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Don’t Do It Like That

Surely we can have political debates without demeaning women

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US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. (Karen Beleier/AFP/Getty Images)

“Debbie does Radical Muslim Fundraiser,” reads a blogpost headline on Republican candidate Joe Kaufman’s campaign website, an obvious, if largely uncreative, allusion to the 1978 pornographic film Debbie Does Dallas. The post is about Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Jewish Democrat from Florida (and head of the Democratic National Committee), giving the keynote address at the annual banquet for Florida non-profit Emerge USA, which Kaufman calls a “radical Muslim group with ties to the Obama Administration.” According to the group’s website, Emerge USA encourages American Muslims to engage politically by voting and becoming active in local government. Kaufman, a Republican mounting a congressional campaign to unseat Wasserman Schultz, singles out Khurrum Wahid, a Florida lawyer and founding member of Emerge USA, who has defended individuals accused of terrorist acts, including Shahawar Matin Siraj, who in 2006 was convicted of a plot to blow up the Herald Square subway station. Wahid is on the board of the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews.

But let’s back up. Are people actually, in 2012, identifying a female politician by using a riff on a porn title? This is not the first time. In January, the Daily Caller featured a post titled, “The DC Morning: Debbie Does Caucus.” A January video posted on Weasel Zippers was titled “Debbie Does Class Warfare.”

You may well have a legitimate case to make. Why don’t you get back to us when you want to be taken seriously.

Debbie does Radical Muslim Fundraiser [Kaufman for Congress]
The DC Morning: Debbie Does Caucus [Daily Caller]
Debbie Does Class Warfare: People Doing Well Should Not Be Doing “Better”… [Weasel Zippers]

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UGH! Amen, Stephanie! I was traumatized by Debbie Does Dallas references all through elementary school, presumably by a population of people who had not seen the movie. Why the staying power of this stupid 1970s porno?

I would prefer Debbie Downer any day.

Bill Pearlman says:

Your really reaching on this one. Only older guys like me get the reference. Particularly in the computer age.

It’s idiocy at best; misogyny at worst. No excuses for this kind of gutter politics. But with Santorum throwing up regularly at American democratic principles like the separation clause and public education, it’s not a surprise.

Denis Kleinfeld says:

As Debbie Does Whatever, the focus should not be diverted to attack the form of the information but on the information that Debbie’s political view is to support the causes of Obama even if that means supporting terrorist Muslim front groups.
This is a typical example of the logical fallacy of diversion which people use to change the debate from one issue to soemthing entirely irrelevant. It reslly is insulting to me for Ms. Butnick to try and pull this one. Dallas Debbie did what she does and Washington Debbie does too.

@Denis Kleinfeld:

You didn’t read very carefully, did you? Ms. Butnick ends her report with:

“You may well have a legitimate case to make. Why don’t you get back to us when you want to be taken seriously.”

But in this case she chose to focus on the locker-room mentality that Joe Kaufman decided to use for his critique –

Sexist, demeaning, disrespectful, juvenalia.

So, Denis, do you prefer your politicians to argue their political positions based on the facts or do you prefer they use emotional,immature, lascivious language to sway people?

I know what I prefer, and it is maturity, and well thought-out arguments.

Phil N says:

There are two problems with this article. First, the attacks on Debbie Wasserman don’t come close in intensity or viciousness as the attacks on Sarah Palin. If one is worried about about sexist attacks on women start when your freinds do it. Otherwise it is just hypocracy. When it comes to vitriolic partisan attacks, Wasserman is an active participant. For her to hide behind her sex is both hypocritical and cowardly.

Morris says:

Mr.Butnick, Were you as disturbed about the foul attacks on Sarah Palin or Congress women Bachman ? what is wrong with Wasserman being critiqued by her opponent for one of her activities . It is for the voters to decide . What on earth has got to do with demeaning women?

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Don’t Do It Like That

Surely we can have political debates without demeaning women

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