Reaction to "Sideshow Bob" Marshall's Offensive Remarks

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Here's a sampling of reaction, from both right and left, to Del. Bob Marshall's (R-Manassas) odious remarks that "disabled children are God's punishment to women who have aborted their first pregnancy."

*Waldo Jaquith writes that Marshall's latest remarks are "entirely consistent with his beliefs" (e.g., that pregnancy is "punishment for sex" and that birth control is a "perversion of God’s will that sex equal procreation"). Waldo adds that Marshall's attempt to "backpedal" by "blaming [Capital News Service] "is shameful" and that Marshall's remarks - "at his own press conference—were very clear." After noting that Marshall has alienated his right-wing base on this one, Waldo concludes that "this is the most serious self-inflicted wound—the only kind Marshall has ever experienced—in his political history."

*Conservative blog Hot Air writes that "Marshall certainly wasn’t representing my views" and that Marshall's "quote is likely to follow [him] the rest of his career — and rightly so."

*Shenandoah Valley blog Coarse Cracked Corn calls Marshall's comments an "absurd and cruel statement that lays bare his dark heart" and calls on Marshall to "immediately resign his office."

*Arch-conservative blogger Kilo says that Marshall's statement "has hurt many people," that his "shitty heartless apology" "falls short, way short," and that the "silence from [his] party" makes him "ashamed of being a Republican."

*The Staunton News Leader editorializes that they can't "ignore the comments made by state Del. Bob Marshall, R-Manassas, because we fear the harm if anyone actually were to believe him." The paper says that Marshall's "drivel" should be "discount[ed] the words of a madman," that "we are feeling punished, not by God, but by an elected official." In sum, "by spouting off against abortion, Marshall has managed to pass off dubious science, he's maligned women who have aborted their first child and cast a shadow over any mother of a disabled child."

*At science blog Pharygula, a professor of biology says that Marshall is "lying," that "[t]here is no evidence that abortion imposes long term risk of any kind on women or their subsequent children." Pharyngula adds, "[Marshall]'s confusing what he wishes were true with what is actually true."

*The Virginia Young Democrats and Young Democrats of America call for Marshall's resignation, writing that his attempted "apology does not correct what he has done," that Marshall "should be ashamed of himself," and that "[t]hese kinds of comments are deeply offensive and can absolutely not be tolerated from an elected official who claims to represent the public."

I agree, Marshall should resign, not just for this remark but for his past craziness, comparing the economic recovery package to "ankle African-Americans in the 1860s in this state," claiming that contraception turns "co-eds" into chemical Love Canals for these frat house playboys in Virginia," etc., etc. I also believe that other Republicans, certainly the Republican Party of Virginia and Rep. Frank Wolf - who has donated money to Marshall in the past - should be condemning his remarks and/or calling on him to resign. If not, as far as I'm concerned, it means they either a) agree with Marshall's remarks or b) don't care about the pain Marshall has caused. I guess we'll find out soon enough.