Sunday, April 15, 2012

Republican speaker has trouble with "smart girl"

Gee, it's a real mystery why Republicans are having trouble with women, isn't it?

Furthermore, this guy is speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates. Is he really this dumb? Doesn't he understand what the word "inaccurate" means? Or does he just think he can buffalo this... girl, Anna Scholl, executive director of ProgressVA?

This is about the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate-funded right-wing group which basically ghostwrites many of our laws. Their legislative supporters introduce bills which are actually written by ALEC, bills which become law all across America. (If you want to know more, check out this article in the Washington Post.)

The specific issue here was the tax-money the state of Virginia spends to send legislators to ALEC conferences. Howell claimed that the ProgressVA report was inaccurate, but couldn't identify any inaccuracies. Well, you saw the video.

One other thing I might mention is that Speaker Howell is a former chairman of ALEC.


Jim Harris said...

And he was insulting. If he had chosen better words he could have saved himself a lot of trouble. In his original statement he should have said "this report is accurate but doesn't show the whole picture" or something like that.

But he's also one of those people who are patronizing and condescending. He appears to be one of those people who assume his viewpoint is all to obvious and right and any objection must be from stupidity.

WCG said...

Well, Jim, first he missed the point (deliberately, I suspect). But he's a politician. He could have talked around it, as politicians do, and no one would have thought anything of it.

But as you say, he was also patronizing and condescending. He was deliberately insulting. He could have gotten away with that, too, if he'd been right. If he'd hit the nail on the head, and his opponent had been in the wrong, he could probably have been nasty about it. (I have to think of Barney Frank here.)

But being wrong and insulting is a bad combination when it's all on video. And then he had to compound his error by choosing the absolute worst target. Apparently, Anna Scholl is both smart and confident, and no one who'll back down to a bully.

The combination of all three errors,... well, Howell had a pretty bad day there. But no more than he deserves, I'd say.

Jeff said...

Trying to reason with a Republican.....from Kirk's point of view: