New Hampshire Democrat Chair Ray Buckley used a term loaded with sexist insinuation on Thursday to attack his Republican rival Jennifer Horn. Buckley then took to Twitter to try to dial back his use of the word. As of this posting, Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, has remained silent on the controversy.
It all started when Horn blasted Gov. Hassan’s budget after the Democrat House Finance Chair called it “a mistake.” This latest blow followed numerous other criticisms of Hassan’s budget, which relies on $80 million in casino gambling revenues to stay in balance. Casino gambling is illegal in New Hampshire.
Buckley tried to run cover for Hassan by issuing a taunting press release that implied Horn is “hysterical.” The word is often used to describe women who cannot control their emotions. According to one feminist website, “[t]here’s … a strong historical tradition of labeling women as ‘hysterical’ in order to silence, marginalize, or even kill them.”
Some conservatives, including former gubernatorial candidate Kevin Smith and this correspondent, began to call Buckley out on Twitter late Thursday for his lack of civility.
— Kevin H. Smith (@nhkevinsmith) February 28, 2013
Buckley immediately began to backpedal on Twitter, claiming he only meant to imply Horn’s press release was “hysterical.”
“It is Hassan’s responsibility to reel this guy in,” one prominent Republican female told NH Journal. “She needs to show leadership here and reprimand Buckley.”
Buckley is not used to pugnacity from his rivals in the GOP. Apart from the famously feisty former-Gov. John Sununu, few recent past New Hampshire GOP Chairs have caused the Dem chief any heartburn. But Horn appears to have rattled Buckley in recent weeks.