Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 19, 2010

LEAVE THE 19TH AMENDMENT ALONE.... I like to think I can take a joke, and appreciate political commentary intended as humor, but this item from Thomas Mitchell, editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, wasn't amusing. The headline read, "Time to repeal the 19th Amendment?"

People and candidates for public office should be judged on the basis of their ideas, stance on the issues, character, experience and integrity, not on the basis of age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion or disability.

Therefore, we must repeal the 19th Amendment. Yes, the one granting suffrage to women. Because? Well, women are biased..... Men are consistent. Women are fickle and biased.

To "prove" his point, Mitchell, head of Nevada's largest newspaper, pointed to poll results showing women voters in the state preferring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) over former state Sen. Sue Lowden (R) by a narrow margin, but preferring Reid over real estate agent Danny Tarkanian by a wide margin. This is evidence of "bias." (That women voters might perceive Lowden as more qualified than Tarkanian doesn't seem to enter the equation at all.)

Mitchell also pointed to recent Gallup data that showed, nationwide, women tend to prefer Democrats, while men tend to prefer Republicans. This, apparently, substantiates the argument that ... well, actually, I have no idea.

If there's a clever insight here, it's hiding well.

In a follow-up piece, Thomas described his published argument as "a bit of free hyperbole." He proceeded to compare himself to Larry Summers, and insisted that there really are important gender-based differences between men and women. Thomas was especially dismissive of those who found his "repeal the 19th Amendment" argument offensive, accusing them of failing to consider "any merits or demerits of facts in evidence or syllogism used" in his piece. It's their fault, apparently, not his, that they were insulted.

Remember, this guy runs a major newspaper.

The mind reels.

Steve Benen 8:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (52)

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Comments

-and while we are at it, let's return to the Days of Yore, when blacks were property, and only the Landed Gentry could vote. . .

Posted by: DAY on April 19, 2010 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

Only straight white men's opinions count as the right opinions. Everyone else's is wrong, especially when they disagree.

I guess conservatives are really feeling bold right now since they've come out and said slavery wasn't important and women should vote.

Posted by: Unstable Isotope on April 19, 2010 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

Another possibility is that women are smarter than men--at least men like Tarkanian. Perhaps, rather than eliminate the 19th Amendment, we should add another amendment to deprive stupid people like Tarkanian the freedom to vote.

Posted by: candideinnc on April 19, 2010 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

Remember, this guy runs a major newspaper.

Umm, Steve, perhaps you have not been to Nevada. It's mostly sagebrush. This guy's views are reprehensible, but saying that Las Vegas Review-Journal is a major paper is like saying that the Anchorage Daily News is a major daily. Yeah, it's the biggest thing around here, but that's not saying much.

Posted by: AK Liberal on April 19, 2010 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, given the way his industry is going, he was probably drunk when he wrote it.

Posted by: Rathskeller on April 19, 2010 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

my bet would be, with a minimum amount of scratching, you'll find at least 3 women who once told Thomas "I love you" only to later dump him. The notion that maybe Thomas was on his best behavior early in those relationships - only to become less likable the more these women got to know the "real" him - will be lost on him. Women are just fickle bitches; they HAVE to be, or else he'd never have cried himself to sleep for having been dumped.

Posted by: slappy magoo on April 19, 2010 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

"Major Newspaper"???

The R-J is a glorified Hollywood Reporter - It is nothing more than a Libertarian industry trade paper. Some wag once said that if Russia launched missiles toward the US and the R-J knew of it, their lead would still be "ATLANTIC CITY CASINOS GO ON STRIKE".

Perhaps, the ladies in NV just don't like Tark's real estate message about fixing government. "Ooh, fresh paint, a few flowers, throw pillows". With a hat tip to Mel Brooks and "Young Frankenstein".

Posted by: berttheclock on April 19, 2010 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

This seems about par for the course for people who run newspapers.

Posted by: cld on April 19, 2010 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

He's suffering from bad molecules! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on April 19, 2010 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

The statistics here are complementary to Larry Summers' claims about gender differences. Summers was claiming that, statistically, the upper echelons of intellectual achievement were dominated by men. Voting statistics show that the lower echelons are also dominated by men.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on April 19, 2010 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Wonderful idea! Deprive over half the US population their rights so that the minority can tell the majority how to live! But wait, that's anti-democratic. That has a totalitarian flavor. In fact, it is downright unAmerican. Why does Thomas Mitchell hate this country, it's ideals and values? Not good enough here for you Mitchell? Love it or get the F--K OUT!

Posted by: in what respect, Charlie? on April 19, 2010 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

I thought the problem with women was that they always generalize.

Meanwhile, why on earth would we want to take the smarter half of our population out of the electoral process?

Posted by: chrenson on April 19, 2010 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

However, one quibble - Even though I abhor RepuGs, Tark is more than just a real estate agent. He is a lawyer who has his own real estate investment firm. Funny thing about that is he helped set up an outfit which ended up ripping off seniors. Some fellow accused him of being involved. Tark successfully sued the fellow and said he had not been involved with any of their succeeding operations after helping them. None other than the son of Harry Reid testified on his behalf and he was awarded $50 thou in damages.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 19, 2010 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

Remember though -it doesn't take intelligence to run a newspaper anymore - only money.

Posted by: Greytdog on April 19, 2010 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

For obvious reasons I didn't read this editorial when I first saw it linked, but now I'm wondering how women can be both fickle and biased. I mean, if they're fickle, that suggests they're switching between Democrats and Republicans at the drop of a hat, yes?

Posted by: Aaron S. Veenstra on April 19, 2010 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

Apparently, as with Glenn Beck and St Sarah, it doesn't take very much intelligence to make a pile of money, either.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 19, 2010 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

If he was in a civilized state, he would be out of a job. How many sportscasters have been ruined for much less?

Posted by: Michael7843853 on April 19, 2010 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

If you read Mitchell's followup piece, you'll understand that his original piece was satire with a purpose.

His idea was that if he wrote a piece supporting the repeal of the 19th amendment he would be attacked, not on the merits of his argument, but on his sex, color, age, clothing, mustache, presumed political persuasion, etc.

He was dead on right.

If you have any doubt about that, read the comments to his first piece. That's exactly what happened.

This is without a doubt the most effective demonstration of the depth to which political discourse in this country has sunk that I have ever seen.

My hat (not a ten-gallon one) is off to Mitchell.

Posted by: Michael Ryle on April 19, 2010 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

In response, I should like to call for the immediate repeal of Thomas Mitchell's U. S. citizenship. Give him to the Mexican cartels---and let them have their ways with him.

Posted by: S. Waybright on April 19, 2010 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

He may me onto something here.....since men are so highly associated an inability to use their reasoning skills when conflict occuers and are so highly associated with both violence and gun violence - we should ammend the second ammendment to only permit women to own guns.

Actually - that might work.............

Posted by: Kathy Philly on April 19, 2010 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

By all means, let's ban all biased voters!

Only fair and balanced voters will be allowed, if you catch my drift.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on April 19, 2010 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, this is just a reheated Ann Coulter riff that's about a decade old.

Posted by: Steve M. on April 19, 2010 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

If you have any doubt about that, read the comments to his first piece.

@Michael Ryle, there was nothing in the piece that suggested satire, unless you consider a knuckleheaded argument satire. If the first evidence of this being satire is a follow up piece published the next day, that's not much to hang your hat on!

Posted by: AK Liberal on April 19, 2010 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

I'm thinking we should simply alter and not appeal the 19th amendment.

Mr. T. Mitchell's in depth study, unquestionably demonstrates that men are so rigidly opinionated and inflexible, that their vote should not be on a par with that of a woman. In light of this evidence, I'm suggesting we amend the 19th amendment to allow a man's vote to be valued at 50 percent of a woman's vote. With, of course, the exception of women like Palin and Bachman.

Posted by: Scooterlib on April 19, 2010 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

Persistent genetic differences, eh?

My brother's left-handed. I really wish I'd had the presence of mind when I was ten to say he didn't deserve equal right to the remaining slice of cake, because his left-handedness was an inborn genetic difference that made it more likely he would harm himself due to a sugar high. Lefties are terribly accident-prone.

"His idea was that if he wrote a piece supporting the repeal of the 19th amendment he would be attacked, not on the merits of his argument, but on his sex, color, age, clothing, mustache, presumed political persuasion, etc."

You can't attack an argument on its merits if that argument is entirely without merit.

Trying to steal your brother's cake is trying to steal your brother's cake, whether you wrap it up in a pretty bow of "inborn genetic differences" or not. Good for people to call him out on it, instead of engaging in psychobabble nonsense.

Posted by: anon on April 19, 2010 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

Good satire is a lot harder to pull off than people think it is. Mr. Mitchell is boring in both his satirist and non-satirist modes, and most definitely in his "I can haz attenshun?" mode.

Posted by: shortstop on April 19, 2010 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

Look, when non land owners got the vote, Andrew Jackson - the king of cronyism was elected.
When the 15th amendment extended the franchise to non-whites, they immediately elected Grant - one of the most corrupt administrations ever.
When the 19th amendment extended the franchise to women, they immediately elected Harding - one of the most corrupt administrations ever.
And, then when the 26th amendment extended the franchise to 18 year olds, they immediately elected Nixon in a landslide - one of the most corrupt administrations ever.
Draw your own conclusions about extending the franchise.

Posted by: g on April 19, 2010 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

When did wingnuts decide that 'satire' means, 'something I wrote which I wish I hadn't, so stop being so sensitive you liberal weenies'?

Posted by: rnato on April 19, 2010 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Evidently, a half-black president presents enough of a visceral threat to a segment of the population one or two steps lower on the evolutionary ladder that it empowers them to march en masse from their caves in support of their lost and pathetic causes.

What is most amazing is that no matter how much social progress we appear to make, or how much time passes, in the areas of racial equality, equal rights, civil rights, social and economic justice, the reactionary opponents of such progress manage to somehow replicate themselves from generation to generation as if there is a genetic imprint built into their DNA.

This particular trog clearly prefers the 19th Century to the 21st, and if only there were some way to transport him back there -along with all the neo-Confederate racists who have lately been lunging out of their well appointed closets.

Perhaps ridicule is the only effective means of response, but ignoring fools like Thomas also makes a lot of sense.

Posted by: rrk1 on April 19, 2010 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Dollars to donuts this guy is a closet queen.

Posted by: Marko on April 19, 2010 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

If you have any doubt about that, read the comments to his first piece.

If you're relying on internet comments on a public site to make a point (or in this case, a hasty excuse), you've already lost the argument.

Cue the Price is Right loser horns.

Posted by: doubtful on April 19, 2010 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

Males voted disproportionately for Bush. If that doesn't get an entire group's voting rights repealed, nothing should.

Posted by: gradysu on April 19, 2010 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

But then Nevada thinks that running gambling casinos that are designed to cheat clients out of their money is the next best think to Jesus.

Posted by: Marnie on April 19, 2010 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

His idea was that if he wrote a piece supporting the repeal of the 19th amendment he would be attacked, not on the merits of his argument, but on his sex, color, age, clothing, mustache, presumed political persuasion, etc.

Please explain for us what the merits of his argument were, because I didn't see any. Of course, I'm one of those fickle, frivolous women who just can't be trusted with a vote, so I suppose I'm biased and you need someone with absolutely no biases -- aka a white man -- to decide on my behalf whether or not I should be allowed to vote.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on April 19, 2010 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Michael Ryle? Satire the political discourse can take if it's not published in a NEWSPAPER. That is where people go for NEWS not nuance. The problem with the article is all the people that read it and DON'T get it. Sexism has been getting worse in this country since GWB became president. Tom Coburn recently attacked Rachael Maddow as 'emotional'...if you don't think THAT'S a key word you're crazy. It is time (they think) to put all people except for crazy white men in 'their place'. Please.

Posted by: SYSPROG on April 19, 2010 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

This article starts with some basic underlying assumptions that are not stated, but implicit: women like Democrats, and Democrats are at best suspect; so, women's judgment is also at best suspect (QED). It would be fun to write an alternative editorial using the same reasoning, but with different underlying assumptions: White men tend to be more bigoted, show less empathy, and prefer Republicans more than most other demographic groups; thus their judgment is at best suspect, and we should introduce the 28th amendment to strip voting rights from white men. Or just men, to be on the safe side. To anyone who thinks this sounds ridiculous, I here by accuse them of not considering "any merits or demerits of facts in evidence or syllogism used". And of probably being a man in the first place, and thus biased.

Posted by: badpoetry on April 19, 2010 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Is Tarkanian related to old Coach Jerry? Maybe women just have longer memories than men, and associate the Tarkanian name with cheating and fraud?

And as far as biased, you know, I have NEVER heard any woman suggest revoking men's right to vote, even though a majority of men voted for Bush.

Posted by: alix on April 19, 2010 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Why don't they just come right out and say what's on their minds? Anyone who votes for a Democrat should not be allowed to vote. That's really what they want.

Posted by: Michael on April 19, 2010 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Why don't they just come right out and say what's on their minds? Anyone who votes for a Democrat should not be allowed to vote.

One step at a time. Delude yourselves with political correctness if you want but I can personally attest to the fickleness and hysteria of women's "decision making" process. I've been married to three of them.

Posted by: Myke K on April 19, 2010 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Men are consistent. Women are fickle and biased. - Thomas Mitchell

Thomas is a woman. And she doesn't trust her opinion. QED.

Actually, I've got nothing. This is just one way "major" newspapers behave on a death spiral.

Posted by: Kevin (not the famous one) on April 19, 2010 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

to flip this thing on its head...of all the demographic groups that voted in 08, the ONLY group whose approval ratings for obama are currently lower than the percentage of the group that voted for obama is white men...and white men are the only group who generally think [wrongly, more often than not] that the gop's ecomonic policies help them more than the democrats' do...talk about your irrational voter....

Posted by: dj spellchecka on April 19, 2010 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

alix, he is Jerry Tarkanian's son. He spent his last two years of HS at Bishop Gorman HS in LV. He played for his dad at UNLV for three years. I was never in Jerry's camp, but, he is still fondly remembered by many in Nevada. It was Steve Wynn of The Mirage and Golden Nugget fame who drove him from UNLV and not the NCAA which conducted a Jesuit type witch hunt against Tark, much of which came to naught for the Overland Park zealots.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 19, 2010 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

In G's comments about the periodic extension of the franchise and the subsequent election of corrupt administrations, correlation is mistaken for causation. Does G really think that the 18-year olds voting for NIxon swayed the election in his favor, to take one of his/examples? I would just remind G that the voters who put the Bush administration into power tended to belong to the holders of the original franchise: white male property owners.

Posted by: Amy in Pasadena on April 19, 2010 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

It's one thing to suggest that there are important gender-based differences between men and women. It's a far different level to say that those differences mean that more than half of the population isn't competent to vote.

Posted by: Shalimar on April 19, 2010 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Keep the 19th Amendment.

Get rid of the 16th Amendment.

It has probably done more damage than the 18th Amendment, which was done away by the 21st Amendment.

Posted by: MKS on April 19, 2010 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas was especially dismissive of those who found his "repeal the 19th Amendment" argument offensive, accusing them of failing to consider "any merits or demerits of facts in evidence or syllogism used" in his piece.

I love how, whenever wing-nuts find themselves out of their depth, they immediately fall to half-understood bloviating. The either sound like a cartoon depiction of Sir Issac Newton or a comic-book supervillain, depending on whether they've ever read a book.

Posted by: oboe on April 19, 2010 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Republiscum are always "amazed" when their racist, sexist, fascist bullshit "jokes" get called for the crap they are. "Oh, I'm sorry, can't you let a joke be a joke?" they say.

This dumbass was just taking his Id out for a walk, and giving the rest of us a good look at how these bastards really think.

Further proof my great-grand-uncle was right: "The only 'good Republicans' are pushing up daisies." It was true in the 1920s, it's true today.

Posted by: TCinLA on April 19, 2010 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

@g wrote:

When the 15th amendment extended the franchise to non-whites, they immediately elected Grant - one of the most corrupt administrations ever.

Further proof of the fantasy land that most southern white males live in. The truth is the opposite. Grant was dedicated to making Reconstruction work and fixing the southern white South permanently. Having seen enough war, he (and Sherman, then head of the Army) really meant it in the treaties with the Native Americans about peace "so long as the grass shall grow and the winds shall blow". Unfortunately, the real leaders of his party - who were not the abolitionists and progressives, but rather the former Whigs and Know-Nothings that formed the other part of the Republican coalition (as they have ever since), and the grab-it-now thieves who created the Gilded Age - were busy creating that Gilded Age.

Go read a bit of actual history, "g" (assuming you can read). Your other "proofs" are the sort of stuff one expects from a Southern white male with too many generations of cousins marrying cousins in his genetic background.

Posted by: TCinLA on April 19, 2010 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, the guy runs a major newspaper...in *Nevada*. Enough said.

Posted by: Limbaugh's Diabetes on April 19, 2010 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

@TCinLA, great insight into the makeup of the Republican Party in the 1870s. The election of 1876 was a major sellout.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 19, 2010 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas Mitchell needs to lay off listening to his one eyed-winkie for his commentaries and engage his bigger brain. LOL!

The "I have a penis ergo I am always right and all women are wrong." is based on Mitchell's emotional love affair with himself as the center of the universe.

Posted by: Silver Owl on April 19, 2010 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

My thoughts on Mr. Mitchell's satire are clouded by my girly persuasion, sadly, but they are still worth reading.

Posted by: Echidne of the snakes on April 19, 2010 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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