Yesterday, the most prolific political scribe at The Denver Post lobbed a bomb in our direction, attacking our contention that Democrats on the Reapportionment Commission had directly targeted conservative women for attack. She argued, essentially, that conservative men are the real ones targeting conservative women.
While we appreciate the free publicity, and relish the opportunity to debate someone who has forgotten more about Colorado politics than most in the state know, we do have a bone to pick with her analysis.
Her rebuttal to our post pointing out how the Democrats' new map for state legislative lines purposefully pits Republican women against fellow Republican legislators, is that Republican women are still a small portion of the Legislature. That, and Republican women haven't won every primary they've entered, just don't cut it as a fair rebuttal — regardless of what gleeful liberals were Tweeting yesterday.
On her first point, we agree in essence. There aren't enough conservative women in the Legislature. We hope we see more women run for office in 2012, conservative women that is. After all the Republican Party exists to represent an ideology, not a gender — identity politics is more in the Democrats' wheelhouse.
We'd be very happy to see an uptick come 2012, but Democrats have made that as tough as possible. The highest ranking women in all of the Capitol, House Majority Leader Amy Stephens and House Majority Whip BJ Nikkel, have been forced into districts with fellow Republicans.
That is not conservative men's fault. That is the fault of people like state Senator Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora), fraud Mario Carrera, and the rest of the Dems on Reapportionment who drew the new legislative lines.
Her second point, highlighting Ken Buck defeating Jane Norton and some 2006 state legislative primaries, is much more suspect. Jane Norton struggled to gain traction because of the first part of the conservative + woman construction. Primary voters saw Ken Buck as the conservative more so than Norton. When Buck did make an off-color joke about gender, he paid dearly for it, barely squeaking out a win it the primary. It hurt him among both conservative men and conservative women.
As Michael Sandoval pointed out on Facebook, where are all the Democrat female leaders? We can't seem to find many. We've never had a female Governor or US Senator in Colorado — from either party.
Representation of women in elected positions is something both parties could improve upon. But when one party targets the women in the opposing party, it would be dereliction of duty to not cry foul.
What really matters at the end of the day is the fact that Democrats took the choice away from voters over choosing their leadership and instead vested it in themselves, an unelected body who got their positions through political appointments. They did so, undeniably, by putting a target on the back on a number of high ranking and hard working conservative GOP female legislators. We hope the Colorado Supreme Court doesn't stand by that very clear act of disenfranchisement.
If the court ignores these misogynist shenanigans, it will be one more example of liberal power brokers picking on the girls — like Obama v. Hillary and much more like it that Ms. Bartels neglected to mention.