LEAVE THE 19TH AMENDMENT ALONE…. I like to think I can take a joke, and appreciate political commentary intended as humor, but this item from Thomas Mitchell, editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, wasn’t amusing. The headline read, “Time to repeal the 19th Amendment?

People and candidates for public office should be judged on the basis of their ideas, stance on the issues, character, experience and integrity, not on the basis of age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion or disability.

Therefore, we must repeal the 19th Amendment. Yes, the one granting suffrage to women. Because? Well, women are biased….. Men are consistent. Women are fickle and biased.

To “prove” his point, Mitchell, head of Nevada’s largest newspaper, pointed to poll results showing women voters in the state preferring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) over former state Sen. Sue Lowden (R) by a narrow margin, but preferring Reid over real estate agent Danny Tarkanian by a wide margin. This is evidence of “bias.” (That women voters might perceive Lowden as more qualified than Tarkanian doesn’t seem to enter the equation at all.)

Mitchell also pointed to recent Gallup data that showed, nationwide, women tend to prefer Democrats, while men tend to prefer Republicans. This, apparently, substantiates the argument that … well, actually, I have no idea.

If there’s a clever insight here, it’s hiding well.

In a follow-up piece, Thomas described his published argument as “a bit of free hyperbole.” He proceeded to compare himself to Larry Summers, and insisted that there really are important gender-based differences between men and women. Thomas was especially dismissive of those who found his “repeal the 19th Amendment” argument offensive, accusing them of failing to consider “any merits or demerits of facts in evidence or syllogism used” in his piece. It’s their fault, apparently, not his, that they were insulted.

Remember, this guy runs a major newspaper.

The mind reels.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.