Politico: Liberal congresswoman gave most painful speech ever

posted at 10:01 pm on February 6, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

And, it was written by Daily Show creator Lizz Winstead, whose nasty partisan drive outgrew her funny long ago.

I want to revel in the schadenfreude, but this is so painful and makes me so sympathetically embarrassed, I’m not sure I can revel properly. Perhaps if I’d been in the room, I’d be more resentful of her assault on my senses and enjoy this more.

But I think you’ll enjoy it, in a rubbernecking kind of way. And, frankly, liberals get this kind of scathing review so seldom that I feel obligated to amplify it just to try to even the playing field. Lord knows none of them would have any compunction about laughing at, say, Michele Bachmann over a similarly epic bombing. You gotta believe Edwards never saw this coming from Politico:

Washingtonians sit through terrible speeches all the time: dry rules hearings, partisan floor lectures and, let’s face it, even the State of the Union some years.

So it was a bad day for Rep. Donna Edwards Thursday, when Washingtonians gathered at coffee pots and in lunch rooms across town and deemed her performance at the Washington Press Club Foundation annual dinner Wednesday night the most painful we’ve endured in a long time.

It was supposed to be a comedy – an annual ritual where a member of Congress entertains a wonky crowd of journalists, lawmakers, and all variety of political insiders with jokes you wouldn’t mind repeating to your mother.

But more people were wincing than laughing.

“I survived the Donna Edwards #wpcfdinner speech of 2014,” tweeted Mike Memoli, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times who sat through the fiasco.

Ed Henry, Fox News chief White House correspondent, retweeted him, and added the hashtag: #isitdoneyet?

Edwards’ speech, reportedly written by co-creator of The Daily Show, Lizz Winstead, might have sounded great on paper or in practice sessions in front of a friendly audience, but it came off as a Republican hate-fest sprinkled with the kind of sexual humor that made the buttoned-up crowd squirm – not laugh. It’s a reminder how hard it is to entertain a tough crowd, like one filled with cynical journalists.

At one point Edwards, a Democrat from Maryland, made the equivalent of a sexual battle cry to ladies in the room: “Come on, help me y’all: I want to give a really special shout out to Nancy Pelosi and all my sisters in the libido caucus — holla’!” she cried out, raising her hands above her head.

Reaction: blank stares and furrowed brows.

A crass, stupid Republican hate-fest from Lizz Winstead? Who would have guessed? Read the whole thing, bask in it for a bit, and check out this groaner. I’m not sure in what room this works. And, I spend a lot of time in some very nerdy political rooms:

Edwards also laid the slap down on a group of Republicans she joined on a trip to Egypt for a congressional junket, including tea party firebrands Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Steve Stockman (R-Texas).

She showed a picture of the group on an overhead screen with an arrow pointing to her, an African American, buried in the back behind a bunch of white travelers.

She said the trip gave her “Stockman syndrome” — a condition, she explained, derived from hanging out with so many tea partiers that she said she found herself falling in love with more centrist Republicans like Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).

Crowd response? Crickets — and more reaches for wine.

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Fremdscham (the noun) describes the almost-horror you feel when you notice that somebody is oblivious to how embarrassing they truly are. Fremdscham occurs when someone who should feel embarrassed for themselves simply is not, and you start feeling embarrassment in their place. -Psychology Today via Jonah Goldberg

Quisp on February 7, 2014 at 6:37 AM

Before they redrew the districts in the early 2000s my rep was Connie Morella. A RINO to be sure, but light years beyond Edwards.

PetecminMd on February 7, 2014 at 6:36 AM

RINOs called Morella a RINO! Especially toward the end. But it is hard to remember that Montgomery County ever had a Republican Congresswoman. That isn’t going to happen again anytime soon what with the Dem echo chamber that is Maryland.

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2014 at 6:57 AM

Turkey neck

SouthernGent on February 7, 2014 at 7:15 AM

Hey now, even certified village idiots need some political representation, too !

Swedish Patriot on February 7, 2014 at 7:21 AM

For example, we swedes have many left- wing village idiots in our Riksdag, too.

Swedish Patriot on February 7, 2014 at 7:23 AM

That’s some real funny stuff.

The mongols thought it was hilarious to skin a prisoner alive while they ate their dinner.

acyl72 on February 7, 2014 at 7:26 AM

Gee,is it just me or does she have a strong resemblance to Obama?

Lee Jan on February 7, 2014 at 7:27 AM

She is the poster child of the true Democratic Party. She should replace Jay Carney because Carney just spins his talking points so much I get dizzy trying to keep up with with his non-answers.

At least this whack-job will just come out and say what she really thinks.

Cherokee on February 7, 2014 at 7:41 AM

Sad, but at the same time utterly predictable…

Gatsu on February 7, 2014 at 7:44 AM

Sad because if a Conservative gave the Republican equivalent slamming Donks it wouldn’t just be noted as the “worst speech ever”. It would be classified as hate speech and be given 24/7 coverage.

hawkdriver on February 7, 2014 at 8:17 AM

Liberalism’s a joke anyway, so her speech should have been funnier.

brentspolemics on February 7, 2014 at 8:20 AM

Fremdscham (the noun) describes the almost-horror you feel when you notice that somebody is oblivious to how embarrassing they truly are. Fremdscham occurs when someone who should feel embarrassed for themselves simply is not, and you start feeling embarrassment in their place. -Psychology Today via Jonah Goldberg

Quisp on February 7, 2014 at 6:37 AM

Fremdscham can be funny though. Its the feeling I get while watching movies such as “Best in Show” and “Waiting for Guffman”.

NCPatriot75 on February 7, 2014 at 8:33 AM

Maybe Lizz just needs to work on her timing. They say it’s everything in comedy. Oh, the congresswoman could grow up and start acting like she has the dignity to hold the office she was elected to.

Kissmygrits on February 7, 2014 at 8:41 AM

Who is running against Rep. Donna Edwards in Maryland’s 4th Congressional District?

wren on February 6, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Nancy Hoyt. Edwards has won her elections with 80.5%, 85.8%, 83.4%, and 77.2%. This district isn’t changing hands.

topdawg on February 7, 2014 at 8:41 AM

If SanFranNan is representative of the ‘libido caucus’ then the human race is doomed.

Monastacism never looked so good before.

ajacksonian on February 7, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Never let it be said, we send our best and brightest to DC.

kjatexas on February 7, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Gee,is it just me or does she have a strong resemblance to Obama?

Lee Jan on February 7, 2014 at 7:27 AM

Jimmie Walker from Good Times.

Dy-no-mite!

Oldnuke on February 7, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Hey MKH … you looked great, as always, on FNC this morning. And, as always, you “beat down” Juan!

mel23059 on February 7, 2014 at 9:46 AM

RINOs called Morella a RINO! Especially toward the end. But it is hard to remember that Montgomery County ever had a Republican Congresswoman. That isn’t going to happen again anytime soon what with the Dem echo chamber that is Maryland.

Happy Nomad on February 7, 2014 at 6:57 AM

Yeah, she definitely was squirrely towards the end.

Morella and Wynn were at least responsive. Back around 2000, I married my now ex-wife, who was Canadian. Whenever we had issues with INS all we had to do was contact their office and they’d handle things for us. (In fact, Wynn had an office about two blocks from my house). And if you ever dealt with INS/ICE, you know there were always issues.

You’re lucky if Edwards office returns a phone call or email within a week, if at all…

PetecminMd on February 7, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Thanks Mary Katherine, my morning just got a little brighter. This kind of leftist flop is all too common, but delicious nonetheless …

Whitey Ford on February 7, 2014 at 10:22 AM

Maybe there was something in Lorne Michaels comment about liberals not being funny.

Tater Salad on February 7, 2014 at 10:33 AM

How is a roomful of racist journalists going to appreciate good comedy?

RSbrewer on February 7, 2014 at 10:49 AM

(Also I don’t think Wynn lost the primary. I believe he either resigned or stepped down due to some sort of scandal, but I may be wrong)

PetecminMd on February 7, 2014 at 6:36 AM

Actually, he lost the primary to Edwards, and then resigned before his term was up to become a lobbyist. Edwards then also won the special election to finish out his term.

J.S.K. on February 7, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Anybody find a transcript of this? I don’t want to watch, but am interested in the other jokes Sen Flake made.

Effay5 on February 7, 2014 at 11:25 AM

It’s a bit of a tautology, but black female Democrats are not funny. I really don’t know why but it’s patently obvious.

chuckh on February 7, 2014 at 11:43 AM

You know what? The video/spoof was hilarious! Wow.

chuckh on February 7, 2014 at 11:47 AM

wren

Didn’t know that about the CA gerrymander commission. Good stuff. I guess the remedy against the legislation is taking away the legislative power; CA referendum law makes that possible there but not so much in other states. Now if they could break up the great blue block of electoral votes commandeered by social black holes in LA and SF, national elections would look instantly different.

cosifantutte on February 7, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Is there a film of this painful speech?

YouTube or some other place where the pain can be shared by all of us?

Does any one know?

I tried a search on YouTube using logical key words and found nothing.

alux on February 7, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Fremdscham (the noun) describes the almost-horror you feel when you notice that somebody is oblivious to how embarrassing they truly are. Fremdscham occurs when someone who should feel embarrassed for themselves simply is not, and you start feeling embarrassment in their place. -Psychology Today via Jonah Goldberg

Quisp on February 7, 2014 at 6:37 AM

Fremdscham can be funny though. Its the feeling I get while watching movies such as “Best in Show” and “Waiting for Guffman”.

NCPatriot75 on February 7, 2014 at 8:33 AM

Or “the Office” – it is my least favorite form of humor – the only way to release the tension of Fremdscham is to laugh – but I don’t laugh – so I only get the tension. Also it is cheap humor in that all you have to do is have an idiot (like Edwards) say stupid embarassing things (as Edwards did).

Mordaukar on February 7, 2014 at 2:29 PM

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