In a heated debate over the state of politics and the economy on Wednesday night, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey almost certainly crossed the line of acceptable banter, telling his fellow panelist Joan Walsh that he was glad she could never be his wife because of her "prattle."
Appearing on Hardball, the two guests went back and forth over the contours of the current debate on the stimulus package being passed through Congress. Towards the end, however, the conversation devolved into gender-infused insults.
"I'm so damn glad you can never be my wife because I surely wouldn't have to listen to that prattle from you every day," Armey told Walsh, editor-in-chief of Salon.com. "That's what I'm talking about -- she's making a political malarkey here."
"Boy...that makes two of us sir," Walsh replied. "That was really an outstanding comment."
"You're talking like a paid political hack here," Armey interjected, "trying to score political points."
The genesis of the debate, remarkably, was on who deserved blame for the current economic climate and whether opposition to the President's stimulus package was motivated by policy concerns are politics.
"Please stop saying 'give it a rest'," Walsh said at one point, after another Armey interruption. "Do you ever anything else to say? President Obama has a mandate for change. Your people have stood in his way. They are standing in his way on Capitol Hill right now and Rush Limbaugh is making ridiculous statements and Republicans are crawling to him and groveling. That's the state of our economy and our world right now."
Walsh found herself the target of similarly gender-infused insult on Hardball recently when Christopher Hitchens called the Salon writer 'Ms. Walsh' and she responded by deeming it condescending.
Later on Wednesday's Hardball, host Chris Matthews defended Walsh, saying: "Dick Armey... I like the guy but I think he went way overboard going after Joan."