Lena Dunham has become a new target for conservatives, with the release of her Obama campaign ad discussing her “first time” … voting. In the video, the 26-year-old creator of HBO’s Girls uses losing one’s virginity as a metaphor for voting, and suggests that “your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody,” but that “you want to do it with a great guy.” Conservatives have blasted Dunham for encouraging voters to “do it” with President Obama. But the actress isn’t the first person to sexualize the office of the presidency.
In fact, the Republican Party’s own hero, Ronald Reagan, made a similar joke 32 years ago. Eric Kleefeld of Talking Points Memo dug the quote up from a Washington Post article from Nov. 1, 1980:
“What Reagan was trying to do in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio was to harvest usually Democratic blue-collar votes — the consistent target of his personal campaigning in the Great Lakes states. Whenever he is near voters who might possibly be Democrats, Reagan likes to remind them that he came from that side of the political tracks.
On Thursday night, at a working class bar in Bayonne, N.J., Reagan said, “I know what it’s like to pull the Republican lever for the first time, because I used to be a Democrat myself, and I can tell you it only hurts for a minute and then it feels just great.”
Think Progress listed the conservative backlash earlier today:
The right-wing blogosphere erupted in outrage over Dunham’s coy sexualization of voting. Breitbart.com called Dunham’s video “astoundingly tasteless,” while the Right Scoop condemned it as “disgusting” and “a new low.” Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly questioned on Twitter whether it was “appropriate.” The National Review called it “cringeworthy.” Minnesota Republican Party deputy chair went so far as to say the video was proof that Obama was being advised by Satan.
Conservative blogger Erick Erickson wrote last night:
“If you need any further proof we live in a fallen world destined for hell fire, consider the number of people who have no problem with the President of the United States, via a campaign ad, ridiculing virgins and comparing sex to voting.”
And of course, Rush Limbaugh, the ultimate champion for women’s rights, put in his two cents on his radio show today.
“It again looks at women as monolithic sex machines who want to make sure they’ve got unending birth control pills and then a free trip to Planned Parenthood the next day, all paid for by Obama. If I were a woman today, I would feel insulted each and everyday. The way they look at women: all thinking the same way, all wanting the same things.”