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Why Is This A Joke?

February 9, 2009

So a porn star is challenging David Vitter for his seat in the Senate.  As you’ll see it this segment, apparently, we’re all supposed to understand that this is a joke. 

I don’t get it.

I’d like the news media to explain why she’s not a “serious” candidate.

I’m all ears. Really. Does she have no policy chops? Does she lack formal education? Is she just dumb? Does she not actually want to run?

I’m all ears. Really. Obviously, there is political theater value to having a sex worker challenge Vitter, who patronized sex workers (notably the service run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who is dead under circumstances that make even the most trusting folks turn conspiracy theorist.) So I’m fine with the idea that she’s not a serious candidate, if there’s one good reason to believe she is not qualified. There may be many. But I didn’t hear any of them.

The media thinks they can say she does sex work and we’ll all infer that reason. I won’t. I’d like them to answer the damned question. Is she qualified, and if not, why not?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Nomen Nescio permalink
    February 11, 2009 10:38 pm

    considering some of the people currently serving in the senate, she’d almost have to be outright trying in order to do badly.

  2. marle permalink
    February 20, 2009 9:31 am

    Does the news have to be so gross when talking about her? “Now he could get a sampling of what he may have already sampled: an eyebrow-raising woman who’s paid to perform. Only this time, it could be at the ballot box.” And of course “pumped” and other stupid puns.

    She’s going to lose, though. Even if people weren’t prejudiced against sex workers (which they are) the senate is too high up for someone to jump to as their first political office. But if she wants to be in politics, I hope she runs for state legislature or something else, and works her way up to congress. We always need different perspectives in government.

  3. February 20, 2009 11:09 am

    Yeah, I think she lacks the resume altogether, and probably the interest. But the media should say that, instead of treating it as assumed that a sex worker can’t be a politician. Would it be that hard for them to just say “she is a political novice without even an organizing background or a stable fundraising base, so experts uniformly dismiss her candidacy”? Or even to say that her job would be a sticking point with both voters and endorsements. But to just treat it as assumed that a sex worker candidate is a joke strikes me as really wrong. If she were a sex worker with a law degree or MBA, with a history of policy org involvement, with a real issues platform, with a fundraising base, would that candidate be a joke too?

  4. February 22, 2009 3:58 pm

    Thomas — to answer your final question, yes, if the person were a current sex worker.

    As a former sex worker (stripper) with both a law degree and an MBA at the time I was stripping, it would have been completely inappropriate for me to run for anything. Being in a position in which you can be seen or paid for doing the things sex workers do compromises your authority and credibility. No matter how great ones resume and IQ are compared to the rival candidate.

    Based on Ms. Daniels’ publicity shot and the way she was recruited for the campaign, I don’t think it’s necessary for the article to discuss her political credentials. This is clearly, and sadly, a stunt. Her campaign pretty much admits that. And I say “sadly” because I don’t think sex workers are a joke, and I don’t think think a former sex worker who is willing to put on a fucking business suit for a publicity shoot and has the appropriate creds would be a joke as a candidate. But Ms. Daniels? She’s not a good basis on which to make your argument.

  5. February 23, 2009 10:25 am

    Octagalore, I think perhaps you’re not giving me enough credit. The post was titled “Why is this a joke?”, not “is this a joke?” I’m not a supporter of Daniels. I’m just engaged in media criticism here. I think they should be explicit about what it is that disqualifies her — not her background in sex work, but her lack of background in anything else. I want to hear them be explicit and not operate by implication.

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