If you are a conservative woman who has the audacity to seek public office, be warned. You will be held to a higher standard than your male counterparts. You will be ridiculed by both Republicans and Democrats. You will be scrutinized by the media to an extent usually reserved for celebrities who are being stalked by paparazzi. Case in point: the journalist who actually moved to Alaska and rented the house next door to Governor Sarah Palin last summer. What is it about these conservative women that creates such angst? From Olbermann to Maddow, from Rove to Krauthammer, the reaction is apoplectic.
Adjectives such as “inexperienced,” “incompetent,” and “dishonest” are thrown at these women as soon as they enter the national spotlight. The intellectual elite paint them as crazy, right-wing nuts, especially if, heaven forbid, they are Christians. If they win an "unwinnable" election, the establishment calls it a fluke. (Republican Congressman Mike Castle has yet to call and congratulate Christine O’Donnell.) Their hairstyles and wardrobes are ridiculed; their personal lives are put under a microscope. Obviously, the conventional wisdom goes, they did not deserve to win. Undoubtedly, the pundits warn, they will cause Republicans to lose in November.
In an era in which our Vice President is more famous for his gaffes than his accomplishments, Congressman Charlie Rangel wins reelection despite a pending ethics trial, and Americans elect a community organizer to be President, the double standard for conservative women candidates is not only undeniable, it’s glaring. And disappointing.
Sure, politics has always been a good ol' boys club. But these courageous women, who ignore the naysayers and fight the good fight, are not a fluke. They are conservative heroines who deserve our admiration and support. As Senator Jim DeMint said, “I've been in the majority with Republicans who didn't have principles, and we embarrassed ourselves and lost credibility in front of the country. Frankly, I'm at a point where I'd rather lose fighting for the right cause than win fighting for the wrong cause.” This conservative woman agrees.