Sarah Palin and the Drink America’s Milkshake Party

Within twenty-four hours of Obama’s history-making speech, McCain made another historical announcement, the addition of the first female vice-presidential candidate for a major American party since the Mondale-Ferraro ticket. And just as in the case with Mondale, many pundits view the addition of Palin to the Republican ticket as a gamble, or as one commenter put it, “doubling down.” There are many feminist implications to the nomination, made particularly interesting by the failed Clinton campaign, because it’s clear that the conservative strategy is not only to ride Clinton’s historical coattails, but also to mock the sexism in the liberal camp that has divided the party for decades.

Many liberals are concerned about picking on Palin the person as opposed to attacking Palin the politician. One of the problems with Palin is that her executive resume is so thin there isn’t a whole lot to critique. We know by now that she has a reputation for being a reformer and a whistleblower, which is meant to compliment McCain’s old reputation as a maverick. [Though curiously McCain is stepping back on his old ideals and marching in line with his presidential predecessors, even resorting to the old Bush-Cheney fallback of arresting protestors before his political events, or merely relocating them, to give the appearance of being uncontroversial. Oh, and Palin may also be cool with socially-conservative censorship. So very maverick-y.]

So here is Palin on the issues:

Perhaps the most brilliant part of putting Palin on the Republican ticket is that her milkshake brings the oil-hungry wing of the GOP to the yard. The Republicans have been dead set on drilling in Alaska for the last decade. Conservatives decry the use of alternative fuel sources, pushing the theory that to achieve energy independence we must start drilling on American soil. McCain has touted his record in support for alternative energy sources, but the addition of Palin and her obnoxious eagerness to drill in her home state makes this stance a wash. Or as D puts it,

…she puts the lie to McCain’s support for alternative and renewable energy. Palin got a gas pipeline deal — which everyone knew would happen one way or another — but hasn’t departed from the Alaskan motif of sucking everything from the ground before the communists come to snatch our guns away and turn the entire state into a park. She’ll be a boon to the Drill Now/Drink America’ Milkshake sloganeering that McCain will continue to push until November.

And interestingly enough, Palin is quite literally in bed with Big Oil — her husband Todd Palin is a long-time employee of BP.

The other curious thing about Palin’s relationship to Big Oil and the GOP is that one of her most successful pieces of legislation as governor is the ACES program, a tax on Big Oil. The three basic provisions for this tax plan included an increase on taxes of oil profits, a windfall provision that raised taxes after a certain benchmark, and a tax floor that guaranteed the oil companies would still pay 10% on the price of each barrel even if the cost per barrel went below a certain benchmark. The program was very successful, producing much more revenue for Alaska than anyone, including Palin, expected. As a certain sort of socialist liberal, I have no problem with this legislation. But hey, a tax hike is a tax hike.

If Palin were a Democrat, this is the kind of jeremiad you’d be hearing from Rush Limbaugh and Grover Norquist, but instead of talk about looting American businesses and destroying incentives to invest, we get crickets. Norquist doesn’t even mention taxes here and Limbaugh, who’s been talking up Palin for a while, doesn’t either. “Babies, guns, Jesus. Hot damn!” was his reaction yesterday.

So: one of the first things Palin did after she took office was to propose a big tax increase that included a windfall profits tax on the oil industry. I don’t have a big problem with that, and I’m sure the McCain campaign will eventually treat us all to a blizzard of spin about why her tax increase wasn’t really a tax increase. But facts are stubborn things…

Further back in her career as mayor of Wasilla, “Palin, who portrays herself as a fiscal conservative, racked up nearly $20 million in long-term debt as mayor of the tiny town of Wasilla — that amounts to $3,000 per resident. She argues that the debt was needed to fund improvements.”

In short, Palin’s relationship to the GOP’s traditional platform — less government, less taxes — is slippery at best, certainly making her a gamble for the fiscally-concerned wing of the Republican party. But many are saying that Palin is really meant to galvanize the socially-concerned wing of the Republican party, the “babies, guns, and Jesus” wing, as Limbaugh puts it.

Katha Pollitt writes about Palin’s image in regards to reproductive rights:

Sure, Palin is cool — she’s pretty and vivacious and athletic, a former beauty queen who runs marathons, hunts , fishes and eats mooseburgers, plus she’s got five kids with unusual names like Willow and Track, including a newborn with Down’s syndrome. I feel tired just thinking of what her daily life must be like, and if she were my neighbor I would probably like her a lot. It shows how deeply feminism has penetrated American culture that even anti-choice right-wing-christian women are breaking out of the old sugary-submissive pastel-suited stereotype.

Good lord! What would Phyllis Schafly think? Actually, Schlafly says, “She is a complete package. She is right on all the issues, particularly pro-life and drilling for oil,” remaining curiously silent on her lifelong career of telling women to stay home. Where they belong. With their babies. Pollitt again:

Here’s the reality: Palin is a rightwing-christian anti-choice extremist who opposes abortion for any reason whasoever, except to save the life of the girl or woman. No exception even for rape, incest, or the health of the woman. No exception for a ten-year-old, a woman carrying a fetus with no chance of life, a woman on the edge of suicide– let alone the woman who is not ready to be a parent, who is escaping domestic violence, who is already stretched to the limit as a single mother. She wants to force over one million women and girls a year to give birth against their will and judgment. She wants to use the magnificent freedom the women’s movement has won for her at tremendous cost and struggle–the movement that won her the right to run those marathons and run Alaska — to take away the freedom of every other woman in the country.

Meanwhile, pundits all over TV and the internet, like Schlafly, laud Palin’s choice to “walk the walk” of the pro-life position, choosing to have a Down’s Syndrome baby while in office, while simultaneously questioning her ability to govern with an infant in the White House. The debate rages on at Hugo Schwyzer’s blog where Hugo celebrates her nomination as a step forward for women and mothers in politics. His commenters take a more ambivalent view. Auguste, for one, points out that for all the celebration of her “choice” to have a special needs child, if it were up to Palin, it would be a choice no other woman would get to make.

Feminister Cara writes on her own blog about how maddening it is to see this baby used as a pawn for political legitimacy:

You know what we often say about how conservatives care a whole lot about fetuses but very little about actual children? Well here’s your example. It’s almost as though they think that Palin became pregnant and gave birth to a child with Down Syndrome simply to please them. And the thing is that if they really believe their rhetoric, the answer was obvious, so obvious in fact that Palin didn’t really have a “choice” to make. Only now, because it’s convenient, they want to acknowledge that the decision of whether or not to abort after getting news that your child will be born with a disability is a difficult one, simply so that they can point and say “but look at her, she searched her soul and then did the right thing — so should all women!” They don’t want women to have a choice, but then want to praise this particular woman for the choice that she did make.

Agreed. I can’t wait to see the conservative spin on this one, should the Dems pick it up.

But how effective is this strategy? Will Palin bring moderates to the GOP? PUMAs? Will she galvanize the social conservatives who have been hesitant to vote for McCain? Maybe:

A significant part of Palin’s base of support lies among social and Christian conservatives. Her positions on social issues emerged slowly during the campaign: on abortion (should be banned for anything other than saving the life of the mother), stem cell research (opposed), physician-assisted suicide (opposed), creationism (should be discussed in schools), state health benefits for same-sex partners (opposed, and supports a constitutional amendment to bar them).

And yet, “Palin and her staff complained that efforts to raise these issues in public were divisive and hypothetical.”

Convenient.

In other words, it doesn’t look likely that she’ll do anything to shore up moderates. D again:

The real strike against Palin is that she’s Bobby Jindal without the exorcisms… She’s not going to yank any women from the Democrats; she’s there to mobilize the nutter base of the Republican party. But since the nutter base of the Republican party will be mobilized enough by the knowledge that Barack Obama drinks pureed fetus each morning before throwing himself prostrate to Mecca, I don’t see how Palin is going to accomplish anything more along these lines.

Much is being made of her executive inexperience, and conservatives are quick to compare her resume with Obama’s, discounting that he has a long history of community organizing, teaching, and a nice background in Constitutional law, in addition to his time in the Senate. But Rikyrah at Jack and Jill Politics compares Palin’s nomination to that of Clarence Thomas, in that there were plenty of other more experienced, vetted, minority selections McCain could have chosen, moreover pointing out that McCain’s slogan of “County First” is called into question by selecting a candidate to make a point instead of selecting someone more qualified to be his successor. The biggest gaffe is that by McCain’s own experience standard, the one used to hammer Obama for the last year, Palin fails. She’s a transparent rookie that, with one particular scandal, shows some painfully poor political judgement.

Check this: One of the more damning affects to Palin’s political sheen is that she’s embroiled in a corruption controversy that has yet to resolve itself, primarily that she pressured employees to fire her ex-brother-in-law while he waged a custody battle her sister during their divorce. So there goes the MRA vote.

But with two months left in the campaign, and loose-lipped, Joe “clean and articulate” Biden selected as Obama’s running mate, some of the concerns about the upcoming debates are taking shape. Many are concerned about Biden’s attack dog reputation being let loose on a female candidate in an election year where nerves are exposed due to overt sexism aimed at Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama. Biden could certainly say something stupid and sexist, but I’m concerned that any attack on Palin or the issues could turn into a rhetorical “don’t hit a girl” — with glasses, no less — debate, something the GOP will milk ’til it’s dry despite their eagerness to exclaim that Clinton was a cunt bitch better off ironing their shirts and that Michelle Obama was a radical, whitey-hatin’ babymama. M. Leblanc suggests Biden hammer her on the hypocrisy of the party, for example, McCain’s jump to nominate her right after he allowed the Supreme Court ruling against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to stand. Where would she, a powerful conservative woman, stand on the issue?

Or, you know, Biden could also compare her, quite nicely, to President Bush.

UPDATE: Former Feminister Zuzu has a great post up at Shakesville warning liberals not to do Karl Rove’s work for him.

UPDATE II: While linked in the meat of the post above, you really have to read this Alaskan perspective on the nomination, particularly because it fleshes out the ongoing Troopergate controversy.


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48 Responses to Sarah Palin and the Drink America’s Milkshake Party

  1. Marked Hoosier says:

    I <3 The Daily Show!

    Jon: But in many ways Governor Palin is the ideological opposite of Senator Clinton.

    Samantha: Oh yes, but she’s her gynecological twin. You see the thing is. Let me explain. They both have vaginas …

    Jon: Yeah, yeah. No, no. I understand. I understand. But Senator McCain is somebody who voted against equal pay for equal work.

    Samantha: Boobies (making circular gestures around her chest). They both have boobies.

    Jon: But both Palin and McCain believe that Roe v. Wade should be over turned.

    Samantha: Ow, ow, ow. Can you just stop overloading my lady brain? Ow. John McCain chose a woman who is almost completely unprepared for the job and who disagrees with me on every core value I believe in, but I will be voting McCain in November because he understands. Woman don’t vote with the big head (pointing to her head). They vote with the little hood (pointing downward). Am I right ladies?

  2. Peter says:

    Great post. I really didn’t know crap about Palin 72 hours ago, and this fills in a lot of blanks.

    I’m not worried about her wooing the independent women’s vote. Women aren’t stupid enough to fall for McCain’s obvious and cynical political calculation.

    To the extent Palin needs to be addressed by the Obama campaign and liberal activists, its her rightwing nuttery. The theocratic wing of the republican party is ecstatic about this pick. That pretty much tells me all I need to know. This lady is a batshit crazy TheoCon, anti-choice, global warming denialist, and noted NeoCon.

    I’m not sure what I think about the whole narrative about how Biden is not allowed to hit a “girl”. What does that really mean? Is it a reference to the bullying way Rick Lazio tried to treat HRC in that senate run in 2000? I wouldn’t want Biden to do anything that smacks of sexism, but its always possible. I think Biden can and should beat the crap out of her, but obviously it needs to be explicitly tied to her love of George Bush, and her theocratic ideology. Bottom line, is both Palin and McCain need to be tied to Bush. They love Bush, and Bush needs to be tied around their necks like an albatross.

  3. Phoebe says:

    discounting that he has a long history of community organizing,

    Groan.

    The sad thing is that Hillary was truly and eminently qualified for prez, and the quite inexperienced Obama would have made an excellent VP to her, gaining experience as VP for his eventual run for prez after Hillary was done.

    Hillary-Obama would have unified the party and would have guaranteed victory for the Democrats. It would have been history-making. It would have been an earthquake.

    But now it’s all been thrown away.

    What do we get instead? A community organizer and Joe Biden.

    Joe freakin’ Biden. Eeeeeek.

    Sarah Palin is going to make mincemeat of Joe Biden in their debates.

    If the Dems lose this, than Sarah Palin is the future of the country and Hillary and Obama’s careers will both be reeling. Who else do the Democrats have?

  4. Lauren says:

    Sorry, Phoebe, but a history of community activism is something many progressives respect a lot more than a history of kowtowing to the lobbyists on K Street. Hillary Clinton was my candidate, but I’m throwing my lot in with Obama. Palin is a poor candidate for many reasons, and an insult to those of us who voted for Clinton.

    I will in no way pretend that community service on Obama’s part is some kind of wishy-washy front to pad out his resume. Those of us with community service under our belts understand how important progressive philosophies are to community movements, and that’s something that’s endemic to Obama’s campaign. I can respect that.

  5. Phoebe says:

    Lauren, when regular people hear “community organizer” they think “unemployed.”

  6. Auguste says:

    Sarah Palin is going to make mincemeat of Joe Biden in their debates.

    Really?

  7. womanist says:

    The important thing that Palin does for McCain is energize the wingnuts that were threatening not to vote at all. With some Democratic voters who can’t bring themselves to vote for Obama, but would still never vote for McCain, this could make a difference in states like Pennsylvania.

  8. Lauren says:

    Lauren, when regular people hear “community organizer” they think “unemployed.”

    “People” who?

    A cursory look at the all-powerful (heh) Wikipedia sez:

    “After four years in New York City, Obama moved to Chicago to work as a community organizer for three years from June 1985 to May 1988 as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Greater Roseland (Roseland, West Pullman, and Riverdale) on Chicago’s far South Side.[12][14] During his three years as the DCP’s director, its staff grew from 1 to 13 and its annual budget grew from $70,000 to $400,000, with accomplishments including helping set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants’ rights organization in Altgeld Gardens.[15] Obama also worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute.[16]”

    Doesn’t spell unemployed to me.

  9. RyanRutley says:

    Frankly, I think community organizing is the best experience a politician could have. He understand how change happens on the ground, what change last and what change blows over when the program’s funding ends, he knows how to build structure that sustain change and allow people to build their own values and creativity into their own change.

    Which is unimpressive to people who don’t have experience in community organization, and see government’s two options as “tax and spend” or “cut programs, cut taxes”.

    Also, I think the only strategy the Democrats need to take in address Sarah Palin is “WTF?”

  10. RyanRutley says:

    Also, although it’s a bit late now, I think he would have gotten more mileage out of it if he called it “community economic development”.

  11. Lauren says:

    As far as “regular people” go, I’m a working class person living in central Indiana, former single mom who put myself through college on student loans. Community organizing around here means work and social programs and labor unions and civil rights. That’s old school liberal, not “unemployed.”

  12. Dan in Denver says:

    Lauren, you’re right about how progressives will interpret these things.

    But the only question for progressives has been, vote Democrat (of whatever flavor), or vote third party, or not vote.

    It’s how it plays in purple America that matters. Purple America is very impressed with how Obama speaks and conducts his campaign. With his community-organizing resume, not so much. For a lot of those people, and not just the Bible-clutching frothing fundies, “work and social programs” means “taking my money and giving it to people who don’t work as hard as I do.”

    And sure, demographically, you’re a regular gal. But politically, you’re way over on the left hand side of the spectrum. NTTAWWT, but YOU liking Obama working for gay adoption rights, or whatever, isn’t AMERICA liking it. Just your bit of America.

    And we already know how your bit of America is going to vote.

  13. Lauren says:

    Is this thread about Palin or Obama? Any more thread jacks and I’m getting out the ban stick again.

  14. Pingback: A lot can happen in a week… « Doing Feminism

  15. Hugo says:

    And in the interests of clarity, let me say that I celebrate her nomination for one reason only — because of the message it sends about the potential compatibility of motherhood (to a very young child with special needs) with demanding public service. That’s not an endorsement of Palin, who is manifestly unqualified and radically reactionary.

    Given that only affluent women (or women with tremendous family support systems) can work full-time while their kids are young, I’m hoping that childcare/day care will move up the priority list for conversation.

    As a very liberal Republican, I would have been happier with Christie Todd Whitman, or Mary Bono Mack, or the second coming of someone like Millicent Fenwick.

  16. Hugo says:

    Whoops, let me clarify by saying that “only affluent women (or women with tremendous family support systems) can FIND IT EASY to work full-time while their kids are young”…

  17. CartoonCoyote says:

    Peter says:
    August 31st, 2008 at 1:39 pm.

    To the extent Palin needs to be addressed by the Obama campaign and liberal activists, its her rightwing nuttery. The theocratic wing of the republican party is ecstatic about this pick. That pretty much tells me all I need to know. This lady is a batshit crazy TheoCon, anti-choice, global warming denialist, and noted NeoCon.

    And a creationist to boot.

  18. Margalis says:

    And in the interests of clarity, let me say that I celebrate her nomination for one reason only — because of the message it sends about the potential compatibility of motherhood (to a very young child with special needs) with demanding public service.

    The message it sends is that having a family is a requirement for women in public office.

    Far more has been written about her awesome mom status than about anything she’s actually done in office. Instead of a politician who is also the mother of a large family she’s being portrayed as a super mom who by the way also happens to be in politics. If you list her qualifications it appears that “mother” is number 1 by a large margin. I imagine it’s disheartening for women who are childless when the ultimate selling point of a female politician is that she has 5 kids including one with Down Syndrome.

    Former Feminister Zuzu has a great post up at Shakesville warning liberals not to do Karl Rove’s work for him.

    Zuzu has been doing Karl Rove’s work for months and does some more of it in that post. Referring to Obama as the “Chosen One”, calling his supporters hooligans, writing that McCain wants Democrats to stay home when she’s been flogging “staying home is a fine idea” for quite some time, conflating Obama calling someone a sweetie with Democrats not caring about women’s rights, etc etc. Didn’t she have a post here called something like “In Defense of Not Voting” or “Not Voting is a Principled Choice”?

    The message to refrain from sexist attacks against Palin is a good one but for Zuzu to accuse other people of doing Rove’s work for him is absurdly hypocritical. If Karl Rove was paying Zuzu to deflate Democratic turnout I can’t imagine how her posts would be any different.

  19. S.H. says:

    “Sarah Palin is going to make mincemeat of Joe Biden in their debates.”

    “Really?”

    I think it’s a toss up, honestly. I was watching the infamous “polar bear” interview with her on Glenn Beck and I know she was on friendly turf there but she held her own on the national stage pretty well, as much as you can call that show a national stage. Then again maybe she just came off well to me because Beck is such a lunatic. But Biden has such a strong personality, to put it politely, that I can see shit going seriously south really fast.

    On a side note, in that same clip she basically said the Iraq War was for oil, and that’s gonna come back to haunt her big time if the dems use it, which I’m hoping they will soon.

  20. Lauren says:

    With all due respect, Margalis, Zuzu is an Obama skeptic, as I’ve been for some time. I think his diehard supporters are high on rhetoric and low on facts. Nevertheless, as he’s been chosen as the Democratic nominee, I’ve hopped on board. Some people are less likely to be convinced. Between the Gore and Kerry failures, behind which many of us threw our lots, there is a lot of disappointment and failure to get over, as well as a lot of high hopes that Obama has to live up to especially in regards to his speeches’ rhetoric. A lot of promises, and, I hope, delivery. It doesn’t help that his diehard followers have compared him to the likes of Jesus and icons like MLK Jr.

    Far more has been written about her awesome mom status than about anything she’s actually done in office. Instead of a politician who is also the mother of a large family she’s being portrayed as a super mom who by the way also happens to be in politics. If you list her qualifications it appears that “mother” is number 1 by a large margin.

    Word. I guess I’m most bothered by the image she’s cultivating as the super mom who HAS IT ALL! despite the lack of mention that her husband has signed up to be a stay at home parent while she pursues office. I don’t know. This is an ultra-feminist take on work and home balance while taking on an anti-feminist role for all other women in the public and private spheres. Incredibly dangerous for the not-so-wealthy lot of us.

  21. HeroicLife says:

    [edited for ableist language in accordance with the comment policy — L.]

    Genuine moral virtues – such as integrity, honesty, and productivity are not useful as evidence of religious virtue. To the extent that their practical benefit is visible to everyone, they do not represent the special domain of religion. To demonstrate religious virtue, it is necessary to sacrifice authentic moral values in favor of “religious” values. The particular object of the sacrifice is not important – there is nothing particularly “biblical” about being prolife (the Christian bible just as easily supports the opposite position.) If Christian fundamentalists decided that cutting of one’s hand sufficed as proof of moral virtue, they would be wrong to do so, but not much more so than the numerous other ways that people find to be self-destructive.

    [edited for ableist language in accordance with the comment policy — L.]

  22. From the Great State of Alaska! says:

    I won’t even date someone who has not held and used a passport in the past 5 years let alone elect a person to national office. Palin only got a passport to visit hometown soldiers in Kuwait a year ago! Not sure what can be said about foreign policy by someone who has never visited the Louvre let alone a refugee camp…

    I didn’t vote her in as Governor and I won’t be voting her in as Veep!

    Love from AK!

  23. Sarah says:

    I really dislike the way Palin’s child has been used as a political bludgeon. Having a special needs child does not elevate one to sainthood. Having said that, I really wish feminists would acknowledge disability rights concerns about selective abortions when the issue comes up. This post talks pretty glibly about the “choice to have a special needs child,” without taking into consideration the fact that many “choices” are in fact hugely influenced by social context. Too often this is represented as a matter of individual choice, when in fact social discrimination and lack of supports play a huge role. Not that I think Palin seems terribly concerned about disability issues from what I know about her so far, but a lot of progressive commentary on this really misses the disability issues. This can be pretty alienating for PWD and allies.

  24. Ico says:

    Margalis, not voting *is* a principled choice. It’s the choice I made during the primary in response to the racism of the Clinton campaign. It’s a legitimate choice for anyone who feels (as many queer and female acquaintances/family members of mine do) that a campaign is ignoring their concerns or participating in systems of oppression. The solution is for the campaign to change to reflect the values and concerns of its voter base (which is arguably what McCain did w/ Palin).

    There is plenty of time for this to happen, if the Democrats decide to go this way.

    As for Palin — all these concerns about Biden looking as if he’s beating on a girl wouldn’t arise if the attacks on Palin focused on issues, on her policies and credentials as a candidate, instead of on gender. Sadly the latter seems to be the main thing fauxgressives are focused on, despite the fact that her policies are horrendous for women, the environment, um… everyone…. In this I think Zuzu’s analysis could prove prescient — it’s part of McCain’s strategy that might unfortunately be successful if the misogyny of so-called “liberals” suppresses the Dem female vote.

    All that depends, of course, at least in part on the Obama campaign. He has a chance to take the high road here, to call out the sexism and refuse to tolerate it, to set an example that was not set during the primary and make good with alienated women voters by sending a clear message: misogyny is not ok. He can do this. He should do this. I really hope he does this. It could take take a delicate situation and turn it to opportunity.

    The question is, will he…?

    (If enough of his supporters call him on it, maybe. There’s no reason this strategy of McCain’s can’t fail miserably)

  25. dananddanica says:

    the only way palin makes mincemeat of biden in the debate is if biden is so scared of her being a woman and not wanting to appear the bully he shuts himself down. I think he will probably act like she isnt even there and just talk about mccain. OF course even that will get attacked. He’s in a no win situation which to my mind is fucked up, he should be able to go at the debate guns blazing but women are still viewed as weak by a lot of people, such bullshit even if hillarts surrigates used that trope however quietly after the lazio debate.

    hugo, thats the tack I think should be taken with conservatives. Saying it would be “better” or women deserve it won’t work on them. Families of course deserve it but if it could be spun that better, available childcare would make for greater economic output, they might buy off on it. OF course I don’t know how to handle the free or cheap childcare argument, quality childcare cannot be cheap, it can be subsidized though.

  26. Pingback: So, what do the ‘feminists’ think of Sarah Palin? « Boundless Meanderings

  27. Miranda says:

    Sarah Palin should not be considered a feminist because while she works, she represents choices and a lifestyle few other women could attain. Furthermore, she has done nothing that I can see to redefine what it means to be a working mother outside of her own immediate circle.

    Besides her wingnut views, what has she done for the rest of the US? What does she bring to the table? That is the message the Dems should pound.

  28. Cara says:

    HeroicLife, I didn’t approve that same exact comment on my post over at The Curvature for a reason — its bigotry. (By the way, copying and pasting comments without even noting that’s what you’re doing? Bad form.) I don’t know how it slipped through here, but you are now officially on moderation and if you keep spouting ableist bullshit you are banned. Read the comment policy, and if you don’t like it, tough shit.

  29. Rachel says:

    As prenatal testing for trisomy 21 becomes ubiquitous, Down’s children (and eventually those with other genetic disorders) will increasingly become symbols of faith – a freak show meant to communicate the “family values” of their parents. The children will become public sacrifices made by their parents for their faith. They will be a symbol of religious reverence in the same way as the scarred backs of Catholics who flagellate themselves, or Buddhist monks who set themselves on fire, or Sunni Muslims who mutilate their girl’s genitals or Shiites who bloody their children’s heads with swords.

    What a disgusting thing to say. Women choose not to terminate pregnancies after a Down Syndrome diagnosis for a wide variety of reasons; it may shock you to learn that not all of these reasons are religious. And a child with Down Syndrome is not, as you claim, a “freak show.”

    I don’t think it says anything at all about Sarah Palin that she chose not to abort after learning about the Down Syndrome diagnosis. It doesn’t make her a saint or a devil; it just means she went ahead with her pregnancy.

  30. Rachel says:

    oops, Cara beat me to it … thanks Cara!

  31. Alexa says:

    Apparently, there is some issue about whether or not the new child is really Mama Palin’s or not.

    Ahs anyone heard about this?

    http://ktracy.com/?p=2068

  32. Anne says:

    Excellent post, Lauren.

    My mother called the evening of the Palin announcement. It was as if she called to GLOAT. As an ex-feminist who found Jesus under her stove, she called it “fabulous” that McCain had selected a WOMAN—of all people—to be his Vice-P. “Why didn’t Obama pick a woman? See, for all their talk of equality, the Democrats really don’t care about women.”

    And I was all, WTF, mom? And Republicans do? I know you’re a new godbag and all, but Sarah “Fuck Alaska! Let’s drill!” Palin isn’t going to do shit for women just because she’s a woman.

    HeroicLife:

    As prenatal testing for trisomy 21 becomes ubiquitous, Down’s children (and eventually those with other genetic disorders) will increasingly become symbols of faith – a freak show meant to communicate the “family values” of their parents.
    […]
    One can at least grasp the moral indifference with which a fundamentalist can force a single young mother to abandon her goals and dreams and condemn her and her child to poverty.

    Word.

  33. n5p7q says:

    RE: Biden vs. Palin debate, comments by Dananddanica et al.

    Commenters on Feministe threads and on other blogs/magazines seem to assume that in a Biden vs. Palin debate, the default audience sympathy would automatically be with Palin (why?), so Biden would have to watch his step. A columnist on Slate.com’s XX factor even recalled one of the Bush-Gore debates in 2000 in which it was apparently found that the audience identified with Bush’s ineptness more than with Gore’s command of facts and expression.

    But the Bush-Gore debate was in 2000 before the U.S. was perceived to be in a foreign policy crisis, so any sympathetic viewers probably felt safe in cutting Bush some slack.

    The situation is different now, since the public is aware that we are in fact in a foreign policy crisis, so if Palin comes up short on facts and insight when debating Biden, the public won’t be so supportive of her. The public has just spent eight years under a “Christian” President who had neither training, experience, nor even interest in foreign policy, and, given the consequences of that, voters will not tolerate more of the same from Palin. Given the current U.S. foreign policy situation and voters’ experience with Bush, Palin’s gender will not be insurance against the public demand for competence. So Biden has nothing to worry about in debate, as long he contains his habit of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.

    It should also be noted that Palin has uncertain support even from Republicans. So far as I can tell from the Internet, only GOP party hacks and white Evangelicals are enthusiastic about her. The National Review Online (conservative journal) rejected her as being too radically unqualified to step in as Commander-in-Chief if McCain dies in office. The (London) Times Online as well quotes a former counsel for Dick Cheney (Shannon somebody) stating the Palin is not qualified enough to replace McCain in office.

    On a related topic: A commenter above or in another Feministe thread about Palin mentions that Geraldine Ferraro appreciated Palin’s mention of her in her speech. I listened to Geraldine Ferraro’s interview about Palin on NPR and Ferraro’s arguments were very, very strange. Ferraro claimed that Palin, once elected as VP, could learn foreign policy from “experts.” But that works only as long as the international scene is stable. It’s not stable now, so Palin’s inexperience would likely be fatal if she had to assume command. Even Republicans, to a large degree, will realize that once they learn more about her.

  34. Julie says:

    Wow, HeroicLife. It’s been a long, long time since a comment on a website made me want to vomit, but you managed to do it. How horrible and dehumanizing can you get? People with Down Syndrome are not freak shows and the fact that you could even think that makes me wonder what kind of a horrible human being you are. Have you ever even met a person with Down Syndrome? I’ve worked with people who have developmental disabilities practically since I graduated high school and have had an occasion to meet several people with DS. None of them are suffering, none of them are freak shows and they are all human beings, not deserving of the horrible shit you just spewed.

  35. Lauren says:

    Sarah “Milkshake” Palin. It has nothing to do with Kelis.

  36. Lauren says:

    Yeah, and I don’t know what kind of “heroic” life it is that applauds bigotry against disabled kids. As the child of a special education teacher and a special ed teacher myself, fuck you and the horse you rode in on. No disrespect to your horse.

  37. S.H. says:

    “HeroicLife, I didn’t approve that same exact comment on my post over at The Curvature for a reason — its bigotry.”

    Not to mention extremely hypocritical coming from anyone claiming to be pro-choice.

    And just for this “it’s not really her child shit” is really disgusting as well. Some of these comments are mirroring ones you would hear in a high school girls bathroom.

  38. Margalis says:

    Sadly the latter seems to be the main thing fauxgressives are focused on…

    Do you have any evidence of this besides the totally anecdotal?

    Rhetorical question of course.

    In this I think Zuzu’s analysis could prove prescient — it’s part of McCain’s strategy that might unfortunately be successful if the misogyny of so-called “liberals” suppresses the Dem female vote.

    It’s rather incoherent to call that outcome unfortunate when you are doing your best to ensure that it happens.

  39. Lauredhel says:

    “a freak show”

    “Down’s child”

    …and this is why feminist blogs need strictures against ableist shit, you wilfully ignorant pig.

  40. purlygurly says:

    Breaking news – Bristol Palin is pregnant (again?), and is keeping the baby and getting married to the father. At 17.

  41. Alexa says:

    Breaking news – Bristol Palin is pregnant (again?),

    What an awesome testament to the effectiveness of the abstinence only sex ed that Alaska has been preaching.

  42. Chuck says:

    What an awesome testament to the effectiveness of the abstinence only sex ed that Alaska has been preaching.

    I know, right? I mean clearly it’s a rigorous, though-provoking program that provides kids with all the information they need about sex because They Did It! They Made A Baby!

  43. Ico says:

    Do you have any evidence of this besides the totally anecdotal?

    Rhetorical question of course.

    Oh, so I assume you haven’t seen any of the MILF/VPILF comments, the beauty queen remarks, and the innuendos about McCain and his new VP that have floated around in comments at places like DKos? And I guess diaries that spread rumors about OMG her daughter or granddaughter??? aren’t too bad either. I suppose you also haven’t noticed how a lot of places are using the photo of Palin that shows her bare-shouldered? But I guess none of that is sexist to you, Margalis…

    I don’t like Palin. A McCain/Palin win is just about the worst thing that could happen to this country.

    But jerks like you, who insist that calling out such misogyny is the same thing as giving a win to Republicans, who consider any criticism an attack that needs to be slammed down — you are the kind of person who does Barack Obama no favors.

    Fortunately Obama seems to be handling this all rather well (despite Biden’s idiotic remarks about Palin’s looks).

  44. Peter says:

    As a very liberal Republican, I would have been happier with Christie Todd Whitman

    LOL

    Nothing personal dude, I don’t doubt you genuinely feel like you’re a “very liberal” republican.

    It still made me laugh my ass off.

  45. Chuck says:

    LOL

    Nothing personal dude, I don’t doubt you genuinely feel like you’re a “very liberal” republican.

    It still made me laugh my ass off.

    It’s still her party too, you know.

  46. Pingback: Places Not To Go | Politics - Sharpy News

  47. Sally says:

    Why are most feminist against Palin. I thought a women balancing career and family was a good thing. Kind of like the NAACP does not like Colan Powell. So I think the groups need to be renamed to what they really are.
    Liberal Feminist movement
    and
    Liberal NAACP

  48. Pingback: Okay. I’m Going to Take a Deep Breath, and . . . Palin. « Accismus

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