Michael Bennet's Woman Problem

BlogHer Original Post

Colorado’s establishment left claims Republican senatorial candidate Ken Buck has a problem with women. Apparently he is “insensitive.” But it’s really appointed Democratic Senator Michael Bennet and his supporters who have the problem.

DENVER - OCTOBER 05: U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) answers questions from women's group leaders at his campaign headquarters on October 5, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. Bennet is in a tough election fight against Republican challenger and Tea Party favorite Ken Buck. Polls have shown that women favor Bennet for the midterm vote, while most men polled favor Buck. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Last week, the most recent Rasmussen poll had Buck ahead of Bennet by 7 percentage points. With Buck's polling trend at or above the magic 50 percent number, the desperate Democrat turned to gender politics, trying to scare women into the voting booth.

Bennet and his supporters seem to view women as ovaries and fundraising opportunities. His campaign has spent thousands of dollars attacking Buck's stance on abortion.

Rational women know that abortion is legal in Colorado and every other state because of Roe v. Wade. Also, Buck's stance on abortion is much more nuanced than what his opponents claim, causing one pro-life group to withdraw its support.

The disproportionate attention to abortion prompted Denver Post editorial page editor Dan Haley to write: "No one in 2010 is talking about social issues except Bennet. This election is about the economy. It's about jobs. It's about taxes. It's about health care. It's about the debt. It's about voter anger."

The obsession with abortion gave way to exploitation of a date rape victim. In 2005, Ken Buck, in his capacity as Weld County District Attorney, decided not to prosecute a case of date rape that several experts said was not winnable. He explained to the victim how a jury likely would interpret her case, but the leftist group ProgressNow and others hope to gin up some indignation by claiming the 5-year-old case is just another example of Buck's insensitivity towards women

Colorado Springs Gazette editorial page editor Wayne Laugesen blasted ProgressNow's exploitation of the date rape victim:

ProgressNow is using the case in a disgusting effort to portray Republican candidate Ken Buck, the Weld County district attorney, as a monstrous misogynist who approves of rape. It may be the lowest point in a political season that’s known for its sleazy, deceptive, negative campaigns.

The Colorado Democrat party turned it into a fundraising effort. Party Chair Pat Waak warned first and then asked in an email:

Ken Buck’s disturbing issues with women have been apparent since the Republican primary. Here at the Colorado Democratic Party, we can’t believe Coloradans want a man like this as U.S. Senator. But we have to have the resources to reach voters before they return their ballots. Can you contribute $25, $50 or even $100 now

Despite all the Buck-is-anti-woman rhetoric (wonder what his wife and daughter think), he still leads in most polls (though the latest Rasmussen poll has the two candidates in "a virtual tie." Buck is only "slightly behind" Bennet with female voters -- in a state that saw 56 percent of women vote for Barack Obama and Democrat Senator Mark Udall.

Why aren't more women falling for the reproductive fear factor? The bottom line is that many women see this tactic for what it is, an attempt to distract female voters from the real issues that affect their lives and the lives of the families.

A summer time survey of "Walmart moms," who make up a whopping 16 percent of the total electorate, revealed that the economy weighs heavy on their minds:

Sixty-one percent say the economic downturn has personally affected them. Right now, these moms are doing whatever is necessary just to make ends meet including skipping trips to the doctor, buying less expensive birthday and holiday gifts, putting off home and car repairs, and spending less overall.

Perhaps worse for Bennet, who voted for the health care reform bill, most of the Walmart moms don't like the sweeping legislation. And, sadly, half of them fear that the current state of the economy will drive them into a lower economic class.

Ken Buck gets this. He is talking about the issues that affect all women -- government spending, jobs and growing the economy so we can reduce our national debt.

As long as Michael Bennet employs the anti-abortion bogeyman, he will be the one with the woman problem because he is stuck in the worn-out, victimization paradigm that so many on the left perpetuate. Hopefully November 2 will prove to be a small step towards a new era that sees women for what they are -- agents of choice in their own lives.

Read more from MAD mom Amy Oliver Cooke at Mothers Against Debt

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