New Hampshire State Representative Kyle Tasker is not doing the Republican Party any favors. The GOP is trying to extricate itself from the shadow cast over it in 2012, when U.S. Senate candidates Todd Akin (MO) and Richard Mourdouck (IN) articulated misogynistic views towards rape that cost the party two key Senate seats. The Republican Party leadership continues to insist there is no war on women. However, the party’s indifference to sexual assault and domestic violence continues to haunt them each election cycle. New Hampshire State Representative Kyle Tasker seems to have missed out on the re-branding efforts of the party after he posted an explicit image on his Facebook page that makes light of domestic violence in a most offensive manner.
Tasker (R-Nottingham) posted an explicit graphic showing a male figure performing oral sex on a female figure, with the caption “50,000 battered women and I still eat mine plain” beneath it. The New Hampshire based Miscellany Blue web site captured a screen shot of the image. Tasker sent it to a fellow GOP lawmaker, Rep. Mark Warden (R-Goffstown), who came under fire last year for arguing that “a lot of people like being in abusive relationships”. No wonder it proves so difficult to get Republican lawmakers to sign onto to sensible legislation to prevent domestic violence. One need to only look at who is being elected to represent the GOP in state legislatures to see that the Republican Party still has a problem dealing with women’s issues in a respectful manner.
Tasker is not just careless with his Facebook page. The tea party affiliated lawmaker made news in 2012 when he fumbled one of the two loaded .45 caliber pistols he had on him, onto the State House floor during a criminal justice committee meeting. He brushed off the incident saying:
All I could think of was, it was bound to happen one of these days, I come here too often for that not to have happened.
In similar fashion, he was dismissive of the suggestion that his post joking about domestic violence was offensive. When asked if he thought the image might be inappropriate he responded:
Nah. I ran it by the [domestic violence] lobbyist she laughed. Now if we went around wearing the T-shirt that wouldn’t go over well.
Well, Kyle Tasker may think the joke is funny, but his constituents hopefully will not. The Republican Party needs to purge misogynist lawmakers from their ranks or be held accountable for their behavior. Representative Tasker’s misogynistic views should not be tolerated by the voters of New Hampshire. There is nothing funny about domestic violence. Elected officials who consider battered women punchlines for tasteless jokes should be removed from office, and replaced with more thoughtful and sensitive representatives who respect women.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.