US House Majority Whip Counts Women in Partisan Leadership as Equal to Chamber’s Committee Chairs

It doesn’t get more classic than this:

“Well, as part of leadership, we have a lot of women in our leadership team,” [House Majority Whip Steve] Scalise said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” when asked about the near-total absence of women in committee top spots.

In the House, 20 men were chosen for 21 key positions — the exception was Rep. Candice Miller, who will continue to chair the House Administration Panel.

(View the full clip here.)

So, Mr. Scalise’s job as whip is to count. But here it seems he’s counting on Americans, or at least the people watching Morning Joe, to be pretty dumb. My basis for that?

Mr. Scalise (R-Louisiana) is hoping that listeners ignore the reality that “our leadership team” refers to just that – the majority party’s leadership team, which would be the leadership team for the Republicans, who are in the majority.

What he doesn’t want to make clear is that “committee top spots” or chairs are the leadership positions at the top of every bipartisan committee that oversees the work of the entire U.S. House of Representatives, a government entity that includes elected women, people of color and Democrats, in addition to all the guys he is defending.

Now, if he himself thinks these two sets of top spots are the same, maybe he won’t be keeping his own leadership position for long.

I know the House Republicans only have 21 women out of approximately 244 members of their team, with one race yet to be decided. And that’s not even ten percent. For comparison, the Democrats will have 62 out of 186, or about 33%. But for goodness sakes, don’t further insult all of us by suggesting that we don’t know or shouldn’t care about the difference between having multiple women within your own party’s partisan leadership and them as leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives’ committees.

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