Last year, Trump’s appointee to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was caught buying tobacco stock while at the office, which oversees anti-smoking efforts. Sticking to the pattern, he recently tapped a coal lobbyist to run the Environmental Protection Agency.
Trump’s latest jaw-dropper is his pick of former Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch to head the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, created by Congress to lead commemorative and educational efforts over the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote, which became the law of the land in 1920.
Kleefisch, a former television reporter, served eight years as lieutenant governor under Governor Scott Walker before losing re-election in November.
While campaigning last fall, she accused her rival, Mandela Barnes, of kneeling during the national anthem, which he had not done. Kleefisch ended up apologizing for this baseless charge and Barnes went on to become the state’s first African American lieutenant governor.
Kleefisch has a history of such remarks. During the 2012 recall election, her campaign wrote that gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Falk “got a sugar daddy” and became “beholden to union bosses” and their “big strong arms” when they endorsed her campaign.
At the time, Rachel Maddow joked, “Apparently labor unions are pimps now. Good to know. So that makes Kathleen Falk . . . what, exactly?”
Kleefisch also once said same sex marriage was a “slippery slope” toward people marrying dogs and worse: “This is a slippery slope in addition to that—at what point are we going to OK marrying inanimate objects? Can I marry this table, or this, you know, clock? Can we marry dogs? This is ridiculous.”
She later issued a non-apology apology saying, “My comments were meant to relay my concern with redefining marriage. I never intended to sound insensitive.”
Who’d imagine that comparing marrying someone you love to marrying a clock would sound insensitive?
Another time, Kleefisch told an audience of supporters that she wasn’t like other television reporters, giving an example of an actual story she once did of children—who she intimated were African American—suffering from lead paint poisoning.
“Most reporters would see them as victims,” Kleefisch said, but to her they “were not victims” because although their landlords had peeling lead paint in their apartments, the kids had “name brand” sneakers, a gaming system, and a big screen TV:
“While they saw a victim and while they saw a government solution for this problem, as a conservative, I saw someone that had a choice,” Kleefisch explained. “I believe everyone has a choice . . . . So when you see a story, and you feel it has a slant on it, it may come from one of the people that saw that differently, one of the people that saw those folks as victims.”
Back in 2009, Kleefisch waxed hysterical over the fact that Obama’s EPA was following court orders to regulate greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, which human beings exhale.
“I’m out in all the global warming today, poisoning the world with my breath,” Kleefisch stated. “No, it doesn’t stink, I’ve brushed, I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the fact that the EPA says what I breathe out is poison to the world. Instead of the rumored death panels of Obamacare, they could just regulate people’s breathing, it would be like a two-for-one deal!”
Do the math! Death panels for everyone!
Here’s the kicker, though, in terms of her unfitness for a post to commemorate women’s suffrage. Back in 2012, the year that Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a “slut” for using birth control and U.S. Representative Todd Akin claimed that “legitimate rape rarely leads to pregnancy,” Kleefisch proclaimed that the whole idea of their being “a war on women” was “taking our focus off the real war we’re fighting: The real war is the war on unemployment.”
This is the feminist, and all-around great person whom Donald Trump has picked to lead the official government festivities surrounding the 2020 centennial of the adoption of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
Had Rebecca Kleefisch been around then, there is no doubt she’d be right there in the trenches, fighting that war on women.