consultants are sandburs

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Minnesota's Republican women, viewed through a conservative's editorial lens.

The online item here begins:

One doesn't have to buy into the ridiculous, but at times effective, invented progressive narrative that republicans have, or are waging, a war on women in order to be troubled by how the Republican Party of Minnesota treats it own republican women. For a change, instead of women being their own worst enemy (Anatole France: "friendship among women is only the suspension of hostilities"), the locus of the problem can be laid squarely at the feet of republican men and a few but sufficient quisling women. And by the Republican Party, I mean republicans in Minnesota in general.

From the beginning of my involvement in local politics, I could sense some sort of problem with respect to republican women but could never quite put my finger on it. I'm not sure I can now, precisely, but I know the problem, far from being solved, has only gotten worse. Why is this?

I have no single, comprehensive answer; I don't think there is one. I do know republicans pretty much fail to admit to ourselves that the problem exists.

We currently have no women in party leadership, pretending for the moment that it's still relevant. Republicans had an amazing Senate Majority Leader when we held the majority for two fleeting years (had not men taken her out as collateral damage to their real (and male) target, we'd be running her for governor now). We also had women in key legislative positions for the first time in the state's history and that's not nothing, especially for the box checkers on the Left and their handmaidens in the press.

Now, however, the republican political environment seems to be about ignoring or, at times, trashing, qualified republican women candidates in ways that would never be done to male candidates. This is being played out before our eyes but goes largely unremarked upon.

The women who are currently experiencing the worst of this are Sen. Julianne Ortman, state senator running for the US Senate, Rhonda Sivarajah, Anoka County Commissioner, running for Congress in Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District and Rep. Mary Franson, representing House District 8B and currently being challenged for the endorsement.

Each has life stories and a history of public accomplishment which, if possessed by men, would cause them to be lauded and promoted at every turn. Instead, they are treated, at best, as if they don't exist. At worst, they're subjected to what strikes me as garden variety sexism.

Conventional wisdom views Ortman as an inconvenience en route to a McFadden primary win. [...]

Regarding Sivarajah, and hence relevant to Anoka County folks and towns:

Nowhere, however, has the egregious differential treatment between men and women in the republican party been more shamefully showcased than in Rhonda Sivarajah's race to replace Michele Bachmann. Sivarajah's record of conservative accomplishment is unmatched by anyone in the state; this sounds like hyperbole but it is not. Some things really are true.

Her support is thin to moderate generally and almost non-existent in the establishment. Again, she doesn't deserve support solely because she's a woman. But when a republican woman this accomplished isn't supported more widely and deeply, something is objectively amiss. Most activists don't want to face this because they are complicit in it: they need a job, a come back, a rung up the ladder, the approval of their peers. It's all rather transparent and the more pitiful for it.

Let's try this: would Sivarajah be supported if she ran a disastrous campaign and lost to Mark Dayton, depriving Minnesota of an all-republican led state? Would she be taken seriously if she had two DUIs and introduced legislation that would have had the effect of making such a history less discoverable? [...]

Later, this:

So where are all the sanctimonious FitzSimmons Republicans™? They put on ostentatious displays of feelings! and outrage! when delegates to house district 30B denied him the endorsement over same sex marriage. Why haven't they flocked to support Mary Franson who is under different but similar attack?

Because more than self-absorption and cost-free moral preening is required here. FitzSimmons Republicans™ are really Twin Cities Metro Republicans.™

If the sentiment underlying FitzSimmons' endorsement loss was anything but self-indulgence, it would have already transferred to Mary Franson's race. But it hasn't. Draw your own conclusions. I have.

Leave aside the individual examples of these three different women; I can anticipate particular criticisms made about each of them in order to discredit the general point made here. That's fine, but the situation for republican women only gets worse at the group level.

For those wanting the continuity of the entire argument, beyond extended excerpts; again: this link.

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