- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Some years ago, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in responding to personal attacks on him as an “Uncle Tom” or worse observed that to the left, being black had less to do with skin color, genes and ancestry than with one’s political ideology. That is certainly true for today’s “progressive” Democrats who believe that they not only have a right to the support of every minority and female voter ever born, but that the apostasy of any who reject them makes them worthy of derision and attack as somehow inauthentic.

Thus, Justice Thomas and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina are dismissed as “Uncle Toms” or tools in the hands of the “white power structure,” and women who don’t buy into the liberal “war on women” are attacked as dupes of a male-dominated society that uses them to mask its hostility to women. During the Bush years, the nomination of a brilliant Hispanic lawyer to the federal appeals bench was viciously opposed by Democrats and their liberal allies because they feared that if Miguel Estrada was confirmed, he might become the first Hispanic appointed to the Supreme Court, and that was something they could not countenance.

The feminist left has displayed more hypocrisy over the years than most, supporting liberal male candidates over more conservative or Republican candidates, glossing over the predatory sexual nature of a Democratic president and ignoring his wife’s willingness to join in a campaign to defend him by destroying the lives and reputations of the women he seduced and abused.

Like most leftists, militant feminists find deviance from their view of the world unacceptable and do what they can to demonize any who disagree with them. Their latest target is Iowa’s newly elected senator, Joni Ernst, who delivered the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Emily’s List, the political arm of left-wing feminism, dismissed the choice of Mrs. Ernst to deliver the Republican response as meaningless “window dressing.” The group had spent big money trying to defeat Mrs. Ernst and expressed outrage after the election that someone with her views was, in fact, a woman.

During the campaign itself, retiring Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin had derided her and suggested that some of her support came from those who found her good looking and because she sounded “nice.” Mrs. Ernst responded at the time that “It’s unfortunate that he and many of their party believe you can’t be a real woman if you’re conservative and you’re female. I believe if my name had been John Ernst Sen. Harkin would not have said those things.”

In dismissing her so cavalierly, Mr. Harkin and others ignored the fact that Mrs. Ernst brought quite a record to her race to succeed him in the Senate. She was an Iowa state senator and is a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard with 21 years service in the Army reserve and National Guard, including 14 months in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm.

She has a master’s degree and is both a mother and successful farmer. The only part of her resume that most Democrats before and since her election acknowledge is, as NBC’s Luke Russert marveled when she was selected to give the Republican response to this year’s State of the Union, “This time last year she was an unknown pig farmer.”

Neither Mr. Russert nor the folks at Emily’s List noted that Mrs. Ernst is now quite well known not just as a conservative back home, but as the first Iowa woman ever elected to federal office and the first female combat officer ever to serve in the United States Senate.

Responding to a president’s State of the Union speech is an assignment that few crave because it’s almost impossible to compete with a president addressing a joint session of Congress while standing alone in front of a single camera. More than a few “responders” have foundered in the role. Mrs. Ernst responded to her party’s call, however, and though she had to have taken on the assignment knowing it could end badly, she did an excellent job last night in her debut before a national TV audience.

We can expect to hear a lot more from her as a senator, a conservative Republican and, yes, as a woman.

David A. Keene is Opinion Editor of The Washington Times.



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