We were getting a little tired of reading about the many ways in which Mitt Romney screwed up his response to the tragic attack on the US embassy in Libya when we noticed yet another case of a prominent politician making the very worst of an already terrible situation by uttering an unnecessary and ignorant statement about rape.
Quick summary: After the release of an inflammatory anti-Islam video in Libya, the US embassy tried to put a damper on local outrage by issuing a statement disapproving of the film’s obvious attempts to rile anger by insulting what happens to be one of the world’s largest–and touchiest–religions. Violent tragedy ensued, and Romney tried to recast the embassy’s statement as an example of the Obama administration sympathizing with terrorists. Again, the White House didn’t release the statement in question, and nobody said anything to indicate that they blamed the anonymous filmmakers more than the actual perpetrators of this horrific attack. Ugh.
Everyone now agrees that this was a major PR fail, but Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, who apparently didn’t get the memo about awful rape-related quotes being totally out of style this season, tried to defend Romney’s sentiments by spewing this not-at-all-awkward collection of words out of his mouth:
“It’s like the judge telling the woman who got raped, ‘You asked for it because of the way you dressed.’ OK? That’s the same thing. ‘Well America, you should be the ones to apologize, you should have known this would happen, you should have done — what I don’t know — but it’s your fault that it happened.’ You know, for a member of our State Department to put out a statement like that, it had to be cleared by somebody. They don’t just do that in the spur of the moment.”
Yes, Senator, the American embassy clearly meant to tell the public that the violence that would almost certainly occur in the wake of the video’s release was their own fault. Kyl took an already disgusting sentiment about women “asking for it” and applied it to a completely unrelated tragedy in a tasteless way! Congratulations sir–you have made one of the stupidest PR moves in an already crowded week!
We ask again: Do these guys not think before they speak? Do their wives not slap some sense into them?