There are times when the level of inconsequential minutiae in politics turns into, well, a bitch session.
Last Sunday Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts wrote about the kookie nature of the Arizona legislature. In it she said, “To dekook Arizona, start with the state Republican Party.” GOP donor, Kathy Petsas, agreed, saying her party has “been hijacked” and should be wrenched back from ideologues.
One could reasonably argue the Arizona legislature, home of more than its fair share of kooks, is an ideolgue’s paradise. One could also argue the place needs a respite from the politinuts. Both are fair political game, even in the overheated environment that passes for public discourse these days.
So far, so good.
GOP spokesperson Shane Wikfors countered. He wrote in his blog that the women hadn’t even, “bothered to pick up the phone and call me or the Chairman and Kathy Petsas never made any attempt to provide any constructive criticism to the State Party,” he wrote. “Not surprisingly, I’ve never seen her come to the office to volunteer. Instead, Ms. Petsas ran off to Laurie Roberts and engaged her in a ‘bitch session.’
I’m not privy to whether Petsas and Roberts called or not. I also don’t know whether Pestas volunteers or even needs to volunteer. On the surface I think the call to toss the ideologues is “constructive”. But it doesn’t matter whether I do, I don’t live in Arizona. All of that may or may not be true, but none of it is what caused a kerfuffle this week. Instead, it was Wikfors use of the term, “bitch session”.
Many jumped on Wikfor and intimated that “bitch session” somehow implied he was referring to the women as bitches. That a bit of a stretch. The same sort of stretch that leads people to call Republicans, to a member, Nazis or people who voted against Barack Obama certified racists. To be sure there probably are some Nazis in elephant’s clothing and yup, I’m sure Obama didn’t poll well with the KKK. But, that sort of kookie hyperbole is part and parcel of the ideological behavior both sides use in spades – and not in the sense of black people, but in the sense of “to a considerable degree“.
The common use of “bitch session” is clear to anyone familiar enough with the American idiom to mean “complaining, griping, bitching, moaning, and gnashing teeth.” As clear as the term “gnashing teeth” doesn’t mean actual dentine grinding and moaning isn’t a reference to ghosts or orgasms.
Roberts agreed, telling Politico, “I don’t have any concern about the words. I’ve been called far worse.” Well, that’s sort of an agreement. That little dangler about being “called far worse” is the same sort of disagreeing agreement that those on the right use when they say Obama is American, but describe the question as “interesting”.
Look, there are plenty of things to ding politicians for on both sides. There are plenty of examples on both sides of people using words to say something they really want to say, but don’t have the courage to say.
If you want to say this whole affair isn’t about women’s issues, then say it – strong, unambiguously, and clearly. If you want to imply women are bitches, do it with your empty head held high and show the world just what a boob (no reference to the female anatomy) you truly are.
But either way, quitcher bitchin’.
Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks! More than politics, more than pop culture.