09/18/2013 01:53 pm ET Updated Nov 18, 2013

The Republican Game Plan Against Wendy Davis: She's Just a Dumb Woman

Wendy Davis has set October 3 as the day she'll announce future plans. Meanwhile, the conservative machine in Texas, aided by her likely Republican opponent in the governor's race, Attorney General Greg Abbott, keeps abusing her to a degree unchecked.

If these people were school children instead of public officials, they'd be sent home for bullying.

It started in August, when a supporter of Abbott tweeted that the AG would demolish the "idiot" and "retard Barbie" Wendy Davis. Abbott, who his staff confirmed writes his own Twitter messages, quickly responded with this endorsement of his supporter's juvenile sentiment: "Jeff, thanks for your support."

Classy comeback, Abbott. If a Davis supporter derisively refers to you as "Hot Wheels" because you're in a wheelchair, and Wendy tweets back her "thanks," is that OK? Is that where we now are in our discourse?

The nastiness continues unabated: This past week, Abbott's highly paid, East-coast based political consultant sent a tweet to all followers extolling a blog that calls Davis "too stupid to be Governor" and states that "Texas state Senator Wendy 'Abortion Barbie' Davis is even dumber than her fake blonde hair would imply."

Time out. Davis was a divorced mother living in a mobile home near Fort Worth who went on to graduate first in her class at TCU with a B.A. in English, and then earned a law degree -- with honors -- from Harvard in '93.

Still, this is how Republicans play ball, especially against a female opponent. People remember the treatment Ann Richards got at the hands of her opponents when she ran for governor back in '90. Some things haven't changed.

Back then, such sexist and misogynistic behavior cost the GOP the state's top job. If they keep it up, history will repeat. Women of all political stripes, and men, too, are paying attention, and not just within the Lone Star State.