by abot, Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 05:32:16 PM EDT
by January 20, Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:09:48 AM EDT
You really don't want to hear any editorializing from me on Gloria Steinem's brilliant op-ed in today's LA Times. Follow the link to read the full text: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-o e-steinem4-2008sep04,0,7541303.story
Here's the good news: Women have become so politically powerful that even the anti-feminist right wing -- the folks with a headlock on the Republican Party -- are trying to appease the gender gap with a first-ever female vice president. We owe this to women -- and to many men too -- who have picketed, gone on hunger strikes or confronted violence at the polls so women can vote. We owe it to Shirley Chisholm, who first took the "white-male-only" sign off the White House, and to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who hung in there through ridicule and misogyny to win 18 million votes.
But here is even better news: It won't work. This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie.
Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters. Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton's candidacy stood for -- and that Barack Obama's still does. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, "Somebody stole my shoes, so I'll amputate my legs."
This is not to beat up on Palin. I defend her right to be wrong, even on issues that matter most to me. I regret that people say she can't do the job because she has children in need of care, especially if they wouldn't say the same about a father. I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden's 37 years' experience.
More after the bump.
by GoldLame, Wed Sep 03, 2008 at 06:19:36 PM EDT
I just saw some ditch rat, troll-looking "Clinton supporter" being interviewed from the floor of the RNC on CNN. She said she supported abortion rights and gay rights, but doesn't believe either of those would be at stake under a McBush presidency. She then went on to belittle the Democratic Party for using the abortion issue to keep "women in line" over the years. Am I paranoid? Because I'm catching a strong whiff of big fat stinking ditch rat!
The Republicans have made one thing abundantly clear over the last several days: they think American woman are dumb as dirt. If this ditch rat happens to be telling the truth, that she is a Clinton supporter who has turned to McCain (and that she really believes gays and abortion would be safe under his presidency), then the GOP is right only in cases such as hers and the PUMA crowd. Dumb Dumb Dumb
Many Democrats have been sent scurrying under furniture, with their tails between their legs, convinced that the choice of Palin and her daughter's pregnancy are all part of some grand Rovian plan. I believe this has all been a brilliant plan about as much as I believe that ditch rat just interviewed on TV is anything but a paid GOP operative! (How does someone support Sen. Clinton in the primary and, at the same time, run to be a McCain delegate? hmmm)
There is no way on God's green earth that the RNC would want Palin on this ticket, had they known 1/6 of the dozen ugly things that have come out about her and her family.
Palin's presence on the ticket has negated almost every potentially potent charge they have leveled and would level against Barack Obama.
Pregnant daughter. Pictures of this daughter holding a handle of whiskey, which was only 1/16 full. (These pictures would be hard to tell apart from what could have been an all nighter with Lindsay Lohan and Brittany Spears.) Issuing a statement announcing Bristol's pregnancy and engagement, as if she were sending it in with glowing pride to the local newspaper. I hate to give her props, but only Dr. Laura managed to maintain some ideological/moral consistency.
Drunk Driving and All Night Drinking. After a police chief in Palin's little icy fiefdom grew so concerned over a rise in drunk driving cases, appropriately for the sake of a little thing called public safety, tried to make bars close at 2am instead of 5am the God-fearing mayor sacked him.
-Country First (read: Obama hates America)?
Todd Palin, our favorite beauty queen runner-up and sports caster's husband, was a card-carrying member of the radical separatist Alaska Independence Party for seven years. The founder of this "party" used far more foul and hateful language to denounce the United States than Rev. Wright ever did.
Although the McCain Campaign found a small degree of comfort in not finding Sarah's name registered under AIK in the voter rolls, she nonetheless appeared at meetings and even, as governor - via video FROM the GOVERNOR'S office - addressed their last convention. It is very telling when the McCain camp finds solace and thinks that (what is at best) pandering to radical separatists is A-OK.
Palin was the mayor of a town of 6,500 for a number of years, until elected governor in a state with the same population of Austin, TX. Enough said.
The McCain camp was so careless in their vetting that they managed to overlook the fact that Palin accepted earmarks on three occasions, with each earmark being explicitly criticized by John McMaverick himself. Sarah Palin, as mayor and with the help of Abramhoff-linked lobbyist, managed to get more pork for her town than the entire state of Idaho.
They introduced Sarah Palin VP nominee as a fighter against pork. Exemplifying such integrity, they argued, was her stand against the infamous Bridge to Nowhere. She, in fact, campaigned for office as an advocate for the Bridge. Palin now claims she was against it and even has gone so far as to say she is the one to kill the deal. Only a mentally challenged five year old would be unable to call out the hypocrisy, upon discovering it was really Congress that ended the Bridge construction and that she KEPT the money for other transportation projects.
I'm not against earmarks. I'm against liars.
These are a few of the reasons the McCain people are stoking this Baby story. They are using it to fake indignation and charge sexism. Most of all, they are using it to silence all of these other real issues.
I think the Baby story is good for us, in only one respect. We can point out the hypocrisy of the right. If this had been Chelsea Clinton or Joe Biden's daughter, the GOP would denounce our party as the reincarnation of Sadam itself. Against everything pure and decent, they'd say about Democrats. I guess Hillary Clinton was so preoccupied with her ambitions that she didn't even know what her daughter was doing. Like father like daughter.
Can't you just hear it? Well, everyone else who hasn't had a lifetime supply of the GOP Kool-Aid will see it as well. We can't be scared. And as much as we can't be scared, we can't be stupid. Obama and Biden have masterfully played this scandal well. Candidates children are off limits: that's what any smart politician would say in such a situation. We are not, however, Obama's minions. We don't have to sit down and shut up about it. The fact that the girl is pregnant and that she is a heavy, hard liquor drinker doesn't really matter at all for our purposes or at all in general. It is perfectly appropriate to simply appeal to people and ask "What if the tables were turned?"
My point here is that this nominee and her party are guilty on ALL counts and Democrats should feel empowered and charge full speed ahead. She is an absolutely terrible choice for vice president. The McCain campaign is scrambling because they made a rushed decision without even an attempt at a competent vetting process - a massive failure on McCain's first truly presidential decision. Therefore, I find it rather hard to believe this is some grand Rovian scheme; its simply damage control.
I've found many Democrats, almost all of them men, are very much worried that these charges of sexism will begin to work and ultimately hurt Democrats. Although they mean well, I think this thinking requires an assumption that women are stupid, much like the GOP thinking. Its one thing for an icon of the Democratic Party like Clinton, an unapologetic feminist who has been subjected to an ongoing sexist assault for the last sixteen years. Its one thing for her to make such a claim in a Democratic primary and have Democratic women rally and come to her defense. Its quite another thing for a Republican woman to do it, only minutes after publicly and explicitly declaring your intent to go after Clinton's voters and after, much earlier, charging Clinton with whining for daring to defend herself against - again, legitimate - sexism. Independent women and, certainly, Democratic women will see through this in an instant; they will see it as a gimmick that is insulting to their intelligence.
I'll close this rambling, off the cuff diary with two things I've heard today about Palin. Take it for what its worth. One involved a woman, a life-long Democrat. She said that she seriously doubted Palin's capability of serving as VP or president because she has five kids; especially troubling to her was that her newborn was a special needs child. No way she could do it, she was sure. I asked her why people never say such things about men. She said that she had spoken to a couple of girlfriends about it and they had agreed. This coworker of mine also questioned Palin's decision making because she had read that, after her water breaking, Palin and her husband boarded a flight that lasted eight hours. Having three children of her own, she found this to be absolutely ludicrous. She got a wild look in her eyes and said emphatically, "That can cause infection! And for a special needs child???"
The other Palin chatter I heard involved a man in front of me at a gas station. He had Republican, NASCAR Dad written all over him. I saw that he had been looking at the newspaper in front of the counter. He turned to his friend and asked what he thought about McCain's choice for VP. His friend shrugged his shoulders and slightly shook his head. I'm assuming with a straight face, the guy then says, "I like her a lot. She's a cute little thing. She's a whole lot better than Hillary. I mean, this woman wears skirts!"
I thought these two instances in my day were telling. Make of them what you will.
by GRO, Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 04:35:29 AM EDT
What does the Palin selection tell us about John McCain?
One - He makes critical decisions impulsively and with limited information
Two - He holds the majority of his fellow Republicans in low regard
Three - He believes most women are identity voters and not issues voters
Four - He intends to pander to Christian conservatives
Five - He is not committed to his own platform
Six - He puts ambition before country
Seven - He doesn't value foreign policy experience
Eight - He values labels over contents and style over substance
Nine - He is not forthcoming to the American people
Ten - He cannot even decisively lead his own campaign
Expanded on below the fold
by psychodrew, Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 11:43:38 AM EDT
Cross-posted at Clintonistas for Obama.
Now that the shock--SHOCK--of McCain's running mate selection has worn off, I'd like to share my thoughts on how this stunning move changes the race for Democrats. Palin can be both good and bad for Democrats, depending on how Obama decides to take her on.