Another entry into the phony war on women (ProgressVA/WaPo edition)

Virginia Democrats and associated “women’s groups” believe they have found yet more evidence of the insidious Republican “war on women,” this time from the exchange between House Speaker Bill Howell and Anna Scholl, the director of ProgressVA over a report the latter’s group published detailing what it painted as the nefarious connections between the American Legislative Exchange Council and Republican bill writers.

The WaPo’s Anita Kumar has assembled some of the reactions — a few of which are quite amusing. The offensive exchange went like this:

Howell grew frustrated after a line of questioning from Anna Scholl, the executive director of ProgressVA, and after she asked him for clarification, Howell replied: “I guess I’m not speaking in little enough words for you to understand.’’

Scholl retorted: “I’m a smart girl, actually. I went to the University of Virginia. I benefited from public education in Virginia. I think words with multiple syllables will be just fine for me.”

I’ll put aside jokes about the comprehension skills of UVA grads and instead wonder how Howell was able to be so restrained.

As our own Rick Sincere wrote in December, the ProgressVa report on ALEC, which the WaPo’s Kumar quickly seized upon, is as daffy as the day is long:

Does a shadowy, behind-the-scenes influence pedlar publish, over a period longer than a quarter-century, its conspiratorial products in books that anyone can read? When the content of those books is developed in committees consisting of more than 200 people? (Benjamin Franklin once quipped that three men can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.)

It should be noted that ALEC no longer publishes its model legislation in books printed every two years. It publishes its model bills on its web site.

The idea that the American Legislative Exchange Council is “secretive” (a word used in the Washington Post article to describe ALEC) is nonsense.

A shoddy report combined with sloppy reporting followed up by badgering questions and even more sloppy reporting. No wonder Howell was frustrated.

I think the real entity owed an apology here is ALEC — by the WaPo, ProgressVa and the assorted nitwits who insist that the Speaker is engaging in a Somme-like offensive on women.