The Dumbest Thing I Heard This Week

Could the winner this week be anything other than GOP Chair Reince Priebus comparing women to caterpillars? Priebus, who took over as GOP Chair in 2011 after the party realized that they’d let the relatively reasonable Michael Steele hold the office and therefore mobilized for change, was trying to downplay the “GOP War on Women” meme. Instead he made a controversy that will last through the next few days.

Rather than argue that a few fringe comments from non-elected officials (i.e. Limbaugh) do not define the party, or that Rick Santorum does not speak for the “big tent” of the GOP, or even shift the debate by arguing that women really care about the economy, Priebus claimed that the entire controversy is a media creation driven by Democratic messaging. While this claim would be laughable enough, Priebus decided to push beyond calling this a media conspiracy and say:

if the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars, and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we’d have problems with caterpillars.

[In fairness, looking at how the GOP resistance to infrastructure spending has led to 13.1% unemployment among skilled construction workers, they probably are waging a “War on Caterpillars“)

People use analogies to explain complex arguments. Unfortunately, because no analogy is 100% in sync with the argument being explained, the speaker always risks carrying undesirable baggage into the discussion. In this instance, that “baggage” was comparing over half the population to an insect — a trifling creature that no one should realistically believe the GOP would care about enough to launch a war against. Bravo Reince.

Given how straightforward the “liberal media conspiracy” argument is to make, what possible purpose did Priebus see in employing an analogy in the first place. And this isn’t the first analogy-based misstep for Priebus, who took the opportunity to say that the economy has struggled under President Obama and decided to compare the President to the negligent cruise captain whose actions killed over 30 people. Oh, Reince…

His missteps succeed only in fueling the fires he attempts to put out. It’s enough to make me wonder he’s actually a performance artist on par with Sasha Baron Cohen. After all, “Reince Priebus” is no more or less believable than “Borat Sagdiyev.”

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