Liberal dudes and their mancrushes on Jerry Lewis

04 Oct 2012 09:44 pm
Posted by: Donna

It’s plainly obvious that the mainstream media in the Phoenix area is totally in the tank for Republican Jerry Lewis in his state senate race against Democrat Ed Ableser in a Dem leaning Tempe district. Columnists have endorsed him and major newspapers are running flattering coverage of Lewis’s campaign gimmick uh proposal to rein in lobbyist expenditures. Basically, Lewis is the kind of nice, amiable Republican that the establishment here swoons over.

But Lewis defeated Russell Pearce in a nationally famous recall election last year, which makes him very popular in alternative press circles too. So when it came to the attention of dudely writers and regular commenters at the Phoenix New Times that some pro-choice ladies find Lewis’s support for bills imposing draconian 20 week abortion bans and allowing doctors to lie to patients about fetal anomalies that may lead to abortion to be a tad odious, said dudebros were quick to defend their favorite Republican Senator. Here’s the New Times patiently mansplaining why we should really be hailing Lewis as a pro-choice hero.

For those cynical Democrats who’ve argued that the recall of ex-state Senate President Russell Pearce only resulted in a Republican replacing a Republican, check out the way state Senator Jerry Lewis, the GOPer who beat Pearce in that contest, voted when it came to state Representative Debbie Lesko’s anti-contraception bill, which allowed religious employers to deny their employees insurance that covered contraception: He voted against it, twice. If Lewis had never set foot in the Senate, the end result would have been the same. But the same could be said of every Democratic “nay.” And Lewis is not a D. He’s an R, and a highly religious member of the Mormon Church to boot. No, the recall did matter, and Lewis’ profile in courage on the Lesko bill is just one reason why.

What seems to be going on here is that these liberal dudebros can’t fathom us ladies with our wee feeble ladybrains being able to hold perfectly non-mutually exclusive concepts at once, such as: That the recall of Russell Pearce by Lewis was a very good thing but that Lewis is still anti-choice and, as such, is not deserving of a Senate seat in a liberal-leaning district that is not the conservative district he won his recall in. In other words, if we don’t love everything about Lewis, then the only possible conclusion is that we don’t love the recall either!

I’ll remind readers that while Lewis did magnanimously vote to allow the predominately white and middle class group of ladies with private health insurance to keep their contraception coverage (not that it mattered since the bill passed anyway), he also sponsored bills to defund Planned Parenthood. That means Jerry Lewis voted to cut poor women’s access to contraception, most likely on the theory that funding going there somehow gets abortion cooties on it.

As far as the courage required to go against his party on the contraception vote goes, Lewis voted against HB2625 in March of 2012, which was months after he filed to run for Senate in LD26. Looked at in that context, Lewis’s act of “political courage” doesn’t seem so valiant. He’s currently using the vote to burnish his moderate cred in a more liberal district. One that he knew he’d be running in when he did it. Hey, if you’re going to say he’s got courage, you should point to his anti-choice votes now, since they won’t go over well in the district if people learn of them. The courageous thing would be for Lewis to tout all his reproductive votes proudly on his website where every Tempe voter could see them.

I will say that Lewis running against Pearce in the recall last year was a true act of courage. Lewis was excoriated by the right wing media and even received death threats. So yeah, that was brave. Very. But hey, John McCain was tortured in a POW camp for six years and while I salute his courage for surviving that, it doesn’t mean I’m ever going to vote for him.

What, by the way, does Lewis’s religion have to do with it? Ed Ableser shares the same religion and votes no on every anti-choice bill. If Lewis is politically courageous, then isn’t Ableser more religiously courageous? And are we supposed to accept awful anti-woman votes on the basis that they are motivated by the legislator’s religious belief? Or is this how some liberals justify helping Jerry Lewis in the LD26 race?


  1. Comment by Liberal Democrat Friend of Bruce Ash on October 5, 2012 11:43 am

    >For those cynical Democrats who’ve argued that the recall of ex-state Senate President Russell Pearce only resulted in a Republican replacing a Republican

    wait… isn’t that…. exactly what happened?

  2. Comment by Suzanne on October 5, 2012 3:08 pm

    I have previously read articles about man-churches – which is how I misread the title of this column. So, I began reading with that idea in mind. It didn’t take long and I thought ‘well, Donna is taking us on a trail ride today’. In the end, we missed the man-church and ended with New Times endorsing Lewis. Curious? I don’t suppose it has anything to do with the new New Times owners – I hope not.
    I do not remember how I first came upon Rebecca Solnit’s ‘mansplaining’, it may have been through you Donna, but I recommend that ladies and gentlemen (or not) read it.
    Also, thank you for the article on the Corporation Commission.

  3. Comment by Bill on October 5, 2012 8:54 pm

    New Times has a sordid history of Republican man-crushes. In 1986 they helped launch Jon Kyl’s career with a fake “expose” of his Dem opponent, and supported John McCain in his first Senate race. In 1990 they found laughably trivial reasons to mock Terry Goddard in a race he lost by less than a percentage point to Fife Symington. And I won’t even get into their bizarre fixation with Jarrett Maupin, the convicted felon who the Republicans roll out whenever they want to accuse Dems of racism.

  4. Comment by Timmys Cat on October 5, 2012 9:31 pm

    Mmmm Ol’ Jerry Lee supports the one man one woman Constituional Amendment crap. He’s anti-abortion except for rape, etc. (liberal!). Also wants your pharmacist to be able to not sell you your prescribed contraceptives because of THEIR morals.
    a href=””>CAP VOTER GUIDE
    The NT supported Jerry Lee against Pearce which was a good thing. Now they seem to not be able to admit they backed a Republican who’s not so progressive as is made out. Not sure it’s a man crush on their part as to more a huge ego thing of not admitting what they’ve done.

    To play ketchup (ahem), don’t forget Barrett has a stake in K12 Charter which has teamed up with ALEC in the past. Choking public ed sends more kid $ his way.

  5. Comment by Timmys Cat on October 5, 2012 9:32 pm


  6. Comment by John Kavanagh on October 5, 2012 11:41 pm

    Don’t forget Ablesser’s being absent for 40 percent of the votes.

  7. Comment by Donna on October 6, 2012 12:53 am

    No, I won’t, John Kavanagh. I’ll also remember how many votes Lewis showed up for to vote against my interests. Weird how you’re showing up, all of a sudden, to support Jerry Lewis.

  8. Comment by Timmys Cat on October 6, 2012 10:42 am

    It forgot it’s State Sen prefix too. It usually forgets something, most often capital letters.

  9. Comment by Timmys Cat on October 6, 2012 4:42 pm

    I wonder if the NT is going to do a mancrush on their previous owner Michael Lacey who sold off the paper but kept the highly lucrative (Hookers R Us) Backpage?

    Best of business courage 2012?

  10. Comment by mike slater on October 8, 2012 9:00 pm

    Donna, your interests aren’t everyone’s interests.

  11. Comment by Donna on October 8, 2012 9:07 pm

    Who died and made you “everyone”, Mike?

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