Senator Barbara Mikulski made history as being the longest-serving woman in Congress, the first woman Democrat elected in her own right, and the first woman to wear pants on the Senate floor. On Monday, she announced her plans to retire in an appropriately badass fashion.
The Democrat from Maryland was a social worker and community organizer before she entered politics to become a member of Congress in 1975 and a Senator in 1986. She is known for her unapologetically liberal positions and has had the honor of being smeared (unsuccessfully) by her Republican opponent for her associations with a radical feminist lesbian.
WWJD? What Would Jesus Do? Well, according to former Governor and current Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.,) he would let his fiancee know it was over through a Facebook post heavily steeped in Christianity. He cites Jesus once, Christ twice, prayer twice, and “God” five times.
You may remember Mark Sanford from back in June of 2009 when, as governor, he went AWOL for six days. No biggie. His spokesman stated he had gone to hike the Appalachian Trail. But that wasn’t true. Or the spokesman is a big fan of sexual innuendo. Either way, it turned out Sanford had redeemed his frequent flyer miles and flown to Buenos Aires to spend some much-needed quality time away from his wife and children and with his girlfriend, journalist Maria Belen Chapur.
The fallout for Sanford wasn’t bad. Because only democrats get in trouble for infidelity even though they don’t legislate people’s love or sex lives, he remained governor. In 2012 the by now divorced Lothario became engaged to Chapur and in 2013 he won a special election for Tim Scott’s seat in congress.
It was infuriating and depressingly unsurprising to hear some of the sexist, inappropriate comments male members of Congress have made to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. As we learned last week, colleagues told the Senator she was pretty even when she was “fat” and urge her not to get “too porky.” But The Daily Show‘s take down of the Senate’s sexism will let you laugh and cry (Watch the full clip here).
Citing the “Don’t get too porky” comment on the one hand, and the “I like my girls chubby” on the other, Jon Stewart quipped “Even when it comes to shitty sexism, the Senate is gridlocked. They can’t get anything done.” He also remarked on the irony of congressmen and senators discussing Gillibrand’s appearance when they themselves “look, on a good day, like a bowl of dried fruit.”
Stewart was especially on-point in his critique of the people criticizing Gillibrand for not naming the men who made the comments. After a clip of conservative CNN contributor Ben Ferguson saying “you’ve got the guts to write about it. Have the guts to name names,” Stewart responds, “The grown-up version of the rich kid from every ’80s movies has a point…. Why wouldn’t the woman making a larger point about the general culture of Washington not turn this into a narrow personal attack on the people she sees at work every day?”
Stewart also shows a clip of Andrea Mitchell, saying that she knows from experience that there are some politicians you don’t want to be alone with in an elevator. He then reflects, “Right. We all have our stories about which person, elected by voters in their state to a six-year term, vested with the powers to advise, consent, and declare war, you would not trust in the three to five seconds it takes to go from two to L.”
The episode also looks at the responses expressed on the Fox News show Outnumbered, which range from “boys will be boys” to the claim that women embrace catcalls as flattering.
The Daily Show certainly won’t run out of material any time soon.