There’s been a good deal of outrage over Democratic state Rep. Joe Salazar’s recent boneheaded floor remarks on rape–from Republicans.
Nobody else really seems to care. Democrats? No worries. Liberal women’s groups? Crickets. The Colorado media? Hey, Joe’s a good guy, he didn’t mean it.
There are plenty of good guys out there in politics, but when the good guy is a Republican and he steps into it as badly as Salazar did during Friday’s floor debate on gun control, the accepted reaction is to call for his head, followed by political exile.
Nothing of the sort has occurred since Salazar opened mouth and inserted foot while defending House Bill 1226, the proposed ban on concealed-carry on campus. The Thornton lawmaker started by acknowledging “gender inequities on college campuses,” and then said the following:
“That’s why we have call boxes, that’s why we have safe zones, that’s why we have the whistles, because you just don’t know who you’re going to be shooting at. And you don’t know, if you feel like you’re going to be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around, or if you feel like you’re in trouble, and when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop around that somebody.”
To summarize, women with concealed-carry permits should be forbidden from carrying guns on campus because they might start blasting away at imaginary rapists.
The first person to notice that Salazar was perhaps giving women less credit than they deserve was Republican state Rep. Polly Lawrence. After admonishing him on the floor, she sent out the following tweet: “Rep. Salazar says women may not know when they’re being raped . . . .”
House Minority Leader Mark Waller retweeted her remark Saturday, adding sarcastically, “Thank you for standing up for women!”
Salazar fired back, “[T]hanks for playing politics with words I never spoke! Class act!”
The episode might have disappeared from view at that point, but then the conservative blogosphere picked up on the story and the video clip. Revealing Politics, RedState, Inagist and Twitchy ran items on Salazar’s remarks. Commentator Dana Loesch accused Salazar of viewing women as “hysterical.”
“This is the real ‘war on women‘ I’ve talked about: the progressive insistence that women disarm,” Loesch said on RedState. “Women, according to Rep. Salazar, are hysterical things which shoot indiscriminately at any and everything.”
With things heating up, Salazar issued a mea culpa Monday to Fox31, saying, “I’m sorry if I offended anyone. That was absolutely not my intention.”
“We were having a public policy debate on whether or not guns makes people safer on campus. I don’t believe they do. That was the point I was trying to make. If anyone thinks I’m not sensitive to the dangers women face, they’re wrong,” said Salazar.
He then played the “some of my best friends are women” card,” to wit: “I am a husband and father of two beautiful girls, and I’ve spent the last decade defending women’s rights as a civil rights attorney. Again, I’m deeply sorry if I offended anyone with my comments.”
We have no doubt that Salazar is sorry about his remarks. We’re also confident that he hasn’t changed his mind–that he continues to believe whistles and call boxes are good enough because women can’t be trusted with guns on campus. Witness his vote Monday in favor of HB 1226.
If he were a Republican, this could be a huge political problem for him, even a career-breaker. Fortunately for Salazar, he’s not.
You can watch Rep. Salazar’s comments below, courtesy of Revealing Politics.