I had been in his shoes, I would have tried to phrase it something like:

"These images are as offensive as internet columnist Andrew Sullivan obsessing about Sarah Palin's childbirth, or condemning Mitt Romney's son for adopting a Black child. I condemn this kind of political slander, and urge all my colleagues to join me in condemning anything similar that may arise on either side of the aisle."

But maybe I'm not a politician.

Gahrie said...

OK...please point me to a post where you demanded that mainstream Democrats distance themselves from a Left leaning website. I just can't seem to find that post.

eric said...

What a dummy.

This is why people like Pawlenty don't get the high office of Presidency. Becuase they go on tv and distance themselves from Sarah Palin when she "targets" politicians.

But in a way, this is good for Conservatives. We get to see more clearly who the spineless jellyfish are.

The Godfather said...

I saw the Breitbart ad yesterday and had no idea that the Miley Cyrus-esque image was supposed to be Pelosi. It was only when I later read the Democrats' criticism of the ad that I learned who the target of the mockery was supposed to be. This seems like one of those instances when the target of a jibe would be better off keeping quiet about it, rather than publicizing it.

The same ad features photo-shopped images of other political figures, including the late Breitbart himself. By focusing on the Pelosi image and not the others, the Democrats seem to be embracing a Victorian kind of double standard.

Lyssa said...

It was probably the right thing to do, but it will help him (and the GOP) not in the slightest.

jr565 said...

The tactic to use is to denounce it, distance themselves from it and then PIVOT and point the finger at liberals and demand they do the same thing with their far worst element.

Yup. We behaved civilly, now here are some examples where you haven't. Please make them recant. So, when are they going to start?

jr565 said...

He should put out another article that says "Sometimes politicians say something that garners a lot of offense. When it was pointed out to me that I did, I withdrew my article. Now, here are some examples of things that I and other republicans find offensive.... and so, I call on my opponents to similarly adhere to the same standard in the interest of the body politic".
NAME NAMES.

Gabriel said...

Breitbart is not part of the GOP any more than DailyKos is part of the Democratic Party.

Politics is Calvinball where the media is the referee and only the Democrats get to make up rules.

Ann Althouse said...

"It was probably the right thing to do, but it will help him (and the GOP) not in the slightest."

It's the self-help of not self-hurting.

But you are right that it won't change the deep-seated assumption that Republicans are bad for women. One gesture can't turn that problem around, but no use entrenching the assumption any further.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...


Dennis Miller started the trend when he said that the words "Al Sharpton" should never be uttered except with a "Tawana Brawley" inserted between the "Al" and the "Sharpton".

Rand Paul correctly said that every Democrat "should be ashamed to be seen" on the same platform as that serial female/workplace abuser and impeached ex-President, Bill Clinton.

Similarly, there should be no mockery out of bounds when it comes to the liars Pelosi, Biden, Reid, Holder, Obama, etc.

They are horrible horrible people, all.

NOT calling them out, and giving 'respect' when it is richly undeserved, is what is wrong in the current body politic.

People who have a problem with that were not people we were going to persuade, anyway.

At the very least, it is a fresh approach. Past approaches have failed to produce results.

Strelnikov said...

Sure. They should run as far and as fast from this as mainstream Dems did from the sexualization of Sarah Palin, which went far beyond this mild tweaking.

Oh, that's right, they didn't run, they embraced it and do so to this day. Being an adult gets you nothing but contempt in the current system.

KLDAVIS said...

Ann Althouse said...

"I don't even know what the SNL 'thing' is."

Ann Althouse said...

Yes to Zuckerberg. As for Biden, I didn't notice a Biden one.



What you choose to notice says more about you than you seem to realize. This sort of 'head in the sand' defense (previously employed regarding comments, before they were moderated) gets old fast.

RecChief said...

"Yup. We behaved civilly, now here are some examples where you haven't. Please make them recant. So, when are they going to start?"

I agree with you in principle, but it's a demonstrated fact that anyone who leans to the right, whenever they say something impolitic or downright offensive, is suddenly speaking for every Republican. That isn't the case on the left, as every time a Leftist does something vile, and there are a lot of examples, then then those are "just one man". Wu, Wiener, Filner, Clinton et al. are not in any way representative of the Left, but Todd Akin speaks for all Tea Partiers. and the legacy media presents it that way as well, so no matter what McCarthy says, it won't matter in the end.

Illuninati said...

"But you are right that it won't change the deep-seated assumption that Republicans are bad for women. One gesture can't turn that problem around, but no use entrenching the assumption any further."

Kevin McCarthy was wrong to respond to the Democrat criticism. By agreeing with their criticism and by changing his behavior he has affirmed that they are correct that Republicans are anti-woman.

Gahrie said...

It's the self-help of not self-hurting.

How is it self-hurting? Is the Republican Party responsible for the actions of every Right wing organization? This was neither a Republican politician or a Republican organization.

If you were intellectually honest about this you would write a post warning the media and the Democrats (I repeat myself) not to smear the Republicans with this action by an independent party.

But you are right that it won't change the deep-seated assumption that Republicans are bad for women. One gesture can't turn that problem around, but no use entrenching the assumption any further.

Then why are you attempting to further entrench that idea by linking an independent website to Republicans and the Republican Party?

Patrick O said...

I thought sexuality was empowering?

Is there a chart to help us know when it's one or the other?

n.n said...

This incident is more revealing of the Democrats, and specifically their feminist subsidiaries, than of Breitbart news, or Republicans generally.

In any case, I would advise to stay out of the muck. Most people are essentially decent, even if they occasionally make the wrong choice. Let the Democrats wallow in the muck, alone. It's their moral hazard.

Rob said...

I don't know that suggestive images of Pelosi are disrespectful to all women, but I expect we can all agree that any picture of Nancy Pelosi with her clothes off, whether Photoshopped or real, is foul and offensive.

Sayyid said...

Sad. Gone are the days of Ann Althouse standing up against civility bullshit. In are the days of scolding Breitbart for being uncivil.

paul a'barge said...

Kevin McCarthy is a huge RINO, big-government, Republican establishment p*ssy.

Screw him.

persiflage mahal said...

"It's the self-help of not self-hurting."

Ah, but it wouldn't have hurt if he'd used it as an opportunity to counter-attack. The Left would have immediately clammed up.

A foolish, pussy move by McCarthy.

Lyssa said...

Althouse said (in response to me): It's the self-help of not self-hurting.

But you are right that it won't change the deep-seated assumption that Republicans are bad for women. One gesture can't turn that problem around, but no use entrenching the assumption any further.


No, I disagree that it even does as much as reduces self-hurting. It simply does not - the people who believe that rhetoric believe it because it feels good, and "justifies" their gimmee-ism. They are immune to almost anything that would threaten that. Play nice and no one notices; play mean and at least you get attention.

Perhaps if Rep. McCarthy had given a litany of what the other side should distance itself from, that would have made some difference, but otherwise, no.

Gahrie said...

The big problem here, which Althouse is avoiding, is that this is only a story because the Republicans have standards, are expected to live up to them, and are punished if they don't. Democrats don't have standards, don't live up to other's standards and no one expects them to behave like adults.

jr565 said...

Someonehastosayit wrote;
Dennis Miller started the trend when he said that the words "Al Sharpton" should never be uttered except with a "Tawana Brawley" inserted between the "Al" and the "Sharpton".

Larry Flynt started it when he said Jerry Falwell had sex with his mother in an outhouse. That made it all the way to the Supreme Court. And lefties lauded that as a free speech victory. It was the religious right trying to repress peoples ability to criticize.

Did you not see the movie?

jr565 said...

Patrick O wrote:
I thought sexuality was empowering?

Is there a chart to help us know when it's one or the other?

It like almost any other question is easy. If said by the left you can laugh or agree with it. If said by the right then "HOW DARE YOU!"

tim maguire said...

The problem is, by apologizing for it, McCarthy took responsibility for it. Of course this poster was put out by the Republican Party, why else would Republicans be apologizing for it?

If McCarthy wanted to say something about civility in politics, he should have said something about civility in politics. Instead he played right into Democrats' hands by confirming the Democratic charge that the Republican Party is hostile to women.

jr565 said...

I wouldn't be surprised if Breitbart did that intentionally just to invoke the faux outrage of the left so we could then have a dialog on why the dems are such one sided hypocrites, and also to question the very tactics Dems and libs have used since foerever. So, lets have that conversation liberals.

Ann Althouse said...

"Sad. Gone are the days of Ann Althouse standing up against civility bullshit."

You don't remember what was meant by "civility bullshit."

Look it up.

tim in vermont said...

"Obama Honors Comedian Who Called Sarah Palin Slutty and Joked About Her 14 Year-Old Daughter Getting Knocked Up"

And yet, women love Obama.

Hagar said...

The best way of attacking Pelosi is with straight news photos and actual quotes.

jr565 said...

Ann Althouse wrote;
t's the self-help of not self-hurting.

But you are right that it won't change the deep-seated assumption that Republicans are bad for women.


ACCORDING TO LIBERALS.And of course liberals showing Bachman twerking will never harm the liberal brand. I dn't see why we should assume that those who would peg people who support traditional marriage as the most virulent bigots and haters of the poor and blacks would ever have a view that verged from the caricature of repubs.
And so, they are similarly not going to care that there is a double standard when they treat conservatives like shit. That's free speech. Conservative free speech is hate speech.
Aren't you getting tired of this? I know I am.

tim maguire said...

Gahrie said...The big problem here, which Althouse is avoiding, is that this is only a story because the Republicans have standards, are expected to live up to them...

No, this is about effective political tactics. Are the Republicans helped by apologizing or are Republicans hurt by apologizing? Whether or not Republicans "should" apologize is beside the point.

Gahrie said...

No, this is about effective political tactics. Are the Republicans helped by apologizing or are Republicans hurt by apologizing?

They are damned if they do, and damned if they don't. That is the beauty of the Democrat/media coalition.

MayBee said...

The Republicans are hurt by apologizing for something they had nothing to do with because it will encourage the left to do this again. By "this" I mean make all republicans responsible for the actions of one or a few.

It works on Althouse every time, and she's not alone.

Æthelflæd said...

MayBee said...

"It works on Althouse every time, and she's not alone."

This.

McCarthy should have turned the tables back on the misogynistic Dems, or left it alone. As it is, he has just done the worst thing he could do - strengthening the Dems' hand and letting them off scot-free again.

Michael K said...

I finally looked at it again and it is kind of amusing. The pussies will run away, of course.

Lyssa said...

Tim Maguire and MayBee are saying what I was trying to say, much better.

Pogo is Only Mostly Dead said...

GOP Kevin McCarthy sided with Dem Nancy Pelosi over a big shiny squirrel.

Meanwhile, the ACA is destroying young people's lives. No jobs or not enough hours, can't afford the health care shit sandwich. On and on. And the current GOP are helping the Dems keep it shitty.

But it made Althouse look, as always.

Hey! Look over there!
Someone said something mean about a gay person!
I think it was the GOP!

AReasonableMan said...

I agree with the wingers that Althouse is unreasonably conflating Breibart with the GOP. And, this is hardly the worst thing Brietbart has done.

April Apple said...

Exactly. What Gahrie and Maybee said @1:10

Anglelyne said...

tim maguire: "They do it too!" is weak tea, but "They don't do it!" seems appropriate here. When was the last time a prominent Democrat apologized for something liberals did? Why does the House majority whip have to distance himself?

All this does is reinforce the Democrat's strategy of making the Republicans look like Rethuglicans. McCarthy would have done far better to distance himself by ignoring it. Every apology feeds the beast and the beast will always be hungry.


This.

When has "...and then we point out the left's hypocrisy!" ever worked? (I mean, it works so well on the lefties around here, doesn't it? See how garage, or Inga, or somefeller have risen to standards of sweet reason and civility after other posters have so thoughtfully and patiently pointed out the hypocrisy and contradictions of their party...)

Apologies and explanations are just chum in the water.

paul a'barge said...

Althouse and her eternal campaign for treating women as princesses unless those women are Republicans, in which case she thinks it's cutting edge.

Google "female solipsism". Soon.

Alexander said...

Different country, granted; but remember when they made a nude painting of Stephen Harper? Ha ha, boy was that funny!

Remember when we kept racing to the bottom at when to start teaching sex-ed to kids? Oh! How about that series of pictures of world leaders making out - boy that really showed us all what a bunch of stodgy old stick-in-the-muds those conservative homophobes were!

But now, now we're back to finding our good old-fashioned values, because heaven forbid you turn around the deliberate coarsening of culture - from Miley Cyrus to the next celebrity sex tape to the next dead rapper to a crucifix drenched in piss - and go after a Democrat with it. And if every person on the right doesn't automatically genuflect at the knowledge that someone, somewhere, didn't just do a *very bad thing* against the left, then everyone's a scumbag... because, conservatives.

At this point, anything that gives the dems the vapors must have something of merit to it, even if in my own limited wisdom I can't see it. We're well past civility - real or bullshit.

Fen said...

it won't change the deep-seated assumption that Republicans are bad for women

Thats a loaded assertion. And the people that believe that are too stupid and tribal to care who apologized for what. The will find a "Republican War On Women" in everything, so why cater to them?

Alexander said...

As an aside, I think this is a very effective strategy. Maybe not for Republicans as a name brand - but screw those guys anyway. But for fighting the statists at the top? Brilliant. They can't stand the indignity and the mockery and the degradation of their own image.

It's no longer God who won't be mocked, it's Nancy Pelosi.

Alinsky would approve.

Every time we see our culture deliberately dragged through the shit, we need to turn it around and do the same thing back, and make *them* the target. We'll see real quick how much value is placed on the idea that there's no right and wrong cultures and ideas, just different ones.

And really, if Jon Stewart can publish a book that includes a "pin-the-robe-on-the-naked-Justices", and he's the darling of the left, I fail to see why I should give a moment's thought to Miley Pelosi... especially when that, you know, requires me to think it.

Lydia said...

Republicans had no choice but to distance themselves from this -- remember just which side has the MSM megaphone. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, for example, was already running fast and hard with it -- her statement:

"To say the least, the Breitbart News ad is foul, offensive, and disrespectful to all women. It is a disgusting new low and would be reprehensible against any woman – regardless of party. It’s no wonder the Republicans are having problems appealing to women. If GOP leaders are serious about their rebrand, then both their elected and Party leadership should condemn this outrageous behavior, call on Breitbart News to immediately remove the ad, and not continue to use this website as a forum for their views.”

Æthelflæd said...

Fen said...

"Thats a loaded assertion. And the people that believe that are too stupid and tribal to care who apologized for what. The will find a "Republican War On Women" in everything, so why cater to them?"

Yup, yup, yup. Exactimundo.

wildswan said...

I remember arguing with someone on this exact issue - fighting fire with fire - and hearing this argument: "To me the media are dogs and I throw them red meat." This person got on TV all the time so I guess he had the media figured out. But winning the argument in the wider society by that method - no, I just don't think so.

wildswan said...

Apparently Maureen Dowd is calling for the techniques of the "Game of Thrones" to be applied to Republicans
http://dailycaller.com/2014/04/07/maureen-dowd-fantasizes-about-games-of-thrones-characters-murdering-republicans/

This same show had Bush's head on a stake awhile back. Well, I never said there wasn't a double standard.

jaed said...

Someone with a video camera: "Debbie Wasserman Schultz, when Martin Basher of MSNBC called for the torture and degradation of Sarah Palin, in the grossest possible terms, you refused to condemn him. Do you consider his remarks to have been "foul", "offensive", or "disrespectful to all women"? Were they "reprehensible against any woman - regardless of party"?

"When Saturday Night Live displayed an image of your colleague Michele Bachmann, similar to the Breitbart image, you refused to condemn it. Do you consider that image to have been "foul", "offensive", or "disrespectful to all women"? Was it "reprehensible against any woman - regardless of party"?

"Do you have any comment about this inconsistency?

"Do you support degrading comments about women?

"Isn't it true that you support the degradation and sexualization of women - in some cases?"

Etc.

And never mind the "oh my gosh someone said [or pictured] something nasty about Pelosi so we must crawl and then maybe they'll be nice to us!!!!" reaction. It's understandable that people want to do this.

But kowtowing to a bully never makes the bully back off. Ever. It makes it worse. This is doubly true when it comes to moral bullies.

LarsPorsena said...

Yes, of course. You keep to the Marquis of Queensbury rules whilst getting kneed in the groin and clothes-lined.

eric said...

If it weren't for double standards, the Democrats would have no standards at all.

"The Republicans are hurt by apologizing for something they had nothing to do with because it will encourage the left to do this again. By "this" I mean make all republicans responsible for the actions of one or a few.

It works on Althouse every time, and she's not alone."

I'd say it works on a majority of women. I wouldn't limit it to Althouse.

alan markus said...

I may be repeating a few observations stated in previous comments, but this is my "recap":

1) Not aware that Breitbart is necessarily a "mouth piece" for the Republicans - I suspect there are times when the establishment Republicans wish Breitbart would go away. Kudos to Breitbart for getting this visibility courtesy of Pelosi & Wasserman-Schultz.

2) I sense a "preemptive" move here - the items were "street art" - see how this plays next time some publicly funded artist thinks a jar of urine with a cross in it is untouchable because it is "art".

3) I also sense another preemptive move - next time some liberal does something similar to the examples already mentioned (Bachmann, Palin, future candidates, etc.), Breitbart will able to drag this stuff out to compare levels of outrage expressed and by whom.

This is classic Breitbart! Everything is done with a purpose.

Skeptical Voter said...

I believe that the English army band played "The World Turned Upside Down" when Cornwallis surrendered in Virginia.

Certainly the world has turned upside down when Debbie Wasserman Schultz can give lectures on civility and political ethics.

Kind of like having a madam from a Nevada whorehouse become the Mother Superior in a nunnery--somehow it just doesn't seem to fit.

The Crack Emcee said...

The Right can't run from what it's become. The hits will just keep on coming. Racism here, sexism there, homophobia, paranoia, and pseudoscience anywhere else.

They're too practiced at it now,...



SOJO said...

Both parties can and do suck for women. Hillary wasn't spared misogyny when the dems were in the throes of their 2008 crush on Obama.

Republicans are so obviously tone deaf that I have no suggestions. Have you ever tried to teach someone to sing who cannot only not hit a note, but can't even hear how bad they sound? It's impossible.

However, the party out of power will always benefit from the disgust and powerlessness people feel towards the party in power.

Patrick O said...

"the deep-seated assumption that Republicans are bad for women."

Only single women count as women? Now that's a deep-seated assumption. Married women supported Romney at about 56 percent.

Why do some women get to define their gender. That's privileged and exclusionary. I think Althouse and Democrats need to publicly distance themselves from that assumption otherwise I will assume they see married women as lesser.

Drago said...

Crack: "seudoscience anywhere else."

LOL

Says the anti-nuke, anti-GMO, anti-vaccine, "lost my homework" AGW alarmists side!!

Thanks for the laugh crack!

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

The Crack Emcee said...
The Right can't run from what it's become. The hits will just keep on coming. Racism here, sexism there, homophobia, paranoia, and pseudoscience anywhere else.

They're too practiced at it now,...


blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah racism blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah racism blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah .

Jesus you're a boring one-trick pony. We've seen the trick. Give it a rest.

chickenlittle said...

I think Althouse and Democrats need to publicly distance themselves from that assumption otherwise I will assume they see married women as lesser.

Is silence a valid form of distancing?

Must one speak up against everything with which one disagrees?

Will said...

I completely reject the premise of the "deep-seated assumption."

Is is untrue and pure political BS that only non-thinking people could possibly believe.

A $1 billion smear campaign run by a desperate flailing incumbent will try anything and ths is what he tried and honorable people chose not to stoop to his shameful level. It fooled enough people. That time. To the country's detriment.

The pendulum will self-correct. Like any such lie it can only be kept alive, contrary to evidence, for so long and that time is running out quickly.

Jupiter said...

"But you are right that it won't change the deep-seated assumption that Republicans are bad for women. One gesture can't turn that problem around, but no use entrenching the assumption any further."

The Democrats elected a rapist to the Presidency, and protected him and attacked his accusers when his crimes were found out. So, perhaps instead of "assumption" you should say "baseless stereotype".

Alexander said...

Crack - you don't believe for one minute the crap you spew about white people. If you did, you would never leave your house, considering:

1) The majority of Americans are white.

2) They are statistically much more likely to be armed.

3) They are statistically much more likely to have experience and training in the police/army.

4) They dominate the courts.

The reality is that most whites aren't doing jack shit to you, and are self-policing the ones who would. Old bullshit is old.

Todd said...

The Crack Emcee said...
The Right can't run from what it's become. The hits will just keep on coming. Racism here, sexism there, homophobia, paranoia, and pseudoscience anywhere else.

They're too practiced at it now,...

4/8/14, 4:25 PM


Let us just say for one minute that you are right. I don't agree but for the sake of argument, we will let your statements stand. Why do you give the left a pass? All that you claim the right does, the left does so much more. They enact social programs designed to hurt blacks. They enact laws designed to hurt blacks. They specifically say and do things designed to hurt blacks and yet you poke at right-side shadows while not even noticing the hypocrisy of the left. The left stands for everything until any of it gets in their way. They believe and act as though as long as something feels right, it is right, facts be damned. The left is nothing but racists and homophobes and women denigrators and science deniers and you, the media and higher ed, etc., etc. give them all a pass. You and the left have all the depth of character of puddle in the street after a sun shower.

Patrick O said...

"Must one speak up against everything with which one disagrees?"

That's the standard being argued for in the post, so I think it should be applied across the board to all parties and those involved in the discourse.

Marshal said...

chickenlittle said...
Must one speak up against everything with which one disagrees?


Only if you're on the right.