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The Pope Calling the Kettle Black
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is refusing to apologize for calling Democrats who oppose his tough state budget "girlie men," a label foes say is sexist and homophobic.
The action film star turned politician made the remark Saturday as he told a shopping-mall crowd that the Democrats didn't have "the guts" to turn down the threats of special interest groups such as unions and trial lawyers.
Schwarzenegger slammed for 'girlie men' remark, CBC News, July 20, 2004
"He's the girlie man," said Mr Bailey, holding a drawing of state governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wearing a bikini. "I passed him in the Capitol a couple of weeks ago and he had on more makeup than an anchorman."
Girlie men were propelled into the political spotlight by the macho movie star turned Californian governor on Saturday when he addressed an audience to explain why the state had gone more than two weeks without a budget.
Democratic legislators, he charged, were obstructing the passage of the $103bn (£55bn) budget because they were beholden to "special interests: the unions, the trial lawyers ... I call them girlie men."
The jibe, like so many of Schwarzenegger's more memorable political lines, is the product of his showbiz career. A regular skit on the television programme Saturday Night Live featured two comedians as bulging bodybuilders complete with spoof Austrian accents who derided those without the correct musculature as wimps and "girlie men".
The humour, however, did not translate politically. "It uses an image that is associated with gay men in an insulting way, and it was supposed to be an insult," said state senator Sheila Kuehl. "That's very troubling that he would use such a homophobic way of trying to put down legislative leadership." Another Democrat, assemblyman Mark Leno, like Ms Kuehl a member of the legislature's gay, bisexual and transgender caucus, said the comment was "as misogynist as it is anti-gay ... To disparage a group of law abiding tax paying citizens is just wrong."
Dan Glaister, 'Girlie men' jibe backfires on Arnie, The Guardian, July 20, 2004
Well, if you believe State Senator Sheila Kuehl that homos are 'girlie men', then the GOP's resident 'girlie men' fought back today as Log Cabin California issued the following statement:
“The Governor’s use of the term ‘girlie man’ was not a slur aimed at the gay and lesbian community and Senator Kuehl knows that”, Bissiri stated. “Where was her outrage when the Bustamante campaign referred to candidate Schwarzenegger as a ‘sissy’ for not agreeing to an endless series of debates?” Bissiri added. “As tax paying Californians, members of Log Cabin Republicans are offended by some State Legislators’ desire to distract us from their own negligence on the State Budget with frivolous accusations of homophobia. Log Cabin agrees with Governor Schwarzenegger that our elected representatives should focus on representing their constituent’s best interests and make the hard choices necessary to restore fiscal order,” Bissiri concluded.
Go get 'em Jeff!
Boi from Troy, GOP'S 'Girlie Men' Respond to Homophobic Remarks, http://boifromtroy.com/, July 19, 2004
California Democrats and left-leaning gay activists are up in arms over a quip last weekend by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of the most pro-gay governors in the nation (just how many top Democrats have gone on national TV and said they have "no problem" with legal gay marriage?).
In a speech about the state's stalled budget, Schwarzenegger joked of the Democrat-controlled legislature: "[i]f they don't have the guts to come up here in front of you and say, 'I don't want to represent you, I want to represent those special interests, the unions, the trial lawyers' ... if they don't have the guts, I call them girlie men." [...]
[...] For his part, Schwarzenegger now says the legislators are "acting like children" (whoops, call out the Children's Defense League) in order to protect the trial lawyers, unions and other special interests who are dug in at the Capitol "like Alabama ticks" (let's add the ASPCA and the Alabama Cultural Heritage Committee to the list of offendees).
Steve Miller, The Anti-Arnolds Take Offense, The Independent Gay Forum, July 19, 2004