Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 3, 2008

THE GENDER CARD.... Over the last five days, you may have noticed that Sarah Palin's record has been subjected to some scrutiny. The only obviously sexist remarks I've noticed have come from leading far-right personalities, including Pat Buchanan calling Palin "hot," and Rush Limbaugh touting her as a "babe."

But yesterday was the first day Republicans began a coordinated effort to push back against the criticism, arguing, rather shamelessly, that anyone who questions Palin's qualifications for national office is necessarily engaging in sexism. Carly Fiornia got the ball rolling, telling reporters:

"Because of Hillary Clinton's historic run for the Presidency and the treatment she received, American women are more highly tuned than ever to recognize and decry sexism in all its forms. They will not tolerate sexist treatment of Governor Palin."

She didn't cite any examples. Simultaneously, McCain adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer blasted Palin-related criticism as "chauvinism," a point that Lindsey Graham was all too happy to echo.

Welcome to Republican Feminism in the 21st century.

This is politics at its most insipid, and while I'm confident Republicans are well past the point of shame, now would be a very good time for some. Their arguments have a certain child-like quality -- if you question the credibility and qualifications of a woman candidate, you must be some kind of misogynist. One assumes that if Democrats had taken a similar attitude -- any and all criticism of Barack Obama necessarily constitutes racism -- the reaction would have been apoplectic.

Ironically, when Hillary Clinton noted the sexism she experienced as a candidate, it was none other than Sarah Palin who accused her of "whining." And yet, he we are, with leading Republicans equating legitimate criticism with sexism, as if this tack had some legitimacy.

Did it not occur to Republicans that Palin's detractors may have sincere concerns about her credibility problems, her controversial past, her extremist beliefs, and her unimpressive record? Well, sure it did, but Republicans hope to scare Palin's critics into submission anyway.

As Jonathan Martin concluded, "All that complaining over the years by Republicans about identity politics and political correctness? Yeah, never mind. They now have a chance to score some political points, so they're engaging in such posturing full-tilt."

Even by Republican standards, this is just sad.

Steve Benen 11:05 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (63)

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Comments

This showed up on Larry King the other night, when James Carville said Palin was unqualified to be a VP, and I think it was Rep. Bachman who shot back with "That's demeaning to Women," as if all women were represented by Gov. Palin.

Posted by: PCC on September 3, 2008 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry to disagree, but its not 'sad' by Republican standards - its typical. There are no rules or principles, there are only tactics for winning. The only question is whether its going to be successful. With the MSM generally cowering on command to GOP attacks, I'm afraid there is at least a possibility that it will be.

Posted by: dcsusie on September 3, 2008 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

when you spend 44 years, as the gop has, in driving empiricism and rationality out of your party, you end up with a bunch of authoritarian personalities who will repeat anything they are told to repeat.

it's going to fail, but it's still amazing that this is the modern gop.

Posted by: howard on September 3, 2008 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

They must still believe they have a chance at the Hillary vote.

Delusional.

Posted by: douglasfactors on September 3, 2008 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

You're right that they're being hypocritical, but I'm not sure that their hypocrisy is what you think it is. It's not that they think feminists and liberals are or were sincere when they press charges of sexism, and are now simply being insincere in pressing what they know to be specious charges of the same. They probably never thought any such charges were ever sincere in the first place; and so their hypocrisy is in simply deciding to do the same.

Posted by: larry birnbaum on September 3, 2008 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

In a Clinton v. Palin fight I would put all of my money, worldy goods and my first born cats on Clinton, and that's exactly the show down the RePukes are racing towards.

In a couple of weeks max RePugs will be claiming that Hillary is a sexist for questioning Palin.

Popcorn?

Posted by: The Answer WAS Orange on September 3, 2008 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

My anecdotal experience with several self-identified Republicans over the weekend was that the strongest criticism of her inadequacy came from other women and the strongest among those critics were mothers.

I simply don't think she's playing as well as the McCain camp thinks, and this line of defense won't help.

Tell a mother who doesn't think Palin is the right choice that she's a misogynist and see how well that goes over.

Posted by: doubtful on September 3, 2008 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Whenever they take the muzzle off Palin and allow reporters to speak to her, somehow I'm hoping that one might ask if she had heard the joke McCain told about Janet Reno being Chelsea Clinton's father, and if Palin thought it was funny.

I mean it would be interesting in light of what exactly is "demeaning to Women".

Posted by: Capt Kirk on September 3, 2008 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

What's even funnier about all this is the elevation of Hilary Clinton to a feminist icon of the Republican party. After 18 years of Clinton being "Whore of Babylon" to Republicans. A concerted long term effort to demonize Hilary Clinton and turn her into the ultimate 'ball-buster' evil woman who will destroy the nation.

Now she is an icon. A symbol and Sarah Palin is her spiritual successor.

I'm always amazed I don't seen Republicans wearing neck braces all the time. You'd think the whiplash from spinning their heads around so often would cause serious injury.

On a related note. Obama needs to get Clinton in the spotlight NOW. She needs to be leading the charge against Palin. Explaining cearly and decesively why Palin represents a complete departure from everything Clinton spent her life fighting for.

Posted by: thorin-1 on September 3, 2008 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

She's a *feminist* alright.

A Feminist for Life, whatever the fuck that is.

I am so done with these sanctimonious Hitlerettes!

Posted by: MsMuddler on September 3, 2008 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

It is typical Republican operating procedure. They did the same thing when Clarence Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court, branding those who questioned his credentials as racist.

Posted by: KevinMc on September 3, 2008 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Palin , the Trophy VEEP does well when speaking in front of people. She is just un qualified to be VEEP.

Posted by: ml johnston on September 3, 2008 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Palin , the Trophy VEEP does well when speaking in front of people. She is just un qualified to be VEEP.

Posted by: ml johnston on September 3, 2008 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Another Republican characterization of our criticisms: we are panicking by the threat posed by this powerhouse of a choice.

Does it not occur to them that we are alarmed, not as partisans, but as citizens, who are genuinely concerned about the future? And that questions are the means of obtaining information to help us independently find the information that will help us to secure that future? If they were truly interested in bridging the partisan divide they would acknowledge our legitimate concerns and not continue their routine shell game tactics. Not a good way to pull in independents and democrats.

Posted by: lou on September 3, 2008 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

Welcome to Republican Feminism in the 21st century.

Yep. Instead of just being a token, Palin gets to be a whiny token.

Saves them from having to say anything intelligent, I guess.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on September 3, 2008 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

ISISAR!
(It's Sexist if She's a Republican)

Posted by: pbg on September 3, 2008 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

lou - I've come to the realization that the GOP only cares about winning. Governance is just something to kill the time until the next election rolls around. They simply don't care about the good of the country, they only care about winning. Sickening ain't it?

thorin - I suspect that Team Obama and Team Clinton will remain quietly on the sidelines until the convention is done (after all that's what sporting types do), but by next week Clinton is going to be ripping into Palin like something out of Jurassic Park - it won't be pretty, but it will be damn satisfying. I for one can't wait to see the legendary Clinton fight being taken to someone who so roundly deserves it!

Posted by: neilt on September 3, 2008 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

McCain is elected. Promptly drops dead. Palin is now Prez. Relations with Russia deteriorate, all hell breaks loose, Palin and Putin meet to hammer out the issues. Palin comes home empty-handed, lots of fans still covered in shit. Will the failure of the summit be pinned on Putin being a misogynist and a sexist? Matters could have been resolved if not for his inability to deal with a woman in a position of power? Looks like war, death, destruction and mutual economic ruin unless Putin gets right with the vagina?

Posted by: steve duncan on September 3, 2008 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

I think they have a valid point that all the questioning of whether she can be VP and take care of her 5 kids too is sexist. No one would ask that of a male candidate, and there are numerous ways Palin can handle both sets of responsibilities. Knowing which way she chooses isn't relevant to the campaign.

Posted by: Shalimar on September 3, 2008 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

The Republicans are hoping that by having her appear at the convention next she will acquire some gravitas from the the set decor. Much better than speaking over a dead caribou.

Republicans put women on a pedestal, but just to look up their dresses.

That's Just What I Said

Posted by: Dale on September 3, 2008 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

I just want to know why suddenly women are ok being our VP when Phyllis Shlafley and her ilk are so vehmently "anti" women? Why is this ok that she's not home caring for her family? Does no one else notice this bizarre behavior within the GOP? Ohhh right, it's do what I SAY not as I DO, silly me.

Posted by: Michele on September 3, 2008 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Just more humor, from the AP's Fournier of all unlikely places: "Defending his choice and the team that helped pick her, McCain said Tuesday that "the vetting process was completely thorough." Campaign advisers at the convention said Palin filled out a survey with 70 tough questions, including: Have you ever paid for sex? Have you been faithful in your marriage? Have you ever used or purchased drugs? Have you ever downloaded pornography?"

We VETTED her, okay? We ASKED her in a QUESTIONNAIRE if she'd ever paid for sex and lots of other sex-related questions! Misogynists!

Posted by: jibeaux on September 3, 2008 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

"They must still believe they have a chance at the Hillary vote."

"it's going to fail, but it's still amazing that this is the modern gop."

Just remember that nobody has ever gone broke underestimating the stupidity of the American electorate.

Posted by: Buford on September 3, 2008 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm always amazed I don't seen Republicans wearing neck braces all the time. You'd think the whiplash from spinning their heads around so often would cause serious injury."
Posted by: thorin-1 on September 3, 2008 at 11:22 AM

In the genetic bouillabaise that is your basic made-to-order Rethug drone, one of the gene sequences was copied from owls.

Posted by: smartalek on September 3, 2008 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

I think it is potentially sexist to question whether she can be VP and take care of her kids, assuming you don't have the same questions about the father of young girls in the campaign. I think that running for President or VP while you have small children is a statement that you have placed your country before your family. God bless Obama for making that choice, but I have no doubt that his children will pay a price.

Dems would do very well to stay away from this issue altogether. While it is tempting to point out Palin's hypocrisy in putting her country before her family (not a "family values" choice for sure), doing so only point out our own (since when do the Dems criticize a woman for trying to continue her career rather than staying at home with the kids). There are lots of other reasons to doubt Palin as VP, most notably her lack of experience in national policy.

Posted by: John from Dallas on September 3, 2008 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

I wish the Democrats would treat Palin as delicately as the GOP has treated Hillary and Pelosi, in respect of their gender.

Posted by: Karl Rove on September 3, 2008 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Republicans put women on a pedestal, but just to look up their dresses."

Please, please, please Dale, keep these zingers for the evening shift?

No coffee to splatter then.

Thanks,
Your audience

Posted by: MsCoffeeSpit on September 3, 2008 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

That is exactly what the McCain campaign did, if you recall. A few weeks back, aAs soon as the Obama camp pushed back against what I think any fair-minded person would agree was the racist insinuations and undertones coming from the Right, McCain's folks immediately attacked Obama for "playing the race card."

Posted by: Ted Frier on September 3, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

If Palin were a man, what would set her apart from the pack of VP hopefuls & earn her this nomination? I haven't seen a thing.

Posted by: on September 3, 2008 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK
One assumes that if Democrats had taken a similar attitude -- any and all criticism of Barack Obama necessarily constitutes racism -- the reaction would have been apoplectic.
Many at places like Redstate and PJM took that line and their reactions were apoplectic. Posted by: Grewgills on September 3, 2008 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Hot women are not necessarily dumb. I worked with a lesbian once, who was hot. She also had a sharp mind, but she lied about her college transcript. I really don’t think she was a biological lesbian, I think she was doing it for identity purposes. At first she had a lot of dogs, then she adopted a kid.

I judge Sarah to be a woman who was born to parents without a trust fund. There is nothing wrong with that. One generation of America will find Sarah to be hot. The other will find Bristol to be hot. You will find that things come down to money if you look hard enough. It really is all about money and DNA, which boils down to resources and hot women. That is why cable TV has hot women reading off teleprompters.

I don’t think Sarah will use a teleprompter.

Posted by: Brick Oven Bill on September 3, 2008 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Last night, we geard from the "bench-mensch"---Little George Fauntelroy, Benedict Joe, and UnAware Fred (who is so "beyond unaware-ness" that he's truly comical. Tonight, we get to hear from McBush's new hench-wench. Or should we just label her "Wonderless Woman?"

And no---I am not being "sexist" about Palin the Paltry. She has absolutely no experience that would qualify her for the position-in-question, her loyalty-to-the-Constitution need to be called into serious question, there's the abuse-of-power issue that might include perjury ramifications (unless the investigation suddenly finds itself turned over to Mukasey the Meek on the grounds that it's a federal candidate that's being investigated), and it can all be topped off by her completely-incompetent knowledge of American History, global events, and political issues on the domestic front.

The only conceivable reason---the remotest of reasons, at that---is that Palin is a "false front" for something much more sinister than we've seen to-date from McCain, or that McCain himself as a false front for the true "power" behind Bush/Cheney....

Posted by: Steve on September 3, 2008 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

The 'MSM' is going after Palin, and so are some other publications. Believe me, US Magazine gets seen by a lot more people than read the blogosphere, TIME has demolished her on its blog -- and I assume will in the print edition, etc.

They really don't like being made fools of.

And for me (don't know if this was covered below, I'm going 'top down,') the most hilarious part of Tuesday night was the interview between The Mugwump and Andrea Mitchell, when she asked him "The Question" about Palin's ability to take over. I hope somebody puts that up, because his desperate ducking of the question, which started with "Oh, C'mon, John's in GOOD shape" was an anti-Palin ad in itself.

And even the hate radio talkers aren't on board. I am cursed to have to listen to Michael Savage when his station drifts into radio Mets broadcasts, and he's been as obnoxious as usual -- against her.

Now, once she gets her 'fiftenn minutes of fame' we have some of the best women politicians out there capable of discussing her, Hillary, Sebelius, Napolitano, Granholm, even Baldwin and Mikulski, and I'm just mentioning a few, so many are there.

(And it ain't gonna happen, but can you imagine a panel involving Michelle Obaba, Jill Biden, Cindy McCain and Todd Palin?)

Posted by: Prup (aka Jim Benton) on September 3, 2008 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

The McCain campaign has been awfully eager to play the victim card lately. They're the victim of bias in the press, of Obama's celebrity, of shocking (how DARE they?!?) allegations of cheating in the Saddleback forum, and now, of vicious liberal sexism.

The Saddleback flap is turning out to be pretty illuminating. The idea that McCain was in transit rather than in a soundproof room is perfectly understandable, easily explicable, and does not have to reflect poorly on anyone involved. Sample answer: "That's right, I wasn't backstage. I was on the freeway but didn't see a need to contradict Pastor Warren on stage, as I wasn't listening to the proceedings and didn't think it was all that important." That would have been the end of the story. Instead the campaign ratcheted up the indignation to absurd levels in order and turned it into a scandal that they could blame on Obama and the (boo! hiss!) liberal media.

That now seems to be McCain & co.'s standard response, and has been getting out of control regarding the Palin pick. With the exception of the abuse of power allegations, nothing that's come up would have been insurmountable if it all hadn't been sprung on the public at once and if the media and the voters had been given a little bit of time to acquaint themselves with Palin before McCain's announcement. But, instead of addressing minor rumors head on (Really, does anybody care about Trig's maternity? Why not just release a birth certificate and shut the gossipers up?), they seem to have hidden Palin away (in a soundproof room?) somewhere and responded to all questions as if they were malicious allegations, being as indignant as possible and exaggerating their importance.

If the past twenty years have taught us anything about the right wing, it's that there's absolutely nothing more in this world that they relish more than a bit of self-righteous indignation over their own victimhood. (Not to get off topic, but rich white Christian males in positions of power and influence have positioned themselves as victims of welfare, affirmative action, sexism, reverse-racism, religious persecution, media bias and, more generally speaking, the government - even when like-minded representatives are actually in control of the government.)

Posted by: Adam on September 3, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

@B.O.B.

But Palin is a hypocrite - can we agree on that?

washington post
Palin Slashed Funding for Teen Moms
By Paul Kane
ST. PAUL — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee who revealed Monday that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, earlier this year used her line-item veto to slash funding for a state program benefiting teen mothers in need of a place to live.
After the legislature passed a spending bill in April, Palin went through the measure reducing and eliminating funds for programs she opposed. Inking her initials on the legislation — “SP” — Palin reduced funding for Covenant House Alaska by more than 20 percent, cutting funds from $5 million to $3.9 million. Covenant House is a mix of programs and shelters for troubled youths, including Passage House, which is a transitional home for teenage mothers.
According to Passage House’s web site, its purpose is to provide “young mothers a place to live with their babies for up to eighteen months while they gain the necessary skills and resources to change their lives” and help teen moms “become productive, successful, independent adults who create and provide a stable environment for themselves and their families.”
Palin’s own daughter, Bristol, is five months pregnant and has plans to wed.
“Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family,” Palin said in a statement released by the McCain campaign. “We ask the media to respect our daughter and Levi’s privacy, as has always been the tradition of children of candidates.”
Earlier today the Associated Press reported that Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, opposed funding to prevent teen pregnancies, a position that Palin also took as governor. “The explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support,” she wrote in a 2006 questionnaire distributed among gubernatorial candidates.
Reporters asked McCain in November 2007 whether he supported grants for sex education in the United States, whether such programs should include directions for using contraceptives and whether he supports President Bush’s policy of promoting abstinence.
“Ahhh, I think I support the president’s policy,” McCain said.

Posted by: Lori on September 3, 2008 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

Steve Benen error No. 1 in this post: Assuming, even if just for the purpose of rhetoric, today's GOP has principles.

And I thought Kevin had left the building.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 3, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

There's been a serious problem with sexism among the Democrats, which has been part of the difficulty with bringing Clinton supporters back into the fold. Whether it's Stephanie Miller calling Palin a "Barbie" or someone in this thread referring to her as a "trophy veep" or some HUGE jackass in this thread nattering about hot women, it really has to stop. If you're complaining about the serious anti-woman sentiment among the Republicans, ignoring expressions of the same on our side makes us look opportunistic rather than truly committed to the core questions around the treatment of women. As it happens I tend to think that most Democratic men *are* opportunistic in their wielding of women's issues as a political tool. I'd love to be shown to be wrong.

Posted by: Melinda on September 3, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

“Speach of Her Life”
-ABC

What a sexist comment. There is a real chance that Sarah Palin will be President one day, and lead the country during challenging times.

Posted by: Brick Oven Bill on September 3, 2008 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

There's been a serious problem with sexism among the Democrats, which has been part of the difficulty with bringing Clinton supporters back into the fold. Whether it's Stephanie Miller calling Palin a "Barbie" or someone in this thread referring to her as a "trophy veep" or some HUGE jackass in this thread nattering about hot women, it really has to stop.

Um, Melinda, if you'd think for two seconds you'd realize Brick Oven Bill is no Democrat, but a rather obvious Republican troll.

He is a huge jackass, though.

Even so, the available evidence suggests that Palin got the nod despite her obvious lack of qualification because she's a woman. I doubt even McCain would have picked such a n00b if he were a man. So I suggest you take your complaints about sexism to the GOP. If you think there's been a serious problem with sexism among the Democrats, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Posted by: Gregory on September 3, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

I take it as a given that the Republicans are profoundly anti-woman. If someone could explain to me how that makes it okay for Democrats to refer to Palin as a "Barbie" or a "trophy veep" I'd be grateful.

We know the Republicans are being opportunistic in their claims about sexism. Let's not do the same.

Posted by: Melinda on September 3, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

I hate to bring this up, but as Clinton supporters, we were called racists at every turn by the Obama camp.

Posted by: Allison on September 3, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

If you look at the pattern of Repub stances- they have always taken the position that they are the victims of a vast left wing conspiracy against Christianity and patriotism. This is how the criticism of Palin nimination will be handled--as reflexive criticism from godless, leftist, America-haters.

Posted by: Neal on September 3, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

There is a real chance that Sarah Palin will be President one day, and lead the country during challenging times.

All right, that tears it. I know B.O.B. has a history of trying his betters' patience over at Obsidian Wings, but does he remind anyone else of Charlie (one of Kevin Drum's most persistently annoying trolls)?

Posted by: Gregory on September 3, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Melinda wrote: "There's been a serious problem with sexism among the Democrats ..."

Not according to Sarah Palin, who called such complaints "whining".

Sarah Palin is calling you a whiner, Melinda.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 3, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Campaign advisers at the convention said Palin filled out a survey with 70 tough questions, including: Have you ever paid for sex? Have you been faithful in your marriage? Have you ever used or purchased drugs? Have you ever downloaded pornography?"

Wow, the Republicans use the purity test for vetting candidates? That would explain so much! I think we should demand that they release all the scores immediately.

Seriously, the Republicans are praying that the Democrats start going after Palin's family. They are dying to turn the campaign into "Democrats hate motherhood!" This is obviously why she was chosen, and if the Democrats take the bait and go there, they will be destroyed in November. Remember Lynne Cheney convincing Americans that John Kerry hated gays? It has nothing to do with truth or reality, just a media eager to capitalize on a catfight.

We need to talk about her vile right-wing beliefs and her behavior while governor. Harping on her personal faults just puts people on her side. Her hypocrisy speaks for itself, but people need to know that she's all about the government pork and uses her power to settle petty family vendettas.

Posted by: sophronia on September 3, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

"...ignoring expressions of the same on our side makes us look opportunistic rather than truly committed to the core questions around the treatment of women."

Oh for crap's sake! I'm sick to death of this "misogyny" battle cry. If Hillary's supporters have perverted the foundation of feminism, nothing will convince them that a "George Bush With Boobs" isn't a good idea.

Posted by: 61days on September 3, 2008 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

There's been a serious problem with sexism among the Democrats, which has been part of the difficulty with bringing Clinton supporters back into the fold. Whether it's Stephanie Miller calling Palin a "Barbie" or someone in this thread referring to her as a "trophy veep" or some HUGE jackass in this thread nattering about hot women, it really has to stop.

Please cite examples?

If you're complaining about the serious anti-woman sentiment among the Republicans, ignoring expressions of the same on our side makes us look opportunistic rather than truly committed to the core questions around the treatment of women.

Again, examples please.

As it happens I tend to think that most Democratic men *are* opportunistic in their wielding of women's issues as a political tool. I'd love to be shown to be wrong.

Yeah, same response will suffice here, too...Can you cite any examples? (Real ones, not imaginary ones.)

Posted by: Blue Girl on September 3, 2008 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Is it just me showing my age, but I don't see why admitting that a politician is attractive or 'hot' is such a bad thing in general. It isn't a reason to vote for or aganist them, but, for example, I find both Obamas very attractive, a lesbian friend of mine -- who would no more vote Republican than I would -- admits that she is turned on by Cindy McCain (she goes for 'stern blondes') and I'll even admit that if I didn't know who she was, I wouldn't kick Michelle Bachman out of bed.

But what makes this more ridiculous is that Sarah Palin was -- and mentions in her resume -- a beauty contest runner-up. And I don't think her strength was in the talent portion of the contest. (Letterman's line -- "Just think, if she get elected, there'd be a beauty contest contestant who really could work for world peace, after all the years of hearing them say it.") She was willing to make use of her 'hotness' how can admitting this be 'sexist?'

Posted by: Prup (aka Jim Benton) on September 3, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Melinda, Schmuck Talk himself called her his "soulmate and partner." Sounds more like romance terms than political terms, and therefore he himself is sexist.

And, to snark away, maybe he's vetting Wife No. 3 rather than a Veep. Look out Cindy!

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 3, 2008 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry, but Democrats cannot possibly wrestle in the same weight class as Republicans when it comes to discrimination. And sure, some of us have waxed snarky with comments like "Caribou Barbie," which made me laugh up a lung the first time I heard it. But, Palin is running in part on the fact that she has been a beauty queen. That makes girlie-girl jabs fair game in my book.

A cursory glance at each party's record on issues concerning race, gender, sexuality, age, or income easily reveal that, when the chips are down, it's ALWAYS the Democrats who favor the minority. Always!

In the unlikely event that the Hillary supporters still crying sexism are now going to hazard a vote for McCain-Palin, they are going to wake up in the fifties with curlers in their hair and a vacuum cleaner in their hand.

Posted by: chrenson on September 3, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

If someone could explain to me how that makes it okay for Democrats to refer to Palin as a "Barbie" or a "trophy veep" I'd be grateful.

Speaking only for myself, I think "trophy veep" perfectly encapsulates the Republican's sexism in picking her -- it implies that her alleged superficial attractiveness and less than conspicuous mental acuity were seen as hunky freakin' dory by the GOP.

Can you help me to understand what's the matter with that?

Posted by: Gregory on September 3, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Final thoughts on this whole issue --

Show me the Trig Palin birth certificate.

If even Steve Schmidt is getting riled up about that issue, you know it's got political legs. Well, there's one way Sarah Palin can put an end to the talk, especially since Mat-Su Regional shows no Trig Palin born on April 18... OR April 17 or 19. (I'll have a post up at my blog.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 3, 2008 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

If someone could explain to me how that makes it okay for Democrats to refer to Palin as a "Barbie" or a "trophy veep" I'd be grateful.

Given that Dan Quayle was called a "Ken doll" more than once, I think it's absolutely appropriate. The two of them have/had absolutely nothing going for them except image; the metaphors fit.

None of the other women who might conceivably be chosen would have drawn a derisive reaction on that score because all of the rest have managed to distinguish themselves in some way.

Posted by: Mike B. on September 3, 2008 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Brick Oven Bill ... has your brain had its 20,000 mile checkup yet?

Or, was your "hot lesbian" talk an out-loud voicing of a puerile fantasy?

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 3, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

This is the same argument used to attack opponents of Iraq policy -- You're against the troops! -- and reproductive rights -- You're against babies!

No surprise here.

Posted by: JDM on September 3, 2008 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

...anyone who questions Palin's qualifications for national office is necessarily engaging in sexism.

Got it. And anyone criticizing Obama is necessarily engaging in racism. So how about you don't question Obama's qualifications, and we won't question Palin's. That should work out fine.

Posted by: e henry thripshaw on September 3, 2008 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

None of the other women who might conceivably be chosen would have drawn a derisive reaction on that score because all of the rest have managed to distinguish themselves in some way.

Word.

Posted by: Gregory on September 3, 2008 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

hey, this is some neat trick the Rethugs got goin'!

"I'm against McCain because. . ." "But he's a POW!"

"I'm against Palin because. . . " "You're just a sexist!"

Guess one can only critique Obama/Biden.

Damn, I wish I could get through life without exposure to any criticism.

Melissa, let me join in with those who think Trophy Veep is less an attack on Palin and more a statement about the motives of those who chose her. She is there for all the wrong reasons. Trophy Veep is not sexist: it serves to distinguish a woman on the ticket for tokenism reasons from, say, Sen. Hutchinson, Meg Whitman, Condi Rice - who would all be objectionable as well, but on substance as opposed to Palin, who has no substance. The point being that McCain was seeking a mere trophy, whereas he could have named numerous women of actual substance (and who no one here would refer to as a Trophy Veep, because those using that term are not misogynistic. to the contrary, they are anti-tokenism.)

Posted by: zeitgeist on September 3, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Brick: I really don’t think she was a biological lesbian, I think she was doing it for identity purposes. At first she had a lot of dogs, then she adopted a kid.

And then she got a pony. Do you have a pony?

Stop it dude, you are too funny. And bizarre. And frankly, creepy.

Posted by: e henry thripshaw on September 3, 2008 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

I completely fail to understand how anyone can claim with a straight face that Palin has more (relevant) experience than Obama. This is a person who has PTA and beauty queen on her resume.

If governor (of a small state, for 20 months) trumps the US Senate, then shouldn't the claim be that she's actually more experienced than McCain himself?

It makes absolutely no sense.

Posted by: short fuse on September 3, 2008 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Once again I come across information that does not relate to the real issues in this campaign. The media in general needs to concentrate on those real issues facing the country and not gender, candidate's children, age, race, or any other unimportant factor. http://mycommentspage.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Reality on September 3, 2008 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Commander in Chief Sarah Palin!
But, was she a POW?
peace,
st john

Posted by: st john on September 3, 2008 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

I really don’t think she was a biological lesbian, I think she was doing it for identity purposes. -- Brickbat, @12:18

Given that you said she was also smart, my guess would be it was her way of signaling to you that she found you far less hot than you found her.

The lengths we have to go to to beat off creeps like you...

Posted by: exlibra on September 3, 2008 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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