What follows is a cautionary tale of what can happen when Republican bros use the Internet. In a ranty blog post for the NH Insider called “If Looks Really Matter, Where Does That Leave Kuster/Garcia Race?”, New Hampshire state Rep. Steve Vaillancourt (R) compared how his colleague Rep. Ann Mclane Kuster (D) and her midterm election opponent Republican Marilinda Garcia measure up, looks-wise. Monumental butt hole Vaillancourt concluded the following:
“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 […] I’ve promised myself for years not to use this anecdote, but after seeing the story about the seven to ten point boost for the attractive, the story has political relevance. Annie Kuster looks more like a drag queen than most men in drag […] In New Hampshire’s second congressional district, if I may be so bold as to speak the truth, Republican Marilinda Garcia is one of the mo[s]t attractive women on the political scene anywhere, not so attractive as to be [intimidating], but truly attractive.”
Aaaaaaaaaand grossgrossgrossgrossgrosss. Gross. This guy is a douche-bag, a total and complete ass clown, and a jerk wad who is just the worst. As Jess McIntosh of Emily’s List said, according the Huffington Post, “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.” Vaillancourt’s remarks and his history of generally being shady as hell render him severely useless and terrible at his job, which he has no business doing. He’s also not really in a position to be calling people ugly. I mean. Google Image search this butt cheese. As for the “seven to ten point boost” Vaillancourt comment, William Tucker of Miscellany: Blue writes that this is a reference to a University of Ottawa study published in American Politics Research “which analyzed every 2008 House of Representatives.” The study reportedly concluded that “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,” but Tucker writes that the study was later rebutted because the science behind it is questionable at best. In short: Vaillancourt “point” is bogus.
In a prepared statement, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who has been the subject of similar sexist comments and sexual harassment herself, responded to Vaillancourt’s asinine remarks: “It’s disgusting […] New Hampshire Congresswoman Annie Kuster is an intelligent, strong Democrat who has championed our values from day one, yet this attack insults everything we have worked to accomplish.” Garcia also released a statement: “State Rep. Vaillancourt’s recent comments about Rep. Ann Kuster are sexist and have absolutely no place in political discourse. Both Rep. Kuster and I have experienced this unfortunate reality of being a woman in politics. I hope that as time moves forward and more female candidates run for political office around the country, people will focus on the content of our ideas rather than what we wear and how we look.” Inserting sexist/misogynist/sh**ty remarks, or any remarks at all, really, about what a woman in politics looks like or wears is not only severely inappropriate, it’s also just really, really tired. Talking about Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits or Wendy Davis’ shoes, for example, is super old, especially when male politicians’ outfit choices are rarely, if ever (with the exception of Suitgate), discussed at length or in relation to their ability to do their job. Which is to make laws. And Hillary Clinton can wear a sweat suit for all I care. In fact, I encourage it. Real pants are awful.