She’s the 69-year-old speaker of the House of Representatives, second in the line of succession and the most powerful woman in U.S. history.
But when you see Nancy Pelosi, the Republican National Committee wants you to think “Pussy Galore.”
At least that’s the takeaway from a video released by the committee this week — a video that puts Pelosi side-by-side with the aforementioned villainess from the 1964 James Bond film “Goldfinger.”
The RNC video, which begins with the speaker’s head in the iconic spy-series gun sight, implies that Pelosi has used her feminine wiles to dodge the truth about whether or not she was briefed by the CIA on the use of waterboarding in 2002. While the P-word is never mentioned directly, in one section the speaker appears in a split screen alongside the Bond nemesis — and the video’s tagline is “Democrats Galore.”
The wisdom of equating the first woman speaker of the House with a character whose first name also happens to be among the most vulgar terms for a part of the female anatomy might be debated — if the RNC were willing to do so, which it was not. An RNC spokesperson refused repeated requests by POLITICO to explain the point of the video, or the intended connection between Pelosi and Galore.
These tactics are not, however, limited to the RNC. Right-wing talk-show host Jim Quinn has taken to calling the Speaker of the House “this bitch.” Former comedian Dennis Miller was on Fox News calling Pelosi a “shrieking harridan magpie.” Neal Boortz called her a “hag.” Media Matters had a report on Monday noting the attacks from various far-right media personalities — including Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and CNN’s Alex Castellanos — all of whom attacked the House Speaker, not over her remarks about the CIA, but because of their dissatisfaction with her appearance.
The Politico‘s report noted that these tactics are “bad politics.” Ann Lewis said, “It’s an attempt to demean your opponent, rather than debate them. If they’re serious that this is an issue of national security, then you’d think that one would want to debate it on the merits. It’s almost as if they can’t help themselves.”
I think it’s true that, politically, the right’s misogynistic attacks against Pelosi are insane. Conservatives think they have the Speaker on the run — why overreach and begin making sexist attacks?
Ultimately, though, political strategy isn’t nearly as important as basic human decency here. It’s a quality the right is lacking, and this recent pathetic display against Pelosi says far more about them than it does about the Speaker.