KEN BUCK’S CALLOUSNESS…. When it comes to women’s issues, extremist Senate candidate Ken Buck (R) of Colorado isn’t exactly a champion. He is, for example, on record supporting bans on certain forms of birth control and the criminalization of all abortion rights, even in cases of rape or incest. During his GOP Senate primary, Buck even mocked his opponent for wearing high heels.

But revelations about Buck’s handling of a 2005 rape case have put the candidate’s attitudes towards women in an even more painful light.

Three weeks from Election Day, stories have suddenly emerged about Buck’s refusal to follow up on rape allegations involving a University of North Colorado student during his stint as Weld County District Attorney. While other prosecutors have filed criminal charges against alleged rapists in similar cases, Buck declined, claiming insufficient evidence.

Renewed criticism has erupted over Buck’s handling of the case in light of some of his newly-resurfaced remarks, including a conversation he had with the victim and his suggestion that a jury would view the rape charges as merely her “buyer’s remorse.” […]

The Huffington Post has obtained the audio of the meeting Buck held with the victim as well as the pertinent police report — both of which, critics say, make him seem callous and even hostile in dismissing her pleas.

At the time, a 21-year-old student had gotten together with a man she used to date. Intoxicated, the young woman invited her alleged attacker to her apartment. She apparently passed out, but woke up to find herself being violated. The attacker conceded to police that the woman had said “no,” and the police report added, “he realized he had done something wrong.” The same report went on to say he felt “shame and regret” and even tried to “apologize” to the victim.

Despite all of this, Buck concluded the case wasn’t worth prosecuting. In his conversation with the victim, in which Buck was recorded without his knowledge, he argued, “It appears to me and it appears to others that you invited him over to have sex with him.”

I realize that prosecutors have a variety of factors to consider before filing criminal charges, but in this case, Buck was not only dismissive of an apparent rape victim, he had a police report in which the attacker practically confessed to the violent crime.

I’ve long questioned Ken Buck’s judgment. He does, after all, support repealing the 17th Amendment, privatizing Social Security, eliminating the Department of Education, scrapping the federal student loan program, and has even said liberals are a bigger threat than terrorists.

But these revelations about his record as a county prosecutor seem to make his judgment look even worse.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

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.