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We're not above stealing jokes from 'Family Guy'
“I guess I put my foot in my mouth. Bummer you can’t do that!”

We’re almost willing to believe Illinois Rep. Tammy Duckworth has a guardian angel — which would explain how she survived an RPG attack on her Blackhawk helicopter during the Iraq war, leaving her with both legs amputated. Or at the very least, she’s protected by her own personal trickster figure who manages to make her political opponents say truly unbelievably stupid things. Consider, for instance, the brilliant douchiness of Joe Walsh, the incumbent teabagger congressman she ultimately whupped in 2012, who slammed Duckworth for merely being a Washington bureaucrat (at Veterans Affairs, a not insignificant job), saying, “She’s been the one working in Washington. She’s a bureaucrat. I’m a fighter.” You guessed it: Walsh never served in the military, whatever other “fighting” he may have done. Then as Duckworth was ramping up her run for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Mark Kirk, the National Republican Senate Committee Tweeted that Duckworth had “a sad record of not standing up for our veterans.” Which may have surprised Duckworth, seeing as how she stands pretty well on her robot legs. And now Sen. Mark Kirk, who’s consistently trailed her in the polls, has given Duckworth the gift of an incredibly tasteless joke about both her ethnicity and her family’s record of military service. Let’s watch him dig one last hole and (one hopes) lose himself an Senate seat!

After Duckworth said her family had served in the U.S. military “going back to the Revolution; I’m a Daughter of the American Revolution” and noted that she’s bled for the U.S. of A., Kirk unleashed what he thought had to be a HILARIOUS joke, because does Tammy Duckworth look like someone whose family fought in the Revolutionary war, HAW-HAW?

I had forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington.

The cliché “awkward pause” suddenly seemed to physically manifest in the room as Kirk grinned and waited for the big laffs that never came. After a moment, the next journalist on the panel asked if Duckworth would like to reply. Hey, turned out she did!

“There’s been members of my family serving on my father’s side since the American Revolution.” She said she was “proud of both my father’s side and my mother’s side as an immigrant.”

She also Tweeted a reminder that it is in fact possible for a Real American to have two parents, both of whom have ancestry that goes back generations:

duckworth-debate-tweet

Hillary Clinton’s campaign replied as well, noting again that yes, people who don’t look like Mark Kirk can have centuries-deep American roots:

clinton-duckworth-debate-tweet

Even Donald Trump’s alleged campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, was quick with the Schadenfreuede, though she seems to have missed the point — Kirk’s undorsement of Trump (for Trump’s own slurs on a judge’s ethnic heritage, imagine that!) was one of the few smart things he’s done, and is not really what was offensive here, if you want to get all technical about it.

As of blogtime, Sen. Kirk has made no move toward an apology, and Rep. Duckworth’s personal guardian angel/trickster figure is reportedly grinning madly.

Update: Oh, hey, Kirk finally apologized, as minimally as possible. It’s all good now!

mark-kirk-apology

[WaPo / Chicago Tribune / The Hill Update: NPR]

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