If there were a Sexism Hall Of Fame-- and, if there were, who wouldn't buy a Sexism Hall Of Fame spoonrest from the gift shop?-- Arlen Specter would be inducted into the 2010 class.
In a moment that can only be compared to Sean Connery's infamous "Sometimes, it's okay to schlap a woman" gaffe, the former Republican, now Democrat, soon to be unemployed, Senator from Pennsylvania, threw a testosterone-fueled hand grenade at Rep. Michele Bachmann when he said during a radio debate, "I'll treat you like a lady. Now act like one."
Apparently, Specter is now caucusing with the chauvinists.
Bachmann, who must have thought she was in an episode of "Mad Men", miraculously kept her cool. Specter, who no doubt drives a hybrid wayback machine, unbelievably lobbed the L-word a second time.
Again, Bachmann would only say, "Well, I am a lady."
Specter has since left messages on Bachmann's answering machine asking her for forgiveness. I'm guessing his apology was accompanied by a little heavy breathing.
Bachmann, ever the lady, has accepted.
Of course, had Bachmann been a Democrat and Specter still an evil Republican, this whole episode would have played out very differently.
Keith Olbermann would have named Specter The Worst Person In The World. Claire McCaskill would have appeared on the Sunday talking head shows, demanding that Specter's resign or at least subject himself to sensitivity training. Michelle Obama would have invited Specter and Bachmann to the White House for a Chardonnay Summit.
Rage Against The Machine would have appeared on the Grammy's wearing Arlen Specter with a Hitler mustache T-shirts.
Janeane Garofalo would have exploded.
But, since our "victim" is an R and the "offender" a recently-converted D, any and all criticism came from the right. In fact, even some left-leaning babes, defended him.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, "I was angry with him over the Thomas-Hill hearings," said former State Sen. Connie Williams of Montgomery County. "But I forgave him, because of all he has done for women on every other front. In supporting the Violence Against Women Act, choice, NIH funding, equal pay, and other concerns, Arlen Specter has been there for the women of Pennsylvania."
Yes, Arlen Specter is there for the women of Pennsylvania. As long as they act like ladies.