Anyone watch the Tammy Duckworth/ Mark Kirk debate last night? Anyone? Hello, is this thing on? Well, let me tell you, you missed something. You want to know how the Republican party got to Trump? Look no further than Mark Kirk. Kirk, for all intents and purposes, is Trump’s more restrained brother. He is the friendly face that Republicans put forward to hide the rot just beneath the surface. Kirk dropped that friendly face last night.
Really, you should go watch it (part 1) (part 2) (part 3). It’s only 90 minutes and the recording kind of sucks at points, but still worth it. What better do you have to do? If you want an object lesson on what white male privilege, look no further. Here are some notes to watch for:
He actually cuts Duckworth off in the middle of her answer when she’s saying that his stroke does not disqualify him from being a Senator. Well, the stroke doesn’t, but your rudely interrupting for no reason certainly should. He does this throughout. It was also weird how he was always looking away from her when she talked. Not sure what’s up with that. He also mocked Duckworth’s family’s immigration story. That’s probably when he’s most Trump-like and what should cause him the most harm. One thing that will probably not get much traction, but should, is Kirk’s mocking dismissal of Duckworth’s plan for free college tuition and its $60 billion price tag which he compares to the moon landing which cost $25 billion. This shows a criminal ignorance of inflation. NASA says that it would cost $104 billion to send someone to the moon today. He either doesn’t understand transgenderism or is uncomfortable talking about it because he switches to gay rights when asked about transgender protections. “She is so arrogant” before getting cut off for speaking out of turn. Again, visions of Trump dance in my head. Another telling moment is when Kirk refers to “real Republicans and real Democrats” implying that Duckworth is not. Duckworth’s expression when Kirk asks if she’d go to 23 and Me to verify that nominees fit the check boxes that she wants is priceless. The whole “can’t we just find the best person for the job” is so ignorant. Yes, we should, but there is no such thing as “the best”. There are a bunch of people equally qualified and wanting to find an equally qualified Asian woman for the Supreme Court instead of a white male is just common sense. He interrupts the one female panelist when she’s asking a question about Congressional approval ratings.
You can see in Kirk the steady march to Trump. He is so dismissive of Duckworth in both mannerism and speech. Kirk doesn’t by any means represent the beginning of the march to Trump, but he is indicative of how we got to where we are today.
And wow is Duckworth polished. “Families like mine are the ones who bleed first” when talking about letting people know the costs of war is one of the best line I’ve heard in a long time. I also liked “if you need a high capacity magazine to go hunting, you’re a very bad hunter.”
As an aside, it would be awesome to see an ad campaign featuring “The Trump Doesn’t Fall Too Far From The Tree” which highlights Trump apples falling off the tree while spouting his brand of nonsense and then other Republican candidates spouting the same nonsense while falling off the tree as well.