Guy’s Gotcha Games

The face Phil Scott makes while listening to Guy Page

One of the minor intrigues around Gov. Phil Scott’s weekly press conferences is “What will Guy Page come up with next?” Page, the sole proprietor of the Vermont Daily Corpuscle (I think I got that right), usually comes out of right field with something straight out of the conservamedia talking point factory. Scott then answers it with his customary studied earnestness.

We got a priceless example yesterday. After asking a bloody-shirt question about an alleged crime wave of drug cartels robbing legal cannabis dispensaries, Page pivoted to the existential:

Governor, you’re the chief executive of an enterprise that includes the Vermont Commission on Women and other groups designed to benefit women. How would you answer the question, “What is a woman?”

The question came straight from Republicans in the U.S. Senate playing “gotcha” with Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Scott smirked, and then proceeded to fumble his answer. I’d run the full transcript here, but it’d be hazardous to your eyesight like staring directly into the sun. The “high points” of Scott’s meander were “I haven’t contemplated an answer to that,” “I just assume that [Commissioners] refer to them as, uh, as ‘her,’ ‘she,’ or ‘her,'” and “I haven’t heard any outcry from the Commission or a Commissioner or that, um, that, uh, entity.” Sheesh.

Oh, for the moral clarity of a straightforward “Gender is a complicated thing. You can’t boil it down to a single factor.”

Scott could have also turned the table on Page. Probably would have been effective, because it turns out that conservatives can’t answer the question either.

Reporters for HuffPost asked a bunch of Republican Senators fresh off putting the question to Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, and got a bewildering array of answers. For instance:

Sens. John Kennedy and John Cornyn flat-out ducked the question.

Marsha Blackburn dodged it three times before a spokesperson offered “two X chromosomes.”

Lindsey Graham said it’s someone who’s “biologically a woman,” whatever that means.

Mike Lee: “An adult female of the human species,” which is recursive reasoning at its best.

But taking the booby prize in this intellectual derby, you’ll be shocked to hear, was Mr. Iron Fist, Josh Hawley. “Someone who can give birth…. someone with a uterus.”

What about someone who’s had a hysterectomy? Would they still be a woman?

Hawley: “Yeah. Well, I don’t know, would they?”

Oh, the combined brain power of this biodeterministic clown car.

So maybe Guy Page should try answering his own question. Could he do it with greater clarity than “I know it when I see it” or “Did you have an innie or an outie when you were born”? I doubt it.

The failure of this group of conservative intellectuals to come up with a clear response suggests the real answer to the question: “It’s complicated.”


9 thoughts on “Guy’s Gotcha Games

  1. Andrea Lemnah

    Sure you saw this: Governor Scott says he is contemplating getting the shot himself but will probably wait. “I don’t see the need. I’m pretty well protected right now and if I did happen to get COVID, it’s fairly mild from what I’ve seen so far.”

    1. P.

      I just do not understand why he keeps getting re-elected and how Scatt keeps gett8ng a pass from Vermont body politic.

  2. Bradford Broyles

    Not complicated, woman = adult female human being. What is complicated is those who struggle to define your moving target.

      1. H. Jay Eshelman

        Your mother? Yes, I’m guessing, of course.

        Then again, there’s the XX chromosome thing to consider.

  3. Walter Carpenter

    “I don’t see the need. I’m pretty well protected right now and if I did happen to get COVID, it’s fairly mild from what I’ve seen so far.”

    Wait until he gets it and then he won’t dismiss it so casually. I’ve had the two shots and the booster and I got it this week when I incautiously let the mask go down for a few minutes at a private function I was working. Someone there had it and passed it onto me and others. I was just thinking about that second booster too. It’s been a living hell. I can’t imagine what this crap would be like without the shots/boosters. No wonder so many people have died from this around the world and, especially in America, where so many refuse simple precautions. We should mandate masks/vaxxes and make it a law.

  4. Timothy Page

    Is it complicated? Gender roles are a social construct, but there are unchanging biological factors which remain even after bodily mutilation. Genetics tends to be pretty clear, and certain things, such as how the body’s biochemistry is set up, defy any sort of polymorphism.

    To be honest, there’s a term I’m shocked the far-left hasn’t been using in regards to this: gender appropriation. If one gets yelled at for wanting to adopt characteristics of another socially-constructed “race,” why is it not a problem when it comes to claiming a different gender, which IS biologically determined?


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