Rant: Tancredo for Governor? Please.

With the Obama administration in disarray and CYA mode over the scandals and near-scandals regarding Benghazi, the IRS, and the Associated Press, one knee-jerk assumption might be that voters are primed for a return to Republicanism. It’s probably no coincidence that this was the week when one-note politician Tom Tancredo started hinting that he might challenge Governor John Hickenlooper in 2014.

This is the last thing needed by Colorado Republicans, or by Coloradans in general. Although Obama has disappointed many of his supporters with his inconsistent and possibly corrupt track record in the White House, the 2012 elections signaled what likely is a permanent change in our electoral trends: Namely, that women and minorities hold unprecedented power, and their votes must be feverishly courted from now on.

Having Tancredo atop the GOP ticket here would kill the party in a state where Latinos have as strong a voice as almost any place in the U.S. (The guess here is he wouldn’t appeal to many women, either, outside of staunch Republicans.)

Tancredo is welcome to do whatever he wants, and history shows he will regardless of what anyone else thinks. But it’s become a staple of American politics that the party in power will eventually overreach and end up abusing its position. This at least partially explains what’s happening in Washington now. If the GOP wants to capitalize on the sins of Obama, it would be well advised to drift toward the center rather than lurch back to the right.

Rave: Our Women Are Working

This week, Emerge Colorado, a training and advocacy group for Colorado women in politics, released a report showing how effective our state’s current crop of female legislators have been. With a simple but revealing graphic, Emerge notes that in the first four months of 2013, the Colorado legislature passed 440 bills, compared to 148 passed in the U.S. Congress during the same period.

Emerge’s conclusion: That a relatively gender-neutral statehouse has resulted in more compromise, bipartisanship—and accomplishments. Colorado’s legislature is 41 percent women, versus only 18 percent in Washington, D.C., and the report says women are “31 percent more effective at advancing legislation…” than men. This is true regardless of party.

None of this will be news to anyone with a mom, sister, wife, girlfriend, or female boss. While men—particularly men in politics—scrape and claw for every inch of political real estate, too often their endeavors get sidetracked by partisan, ego-fueled contests involving the (figurative, hopefully) swinging of certain appendages unique to their gender.

Women, by and large, are often more content to cut through the me-ism and do what it takes to complete the tasks at hand. The 2012 election turned largely on how the American public perceives the role of women throughout society. This report not only makes the compelling case that they deserve across-the-board respect as voters and citizens, but that we should be seeking more of them to run our historically male-dominated institutions.

—Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Follow 5280 articles editor Luc Hatlestad on Twitter at @LucHatlestad.