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The Self-Defeating Logic of Karin Klassen

All those who have criticized Premier Alison Redford for her misuse of government jets take note and beware: you're all a bunch of mysoginists.

So says a screed written by Karin Klassen and published by the Calgary Herald:

"This is precisely why women don't go into politics. The attacks on Premier Alison Redford, over her supposedly egregious misuse of the government plane, couldn't be more about her gender if we'd hidden a cocktail napkin in her seat-back and told her women don't belong in the province's cockpit."

Well .

The remarkable thing about Klassen's column is that in it's own way it risks underscoring this final thought: that "women don't belong in the province's cockpit." That is, provided that one regard this column with the same brand of rank irrationality from which it was born.

It would be one thing if Klassen's column continued with well-reasoned or intelligible arguments. Sadly it doesn't, all the while ignoring the single most deflating detail:

The specific nature of Redford's run-in with the rules -- flying her daughter and her daughter's friends around in a government jet -- would be no less acceptable from a single father as from a single mother. The rules, after all, are the rules. And while the Premier, as does any elected politician, has the prerogative to try to change the rules democratically, she is obligated to follow them, both before and after any change.

This expectation would not be swept away for a single father. So it should not be swept away for Redford just because she happens to be a single mother.

If women are, as Klassen's column seems to imply, so fragile that they cannot bear legitimate criticism without making it all about their gender then they don't belong in the province's cockpit. Identity politics makes for tremendously poor politics, especially when it boils down to something so simple as whether or not politicians follow the rules.

Fortunately this isn't the case. Even Alison Redford herself has admitted that she has broken the rules, pledged to follow them henceforth, and repay the public coffers. She didn't hide behind her womanhood as Karin Klassen now seeks to do in her stead.

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