Speaking of Sexism..

Yesterday, I took Senator Lindsay Graham to task for his sexist response to a speech by Elizabeth Warren. Whether you agree with her positions or not, Sen. Warren is indisputably one of the most thoughtful and informed members of Congress.

But then there are people like Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann. If those are the sorts of women with whom Senator Graham regularly interacts and upon whom he bases his judgments, perhaps I was too hard on him.

Let me share a portion of Bachmann’s  “farewell” speech (a farewell for which all sentient beings are profoundly grateful).

“And as I look about this chamber, we are ringed with the silhouettes of lawgivers throughout history,”

“And yet only one lawgiver has the distinction of not having a silhouette, but having the full face be revealed by the artist. That lawgiver is Moses. Moses is directly above the double doors that lead into the centermost part of this chamber, and in the face of Moses, his eyes look straight upon not only our nation’s motto, ‘In God We Trust,’ but Moses’ face looks full on into the face of the Speaker of the House. Daily, the Speaker of the House as he stands up in his authority and in his podium recognizes that he is a man under authority, just as Moses was a man under authority.”

“Because you see, Mr. Speaker, Moses is given for the full honor of the greatest lawgiver in this chamber, because he was chosen by the God that we trust to be entrusted with the basis of all law. The ‘basis of all law’ as was written by Blackstone, the famous English jurist, was the Ten Commandments, that were given by none other than the God we trust on Mount Sinai,”

“We know those laws, those laws are the fundamental laws of mankind, and here in the United States, the Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses is the very foundation of the law that has given happiness and the rise of the greatest prosperity that any nation has known before.”

“Mr. Speaker, it could be no coincidence that this nation, knowing and enjoying the heights of such great happiness and such great prosperity, that it could be built upon that foundation of the Ten Commandments and of the law given by the God in whom we trust.”

Bachmann never did understand the difference between the Bill of Rights and (her version of) the Ten Commandments. Science and medicine–not to mention logic– likewise eluded her.

Defeating sexism clearly requires more than the elevation of more women into positions of authority. It isn’t a numbers game; quality counts. That said, no one suggests that Louie Gohmert is a representative example of all men….


  1. A post on Facebook yesterday reported that during the White House Christmas party, Bachman asked President Obama to bomb Iran nuclear facilities. A true GOP pseudo-Christian Christmas greeting by one of our resident fools in Congress…she can’t be gone too soon. President Obama laughed, stated that her request is easier said than done. She complained to a fellow-fool attending the Christmas party. Will we finally see and hear the last of her after January 1st or will she remain around to haunt us with her stupidity as Palin continues to do?

  2. The sad truth is that as Bachmann exits, others like her will enter and take up her mindless mantra. It’s sad.

  3. Of which, only 3 are actually currently laws (kill, steal, false witness), and all three of which existed as written laws prior to the 10 commandments.

    About time to put that away along with the false account of one man and one woman as traditional marriage.

  4. I like how I’m supposed to believe the ten commandments are the foundation of our laws when the first amendment guarantees me the right to break the first four commandments.

  5. And of course, no artist can “fully reveal the face” of Moses, because no one alive in the last few centuries can actually know what Moses looked like……may as well be a portrait of Charlton Heston or Christian Bale….

  6. I suppose that democracy would imply that the members of Congress over the years should reflect America. Sadly that seems to be true. I’m sure that people who know Ms Bachmann could reveal some redeeming qualities. But the part of America that she reflects is the mixture of ignorance and blind allegiance to the thinking of specific other people. A combination that is so easy to manipulate it’s no wonder that shiny objects (like the myths of Moses) completely absorb her attention.

    Who, I wonder, was her puppeteer? The Koch’s? Grover Norquist? Pat Robertson? Wayne LaPierre? Did they each have a string?

    No question that her ride into the sunset will not be on a horse but in a limo.

  7. With all of her past pseudo Christian rantings and basis for bills she supported; is she aware of the fact the most of her much awaited farewell speech pays homage to a Jew? A very wise Jew indeed, but he offers no support for her political stand on 21st Century issues and has nothing to do with her leaving her position as representative of the GOP. She evidenced no strength of character or goodness of heart during her tenure which the Old Testament attests to Moses. I wonder who wrote her farewell speech.

  8. Elizabeth Warren is an example of a woman reaching the zenith of her full potential. Michelle Bachman is an example of a woman who has reached the nadir of same. ‘Nuff said.

  9. At one end of the spectrum are those people who actually believe the stuff they say. Bachmann reflects her base and is, like them, pretty much clueless. Lindsey Graham may or may not believe all the stuff that comes out of his mouth, but what he says truly reflects the base that elected him. That’s the scary part.

  10. But notice that no one is complaining about her wardrobe selection for the address, or choosing to comment on her hairstyle rather than the content of her remarks, or attributing her predilection for banality to its being the wrong time of the month. Even all these critical reflections focus on what she had to say, granting her a human dignity that Graham denied Warren. Even all these critical comments don’t complain because she’s female but because of the lack of merit in what she had to say.

  11. Err, uuhh, I’m glad you all understand what she is trying to say. I am quite befuddled by that little speech. The sentence that contains the “United States”, “happiness” and “greatest prosperity” is perhaps the most perplexing. Makes we want to contemplate the meaning of life and I thought I was done with that back in the 60s. Of course the fact that I’m a public school teacher in the great state of Indiana might have something to do with my confusion. My students have been talking about the movie “Dumb and Dumber To” lately. That’s the way I feel right now when it comes to Americans and politics.

  12. I wonder how she reconciles the 6th commandment (no murder) with a desire to bomb Iran and the uncounted thousands of innocents who would die in such an action?

Comments are closed.