What would the 2014 elections be without a long, disgusting misogynist rant by a GOP lawmaker denigrating a Congresswoman for nothing more substantial than her looks, even going so far as to compare her to a ‘drag queen?’
Thankfully, New Hampshire State Rep. Steve Vaillancourt has filled that void in a blog post predicting that Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D-N.H.) will lose her re-election bid because her opponent is prettier. According to Vaillancourt, “looks matter in politics,” a “fact” that will surely plant a nail squarely in the coffin of “ugly as sin” Kuster’s campaign.
“I don’t plan to say anything really offensive here…certainly nothing like the reference to the recent Saturday Night Live skit about doing “it” for a million dollars…but the subject matter, although very real, may prove uncomfortable for some of my more sensitive readers,” Vaillancourt began. “Thus, to avoid the PC police sending out a warrant for my arrest, I offer an advance warning. ”
With a disclaimer like that, you just know the rest of the post will devolve into a disgusting rant. Vaillancourt explained that he “saw some polling data” he has been unable to verify even with the awesome power of Google, but he thinks it might have been from FOX’s Red Eye show…or he may have been “dreaming.”
I seem to recall hearing that a new survey is out revealing that, with two caveats, an attractive candidate can have as much as a seven to ten point advantage over a less attractive (or even an unattractive) candidate.
This is the kind of dirty little secret that most people usually don’t like to admit, so I’m not sure how valid the polling data is, but after all, JFK looked better than Nixon with his 5 o’clock shadow on that first debate in 1960; people who listened on radio though Nixon won; those who watched on TV gave it to JFK. Yes indeed, if we stop to admit it, looks matter in politics.
The two caveats…if I heard correctly…were 1) That the two candidates must be of the same sex for the race in question; and 2) That the attractive candidate not be so drop dead gorgeous as to intimidate those watching.
If all this is true…and again, I haven’t been able to google the exact poll…then of course attractiveness wouldn’t matter in Scott Brown vs. Jeanne Shaheen or Frank Guinta vs. Carol Shea Porter or Maggie Hassan vs. Walt Havenstein; they’re opposite sexes in each case. Someone even told me yesterday that Mrs. Havenstein is a dead ringer for Jeanne Shaheen.
Now that the groundwork has been laid, Vaillancourt touts the attractiveness of Republican candidate Marilinda Garcia, who he says “is one of the mot attractive women on the political scene anywhere, not so attractive as to be intimindating, but truly attractive.” Garcia is so attractive, he says, that “Democrats and Annie Kuster supporters can’t seem to find a photo of Marilinda Garcia looking bad at all.”
He’s right — she is attractive, a fact that does not matter when one is deciding who will be involved in policy decisions.
Then, things just get awful.
As for Annie….oh as for Annie…and before I continue, I offer that caution, caution, caution, gain.
Let’s be honest. Does anyone not believe that Congressman Annie Kuster is as ugly as sin? And I hope I haven’t offended sin.
If looks really matter and if this race is at all close, give a decided edge to Marilinda Garcia.
He could have stopped there, but if he had, he would not be a true Republican, would he? He went on, comparing Kuster unfavorably to a “drag queen.”
How ugly is Annie Kuster? Again avert your eyes if you don’t want to hear it, but I actually thought of Annie Kuster last weekend when I was in Montreal. Not far from the Second Cup Coffee Shop I at which I was sipping and writing is a bar called Mados. It’s on the section of St. Catherine Street which is blocked off for pedestrians only in the summer; it’s near the Jacques Cartier Bridge. Thus, tens of thousands of Montrealers and visitors walk by Mados on their way to the fireworks displays on summer nights.
On almost any given night, standing for all to see in front of Mados is a rather attractive drag queen. People stop to pose for pictures with this Mado drag queen; other drag queens gather round because, you see, Mados is a drag queen bar…not that there’s anything wrong with that. Long live Victor Victoria; long live La Cage Aux Folles.
By now you probably know why I think of Annie Kuster whenever I walk by Mados; sad to say, but the drag queens are more atrractive than Annie Kuster….not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Vaillancourt summed up his “thoughts” by explaining that he has promised for years not to use this anecdote, but because of his unverified statistics he could not find again and possibly dreamed, “the story has political relevance.”
“Annie Kuster looks more like a drag queen than most men in drag,” he finished. “Ouch!”
To his credit, such a study does exist, though he was perfectly happy assuming the “information” came to him in a dream. Using student coders and a web-based survey, the study, published in American Politics Research, concluded “an extremely attractive candidate running against an extremely unattractive candidate can expect to obtain an electoral ‘beauty premium’ of more than 7 percent of the vote.”
However, the science is questionable, at best. Harvard political scientist Ryan Enos explained, “No, good looks don’t win elections. Here’s a thought experiment: try to think of one Democrat you know who voted for Mitt Romney because he was so good looking. Have you thought of anyone yet?” he asked.
Jess McIntosh, a spokeswoman for EMILY’s List, remarked, “This is a lawmaker? Like, a person who makes laws? This person has no business anywhere near laws that affect women or other human beings.”
Of course, could we expect anything other than this sort of rant from a man who yelled “Seig Heil” during a floor exchange with NH House Speaker Bill O’Brien?
After his outburst, Vaillancourt was removed by the Sergeant-at-Arms. Three “apologies” were rejected before the legislature accepted a fourth.