On Tuesday morning, Secretary of State Chuck Hagel appeared before a Senate Armed Services committee hearing on the U.S. strategy against ISIS, but the real star of the show was anti-war activist group Code Pink. The group enjoyed widespread popularity on the Left during the Bush era, but since then, have even become an annoyance to many liberals, who saw the group's theatrics in a new light.
At Tuesday's hearing, several Code Pink members were escorted out of the hearing shouting anti-war slogans, including the group's founder, Medea Benjamin:
But then, things took a turn for the creepy when another protester, another young woman took the floor, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) quipped, "I always enjoy attention from this group," prompting another senator to shoot back, "I don't think she's old enough for you."
Yeah, I'm sure she has opinions about war and stuff, but look, dude, she's hawt! Check it out:
Gross. As if on cue, the protester shouts, "Shame on you, Senator McCain!" as she's led out. Paging critics of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: look how casually senators lapse into frat-boy sexism on camera.
Part of Code Pink's problem is that their protests draw the wrong kind of attention to issues of foreign policy and restraint, because their protests aren't always smart. From what I could make out, though, about three-quarters of what they were saying there made sense. U.S. intervention did lead to ISIS, and we do need smart senators, not smart bombs, and we do need a debate and a vote on this war. I don't agree with Code Pink's absolute opposition to military force, there should always be someone applying pressure from that direction.
Watching this spectacle, though, it's hard not to think about how a Code Pink would play out in the middle of an ISIS committee hearing. Probably not like this. One of the things that makes this country great is that people like Code Pink can protest wars, but some wars, not all wars, but some wars, are necessary to protect their right to protest every war.
The flap over Urban Outfitters' bloody Kent State sweatshirt is a reminder of just how far out of cultural relevance anti-war protest movements like Code Pink have become, but for a truly absurd demonstration of just how unbalanced things have become in this country, take a listen to how Sen. Carl Levin, a hippie-age Democrat, responds to one protester:
"You're acting very warlike, yourself!"
Yes, when will the terror of Code Pink end?
Update: Or maybe he said "I don't think she voted for you," and I need better headphones. My apologies to the unidentified Senator for the error, but still, notice how plausible it was that Senators would casually lapse into frat-boy sexism on camera. And why didn't she vote for him, because she's a woman, and can't figure out all those fancy levers?
Nevermind. Thanks a lot, Dave Weigel.