No girls allowed

Jennifer Hemmingsen
Published: December 21 2011 | 7:51 am - Updated: 3 April 2014 | 9:13 am in

Michele Bachmann says she thinks the country is forward-thinking enough to elect a woman president.

But are Iowa Republicans ready?

I wish that wasn’t such a great question.

The fact that it’s become a campaign issue this week — after endless campaigning and vetting and debates — is a pretty depressing indication that some might not be.

Not if evangelical leaders like the Revs. Cary Gordon or Albert Calaway are any kind of representative sample, anyway.

In these final hours before the caucuses, those two men are urging the Minnesota congresswoman to back down from her comfy fourth-place position and give the guys a chance at the nomination, for a change.

Gordon, of Cornerstone World Outreach in Sioux City, told reporters that the cold, hard truth is that some Americans just won’t vote for a woman — not that he endorses that view.

Since the party’s number one priority has to be ousting President Barack Obama (America’s first black — oh never mind), voting for Bachmann is just not a risk Iowans should take, Gordon says.

It’s the same baloney female political candidates have been hearing for ages: Sure you’d be a good representative, honey, but not this round. Let’s leave this important race to the boys.

Research consistently shows that female candidates are every bit as electable as their male counterparts — when they run in winnable races.

The reason women aren’t better represented in elected office isn’t that voters are afraid of girls, but that female candidates aren’t nominated or supported by their parties in competitive contests.

Instead, they get garbage advice like Calaway, of Indianola, gave Bachmann via the press: Step down and hope that another candidate will peg you for his helper.

“I’d personally love to pronounce Rick and Michele as lawfully wedded running mates,” Calaway told the Des Moines Register. Just eeew.

But even the marriage analogies, cracks about migraines and questions about “submitting” to her husband aren’t enough to torpedo a candidate on gender alone.

Time’s running out for stubborn holdouts clinging to the idea that there’s something fishy and unstable about the double-x chromosome — especially when it comes to elections.

Is Iowa forward-thinking enough to vote for a woman president, or governor, senator or congresswoman?

More than that.

We’re smart enough to vote for the candidate we feel will best represent us — regardless of gender.

Comments: (319) 339-3154; jennifer.hemmingsen@sourcemedia.net

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