Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Insult of Sarah Palin

As I said in my previous post, I haven’t much bought into the hype of election 2008. At least, not to the extent that I had held my nose and cannon-balled into it during the 2004 presidential election. I just couldn’t attach all my hopes to a particular result, this time around, only to have those hopes dashed, and feel like the country was teetering on the edge of the abyss, come the morning after.

And, let’s face it, we are where we are as a nation (and it doesn’t look good) because we’ve had to slog through an additional four years of the hopeless Bush Administration. But whose fault is that, really? It is the Republicans’ for stealing another four years and taking full advantage of that opportunity to get us ever more deeply mired in their unbelievable quagmire of crap? Or is it the Democrats’, for not advancing a truly viable alternative four years ago?

But, coming as this election does at the close of one of the most conservative administrations this country has ever experienced—an administration during which the power of the lunatic religious fringe to change our focus and sway policy has grown exponentially—I have been convinced that we would be as likely to see a woman or a black man elected to the Presidency as we would be to see Pat Robertson appointed ambassador to Iran.

Then came the inexplicable, ice-water-in-the-face nod to Sarah Palin. I, and many other discouraged, jaded, perilously near-to-acquiescing members of the progressive electorate found ourselves spitting, mopping our faces and sputtering, “What…? Where…? Sarah Who…???” Once we were informed of exactly who this woman was and where she came from, we were speechless.

And furious.

To this day, I’m not sure if Palin’s nomination was a supremely stupid move from beginning to end, or a painstakingly conceived political gamble calculated to either make or break the McCain candidacy.

The line of thinking must have gone something like this: “Ooooooh… Women really wanted Hillary Clinton. But Hillary is history…so all we need is a woman and we can rake in all those feminist votes! But…hmmmm…those Christian right wingnuts are threatening to make a stink at the convention if we go with a centrist candidate... Wait…wait… that’s IT! Sarah Palin! She’s a woman. And she stands for all the counter-feminist, backwards, war-hawking, pregnant-seventeen-year-old-who wouldn’t-even-think-about-the-“a-word” causes. Those little ladies who were so attached to Hillary Clinton…they don’t worry their pretty heads about things like policy and experience and competence and women’s issues… They just want a woman! We can kill two birds with one stone!!!

Oh. My. God.

Are we not disgusted that one of our two major political parties was so capable of misreading our history and determination as women, and our mandate as a nation, that they would come up with such an incredibly naïve, simplistic and ultimately self-serving “solution” for everything that ails us?

Are we not incensed that the GOP was so dismissive of our intellect? Of our loyalties? Of our demands?

Are we not truly frightened that the party of Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan has sunk so low that it would throw all sound judgment aside to manipulate a poor understanding of political strategy in a bid to retain what it believes is the position of ultimate power—the Leadership of the Free World?

McCain would be the oldest man elected to the presidency of this country. Did they give no thought to what might actually happen if he died in office?

President Sarah Palin?!??!!? What could they possibly have been thinking?

So, on the basis of the Sarah Palin disaster, and the recent roller-coaster of the Dow Jones, Barack Obama has crept far enough ahead in the polls to cause some pundits to declare him the ultimate victor. Now, they say, NOW he needs to try to cultivate a clear mandate.

All I can say is, if he hasn’t got that mandate by now, it’s unlikely he will. Purely…PURELY on the basis of the color of his skin, he will not be awarded the landslide a white male Democrat would now be anticipating.

And I shake my head and throw up my hands as I wonder why.


Kathy said...

Lisa ... I see your followers have crept up to nine ;)

At work I overheard a conversation between two men and two women last week ... it went sort of like this:

"Now men can't even burp in front of women, or, you know, ahem, pass gas."

One woman looks at the other and says, in her most enthusiastic voice, "We've come a long way baby! Yeah!"

I'm beginning to feel that we are backing into an abyss and honestly, I'd rather see clearly where I'm headed.

Will the madness never stop?

Michelle said...

I think the conversation went more like...."The women of this country are so ga-ga over Hill. They must like her just because she is a woman. Let's go with this hick Sarah Palin. She is HOT! PLUS she has ovaries and they have ovaries. Slam dunk. Give me a high five!"

sunflowerkat321 said...

In light of the pathetic ticket that the Republicans have offered, it says so much about where we still are as a country that Obama's color will affect a possible landslide. On the surface, we can applaud that we have both a woman and black man nominated for high office. But there is still so much racism and sexism bubbling just below that surface. Wouldn't it be amazing if the election could really be about the issues and the nominee's qualifications to do the job? Do you think that mainstream America will ever come around?

Cynthia said...

The other night I had dinner with two very intelligent women who are voting Republican. They both like Palin, and I told them that I just couldn't understand how. I said that she reminded me of every woman I've known who depended just on her looks to get ahead, and they told me I should be ashamed of myself, that I wasn't looking past what some aspects of the media want us to see. They agreed that she hasn't always presented herself well with the media, but they liked her spirit, her gumption and her down-to-earth quality. They felt like her character would enable her to do the job because no one is truly prepared for the presidency. They pretty firmly told me that not all women are pro-choice and to make that a qualifier for being a feminist is sexist. They didn't convert me. I still don't like her, and I'm still voting Obamam but they did give me pause to think,

JACKIE said...

Back when women were trying to even get to vote, one of the arguments was that having women in politics would elevate the process, make things better.

Over and over the "you've come a long way baby" has been just opposite. Sarah Palin is on the ticket just because she has two X chromosomes. A man that incompetant wouldn't even be considered.

Oh, I'm so embarrased, I totally forgot about Bush. They already did that.

Seriously, Palin's candidacy simply proves how much contempt the Republican/corporate power structure has for the citizens of this country.

emmapeelDallas said...


Excuse me, but her CHARACTER? What character is that, exactly? She would DENY to women rights she claims for herself. Restrictive laws regarding reproductive rights could and have been used to keep women from doing exactly what she did when she got on that plane in Texas, her water having already broken...personally, and I know this is hateful, but I think she's one of those gutless women who want "God" to make the decision that they can't bring themselves to make. If she'd lost him, what a tragedy, but surely God's will. She lied to the airlines, for sure, as no pilot in his right mind would have let her on the plane! She was IN LABOR! Sarah Palin is all about Sarah Palin, and she couldn't think her way out of a paper bag, and she has lousy character. And btw, if you watch any of her utube sports broadcasts, she didn't speak nearly so "down home" then as she does now that she's "one of the peepul".

emmapeelDallas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
emmapeelDallas said...

Lynn Paltrow wrote an eloquent open letter to Governor Palin about these issues on September 4th. It's well worth reading; here's the link:

p.s. - sorry if I was harsh, that's not directed at you but at your dinner companions, the sisters of whom I work with every day here in conservative Texas.


Cynthia said...

Judi, that article was excellent. I had to bookmark that.

emmapeelDallas said...

Thanks, Cyn. Wasn't it great? Paltrow says it so well. Hey Lisa, you really know how to post a provocative topic...but we all knew that, of course.