Karpinski: Palin Would Turn Back Time

As Gov. Sarah Palin meets with foreign leaders today and bans the press from attending (Added: and then changes her mind after protests, but only sort-of), here's former US Army Brigadier General (retired) Janis L. Karpinski's op-ed at TruthOut today on how Palin would turn back time:

I know enough about Palin's character to assess her as ill-equipped, clueless and unprepared to take control of our nation in the event of McCain's early demise or incapacitation, much less qualified to serve as the commander in chief of all military forces. Unfortunately for Palin, leadership is not derived by a process of osmosis.


Palin, however, is a dangerous choice and her style goes against the grain of feminists and women everywhere. We spent years seeking equality, and ask only for a level playing field where we can find credit for our accomplishments and capabilities and the opportunities to compete fairly. Sarah Palin can launch us back in time and remove years of progress, albeit slow and incomplete.

Karpinski swerves into uncomfortable territory, accusing Palin of using her sexuality and gender to make her case. I'm not going to go there, but I agree with her final two paragraphs:

We need and deserve a vice-presidential candidate who offers far more than "skin deep" - her absolute lack of substance on the issues; her lack of experience, particularly in the international and foreign affairs environment; her lack of a sound economic policy to regain control of our national treasure; and her insistence on propelling herself as tough and capable because she can murder wildlife when there is virtually no chance of missing, are the issues of substance. The fact she refuses to discuss any of the issues is troubling. Voters need to take a deep breath and return to reality in the aftermath of the hype created by Sarah Palin herself....

Sarah Palin is amazingly popular and she is dangerous. She is George Bush in disguise, in terms of policies and principles. Karl Rove is in the middle of this and we all know what Karl Rove did for President Bush and what he did to every American. Keep this in mind when throwing support to the ticket of McCain and Palin. The legitimate concerns about McCain being joined at the hip with the president and the potential for four (and potentially eight) more years of the same worthless policies of this administration seem to pale in comparison when considering the strong attachment, admiration and support Sarah Palin gives to this administration.

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    I guess Karpinski should know.. (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by soccermom on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 11:51:53 AM EST
    about turning back the clock.  After all, she used inquisition tactics at Abu Graib when in charge of Iraqi prisoner camps.

    Sad, really.

    Oh come on (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 12:05:12 PM EST
    Palin is Bush 2 and Karpinski is Schultz 2, She knew NOTHING........NOTHING

    Only one part of the Karpinski rant (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 11:59:27 AM EST
    made any sort of sense to me.

    Palin, however, is a dangerous choice and her style goes against the grain of feminists and women everywhere. We spent years seeking equality, and ask only for a level playing field where we can find credit for our accomplishments and capabilities and the opportunities to compete fairly. Sarah Palin can launch us back in time and remove years of progress, albeit slow and incomplete.

    I find the rest of it sort of embarrassing and if Karpinski wants to know why womens progress has been slow and incomplete she need to look no farther than her own mirror.

    Throwing up Palin's screwability and her views on how that "affects" men and what Palin is accomplishing with her seductions is sort of a reverse sexism.  Our poor men, they don't know any better than to be led around by their weiners.

    Bill Clinton was and seemingly remains highly screwable, even my grandma wanted him.  I'm missing something in the genes or jeans, not sure which, but I don't want to have him - I'm just in love with his mind.  He's just an object to me.  How does Bill get to be so seductive and defended by women like me though while Sarah needs to be called out on her salesmanship of her own DNA?

    I respect Karpinski on one hand for standing up to military brass when nobody else at Abu Ghraib would, whether they had ovaries or testicles. She truly misses the mark though in defining how Palin will/would/could set all women back.  I would say that Palin sets women back by allowing herself to become such a tool of the imploding Republican philosophies party while having very little true experience in hardcore leadership moments.  She lacks too much personal internal integrity in allowing herself to be USED to this degree in this fashion to be my leader. And ovaries or testicles or screwability has nothing to do with that and it never will with me thanks all the same.

    I refuse to call Palin Bush 2 also, I reserve that spot in my heart and mind for John McCain.

    What an insane diadribe by Karpinski ... (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by Inky on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 11:59:41 AM EST
    I can see why you wisely chose not to quote the most embarrassing paragraphs. I also find it funny that Karpinski, like so many of Palin's Hollywood detractors, appears to have swallowed wholesale an internet parody of fake Palin quotes. Karpinksi says:

    Sarah Palin is cut from the same mold as these women who were desperate to fit in with male colleagues - desperately trying to prove herself as tough as, or tougher than, "the boys" who are competing with her. Palin sets the stage with stories of her prowess in murdering wolves, moose and caribou from a helicopter platform vantage point, begging the question, "C'mon boys, don't you think I am tough enough?"

    The fact is that there is no evidence whatsoever that Palin has ever shot at animals from a helicopter, although, as we all know, she does support culling the population of wolves and in some areas grizzly bears in this manner, which she defends as necessary to maintain carabou and elk populations for game hunting, etc.

    So where does Karpinski get this story? Why, from a website post entitled Fake Governor Palin Quotes, which has somehow managed to be taken for the truth by PDS sufferers everywhere (cf. Matt Damon, Eve Ensler). Here's one fake quote that has caused such a stir:

    On oil exploration and drilling in the ANWR:

    God made dinosaurs 4,000 years ago as ultimately flawed creatures, lizards of Satan really, so when they died and became petroleum products we, made in his perfect image, could use them in our pickup trucks, snow machines and fishing boats. Now, as to the ANWR, Todd and I often enjoying caribou hunting and one year we shot up a herd big time, I mean I personally slaughtered around 40 of them with my new, at the time, custom Austrian hunting rifle. And guess what? That caribou herd is still around and even bigger than ever. Caribou herds actually need culling, be it by rifles or wolves, or Exxon-Mobil oil rigs, they do just great!

    What ever happened to the reality-based community to which Democrats at one time supposedly belonged?

    Yeah baby (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 12:02:32 PM EST
    I'm so glad I'm not alone here in reading that and saying to self WTF?

    can we stop with the reality based (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by of1000Kings on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:46:59 PM EST

    when the fact is that neither party is reality based...

    one is idealist and the other believes their policies are made by a superhuman being...



    Democratic voters are indeed idealist ... (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Inky on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 02:11:06 PM EST
    When it comes to a large portion of federally elected Democratic officials, I'm no longer so sure. I read a comment a few weeks ago in Anglachel's Journal that echoes how I've come to feel about the Democratic party.

    the democratic party is a head disconnected from its body.

    that "head" has a political ideology and strategy of ruling that has as its first principal meeting the neeeds of large corporations, insuring corporate well-being, and deferring to and depending upon corporate political monies to retain power.

    the democratic "body" however supports the classic ideology of the democratic party - use the gov't to the greater benefit of all, respect, protect, and advance the economic and political interests of the "little guy", use gov't to be charitable and helpful to those less fortunate than ourselves.


    i would argue it is not "aimlessnesses" that affects the dem party, but the fact that its leadership, considered a whole, does not believe in or act upon the beliefs of ordinary democrats.

    thus, when they speak publicly or initiate legislation, they do not do so with passion and conviction; they turn democratic beliefs into mouthed platitudes in an insincere effort to sooth their democratic supporters.

    I wish I could feel otherwise, but everything that has happened since the 2006 Democratic takeover of congress, and especially after what happened in the Democratic primary, has left me despondent re whose interests our Democratic leadership represents. You can read the rest of the comment here.


    Another Astro-Turf subscriber? (none / 0) (#28)
    by Pianobuff on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:19:12 PM EST
    Maybe she got her talking points Ethan Winner.

    That was passed around by a stalwart (none / 0) (#66)
    by andrys on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 07:31:03 AM EST
    Obama supporter who refused for some time to believe it was false.  Nothing could convince her, until we found that the guy who started the false rumors SAID so on his blog space, both before and after the article.  I don't know that she even bothered to issue a withdrawal of the statements she so loved distributing though.   She believed it because it was from a Salon page -- even if written by one of the commenters.

      That meant, for her, that it was REAL.  Me, I'm embarrassed that DEMS have become as bad as Repubs in this way.


    While Karpinski goes, as you say, (3.50 / 2) (#6)
    by scribe on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 12:05:46 PM EST
    "into uncomfortable territory", I think she hit it exactly right.  And, FWIW, I think Karpinski is coming from exactly the right POV and experience-set to make that kind of discerning criticism.

    And, TL, you are quite right in seeing this area as uncomfortable - it is one of the difficult truths of our society (and any society) that using sex to sell something while blinding the buyer to the reality of the product being sold is one of society's great weaknesses.  And, this difficulty is compounded exactly because many women, particularly professional women, make their way without resorting to using their sexuality to succeed.

    One has to remember that Karpinski made her way to the top - a general's star - in perhaps the most male-oriented world there is, the military.  When I served, there was a chart which showed, based upon historical figures, that about 2 percent of all officers who served 20 years or more would achieve a general's rank.  That really hasn't changed much, if at all.  And the military is nothing if not as much of a meritocracy as there is (not to say there is not some politics involved, but it isn't a place you can make your way to the top without showing ability again and again).  So  Karpkinski was in the top two percent.  And, to achieve that rank not only do you have to have technical skill - you have to understand people, motivations (after all, you have to motivate them to do difficult things), interpersonal relationships, and how different people act and react.  

    So when Karpinski says Palin is a shiny object - she's right.  When she says Palin uses her sexuality to both blind people (particularly men) to what her reality is - she's right.  For all the reasons one can think of, women, by and large, can and do see through that use of sexuality better than men.  

    And when Karpinski remarks on the "possibilities" that Palin's attractiveness communicates, she's exactly right.  Palin does all the guy things and, to all reports, does them well. That is very attractive to guys for a multitude of reasons, at a minimum if only because it means they don't have to adjust their football, car fixin' and racin', huntin' and fishin' to putting up with girly things.

    Palin was a very careful pick - but not by McCain.  By Rove.  And Rove, from having opposed McCain, knew his vulnerabilities and, doubtless Rove's research told him those vulnerabilities were shared with many, many men, particularly wingers.  There never was any doubt in my mind, just from seeing how McCain was speaking and acting when introducing Palin, and the "candid" photos taken outside the public forum, that Mrs. McCain has no love for Palin, because Mr. McCain is smitten.  And Rove knew that.

    This was a very solid, smart, subtle and dangerous pick.

    Why do this?  Go read this diary by Wolf on Palin as Evita for the Cheney Police State.

    And, remember, even for a healthy 72 y/o, actuarially speaking you get better chances of survival over 4 years playing Russian Roulette.  And McCain's had cancer at least twice already.  He isn't healthy.

    So sexy men running for office (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 12:11:41 PM EST
    I shouldn't vote for them either, they are just on the make?

    Never said that, either (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by scribe on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 12:35:04 PM EST
    What I said was one needs to discern when sex is being used to sell something which, seen without the sex, would be unpalatable, one should pass on buying.

    'Cause you're not getting the sex, someone else is.

    Unfortunately, many men can be reliably counted upon to think with parts of their body other than their brains, and be guided accordingly.

    In Palin's case, she never would have gotten the nod were she not (A) a cipher (or empty vessel, take your pick) and (B) quite attractive.


    I can't believe you made that generalization (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:29:23 PM EST
    about men.  I really can't.  

    I said "many" (none / 0) (#37)
    by scribe on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:33:26 PM EST
    not "most", not "all".

    But it's a number large enough for Rove to be going after it, thinking it might make the election close enough to steal.


    So Rove is going after the weiner vote? (none / 0) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:34:49 PM EST
    you guys are forgetting (none / 0) (#44)
    by of1000Kings on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:51:49 PM EST
    that even in today's world men and women do think a little differently...

    I'm sure some neuroscience or brain chemical studies will back me up


    At what age though? (none / 0) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 02:03:18 PM EST
    Because see, my doctor says he has this problem with all these 40 something women blowing into his office all chapped because they have hit their sexual peak and now the hubby isn't putting out enough.  He has peaked.  How many dirty thoughts does a 40 yr old woman have hourly?  He says it is an enormous problem in some relationships but taboo to talk about.  Is there some sort of gauge or something that could be stuck to all of our foreheads so we know when our crotches are thinking for us.  Making this post because I think by the time they plant us all after we have fallen apart......men and women have probably equalled each other in their own graces and disgraces.

    For some reason I'm thinking (none / 0) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 02:06:44 PM EST
    that Janis Karpinski thinks a lot about screwability, don't know why I get that strange impression ;)  I wonder how many dirty thoughts Janis Karpinski has hourly ;)

    given that decisions are based (none / 0) (#52)
    by of1000Kings on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 02:24:34 PM EST
    upon our brain chemistry I'd say that a lot of our decisions are based around sex (what we buy, where we go, really anything)...

    and you are right that women do go through chemical changes around the Chinese astrology's 4th Life Period (36-48, a new period every 12 years)...

    point being that you can't separate what decisions we make with logic or faith and what decisions we make in regards to sex...it's subconscious, to keep the race alive...


    Actually yeah (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Faust on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 12:51:22 PM EST
    Todd Palin, unofficial chief of staff is just as dangerous! I mean, what a hunk!

    I hope you're joking (none / 0) (#43)
    by of1000Kings on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:49:00 PM EST
    about Palin's husband being attractive...

    why? He is (none / 0) (#53)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 02:24:42 PM EST
    very attractive.

    really? (none / 0) (#56)
    by of1000Kings on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 02:31:23 PM EST
    I guess in a down-home kind of way...

    he looks like my dad, stupid goatee and all...and I don't think my dad is much more than an average attractive male (luckily I look more like my mom)...

    he just looks ordinary, not that there is anything wrong with that...


    I just realized (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 12:35:40 PM EST
    VP candidate Biden got hairplugs because they help him process thought better and increased his vocabulary.  I guess maybe the glare coming off of his enlarging forehead was blinding everyone and nobody could hear what he was saying and when he thought nobody cared he stopped caring.  I'm so glad he dealt with that and he's a better representative because of that.

    Why dontcha go look at the PPP polls (none / 0) (#16)
    by scribe on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 12:43:20 PM EST
    on Colorado (up the site), and see the breakdowns on how women and men react to Palin.
    Women are
    more likely to vote R b/c of Palin: 33
    less likely to vote R b/c of Palin: 50
    unaffected:  17

    Men are
    more likely to vote R b/c of Palin: 43
    less likely to vote R b/c of Palin: 44
    unaffected:  13

    The Repugs brought her on to try to acquire that part of the male electorate who think with parts of their body other than their brains, and are stupid enough to think they might actually get a chance.


    Uh, Is This Sexist Or What? (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by daring grace on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:14:39 PM EST
    I usually hesitate to call sexism or racism on anything, but is it really the only or even most likely reason that men poll stronger for Palin because of their libidos?

    I mean, isn't it a given that men tend to vote Repub and women Dem to start with?

    I don't know any women who vote for male candidates because of their sex appeal (God, what a dated term!) and I doubt that's...uh...front and center when men vote either.


    IF that's what you really believe about men (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by scribe on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:28:10 PM EST
    then you are exposing some serious ignorance.

    Answer me this:  why are beer commercials, particularly during sports broadcasts, populated with seriously-attractive women who probably can't buy a beer legally?

    I mean, if men weren't buying because of sex, the beer ad would be saying "gets you hammered faster, with less hangover" or some such.

    Now, answer me this:  why would the Serious People running a Serious Campaign for President and Vice-President of the United States, from the 200 million-plus people eligible to be the Vice-President, select Sarah Palin?  Who has minimal credentials and is showing a grotesque lack of knowledge, intellect, and character?

    But, hey, she's hot!


    You obviously don't hang with enough (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:32:34 PM EST
    cougars to know that objectification can be more than a one way street.

    So You're Saying People Make the Same Choices (none / 0) (#55)
    by daring grace on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 02:28:01 PM EST
    for president, vice president, etc. that they do for beer? Heck, where's the charismatic dog who used to be on those beer commercials? McCain/Palin could sure use him about now.

    Sure, there's no doubt that there are subliminal reflexes engaged in all of us in every response we have to anything. But who's to say her hunting and fishing cred aren't winning over the guys?

    Palin was chosen, yes, cynically, because she has the image as right wing Christian woman of traditional values and rugged frontier individualism with a pinch of so called reformer thrown in. Hey, she has no Y chromosome either in this Year of Hillary.

    But no, I don't agree that most of Palin's male supporters are leading with their sexual attraction to her. As I just enumerated, she has so many other superficial selling points that resonate with men and women--and the values selling points are just as potent for those of us voting for Obama--and that's not because he's so fetching either.


    And as far as women making rank (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 12:14:43 PM EST
    You better recheck.  Women make their rank these days.  My husband is on his second female commander in a row and we live next door to one who is doing a year tour in middle east right this minute.  Women are making their rank just fine in the military these days.  You do the work, you make the rank.  Wish other jobs had as much equality going for them these days as wearing a soldiers uniform does.

    I never said "Women don't make rank" (none / 0) (#11)
    by scribe on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 12:32:11 PM EST
    What I said was this:  on a historical basis, out of 100 (army) officers who stayed in 20 years, 2 could be expected to make it to general officer rank.  That figure - and the chart I recall it from (in my copy of the Army Officer's Guide) - made no distinctions among sex, branch of service, source of commission, or anything else.  

    The point of that being that there is a severe winnowing out of officers when they are being selected for a higher rank, that that winnowing comes primarily on the basis of merit, skill and achievement, and that anyone who achieves a general's star is surely well skilled at not only management and motivating people, but also understanding them and what makes them tick, and seeing through false fronts.  

    Actually, I wouldn't be surprised in the least  if, among women, a slightly higher percentage than 2 percent were making general officer rank, because those who managed to make it through the environment which was (and likely still is) hostile to women would have to have been stronger-willed and stronger-minded than similarly situated men, and would have given the extra effort to get them to that higher achievement.


    On a historical basis? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 12:41:03 PM EST
    How far back are we going?  Back to the Buffalo Soldiers maybe?  I don't experience the military environment as being hostile to women at all,  NOTTA. In fact it promotes my own internal hostility that my civilian environment attempts to squelch daily and hourly out me and tries to squeeze from my very bones in the interest of being a nurturer.  I can yell my fool head off at a whole bunch of guys on post and it's just another drill.  I came into this though when the President was Clinton and everything changed so I have no beef to go on about other than the fact that I did not have the foresite to join the Army and become an aviator.  My vision is better than my husbands and you should see the dates those girls get.  I was robbed!

    You've got to remember that the women (none / 0) (#17)
    by scribe on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 12:50:03 PM EST
    who are or are making colonel and general today, started out in the 1980s, when the environment was a lot more hostile to women than it is today.

    Interesting, how you say*:

    "... did not have the foresite to join the Army and become an aviator. My vision is better than my husbands and you should see the dates those girls get."

    That effect is exactly the effect Karpinski is writing about, and what I wrote about, and what Rove and the Republicans are trying to play in picking Palin.

    Don't ask me why that is, but men will go for that - it's not the pilot status, it's the "I can do what men do" thing.
    * Ask the fish to describe water, and the fish, despite living in it its entire life and being constantly surrounded by it, cannot.  Similarly, a person can be deeply immersed in a social millieu and have a phenomenon staring them in the face 24/7 and have no idea that phenomenon even exists.  Nothing wrong or bad about it - it's just a matter of perspective.


    Here's the problem (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by CST on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 12:53:39 PM EST
    You talk about how men are affected by sexuality, which may or may not be the case with Palin.  The problem is, you lay the blame for that on Palin for being attractive.

    She is attractive, men like her more because of that.  Ok... how is that her fault exactly???


    It's not "I hate her b/c she's pretty" (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by scribe on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:03:53 PM EST
    but rather it's "the campaign is using her pretty to hide some seriously ugly policies, and distract people from those policies."

    It's a very cynical manipulation.

    I don't hate the model selling product X for being pretty or anything, but I won't buy product X because the model says I should.  I'll buy product X if it fits my needs and price requirements.  Using sex to sell product relies on the fact that most people - men particularly - don't think that way.


    That's not what you said in your original post (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by CST on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:11:47 PM EST
    "the campaign is using her"

    You said she is using her own sexuality.

    Very different.  What you are trying to say now is similar to what Tracy said earlier about Palin allowing herself to be used by the McCain camp.  But it's not what you said in your original post, and frankly I don't think it's what you meant either.

    And yes, sex sells, but it's not like Palin is on the cover of Maxim holding up a McCain/Palin ballot or something.  She's been out there campaigning, doing her job.


    And the distinction between her and her campaign (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by scribe on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:22:27 PM EST
    is what, exactly?

    But, more seriously, she does the flirty things she does either as calculation or as reflex.  But she does them.  It is what she is.

    The campaign builds its message around that behavior - if they were to impose a behavior on someone which was not true to them, you would know it in a minute.  After all, the old saying goes "what you are screams so loudly I can't hear a thing you are saying".

    So, the campaign sends a message to a targeted group of voters using the behaviors the candidate has and can exhibit convincingly.

    In this case, I think the campaign (Rove) saw in advance (or believed) that they could split the male vote more toward McCain with an attractive woman who would play toward some lizard-brain part of the male psychology.  The idea they put out there, about going after the female vote (once Hillary was out of the race) by putting a woman on the ticket was quickly and correctly ridiculed as silly and tokenism at its worst.  But, it seems, no one tried to figure out what other reason the Rove organization would have for putting an obviously-unqualified person on the ticket.  The only qualification she really has is "she's hot".

    Which suits Rove just fine - he and Cheney are used to working with and through a figurehead.  Been doing it for years.


    Now, take a look at this (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by scribe on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:13:31 PM EST
    McCain says he's gonna go motorcycle-riding (on a chopper, no less) with Palin.

    Another "she can hang with the he-men and guys, you want to follow her" pitch.

    Just like the huntin' and fishin'.


    I think your response (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:20:09 PM EST
    to most Palin headlines is very sexist and I'm not sure why you choose to perceive it that way. I won't be and I do not fear that our boys don't know how to not let their weiners do all the thinking for them.

    There are studies that back up (none / 0) (#57)
    by Iris on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 02:33:27 PM EST
    the notion that you can sell a crappy product if you pair it with nice looking people.  We know the GOP is cynical enough to go there, and that may have been at least part of the motivation.

    Yeah, and Sen. Kerry drove a chopper (5.00 / 5) (#34)
    by Inky on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:31:15 PM EST
    onto the set of the Jay Leno show in 2004--I'm sure that he wasn't trying to appear youthful and hip. Only evil Republicans would try to pull that kind of a stunt.

    It's pretty clear that at least part of the reason McCain chose Palin is that she provided a youthful counterpoint to his old fart image. It appears to have been a good pick for him in several ways, not least of which has been its ability to show off Democrats to be the cultural elitists that the GOP has always said they were. OMG! Sarah Palin hunts! She's such white trash!

    I still can't quite figure out yet what creeps you out more, the fact that Palin is attractive or the fact that she is a hunter and an athlete?


    Yes, equality in the air, on the ground (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:23:34 PM EST
    or at sea is very very stimulating and sexy.  It is my experience that most men have always wanted a woman to be their peer and not their chattel.  There isn't anything long term attractive about chattel unless you are abusive.

    I'm not saying that its a "Bad" thing (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by scribe on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:31:59 PM EST
    for "equality" to be sexy, but I am saying that that reaction - and I think even the picture presented is not really honest - is being used to camouflage a really ugly set of policies and get votes in a seriously dishonest way.

    Which, had this been put forward by a man, would have kept him off the ticket in the first place.


    I wish I could have said also that I didn't (none / 0) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:42:01 PM EST
    consider the military because it was a tough stage for a woman to play on but that has never curtailed me in my lifetime.  I was raised die-hard liberal and anybody who allowed themselves to be "brainwashed into thinking they could eat a bullet and live" was beneath me.  It was a liberal dinnertime talking point beaten into my head without mercy.  I had a very hard time dealing with the fact that I wanted to keep house with someone that was that stupid :)

    I take serious issue with this (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by CST on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 12:38:16 PM EST
    "Palin uses her sexuality to..."

    How exactly?  By being born attractive and a woman?  Cmon.  Women fainted at Obama rallies but no one talks about him "using his sexuality" (which is a good thing because it's completely rediculous).


    It's a cultural assumption. (none / 0) (#20)
    by Faust on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 12:56:09 PM EST
    When women seduce, it is generally accepted that they do it by deliberately utilizing their appearance.

    When men seduce people look to their "charisma" or "power" even if their looks are a part of it. Obama has absolutely been accused of being seductive, it's just that generally his physical attributes are not cited as the cause of his seductivness.


    Here is the difference (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by CST on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:05:12 PM EST
    Palin "uses" her sexuality

    Obama "has" charisma

    It's the intent that I take issue with.  Obama has been accused of being seductive, but not accused of intentionally seducing.


    Oh, come on now, (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by tootired on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:12:57 PM EST
    offering kisses for votes? That's just my cell phone? Have you seen the video of Obama in his jeans on the airplane with the female reporters? Your comment is the old double standard alive and well. Both candidates have "charisma", and both are being packaged to sell. We can win this on the issues. We don't have to go here.

    I don't think you get my post (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by CST on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:17:25 PM EST
    I am arguing that it is a double standard.  And an unfair one at that.

    I disagree with this (none / 0) (#40)
    by Faust on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:40:40 PM EST
    Obama has been accused of being seductive, but not accused of intentionally seducing.

    He has most certainly be accused of intentially seducing. The entire "Messiah" and "Cult" lines of attack are along the lines of his seductiveness.

    I do not disagree with the fact that there are double standards in play between the way female and male seduction play out or function though. Female seduction is generally viewed as more "base" and less "admirable" than male seduction. The stud vs the whore etc.

    Seduction is always viewed with suspicion though, because by definition seduction is very dangerous, i.e. seductive.


    I thought (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by CST on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 01:51:57 PM EST
    The messiah and cult lines of attack were more an attack on his supporters, essentially saying that they were stupid, being duped, and easily led.

    Honestly, I thought that was offensive to me rather than to Obama.


    It cuts both ways (none / 0) (#58)
    by Faust on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 02:50:22 PM EST
    The supporters are "stupid" and "blind" precisely because they do not see how empty, arrogant, substanceless he "truly" is.

    Axelrod and Obama both know (none / 0) (#67)
    by andrys on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 07:41:14 AM EST
    the power of a website motto/logo that screams "BELIEVE IN..."

      First, as you land on the site, you're told to believe in what Obama can do for you and then, most 'seductively' believe in YOURSELVES.  Which worked very well for Deval Patrick (as given him by Axelrod).  There's a video on youtube of Patrick saying these things from memory while Obama repeats them as given by Axelrod so he has to read them, haltingly.

      It's intentional.  Then add the halos that surround Obama on that page - and even, now, Biden.  Everything is highlighted with white glows.  It works.

      I'm very cynical about all of them at this point.


    onto something (none / 0) (#51)
    by noholib on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 02:22:38 PM EST
    I also think Karpinski is onto something about some of the sexual dynamics in this Palin business, as is Wolf about some of the dangerous political dynamics.  
    As Karpinski wrote, there is a taunting, come-hither, I dare you to tame me quality to Palin's self-presentation at moments (of course not when she's just your hockey mom next door; that's a different persona).   Rush Limbaugh has said he wants to see Governor Palin age in office; we remember that he didn't want to see Senator Clinton age in office.
    None of this makes for pleasant or comfortable reading, but that doesn't mean it should be ignored.  And for the record, I don't oppose Palin's candidacy because she's physically attractive.  I oppose her because of the policies she advocates, her lack of national experience, and what we are learning about her political methods and behavior.  
    The other day I was dismissive when a friend called Palin a Stepford wife, but now having read Naomi Wolf's article, I see what she means. Whatever her own ambitions, she certainly serves other people's (for example, Rove, probably Cheney)purposes quite well, the same people who brought us the current President.

    That was an intensely hysterical piece (none / 0) (#68)
    by andrys on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 07:45:13 AM EST
    More dangerous to us than her imaginings of Rove (who, by the way, seduced Brazile to his ways and they're BFFs now, and that makes sense too when one wants to blame Rove for everything) is what you're seeing right now with the Treasury man saying to give him/them $700 billion dollars but there will be NO oversight, no questioning of what they do with this behind closed doors.  That's OUR money.   For a long time the government has been run by the international money folks anyway.

      As for Palin, the woman is no Stepford wife, she is definitely ruthlessly pragmatic, which also describes the other candidates.


    What an absurd situation. (none / 0) (#10)
    by lilburro on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 12:25:35 PM EST
    God forbid we find out that Karzai and Palin talk about their children.  I imagine more people will laugh at the McCain camp for doing this than have sympathy for Palin vis-a-vis the "biased" media.  Heck, you would think McCain would want Palin to show off some FP knowledge...whatever.

    personal attack referring to (none / 0) (#54)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 02:26:18 PM EST
    Palin's children deleted. Take that stuff elsewhere.

    Can someone tell me (none / 0) (#60)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 05:43:12 PM EST
    how the General knows anything beyond his bias? Thank God he is retired.

    I know enough about Palin's character to assess her as ill-equipped, clueless and unprepared to take control of our nation in the event of McCain's early demise or incapacitation.

    Surely you jest ppj (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 06:46:55 PM EST
    You just put this up here so that feminists like me can correct you.  Let me correct what you wrote.

    Can someoen tell me how the General knows anything beyond HER bias?  Thank God SHE is retired.

    It's a brave new world out there ppj.


    hehe (2.00 / 0) (#62)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 07:45:14 PM EST
    Well thank you Tracy, us good ole boys down here didn't know that he was a she.

    Now. Can you actually answer the important question, seeing as how the general's gender is of no importance.


    Shot me down ppj (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 07:53:17 PM EST
    down in flames I'm going.  The answer to your correctly worded question is ummmm she made this assessment from the position of a military commander in the know of what sort of character a CIC would need to do the job.  Do I find her assessment credible though?  I personally don't. I find it repulsive when any woman resorts to sexism against their own sex in order to make their political arguments.... and you can add sadly disappointed to that list as well.

    To put a finer point on this whole thing (none / 0) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 08:03:07 PM EST
    if Karpinski made such an assessment of Palin while Palin were under her command or a peer using the same methods of assessing job preformance as she did in this write up.......she would ummmm be in big huge giant trouble and ummmm people who outranked her would ummmm be speaking to her using very loud voices and asking her what the hell she thought she was doing and who the hell she thought she was.  Then she would have to attend more gender sensitive training courses because she obviously did not have enough hours in.  And if everyone was like you and were unaware of the General's gender this OER would be splashed on the frontpage of the New York Times to demonstrate that the military still has problems with sexism.

    Gee (none / 0) (#65)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 10:11:55 PM EST
    I still can't figure out the answer, so I'll take a stab.

    The General doesn't know what she is talking about and is just trying to say something she feels is PC.


    I doubt this General worries much about (none / 0) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 08:01:10 AM EST

    All Generals do. (none / 0) (#70)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 09:23:40 PM EST
    ppj, the mind reader again (none / 0) (#72)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 27, 2008 at 08:18:10 AM EST