It's been roughly 10 hours and 30 minutes since John McCain announced his VP pick Sarah Palin. Since that time - I think its safe to say that the American public and particularly the media and blogosphere have been chomping at the bit to get their sexist rocks off.
We defend Sarah Palin against misogynist smears not because we endorse her or her politics, but because that's how feminism works. For the record, there is plenty about which to criticize Palin that has absolutely fuck-all to do with her sex. She's anti-choice, against marriage equality, pro-death penalty, pro-guns, and loves Big Business. (In other words, she's a Republican.) There's no goddamned reason to criticize her for anything but her policies.
And as DoctorScience says - The biggest single danger of Palin's candidacy is that it will bring enough foaming misogyny out of the Democratic side to repel some female voters over to McCain.
Let's take a look at a few examples from the last 10 hours, shall we?
A clever blogger started the website VPILF, and I think it speaks for itself.
And while the media has too many examples to being up - one comes to mind...
Palin has been the VP pick for all of five minutes, and already one of the (male) reporters on CNN just asked another reporter something along the lines of, "Now, Palin also has a baby with Down's Syndrome. Those children require an awful lot of care. Do you think she'll be able to balance taking care of that baby with being Vice President? I mean, having a Down's Syndrome baby takes up a lot of time and energy.
I guess the lessons from the Democratic primary didn't catch.
Not much of a diary but more of a general question which I'm sure will bring up debate. With this choice, McCain is obviously pandering to the former Hillary Clinton supporters. If he reaches them or not is entirely up to each individual person but I agree with Todd and believe backlash will ensue (has a bit already).
But another thing popped into my mind and I'm pretty sure you've thought of it.
I'm talking about the sexism card. I'm talking about seeing sexism in the most innocent comments and making the Obama campaign responsible for something Tweety said on MSNBC. You all saw it. Of course, many also saw racism in everything that was uttered by the other campaign and the media.
I'm pretty sure McCain noticed the media backlash that ensued during the primary when, unfairly or not, everybody and their mother was being accused of being sexist against the Hillary campaign. Also, I want to make clear that for a bit everybody and their mother was being accused of being racist against the Obama campaign. Both candidates mainly stayed out of it but many surrogates, both on blogs and IRL were guilty of this (and still are).
I do agree their was some sexism but in the same way some Obama supporters see racism in everything, I believe it was way overblown. We get that?
Now please, keep your youtube vids and quotes to yourselves. I understand their was sexism as their was racism as well. I am not denying that. I will say that each campaign exploited the others missteps and capitalized on mispoken or badly worded pharses. Both sides were guilty of this. Which is only natural because they are politicians and this is what politicans do. They try to win at all costs. No need to start a primary flame war please. This isn't about that.
Here we have Karl Rove, and I'm sure he knows that the best way to rile up the select group he is targeting ( strong independent women) he has to portray his candidate as the heir to Hillary's run. He also knows he has to get Palin to look more approachable and create greater empathy with women. Things that for all the hoopla about her being picked hasn't yet happened. The reception by most has been tepid at best.
So yeah, I'm positive they are going to milk the sexism card. I am sure Obama's every word will be dissected (and Bidens and other Democrats) and they will find outrage and sexism where there is none. Even when it's clearly being taken out of context. I don't even want to think about the way Biden will be potrayed after the debate performance.
I also believe that fuck ups will ocurr and the media douchebags will provide plenty of sexist and gross behavior which can only benefit Palin. Which is exactly the point.
McCain is going to milk this for all it's worth.
My question is.
So when do you think they will start playing the media and Democratic campaign angle of sexism?
So McCain has nominated a woman Republican for vice president and upstaged the Democrats' change message to some degree. In 2006, I predicted that if the Democrats did not nominate a woman in 2008 then the Republicans would do so, if only for the tactical advantage it might provide. Before I was banned from participation at DailyKos for failing to make a contribution there, I pointed it out in an essay at DailyKos on Friday, July 28, 2006 that if Hillary Clinton or another woman were not on the Democratic ticket, the Republicans would use the issue to upstage Democrats in 2008. I said,
If the Democrats are indifferent or averse to the value of [women] "firsts", there is a significant political history suggesting that the Republicans might grab and claim this ground for women before the Democrats do, because they typically have arrived first in the past. The Republicans historically have been the first to elevate women. The first women in the US Senate, the US House of Representatives and the US Supreme Court were Republicans. "In 1917, Jeannette Rankin, a Republican from Montana, entered the U.S. House of Representatives, the first woman ever elected to Congress." In 1978, "Nancy Landon Kassebaum, a Kansas Republican, was elected to the United States Senate in her own right. In 1981, "Sandra Day O'Connor, a former Republican state legislator from Arizona who had served on a state appeals court, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the first woman ever to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court." Prior to the election of Nancy Kassebaum to the US Senate in 1978, all women who had ever served in the US Senate had succeeded their husbands in Congress or had first been appointed to fill out unexpired terms of somebody else." [ http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/... ]
So, if the Republicans have been first to elect women to the US Senate, the US House and to appoint a woman to the US Supreme Court, will the be the first to nominate and elect an woman President? I certainly hope not, because her name might be Condoleezza Rice. Yes, most Americans expect that US Senator Hillary Clinton will be nominated by the Democrats in 2008, but she is not then Condoleeza Rice or another Republican could become the first female president of the United States. [ http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/... ] That's something for Democrats to ponder as they weigh whether "firsts" have any remaining value in the post-Jackie Robinson age.
It is unfortunate that the only way that women could make strides into public office historically was when their husbands had held those offices first. Yet we must be grateful for those historic first because without them women might still be precluded, by custom if by nothing else, from participating at all. Certainly, our country should have been more "free" and it should be more free today. But, to lament and criticize the "husband route" is effectively to say that all-male leadership was and is preferable - a proposition that I hope few of us are yet ready to support. Criticism of the "husband route" has the damnable effect of supporting and advocating the sexist status quo. DailyKos, July 28, 2006
The selection of Joe Biden as the number two on the Democratic ticket frankly dumbfounds me. It really makes me wonder what has become of this party. I have Googled for transcripts and searched youtube for video, but it seems those hearings have been cleaned up a bit. Or maybe I'm not looking in the right places. In the early 90's Joe Biden served as chairman of the judicial committee during the Clarence Thomas hearings. Some videos of the questioning of Thomas are available on youtube. Surprisingly I cannot find video of the questioning of Anita Hill.
Some may say that was a long time ago and is no longer relevant. I believe it is relevant as long as Thomas sits on the SCOTUS. It will be relevant in every decision that is made by the Court. Biden's incompetence is primarily the reason why Thomas's nomination went through. Thomas was confirmed with a Senate vote of 52-48. I didn't bother to look this up but if he was chairman of the judicial committee, does that mean Democrats held a majority in the Senate?
Thankfully I watched those hearings live and I know firsthand the judicial committee treated Thomas with kid gloves. They were courteous and respectful to him. They attacked Anita Hill like rabid dogs. Biden was shown to be sexist along with the 13 others and incompetent. Anita Hill provided vivid testimony on sexual harrassment by Thomas. This failure of leadership alone should have been enough to deny Biden VP into eternity.
From the NYT on Biden's role:
"He was basically playing judge," Susan Deller Ross, a Georgetown University law professor and expert in workplace sex discrimination, said of Mr. Biden, adding "the other side was playing advocate" for Mr. Thomas. "I'm sure you remember nobody played advocate for her. I don't think he did well and he bears responsibility for Mr. Thomas being on the court."