JD Vance, Married A-Hole ... With Children
Ohio GOP Senate candidate JD Vance has not only embraced Donald Trump but he's apparently adopted Dear Leader's campaign style of suggesting things so patently absurd (e.g. the Muslim ban) that the media feels obligated to treat them seriously, rather than just pointing and laughing.
Friday, during a conference hosted by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Vance attacked Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other members of the so-called “childless left," whom he blames for everyone's problems, perhaps including why he always looks constipated when he speaks.
"Why is this just a normal fact of … life, for the leaders of our country to be people who don't have a personal and direct stake in it via their own offspring?" Vance asked Friday at an Alexandria, Va. conference hosted by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute[.]
It's obviously tacky and gross to directly link a politician's ability to serve their constituents with their personal family planning. Of course, Republicans are the tacky and gross party. Vance is simply signaling for the MAGA crowd. We're not going to bother linking to data confirming that Democrats also have kids. Unlike the GOP's 2016 “Don't Vote For The Woman" platform, Vance's bigoted remarks aren't even based on a true premise. President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are all parents, and they have enough stories about their grandchildren to bore all of us in conversation.
Of the current members of the so-called “Squad," only Ocasio-Cortez is childless (and free, free, FREE! ... er excuse me). She's also 31, so she's not exactly out of the ballgame. Vance also claimed Vice President Kamala Harris, Senator Cory Booker, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg were joining Ocasio-Cortez in stoking “cultural wars," even though Vance's entire campaign so far is culture war rhetoric. It's like he's running to replace Rush Limbaugh, not retiring Ohio GOP Senator Rob Portman.
Harris is a stepmother and reportedly nothing at all like Lady Tremaine from Cinderella. Booker is single without children, and Buttigieg, who's gay, is married but doesn't have kids yet. However, Pete and his husband, Chasten, are planning to expand their family “soon," so go fuck yourself, Mr. Vance.
None of this is relevant to anything, and it should piss you off that Vance made these crap statements in public. But he didn't stop there. Vance also suggested that maybe parents should have extra voting power.
"The Democrats are talking about giving the vote to 16-year-olds," Vance said.
Sure, 16-year-olds can legally drive, so that's not an unreasonable position.
Instead, he said, "Let's give votes to all children in this country, but let's give control over those votes to the parents of the children."
That is perhaps one of the most insanely idiotic things we've ever heard. Maybe Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema could negotiate a bipartisan compromise where exploited children would receive 3/5ths of a vote that their parents could control.
Naturally, the usual gang of idiots at Fox News thought this was a great plan. On Sunday's "Fox & Friends," co-host Will Cain said:
CAIN: I think it's an interesting idea. I'm into interesting ideas. Let's think about it. Let's talk about it. [Vance] saying childless leaders are making decisions that are short-term in mind, not focused on the long-term future health of this country because they don't have a stake in the game. Parents have a stake in the game, they have children so give parents a bigger say.
California is on fire again, and Republicans are the ones with the "smoke 'em while you got 'em" approach to climate change. Meanwhile, childless spinster Ocasio-Cortez has advocated for a long-term solution to the crisis, even if it means short-term sacrifices, such as Joe Manchin making slightly less money off coal.
The kids from Stoneman Douglas High also seem more interested in a future without regularly scheduled school shootings than Republicans with a house full of kids and a campaign war chest filled with NRA donations.
Co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy offered some particularly vile thoughts:
CAMPOS-DUFFY: I don't know about that solution, that seems not feasible. But I will say that I agree with the premise of it, that it is absolutely true that people like AOC, Pete Buttigieg — you can name the left-wing politicians, people who think that we should legalize marijuana because they don't have kids and they don't really have a stake in what that looks like. I agree with him 100 percent that they don't have a stake in the game.
People like Pete Buttigieg? Oh fuck you.
No one supports legalizing marijuana just because they don't have kids yet and haven't personally starred in an “ABC Afterschool Special." Al Gore, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama, Kirsten Gillibrand, and even Dana Rohrabacher are just some of the many parents who support either decriminalization of marijuana or outright legalization. Campos-Duffy, however, has nine kids and is just as willfully ignorant and closed-minded as she was when she fooled around with Puck on “The Real World."
She is correct, though, that Vance's proposal isn't feasible on any legal or moral basis. If people have an issue with the decisions politicians make, the answer in a functioning democracy is to vote them out of office. Don't go around saying that certain Americans are less capable of making responsible choices for the nation based solely on their background. It's repulsive, and the latest new low from Vance. We doubt it's the last.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."