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In Mass, Brown Dismisses Ugly Remark at Rally

January 19, 2010

As Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley hopes for a historic win today in the race for the seat held for 47 years by the late Ted Kennedy, a video is circulating of her opponent Scott Brown pausing and smiling after his supporter yells “shove a curling iron up her butt” during a campaign rally. The disgusting comment references a horrifying toddler rape case the Brown camp accuses Coakley of being too slow to prosecute. As’s Linda Lowen points out, not only does Brown fail to challenge such violent and hateful language, but the crowd gives no reaction – signaling a disturbing comfort with public sexism. Some media are speculating that Scott Brown’s apparent smirk signifies a virtual endorsement of the comment, and could be a game-changer for the election, even as right-wing commentators have repeatedly skewed Martha Coakley’s remarks in efforts to undermine her campaign. Regardless of the outcome, Brown’s dismissal of such an inappropriate and hateful exclamation brings the political discourse to a new low. We’re used to sexist commentary from certain other public speakers,  but a candidate for national office should know – and think – better.