AOC Called Out Teenage McConnell Supporters Who Choked and Groped a Cut-Out of Her. “Team Mitch” Had a Predictably Awful Response.
Over the weekend, Mitch McConnell attended a local Kentucky event called the Fancy Farm Picnic. While he was getting booed by the crowd, his campaign team and supporters were tweeting out images of gravestones with McConnell’s opponents’ names on them and miming committing sexual assault on a lifesize cutout of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Pictured: seven young white men in “Team Mitch” T-shirts, gathered round a distressed looking cardboard @AOC, groping and kissing her. The caption, “break me off a piece of that.”
Future federal judges of America. pic.twitter.com/t877J7Pcye
— feminist next door (@emrazz) August 5, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez tweeted at McConnell, asking if the boys in that picture were on payroll or just big supporters that share his values?
Hey @senatemajldr – these young men look like they work for you.
Just wanted to clarify: are you paying for young men to practice groping & choking members of Congress w/ your payroll, or is this just the standard culture of #TeamMitch?
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 6, 2019
Kevin Golden, McConnell’s campaign manager, said that the boys do not work for the Senator, they’re just wearing “Team Mitch” shirts, which are, in fact, available on McConnell’s website for anyone with $30 and no sense of shame. However, other pictures of the boys at that event were shared by the official campaign Instagram account, the same official campaign that, over on Twitter, was sharing the gravestones picture.
Golden went on to fully dismiss the boys’ behavior, chalking it up to part of a larger perceived liberal agenda. “We’ve watched for years as the far-left media look for every possible way to demonize, stereotype, and publicly castigate every young person who dares to get involved with Republican politics.”
These people cannot conceive of a world in which “boys will be boys” is not an acceptable response to a group of young men pretending to choke and grope a Congresswoman, even one who has been open about the level of harassment and threats she’s received since taking office. They cannot fathom that this could actually matter to people as more than a political point, and that says a whole lot about them as humans.
When an action, a comment, a statement or a policy demeans women, harasses them, objectifies them, or dismisses them, and you say it’s just a joke, or it wasn’t intentional, or some other excuse, that doesn’t mean it’s not misogyny, it means you think misogyny is OK.
— feminist next door (@emrazz) August 6, 2019
Golden also dredged up an incident from 2009 in which an Obama speechwriter (Crooked Media’s Jon Favreau) and a friend groped a Hillary Clinton cutout at what appears to be a house party. “Team Mitch in no way condones any aggressive, suggestive, or demeaning act toward life-sized cardboard cut outs of any gender in a manner similar to President Obama’s speechwriting staff several years ago,” said Golden.
The implied defense here is basically If they could do it ten years ago then we can do it now. But guess what, no one is okay with Favreau having done that 10 years ago! It’s gross! It’s a gross thing to do. Which is probably why Favreau apologized to Clinton, something those “Team Mitch” boys haven’t done. And it’s probably why Favreau didn’t post the picture on a public social media account, which the boys did do–and with location tagging on, no less. (From what I can gather from this decade-old story, it sounds like someone else may have posted them to Facebook for just a few hours before they were removed.)
For what it’s worth, Hillary Clinton had a fantastic response to that picture a decade ago, which was to tell the Washington Post in response to a request for comment, that she “pleased to learn of Jon’s obvious interest in the State Department, and is currently reviewing his application.”
(via Mediaite, image: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)
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