Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 4, 2011

PAT ROBERTS TALKS UP 'PRETTY HOT DEMOCRATS'.... I have no idea what he could have been thinking.

At a Finance Committee hearing on Tuesday, Sen. Pat Roberts (R., Kan.) was questioning a panel of experts on the tax code's fairness. To kick off his questions, Mr. Roberts jokingly said he was conferring an "honorary doctorate of economics" on each of the four witnesses.

One of the witnesses, Aviva Aron-Dine, actually is a Ph.D. candidate in economics at MIT. Making nice with the senator, she said she appreciated the conferral of a degree, because she wouldn't mind getting hers a couple of years early.

"I always heard a Ph.D. was a pretty hot Democrat," Mr. Roberts replied.

"Pretty ... sorry?" Ms. Aron-Dine responded.

"Somebody asked me what a pretty hot Republican was, and they said, 'Nothing,'" Mr. Roberts continued. "So, you know, it's an equal deal." Then he went on with his questioning.

Pat Roberts isn't exactly known for being the Senate's classiest and most dignified member, but what possessed him to say these things out loud?

The senator's spokesperson later said, "He means hot as in partisan or 'fired up.'"

Really? That's the defense?

Since when is a Senate Finance Committee hearing an appropriate venue for locker-room jocularity and making young professional women feel uncomfortable?

Steve Benen 9:10 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (23)

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I don't know what he was doing conferring degrees. Everyone (Well, every Republican) knows that education makes you dumb.

Posted by: bignose on May 4, 2011 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

There's no fool like an old fool.

Someone check "V" pharmaceutical word prescription. I think he may be taking more than the prescribed amount.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on May 4, 2011 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, it's like Robertson was speaking some entirely different language that just sounded like English.

Or that he was a clod.

Posted by: zandru on May 4, 2011 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

Let it pass. He was just thinking out loud with his eyeballs! Though he should be careful not to salivate next time! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on May 4, 2011 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

Because everyone knows that anyone with a degree is necessarily interested in partisan politics.


Posted by: Kill Bill on May 4, 2011 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

But Pat Roberts had a point. Most PhDs, scientists etc. are indeed Democrats, because the most educated people know that the right-wing perspective is so wrong on so many fronts. But in gender context, it looked bad ...

Posted by: Neil B on May 4, 2011 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

My senator. Lucky me. I hope Kathleen Sebelius comes home to run against him after she wraps this health care thing up. We miss her.

Posted by: Gretchen on May 4, 2011 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

So what exactly is the joke there? I mean, assuming that Roberts was not just being a leering jerkoff, what is the joke about PhD meant to communicate? PhDs tend to be "fired up" Democrats? Huh? Does that make any sense to anybody here?

Posted by: brent on May 4, 2011 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

"He means hot as in partisan or 'fired up.'"

Sure he does.

Just like he believes Milf means 'Moro Islamic Liberation Front'.

Posted by: Oh my on May 4, 2011 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

Why does this shit fly as recourse? This is what is tearing America apart. Ol' Douchey doesn't see it here though, he's got to look and sound "cool" because of course, it's all about him and his party's filthy harpy barking.

Posted by: Trollop on May 4, 2011 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK


Pretty Hot Democrat

Ha Ha Ha

Posted by: agave on May 4, 2011 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

"Thank you Senator and you are one of my favorite DAR's"

That is Dumb Ass Republicans.

Posted by: SW on May 4, 2011 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Aviva Aron-Dine is a good economist but sorry - the word "hot" isn't exactly how I would characterize her. Then Republicans go ape over Sarah Palin (ugh).

Posted by: pgl on May 4, 2011 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Correct, Agave. It's just a stupid aside, not "locker room jocularity." Next topic.

Posted by: beejeez on May 4, 2011 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

He's right- we Ph.D.s are pretty hot Democrats.

Posted by: Redleg on May 4, 2011 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

She should have got up and left.

Posted by: Wayne on May 4, 2011 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

The depressing thing about incidents like this is that one knows that they don't hurt the politician concerned with his voters or his paymasters. It's a constituency that thrives on the constant reinforcement of crude prejudices.

Posted by: davidp on May 4, 2011 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

My wife doesn't have a Ph.D. but she is a PHD

Posted by: Ken on May 4, 2011 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Ahhh... another Republican whose comments are not intended to be factual.

Posted by: mmm on May 4, 2011 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

That's nothing compared to the members of Congress that repeatedly asked Anita Hill the same questions over and over again while one hand was busy under the table.

Posted by: Schtick on May 4, 2011 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

I just googled her. I was very surprised.

And what does this mean?

'"Somebody asked me what a pretty hot Republican was, and they said, 'Nothing,' So, you know, it's an equal deal."'

Was it meant to be insulting? Forget that, is it even meant to be English?

Posted by: bryan on May 4, 2011 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

And next I'll bet we hear "the comment will be scrubed from the transcript" so that we can't have any printed form of the comment in the future!

Posted by: g'moms on May 4, 2011 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Yuck - Skeletor making a move. He's like a cross between Foley and Packwood. Even worse, he's got a whole taxpayer-funded staff to come out with a Kyl-like, not-a-factual-statement statement to keep people from seeing the obvious but ugly implications of what Boss Skeletor did. How many professional women work for him, I wonder?

Posted by: wesfromga on May 6, 2011 at 2:59 AM | PERMALINK
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