Teaching Republican Candidates Not to Be Sexist Jerks

In the wake of Todd Akin and so many other Republican legislators, officials and candidates saying boneheaded things that made women run like hell away from them, the GOP is holding training sessions with staffers so they can try to keep those things from happening again.

The National Republican Congressional Committee wants to make sure there are no Todd Akin-style gaffes next year, so it’s meeting with top aides of sitting Republicans to teach them what to say — or not to say — on the trail, especially when their boss is running against a woman.

Speaker John Boehner is serious, too. His own top aides met recently with Republican staff to discuss how lawmakers should talk to female constituents.

“Let me put it this way, some of these guys have a lot to learn,” said a Republican staffer who attended the session in Boehner’s office.

There have been “multiple sessions” with the NRCC where aides to incumbents were schooled in “messaging against women opponents,” one GOP aide said.

Boehner urged his colleagues Thursday in response to this POLITICO story to “be a little more sensitive” when running against women.

“Some of our members just aren’t as sensitive as they ought to be,” Boehner said.

But it isn’t just about running against female candidates. Akin’s comments would have been no less offensively idiotic if his opponent had been a man. And it apparently hasn’t occurred to them that if you continually support policies that hurt women, you aren’t going to get their vote just by not saying incredibly stupid and sexist things.

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  • doublereed

    Is there any way we can get footage of those training sessions? God I want to see them. I also want to see the after-session where they let loose about why all the sensitivity is crap and say a bunch of sexist crap. Entertainment.

  • barry21

    Minor correction: this is teaching them not to TALK LIKE sexist jerks. Any lesson in not BEING a sexist jerk would be like doing card tricks for a dog.

  • matty1

    “Let me put it this way, some of these guys have a lot to learn”

    And the award for understatement of the millenium goes to…

  • Mr Ed

    Seems simple enough just have them say the opposite of what they think they should say.

  • Georgia Sam

    If you have to be trained not to talk like a sexist jerk, you are a sexist jerk. Also, if your wife is a right-wing fundamentalist, her advice will not be very helpful.

  • Larry

    Seems simple enough just have them say the opposite of what they think they should say.

    Ah, the George Costanza approach. And if they go on to lose the election anyway, they can always get a job with the New York Yankees.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Who knew that the broads were so sensitive? When I say something that’s not PC, I first preface it with “Now, I don’t know what the politically correct term for it is, but…”, then if they act offended I say “This is man talk. Don’t worry your pretty little head about it, Toots.”

    And then I slap them on the bottom and send them on their way.

    Is that not good enough anymore?

  • sundiver

    With morons like Akin the only way to keep him from saying stupid, sexist shit involves a roll of duct tape and a rubber ball. Some of these dipshits are just too dense to understand that saying stuff like Akin spewed in 2012 offends people. Case in point: my sister-in-law. Rural, fairly conservative, said flat out she wasn’t voting for any republicans until the GOP began respecting women’s rights on reproductive issues.

  • Michael Heath

    It’s important to recognize why Republicans are tone-deaf regarding their sexism (and bigotry towards gays).

    Conservative Christian churches continue to subjugate females. I continue to be befuddled as to why women voluntarily remain members and congregants of institutions that discriminate against them and argue that being female is to be fundamentally flawed at birth relative to men, and therefore they’re deserving of second-class status. Fear of eternal suffering by their sky daddy perhaps?

    Partisans, political ideologues, and authoritarians are able to categorize when to use critical thinking skills, where those skills can be developed and used in some areas of their life, but still avoided when it comes to matters of religion and politics.

    So while Republican levels of discrimination often varies greatly in different social contexts, they continue to be energetic bigots when it comes to public policy (politics) and religion. As such, Republicans come onto the national stage used to females in their sphere of influence condoning and enabling sexism on matters of politics and religion. They’re therefore exasperated when their misogyny and bigotries are called-out in the public square in spite of the shelter they enjoy inside their churches and amongst others who share their political ideology. They’re used to such rhetoric resonating amongst their fellow church congregants and in Republican gatherings.

    Therefore, the training here isn’t to change policy, but teach Republicans how to be more media-savvy hypocrites.

    Authentic change would require females en masse to either leave these churches, or at least reform them. The latter is slow-work at best given that the Christian religion, in practice amongst conservative Christians, demands one accept pre-conceived assertions as ‘truth’ while simultaneously and determinedly avoid/deny the falsity of their beliefs.

  • DaveL

    Is anyone surprised, when the Republican strategy for winning over African Americans has been stuck at “Try Not to Use the N-word” for decades now?

  • sonofrojblake

    the training here isn’t to change policy, but teach [politicians] how to be more media-savvy hypocrites

    That’s basically all media training for all politicians of all stripes.

  • rabbitscribe

    I wish I could share the light-hearted mood.

    And it apparently hasn’t occurred to them that if you continually support policies that hurt women, you aren’t going to get their vote just by not saying incredibly stupid and sexist things.

    But of course tens of millions of women do vote for Republicans. And the Akin thing seems to have been a legitimate (lol) teachable moment. Ann Coulter had a brief flirtation with sanity over it. To summarize: “If you’re a Pro-Life, no exceptions, candidate, you will be asked about it by the media. If comments like Akin’s are the best you can do, you are incompetent and should make room for someone who can win. Furthermore, I appreciate a principled stance, but it should perhaps be tempered against the reality that there will never, ever be a law in the United States compelling a woman to carry a rapist’s child to term.” The sensitivity training seems to me to be smart politics that will net them some votes, alas…

  • John Hinkle

    So I guess it’s off the table that republican men wear a tee shirt that says, “Don’t be sexist. Broads hate that.”

  • Michael Heath

    rabbitscribe supposedly paraphrases Ann Coulter:

    I appreciate a principled stance, but it should perhaps be tempered against the reality that there will never, ever be a law in the United States compelling a woman to carry a rapist’s child to term.”

    We’re one step closer to that reality in Michigan, where our state legislature is prepared to vote against Obamacare coverage for abortion, even when the pregnancy is the result of rape. This initiative doesn’t require approval of the governor to pass.

    Because the governor previously vetoed equivalent language because it didn’t allow standard coverage to include coverage for victims of rape, anti-abortion rights advocates used a new tact to avoid needing the governor’s signature. They also now have people whose biological fathers were supposedly* their mom’s rapists to join them in lobbying to pass this bill.

    [*Because these are anti-abortion rights advocates where dishonesty is a defining attribute of that population, I don’t trust anything these supposed children of rapists assert that doesn’t have independent validation. I’m in no way insinuating the victims of rape are not trustworthy, my reference here is not to them but instead to a new subset of anti-abortion advocates, the supposed children of rape.]

    Cite: http://goo.gl/UsSME9

  • http://ingles.homeunix.net/ Ray Ingles

    rabbitscribe –

    The sensitivity training seems to me to be smart politics that will net them some votes, alas…

    No, it will not gain them votes. This is a purely defensive campaign. It is intended to avoid costing them votes.

    As has been noted many times on this site and elsewhere, there are several demographic trends working against Republicans, and especially against many key Republican policies. This is an attempt to staunch the bleeding from a particular wound.

  • timpayne

    Exactly so rabbitscribe @12. Ed’s statement sounds reasonable but is demonstrably false. A substantial majority of Texas women voted for Rick Perry in the last gubernatorial election, who relentlessly implements ghastly policies for women in an unoffensive way.

  • jamessweet

    Remember when they tried to have a sensitivity training session at like CPAC or something, and that one guy stood up and basically said, “Why SHOULD we be nice to minorities???” I don’t see this going well…

  • D. C. Sessions

    Case in point: my sister-in-law. Rural, fairly conservative, said flat out she wasn’t voting for any republicans until the GOP began respecting women’s rights on reproductive issues.

    Live by the wedge issue, die by the wedge issue. Reproductive rights (and racist dog whistles) were what the Republicans used to split off so many Midwestern populists, union members, etc.

    Karma is a bitch — especially on the “comes around” part.

  • D. C. Sessions

    I continue to be befuddled as to why women voluntarily remain members and congregants of institutions that discriminate against them and argue that being female is to be fundamentally flawed at birth relative to men, and therefore they’re deserving of second-class status. Fear of eternal suffering by their sky daddy perhaps?

    Or maybe just isolation. There’s a reason this is primarily a rural and suburban phenomenon: in small communities it’s possible to expel (or at least repel) disruptive influences. Not so in heterogeneous cities.

  • Michael Heath

    jamessweet:

    I don’t see this going well…

    Related validation: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/09/rand-paul-african-american_n_4409356.html

  • Wylann

    So, does this mean we can safely pronounce the speaker’s name the way it should be pronounced?

  • Childermass

    When they finish their sensitivity training can they then take a sex education seminar?

  • rabbitscribe

    Michael Heath #14 “rabbitscribe supposedly paraphrases Ann Coulter…”

    Coulter: “No law is ever going to require a woman to bear the child of her rapist. Yes, it’s every bit as much a life as an unborn child that is not the product of rape. But sentient human beings are capable of drawing gradations along a line.”

    http://www.humanevents.com/2012/11/07/ann-coulter-dont-blame-romney/

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    “So, does this mean we can safely pronounce the speaker’s name the way it should be pronounced?”

    You mean, “Fucking asshole”? Yeah, I’m good with that.