Fun fact: did you know that Savage's real name is Michale Alan Weiner and he holds a Ph.D. from the UC Berkeley in epidemiology and nutrition and masters degrees in medical botany and medical anthropology. How an obviously intelligent individual like that can spew such hatred and vitriol on a daily basis boggles my mind. But I digress.
Today's episode of vitriol and hate comes to us via Media Matters, where, on his nationally syndicated radio show, he had this to say:
Weren't we told before Barbara Boxer became a U.S. senator, before Dianne Feinstein became a U.S. senator, before Hillary Clinton became a U.S. senator, that when women became senators, we'd have a kinder, gentler Senate, a more compassionate Senate? Well, I think the results are quite clear. The Senate is not kinder and gentler or more compassionate. In fact, it's more vicious and more histrionic than ever, specifically because women have been injected into the Senate.I've been told that when Savage was a child his mother used to hold his head under the bath water for extended periods of time, but that's just what I've been told and it would certainly explain an awful lot of him.
Now, understanding that engaging a demagogue like Savage is about as useful (and painful) as a using a cheese grater to shave one's legs, I'll go ahead and take a swing at it anyway. I will not actually comment on the gist of his argument - that the Senate is meaner with women in it - because there would be no point. It's a dumb thing to say, period.
What I would like to engage is the final sentence where he states, "In fact, it's more vicious and more histrionic than ever, specifically because women have been injected into the Senate." The second I read this, my brain perked up as I recalled an incident involving an actual assault involving comments made about "the peculiar institution" and insulting a Senate colleague. In May 1856 Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts was bludgeoned nearly to death by South Carolina congressman Preston Brooks. Wikipedia, as always, has the goods. Let's see, it's 1856. Women won't even be allowed to vote for another sixty years, much less run for Congress, but here we have the most heinous act of viciousness ever to take place in the hallowed halls of the institution. As if his argument even needed debunking, well here it is.
Oh, and if you want to fast forward to today's Congress, I can think of a particularly nasty incident off the top of my head - like when DICK Cheney told Patrick Leahy to"go fuck yourself" on the floor of the Senate back in June of 2004. Funny, I didn't see Boxer or Feinstein or Clinton around for that exchange.