Keep it classy, Nolan
Detroit News editorial page editor and columnist Nolan Finley is known for his anti-Democrat, pro-corporate positions. His sharp-elbowed jabs at Democrats and liberals are part of his persona. However, his most recent effort to denigrate Democrats, in this case gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer and his running mate Lisa Brown, is beyond the pale, even for him.
Finley is typically derisive in his characterizations of Schauer and Brown, calling Schauer “colorless” (compared to Republican Governor Rick Snyder, Mark Schauer is vibrantly Technicolor) and Brown “confrontational” with a “reputation for snarkiness, if not downright rudeness”. He describes both of them as tax-and-spend liberals in the pocket of unions (despite the fact the Michigan Republicans have raised taxes on over half of Michigan taxpayers.) It’s classic rhetoric from a Republican water carrier.
But this bit is over the top even for Finley:
[Brown’s] confrontational style will give the ticket the spunk the colorless Schauer lacks, but won’t broaden his appeal. Brown could help bring in campaign cash, however. She’s still milking the vagina business, and is a minor celebrity among feminists.
Hoo boy. Where to start?
The entire flawed premise to Finley’s op-ed is that Lisa Brown is a rabidly far-left liberal. His proof? She supports reproductive rights for women. In Nolan Finley’s 1950s-era worldview, that’s extreme. Meanwhile, back in this century, a plurality of Michiganders oppose restricting women’s reproductive rights.
Finley fails to mention that the Republicans’ response to Lisa Brown’s floor speech where she dared mention her vagina was to call her and Barb Byrum children having a “temper tantrum” and “needing a time out”. Yet he portrays Brown’s vigorous pushback against restricting the rights of Michigan women to have access to safe, affordable, and LEGAL abortion services as too far left to be considered mainstream.
Given how it reflects the discriminatory attitudes of the middle of the 20th Century, his op-ed is a perfect contribution to Throwback Thursday.
This is the voice of the Michigan Republican Party today, even if it is coming from the mouth of a surrogate like Nolan Finley. Republicans may think that their attacks on women and their reproductive freedom will either be ignored or will help in them in November, but the reality is that women are watching. Even Republican women are tired of being relegated to second class citizenship under their patriarchal Party leadership. Lisa Brown is far more mainstream than our current crop of Throwback Republicans, despite Nolan Finley’s desperate desire to believe that the world hasn’t changed since he was in his prime.
I’m just going to let the whole “milking the vagina” thing go untouched, especially given the choice to use the word “spunk” in the same paragraph. That’s a rhetorical cesspool Finley can muck about in all by himself.
[Photo and graphic by Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog]