Comparing her office to the HBO show Veep, “with over-the-top backroom banter full of pique, self-regard, and vindictiveness,” Andy Kroll reveals the ugly underbelly of yet another Great Republican Hope, Governor Susana Martinez (R-NM) in yet another of Mother Jones tape bombs. Yeah, that spells trouble.
The tapes and emails gathered by Kroll unveil that “Martinez can be nasty, juvenile, and vindictive. She appears ignorant about basic policy issues and has surrounded herself with a clique of advisers who are prone to a foxhole mentality,” to the degree that he compares her to Sarah Palin.
And just like Sarah Palin, Martinez is no friend to women. Republicans thought they could trick women into voting for policies that were bad for them just because a woman was touting them, but that failed in 2008. On one of the audio clips, Martinez is heard referring to her opponent Denish as “that little b*tch.” Kroll writes, “After Denish noted that the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce had given her an award, McCleskey snapped, ‘That’s why we’re not meeting with those f*ckers.'”
Is it the Sopranos or Veep? Hard to tell.
Martinez is heard in another clip asking what in the Hell the state’s Commission on the Status of Women is. They are the people who keep track of things like pay equity and safety, which of course, after heaving mocking, Martinez defunded with a line item veto.
During an October 2010 campaign conference call, Martinez said she’d met a woman who worked for the state’s Commission on the Status of Women, a panel created in 1973 to improve health, pay equity, and safety for women.
“What the hell is that?” she asked.
“I don’t know what the f*ck they do,” replied her deputy campaign manager, Matt Kennicott.
“What the hell does a commission on women’s cabinet do all day long?” Martinez asked.
“I think [deputy campaign operations director Matt] Stackpole wants to be the director of that so he can study more women,” Kennicott said.
“Well, we have to do what we have to do,” McCleskey chimed in, as Martinez burst out laughing. (As governor, she would line-item veto the commission’s entire budget.)
So, this is the woman who is going to fool women voters into voting GOP, and proving there is no GOP War On Women, even though she just got busted dripping with contempt for issues that are as bipartisan as they come — (or should be) — like women’s safety. Scorn and contempt for women’s safety and pay equity? Tokenism fail.
Tokenism is making only a perfunctory or symbolic gesture towards the accomplishment of a goal, like using a female candidate to sell bad policies for women to women, or using a black candidate to get the black vote in spite of policies that hold the major concerns of minorities in contempt. It is the practice or policy of making no more than a token effort or gesture.
Martinez was supposed to lead the Republican party forward. Her PAC raised $210,800 in the past six months, with the oil and gas industry contributing heavily. In case it’s not clear yet, Donald Rumsfeld contributed $10,400. So while she claims that she used to be a Democrat (a claim Palin flirted with before settling on calling secessionism the “Independent Party”), she clearly wasn’t a Democrat because she had an understanding and appreciation for the platform.
Martinez’s 2012 Republican Party convention speech was widely hailed as very important, as she laid out a blueprint for the party to appeal to blacks and Latinos (don’t ask me, I didn’t write that; the party can’t appeal to a majority of the people it has open contempt for policy wise).
Republicans keep confusing tokenism with inclusion, and wondering why the people they have policy contempt for don’t fall for it. Martinez caught on tape hating on women is a perfect example of what women sensed about Sarah Palin, even before her policy positions confirmed it. So too, blacks and Latinos are not fooled by tokens.
These tapes, and you must go listen to them, say everything about why the Republican Party is in such trouble right now. This high school band of bullying know-nothings are the best of the GOP.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
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 has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.