Malaka Of The Week: Brian Schweitzer

I had postus interruptus yesterday because we had to scramble to get someone to repair a dangling rain gutter. Mission accomplished as it were.  I was going to write this before Brian Schweitzer apologized for his malakatudinous remarks to the National Journal but it's too much fun not to pile on. Besides, malakatude is not an exclusively Republican thing, there are buffoons and loud mouths in both parties and that's why Brian Schweitzer is malaka of the week.

The former Montany ( I always spell it Gus McCrae style) Governor has been flirting with challenging Hillary Clinton from the populist left in 2016. His only constituency thus far has been the poltical media who adore a mouthy loose cannon. That's why Schweitzer felt so comfortable being candid with the NJ's Marin Cogan. He shouldn't have, his remarks backfired big time. First, the homophobic one:

 "Don't hold this against me, but I'm going to blurt it out. How do I say this … men in the South, they are a little effeminate," he told Cogan. When asked to clarify, he offered "They just have effeminate mannerisms. If you were just a regular person, you turned on the TV, and you saw Eric Cantor talking, I would say—and I'm fine with gay people, that's all right—but my gaydar is 60-70 percent. But he's not, I think, so I don't know.

Here's the deal. I'm on record as thinking Eric Cantor is an eely, eely slippery fellow who got what he deserved from the Sausage Man. I don't, however, cotton to gay baiting or bashing in any form. I'm not sure exactly who Schweitzer thought he was appealing to: manly, super macho Hemingway types aren't overly prevalent in the Democratic Party of 2014, especially on the left. To run successfully against the former FLOTUs/Senator/Secretary of State, he'll need some votes from women and gays. Oopsie.

This is classic locker room/bar room chat and I wouldn't give a flying fuck if Schweitzer weren't trying to win the media primary but he is, so I do. Loose lips sink Presidential campaigns. The press are not your drinking buddies, if you let down your guard, this is what happens.

Let turn to the sexist remarks. I suspect BS (fitting initials, no?) thought he was being colorful and vivid, while that's okey doke for a teevee talking head, it's not exactly Presidential:

He held nothing back in discussing Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), either. Feinstein recently accused the CIA of spying on congressional staffers who were compiling a report on the agency's torture program.

"She was the woman who was standing under the streetlight with her dress pulled all the way up over her knees, and now she says, 'I'm a nun,' when it comes to this spying!" he told Cogan. "I mean, maybe that's the wrong metaphor—but she was all in!"

I've already had a few scraps with some of our readers about Dianne Feinstein. I don't agree with her on many national security issues BUT have a fondness for her because of her skillful handling of the post-Milk-Moscone era in my other hometown, San Francisco. Even if one agrees with BS, his comments are stupid, indefensible, and sexist. Even if Dianne is wrong, comparing a woman you disagree with to a hooker is horrendous. I won't even go there with how weird it is to apply a nun analogy to a Jewish Senator. 

Perhaps the strangest thing about the sexist remarks is that they were made to a FEMALE journalist. What was he thinking? Very little obviously, but malaktude often involves impulsiveness and big mouthery. Excessive candor and/or bluntness are qualities that voters *claim* they value but they don't elect the John McCains of the world to the White House.

I would hope that Schweitzer sensed there could be trouble with a profile entitled, The Gonzo Option. I have neither fear nor loathing for Hunter S Thompson but wouldn't have voted for him. He was a fine writer and a total lunatic, albeit a likeable one. The sad thing is that the profile is, on balance, a favorable one but the money quotes were obvious and I cannot blame anyone for jumping on them. I just did, after all.

 I actually quite like Schweitzer, but never thought that he was a viable national candidate. My preference was that he run for the Senate from Montany. Eventually, progressives were going to learn about his views on guns and mining, which they weren't going to like very much. Loose cannons can very entertaining until they blow up in one's face. And that is why Brian Schweitzer is malaka of the week.

One thought on “Malaka Of The Week: Brian Schweitzer

  1. I like to read Charlie Pierce and I’m certainly not a fan of Lindsey Graham, but Pierce’s incessant references to Graham as “Huckleberry Butchmeup” (and Jon Stewart’s Southern Belle impression of Graham) just rub me the wrong way. If someone in national media had done the same thing with, say, Barney Frank day in and day out, would we find it amusing?

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