“I grew up castrating hogs…”
This is the opening salvo from Republican Iowa state Senator Joni Ernst’s new ad, in which she proudly declares that of all of her many capabilities, the one she thinks will be most useful should you send her to DC is her ability to castrate pigs.
She promises to make Washington’s big spenders “squeal”! Snip snip.
“I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm, so when I get to Washington, I’ll know how to cut pork,” she said.
“My parents taught us to live within our means. It’s time to force Washington to do the same. To cut wasteful spending, repeal Obamacare, and balance the budget. I’m Joni Ernst and I approve this message, because Washington’s full of big spenders. Let’s make ’em squeal!”
Republican state Senator Ernst is fighting to stand out from the crazy in the race to replace retiring Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA).
Ms. Ernst is a proud, gun-toting “pro-lifer”, according to her campaign website. She explains her conservative cred – she walks around with a weapon and she thinks women should turn their medical decisions over to Republican politicians. Also, she can shoot an M16 so clearly she can legislate well.
“I have an “A” rating from the NRA, hold an Iowa concealed carry permit, and I actually do carry, and I have been Army qualified on the 9mm and M16.”
Indeed, all life is precious, except for pig life, obvs, “Joni believes life begins at conception… Joni opposes any taxpayer funding of abortion.”
Good thing Ms. Ernst has that M16 to fight the non-issue of taxpayers paying for abortions, since there is already a law about that in place that prohibits federal funding of abortions, and it’s been around for a long time. It’s called the Hyde Amendment, and it hurts low income women.
This is probably not the time to draw the logical conclusion re castration as a big help to the abortion rate, eh? It is much more civilized and actually works really well to simply provide access to affordable birth control. The rate of abortions has actually declined under President Obama.
If you’re wondering why the Republican thinks that castration is the winning flag to wave in her party, she’s trailing very far behind in a race with 6 (some crazy) Republicans. A Quinnipiac poll shows her trailing further behind now than she did in December of 2013 against Democrat Bruce Braley (42-29), who holds a 9 point lead over the closest GOP challenger.
… Braley holds a 9-point lead on the closest Republican challenger, businessman Mark Jacobs. No other GOP contender comes within 12 points of him. Former US Attorney Mark Whitaker trails 42-30 while State Senator Joni Ernst is behind by 13 points. Conservative radio host Sam Clovis is even further back, as he trails Braley by 15 points.
Normally, taking such obvious pleasure in castration would not be a wise move for a female politician, but Ms. Ernst is a Republican. For some reason Republican men are thrilled by Republican women who talk about castrating them, if Sarah Palin is any indication, so the reaction to Ms. Ernst’s castration glee might be better than expected. Surely part of the appeal is that it’s a non-threatening, masculinity-idolizing image — a mirroring of patriarchal power most satisfying in its narcissistic draw, as these Republican women support laws that in fact give men more power over women.
Were Hillary Clinton to make this ad — gleefully crowing over her ability to castrate the pigs in DC– the entire Right Wing of the Interwebs would implode with fear-driven rage and conspiracies. But it’s totally okay for a Republican woman to make castration the hook of her campaign, because the only people she really scares are the women whose rights she is trampling.
Ms. Ernst grew up castrating hogs, so surely she can do this federal legislating thing. How hard can it be?
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.