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Stupid Wife Jokes Are Sadly the Least Stupid Thing Romney Has Said

By Amanda Marcotte
Tuesday, September 25, 2012 13:53 EDT
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Yesterday, I was briefly sucked into the story claiming Mitt Romney didn’t know that there’s a good reason you can’t open airplane windows, but upon hearing the actual joke on tape, I’m now annoyed at liberals who are running with this. You can tell from the tape that he’s joking. Yes, the implication of the joke was ugly and involved his wife getting sucked out an airplane window, but I hate to break it to everyone, “take my wife, please” jokes are part of Romney’s stump speech. Casual misogyny circa 1955 is what passes for cutting edge humor with Republicans. Don’t take my word for it, but watch this speech:

I’m not a big fan of jokes that work on the premise that spouses are at war with each other—nothing irritates me more than people who use cake-cutting at a wedding as an opportunity to smash the cake in each other’s faces, for instance—but this stuff really gets ‘em in more misogynist circles, so I’m not really surprised. I’d like to see this linked to his anti-woman policy stances more, if this is going to be a story.

But what Romney did say in all sincerity that hasn’t been getting more attention but should is this:

This is Romney trotting out a weird right wing talking point that has been pushed by folks like Rush Limbaugh since at least the Clinton era:

Well we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance. If someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care.
And different states have different ways of providing for that care.

This statement is idiotic coming from any random person, but it’s particularly stupid coming from someone whose wife has a chronic illness, as Ann Romney does. The notion that the only medical care people really need is the kind you get in emergency rooms should fold the second you give a moment’s thought to it. Does the E.R. have “emergency” chemo for your cancer? Do they have “emergency” insulin for you diabetes? Is Romney really saying that the “best” solution for any state is to let diabetics only get care if they go into a diabetic coma?

This entire thing is so stupid that it’s surprising that it has salience even for conservatives. I imagine the only reason it does is they resent laws requiring emergency rooms to save people’s lives in the first place. When someone says, “Well you can just go to the E.R.,” what they’re saying is, “What are bitching for? They have to keep you alive after you have a heart attack, which is more than you really deserve.”  To see that kind of nastiness spun out as a reason to not have health care reform focused on getting insurance to everyone while controlling costs is particularly outrageous.

So, please: Misogynist airplane jokes are offensive nonsense, but this is really the clip you need to putting out there with “WTF?!” attached to it.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
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