Gloria Steinem: Palin is The Wrong Woman

I hope most Democratic women realize the truth in Gloria Steinem's column today in the Los Angeles Times. Hillary Clinton certainly does, and so do I.

The reason Gov. Sarah Palin is the wrong woman for the job of Vice-President has nothing to do with her gender or her family issues or private life (although I wish she would stop bringing them up and showcasing them.)

She's the wrong woman for the job because of her stand on issues and her attachment to the radical right. Unfair treatment by the media doesn't make her any more qualified or right for the job of Vice-President. Here's some snippets from Ms. Steinem:

I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden's 37 years' experience.

Palin has been honest about what she doesn't know. When asked last month about the vice presidency, she said, "I still can't answer that question until someone answers for me: What is it exactly that the VP does every day?" When asked about Iraq, she said, "I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq."

....She was elected governor largely because the incumbent was unpopular, and she's won over Alaskans mostly by using unprecedented oil wealth to give a $1,200 rebate to every resident. Now she is being praised by McCain's campaign as a tax cutter, despite the fact that Alaska has no state income or sales tax. Perhaps McCain has opposed affirmative action for so long that he doesn't know it's about inviting more people to meet standards, not lowering them. Or perhaps McCain is following the Bush administration habit, as in the Justice Department, of putting a job candidate's views on "God, guns and gays" ahead of competence. The difference is that McCain is filling a job one 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency.

Steinem points out the culprit is John McCain. As I've said repeatedly, he went for a two-fer, trying to do a hail-mary to save his bland and boring campaign by pandering to the radical right and hoping to net disappointed Hillary supporters along the way.

He may have chosen Palin out of change-envy, or a belief that women can't tell the difference between form and content, but the main motive was to please right-wing ideologues; the same ones who nixed anyone who is now or ever has been a supporter of reproductive freedom. If that were not the case, McCain could have chosen a woman who knows what a vice president does and who has thought about Iraq; someone like Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. McCain could have taken a baby step away from right-wing patriarchs who determine his actions, right down to opposing the Violence Against Women Act.

....So far, the major new McCain supporter that Palin has attracted is James Dobson of Focus on the Family. Of course, for Dobson, "women are merely waiting for their husbands to assume leadership," so he may be voting for Palin's husband.

Despite what you read in comments here and elsewhere, thinking Democratic women will not support Sara Palin. She stands for the antithesis of everything we believe in. As Steinem says,

She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women's wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves "abstinence-only" programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers' millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn't spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation; she runs with a candidate who opposes the Fair Pay Act but supports $500 million in subsidies for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska; she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain has opted for the lesser evil of offshore drilling. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.

I'll also point out she mocked Miranda rights in her speech last night.

McCain/Palin is an extension of the radical right who would destroy the freedoms this country was founded upon.

I don't believe it will happen and I still believe Palin is too green at the gills to get through a major presidential campaign without imploding, but I sure hope Steinem's message resonates with those women who are thinking of supporting Palin.

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    Right words, wrong voice. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by EL seattle on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:33:03 PM EST
    This is the sort of job that would be best handled by Oprah, not Gloria.

    I am not too sure Gloria still has that big (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:25:35 PM EST
    an audience, so you might be right...

    The reach of the LATimes & NYTimes (none / 0) (#73)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:44:28 PM EST
    is not exactly small potatoes ;-)

    Plus, Oprah interviewed Steinem in "O" magazine:

    Oprah talks to Toni Morrison, Gloria Steinem, and Marion Jones about what it means to have true self esteem.

    I'm pretty sure Steinem has also been on Oprah's TV show.


    I would have put it more diplomatically... (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:35:20 PM EST
    But you've made a very good point about Steinem's pioneering contribution to progressive politics, versus the usually inane input from celebrity culture.

    Too little, too late for Gloria Steinem's comments (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by bridget on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 05:03:44 PM EST
    to make any difference now.

    I remember when the women's movement was at the top of it's game and GS the most famous feminist in the country. Then came the backlash and she backed off ...  big time. I always liked her a lot. She is a beauty as well, charming too, and never seemed the slightest bit threatening to me. But she took the rightwing bait and decided to remain in the background with her magazine for company. I often wondered what happened to her in the last 20plus years and I am not talking in terms of romance and looks.

    Then when Hillary was trashed in the beginning of the primary she decided to write that article in defense of woman. But Let's face it, Hillary owes  very little to Gloria Steinem and certainly nothing to all these liberal IMO jealous and smallminded) female pundits who wrote the most nasty and clueless stuff about her for the last 16 years (remember the "devisive" argument? DUH) along with their male counterparts. I could just type up line after line of names of all those who  made their $$$ by ridiculing Hillary (and Bill) - something I would have done any other time. But I don't want my post deleted. Time is money for me, too.

    Gloria Steinem now wrote another article telling us Palin is not the right candidate for VP. Of course, she isn't. She is a Republican. She says the wrong stuff. She sees to believe the wrong stuff. But What else is new? It's to be expected from any Republican candidate? Was Cheney the right VP candidate? Was Bush?

    But Palin's speech was spot on for the Republican convention. It was taylormade for it. Simple, plenty of oneliners, nuance free. Just the stuff Americans who detest intellectuals prefer. Reagan would have loved it. Palin did the job she was asked to do.

    BTD compared her speech to the Ann Richards speech. It may seem that way to him but IMO he couldn't be more wrong here. Once you review Ann's daring speech (just about the only one we can still remember today) it should become clear how v. different it was. Palin's comments were nothing like that.

    IMO she does not deserve this huge compliment handed to her by BTD.

    Ann Richard's speech cannot even be given today anymore. Who has the guts in the Dem government to go for it like she did? Noone. When did we hear a pol speak the truth like Ann did in 88? It is Practically impossible in today's political and social climate. Strike that one up to too much unity, too.



    Clinton would be the first (none / 0) (#145)
    by Cream City on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:20:10 PM EST
    to tell you how much we owe Gloria Steinem.  I know, because I have heard Clinton say so.

    As soon as I read you write otherwise, I said pffft to the rest.  Research, then type.


    "I said pffft to the rest. Research, (none / 0) (#158)
    by bridget on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:07:40 PM EST
    then type."

    Gosh, Cream City, what's happening to you? You are either losing it or lack manners.

    This is the third time that you respond in this patronizing fashion to one of my posts. I remember that only because this kind of thing just hasn't happened to me on this blog and I certainly never gave you reason to respond to my comments in such personal rude fashion.

    I read your comments, here and other places, and I always appreciated them. I think we fought the good fight for Hillary together thruout this primary - esp. on dkos.

    I may not always agree with everything you or everybody else posts - but I always give the benefit of the doubt to anyone before I decide to write a response.

    I can't keep you from carrying on in this uncivil manner but don't expect a response in future.


    Works for me. (none / 0) (#167)
    by Cream City on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 08:19:57 PM EST
    and then (none / 0) (#21)
    by progrocks on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:00:36 PM EST
    people would complain about oprah cause she has been an obama supporter since day one

    no winning


    Well (none / 0) (#81)
    by cib on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:56:19 PM EST
    "Pioneering" feminists like Gloria also don't tend to get the Democrats very many votes these days. Democratic women may be an exception, but then this is the woman who said "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle", and was an avowed marxist in her earlier years.

    Jeralyn seems rather desparate in that she highlights what anyone says about Palin. It's been a long time since Steinem had any real influence on an election. Women aren't as lockstep as NOW is when it comes to issues, not even women with feminist leanings.


    Actually (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by daring grace on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 05:05:14 PM EST
    While I myself am not a huge fan of Steinem she still holds tremendous sway with women of my generation (50s) and older who remember the beginnings of the Second Wave and her part in it.

    Not everyone, of course, but quite a few for whom the 'Marxist' bogeyman is only something to giggle at if someone brings it up as if it's relevant.

    As to winning non Republican votes for the Dems, they don't need Steinem to help with that. Palin herself got a good start with her speech last night.


    Daring, we do disagree (none / 0) (#143)
    by Cream City on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:18:37 PM EST
    on some things, but bless you for this comment.

    Anybody wants to denigrate Steinem, they go through me first.  And it looks like then they go through you.:-)

    Of course, I am very glad to exchange comments with anyone who questions Steinem's contributions -- after they also have read her books and read about her and can pass my pop quiz on the modern women's movement.


    Too true. (none / 0) (#174)
    by marian evans on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 10:05:20 PM EST
    Gloria Steinam has won the right to be taken seriously as a political commentator on social justice and "women's" issues.

    Moreover, she just managed to make a critical analysis of Sarah Palin's policies and record without resorting to sexist stereotypes, "classist" references or personal put-downs.

    Worth listening to.

    More power to her.


    The problem isn't that she's (5.00 / 8) (#2)
    by Grace on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:34:19 PM EST
    the wrong woman...  

    She's the wrong person.  Period.  

    Steinem had the chance (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by blcc on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:19:54 PM EST
    to speak up when it mattered and she blew it.

    Now her time looks rather come and gone.


    Wrong. She did. (none / 0) (#146)
    by Cream City on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:21:40 PM EST
    You could look it up.  You even could look it up in archives here.

    Now, let's look and see what those who also ought to have spoken up did and said.  Dean, Pelosi, Reid. . . . nada.


    I'll clarify: (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by blcc on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:45:07 PM EST
    Yes, Steinem voiced her preference for Hillary over Obama.  I'm not actually a fan of Steinem's but I'll give her credit for that.  

    What bothers me is that with what capital she had, she didn't call out the political machinations and misogynistic cultural forces which were on such rampant and disgusting display during the primaries.
    I don't mean it in the general sense, I mean that there were some specific names she should have taken to task and didn't.  And now that opportunity is gone.

    So, she's being trotted out to wag her finger at another woman, and I'm just not going to listen.  Apparently the only person she wants to lecture by name is another woman who's being gang-raped by the press.  I really don't have the time to pay attention to Gloria's pile-on.


    Ouch (5.00 / 2) (#157)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:55:06 PM EST
    Please don't belittle the horrific experience of rape by calling Palin's experience a gang-rape.

    Most of what has been published is vetting.  Some pundits and blogs have been rude, but rape isn't the right descriptor.  


    Again -- she did. Really, look it up. (none / 0) (#156)
    by Cream City on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:53:53 PM EST
    And then tell me if she didn't do so to your satisfaction.  I thought it was a fantastic piece.  But you deny that she ever did so at all.  So you also must be unaware of the reaction that Steinem received.  

    If it's a consolation, I'm sure that she doesn't have the time to pay attention to you this time, either.


    Wow (none / 0) (#163)
    by glanton on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:41:29 PM EST
    That's such a sad post on so many levels.  Just sad.

    Cluea are out there.  Find one.


    Clues. Clues are out there. (none / 0) (#164)
    by glanton on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:43:13 PM EST
    Ditto... Jim at Irregular Times writes: (none / 0) (#25)
    by Roosevelt Fan on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:08:44 PM EST
    "Sarah Palin is the Vice Presidental pick of John McCain. McCain is no spring chicken, and Palin is next in line, so the question we have to answer isn't whether Sarah Palin is ready to be Vice President, but rather whether Sarah Palin is the kind of politician you want to be your president.

    "A great deal of information about Sarah Palin has emerged over the past few days, a great deal of it appalling. I'm trying to sum up, and here's what I've got so far" (continued...)

    Here's the url to check out his list:



    This point makes no sense (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by pelgal on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:34:30 PM EST
    You have to realize that it is odd for you to say this ". . .(which, by the way, I wish she would stop bringing up and showcasing.)" given that the frenzy about her personal life was started and perpetuated by the left wing blogs and the media.  What was she supposed to do?  Say nothing and pretend it wasn't happening?

    However, the rest of your post is logical and what should be the focus. Thanks.

    well this blog imposed a complete ban (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:41:26 PM EST
    on the topic until she decided to showcase it at which point I could not longer in good faith prevent discussion of it.

    I'm wondering if it was better (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by nycstray on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:17:33 PM EST
    for Levi to just show up and get it over with vs staying in Alaska and getting hounded by the press trying to one up each other. He's protected when he's with the Palin family and when the convention is over the couple can go back to Alaska while the press turns their attention to the campaign. Sort of a "nothing to see here" move.

    I am not sure (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:20:19 PM EST
    that a photo-op with John McCain on the runway was entirely necessary in order to "get it over with."

    Will the media be like "okay, we have pictures of this guy now, no need to take any more"?  I have no idea, but that doesn't seem to be how they normally operate.  Then again, in Alaska they might feed paparazzi to the polar bears.


    Shows everyone is on board (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by nycstray on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:28:49 PM EST
    including McCain. Basically, speculation was ended and what we have is your average 18yo. Nothing "news worthy" now. Along with the speech, the subject of the couple seems to be off the radar now. The campaign took the situation out of the hands of the media by handling arrival through the night. I suspect the departure will be quiet.

    Just the idea of the paparazzi trekking up to Alaska is kinda funny. Too bad it's not the middle of winter!


    Okay (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:54:43 PM EST
    but I don't think "showing everyone is on board" and "it's a private matter" are consistent.

    It's clear to me that they want to wring every last drop of positive political mileage out of the family situation that they can.  If they didn't stage a photo-op with the kid, somehow there would be all this fevered speculation about whether John McCain approves of him?  I mean, if that's a justification for making a "private" matter into a public photo-op, then anything is.


    Begs the point (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by ks on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:23:04 PM EST
    She "showcased" them (whatever that means) to combat some rather scurrilous media rumors.  I understand that's the fig leaf you're using but it is a bit dubious.

    I agree with everything you say.. (5.00 / 3) (#122)
    by alexei on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 05:07:38 PM EST
    and I defend Steinem.  She was vilified when she defended Hillary against the sexism and she is now being vilified for this piece by those who have jumped on the Palin bandwagon.  

    That said, I still have serious reservations about the gratuitous attacks against Palin.  All politicians show case their families and particularly Republicans do.  I don't care about that, I care about the issues and Palin is antithetical to my worldview.  But, please, stop the personal attacks, I am so sick of the "Democratic" blogs using Republican tactics.  Plus, they are producing the opposite effect, you are not changing "hearts and minds", you are driving people away.


    Jeralyn (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by prose on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:40:53 PM EST
    What a great post.  Thanks!  The gender stuff tied to this race makes it so hard to feel good going after Palin.  I've been nervous when known Dems speak up for fear of the gender card getting thrown around more.  This article does a great job addressing Palin with substance and no threat of being taken down by a careless ad hominem.  We need more progressive women like Steinam to speak up in very public ways.

    The bottom line on this issue (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:35:38 PM EST
    If it's OK to accuse the Republican party of pandering to women voters, then it's OK to accuse the Dem party of pandering to AA voters.

    Speaking for me, I would stick to the issues.

    I wouldn't open up that can of worms.  But that's just me.


    Steinem's last paragraph (5.00 / 0) (#23)
    by Polkan on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:03:50 PM EST
    is something that makes me disagree with her entire point.

    And American women, who suffer more because of having two full-time jobs than from any other single injustice, finally have support on a national stage from male leaders who know that women can't be equal outside the home until men are equal in it.

    Palin comes across a woman who manages to have a large and apparently solid family as well as a successful career, but Steinem still condemns her solely because of ideology.

    I can't tell if Steinem speaks as a Democratic partisan here or as a Feminist. But I doubt it's both.

    I think if you read Steinem's piece again (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by shoephone on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:14:44 PM EST
    you'll see that she is going after Palin not for ideaology alone but for her hypocrisy. And that is the theme that the Democratic Party should be pushing throughout this election. The hypocrisy of the Republicans -- it's an irrefutable point.

    That's not true (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Polkan on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:20:39 PM EST
    because Steinem is tying everything around McCain, as she herself admits.

    She completely dismisses Palin, despite her particular circumstances and/or merits.

    She is clearly dismissing her solely because of ideology.

    It's clear for anyone willing to see that if Palin was a pro-choice Democrat, she would be the embodiment of everything that the feminists have been yearning for since the 1970s.


    But I don't get it (5.00 / 4) (#44)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:24:29 PM EST
    Isn't it fair to say, for example, that a candidate who supports equal pay for equal work will advance the cause of women's rights, while a candidate who opposes it will hurt that cause?  Isn't ideology the whole ball of wax here?

    Partisanship (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Polkan on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:30:44 PM EST
    is what I should have said.

    Palin is a successful working mother, who clearly has principles that she believes in, and is confident of who she is.

    She's not a victim, she's unapologetic, assertive and unafraid. She's not waiting for some "male leaders" to solve her problem.

    I think Steinem is having trouble separating party partisanship and feminism, in my opinion.


    Well (5.00 / 4) (#67)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:39:53 PM EST
    There is the school of thought that says it's a problem when women still make 76 cents on the dollar, and then there's a school of thought that says who cares about that, I've got mine.

    I'm not sure what exactly is wrong with Steinem adhering to the former view, or opposing a candidate who adheres to the latter view.

    In my view, feminism equates to supporting whatever life choices women choose to make, whether it's becoming President of the United States or maybe something even more challenging like being a stay-at-home mom.  But that doesn't translate into supporting all female politicians regardless of ideology.  If a feminist believes someone's political beliefs are harmful to the cause of feminism, why wouldn't they oppose that person?


    Then I'm confused... (4.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Polkan on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:57:27 PM EST
    Should I read Steinem's article (with its title) as a piece by a feminist or a piece by a Democrat?

    Because if it's the former, I don't understand how Palin's example couldn't inspire women to insist on equal pay, for instance? Unless of course Steinem prefers to wait until Democratic "male leaders" or "the right woman" solve it for all the women out there in one fell swoop? I don't mean this in a negative way...

    As for choice, so far we only know that Palin is pro-contraception and anti-abortion and that she didn't increase teen-mothers' budget but didn't cut it either. So it's not entirely clear for me whether or not she's going to agressive insist on pro-choice or if it's just her personal conviction. But Steinem seems to know the answer already, because she gave the verdict.

    I'm not writing this to defend Palin, but it seems to me that she clearly brought something new and confusing to this race and clearly scrambled it in some way.

    My personal opinion is that she's more of a libertarian than an evangenlical. And while it's too early to tell, her job will be to carry out McCain's orders. Which is why she will never be the "right" woman for Steinem.


    She's running for political office (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:02:28 PM EST
    If you want equal pay, the way to get it is by voting for politicians who support equal pay, and by voting against politicians who oppose equal pay.

    The idea of voting for women who oppose equal pay, on the theory that their success might "inspire" other women to insist on equal pay, is one of the wackier concepts I've heard.  And when those other women do insist on equal pay, one might ask, what form will their insistence take?  Since the laws are made by politicians, the only way they're going to insist on equal pay is by voting for politicians who support equal pay!


    If Palin is in fact opposed to equal pay (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by echinopsia on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:21:35 PM EST
    (and I haven't seen proof that she is) wouldn't best way to demonstrate that be for her to insist on getting paid 77% of what male governors of Alaska were paid?

    I didn't know she was opposed to it (none / 0) (#90)
    by Polkan on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:05:19 PM EST
    Has she ever explained why?

    No (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:24:24 PM EST
    I can only assume that it's for the traditional Republican reason, which is to say, all those darn lawsuits are harmful to big business.

    To be clear, Palin claims to support equal pay in concept, she just opposes the legal remedies that seek to achieve it in the real world.  She's a supporter of the Supreme Court decision that said women only have 180 days to challenge a discriminatory pay decision, even if they have no idea they're being discriminated against.  So if your employer gives you a lesser raise than your male colleagues, and it takes you more than 180 days to find out what your colleagues are making, too bad, you're barred from suing forever, even if they're still paying you less.


    I find it rather disengenuous for (none / 0) (#130)
    by oculus on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 05:23:42 PM EST
    Dems. to proclaim McCain et al. are opposed to equal pay when the issue before Congress was whether to negate the SCOTUS opinion on reporting times.  

    I don't agree (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 05:47:56 PM EST
    The Supreme Court made an unreasonable, pro-business interpretation of the equal pay statute that said victims of discrimination have only 180 days to sue even if they don't know about the discrimination.

    When Congress sought to overturn the Supreme Court's terrible decision by clarifying the statute, the Republicans blocked it, screaming about how horrible lawsuits are.

    To me, it is completely meaningless to claim that you're in favor of equal pay, if you also block attempts to provide legal redress for pay discrimination.  It's like saying "well, of course I'm against discrimination," but then voting against civil rights legislation.

    I think the Republicans clearly are the disingenuous ones on this issue.  They can claim all they want to support equal pay, but equal pay won't just magically happen unless the law provides a sanction for employers who discriminate.


    wow (none / 0) (#85)
    by Polkan on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:59:16 PM EST
    I can't type today, sorry for all the typos and mistakes.

    Huh? (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:43:05 PM EST
    Are you postulating that Steinem is "She's not waiting for some "male leaders" to solve her problem"?

    And what do you mean by that phrase "solve her problem"?

    I think I would like to know.


    what hypocrisy? (5.00 / 0) (#51)
    by cawaltz on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:28:41 PM EST
    Seriously. I am trying to see where she contradicts herself by saying one thing and doing another but I am not seeing it.

    I disagree with her but I do not see a hypocrite. On the contrary, I saw a woman who lives her convictions.


    That's hilarious considering the out and (none / 0) (#137)
    by independent voter on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 05:46:52 PM EST
    out LIES she stated.

    Considering the (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by txpolitico67 on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:31:26 PM EST
    deafening silence regarding the sexism and the lack of the DNC leadership stepping up to defend Hillary, you really WANT to go there on the topic of hypocrisy? Because I have all day if you do.

    Maybe you are hitting at what (5.00 / 0) (#38)
    by cawaltz on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:20:46 PM EST
    gives me that squirmy uncomfortable feeling.

    I also don't like the line about male leaders.(Whatever happened to the idea of creating more female leaders instead of waiting for the men to come around?) Personally, I got the impression that Sarah Palin has a partner who treats her as an equal and she treats him with the same mutual respect. Seems pretty feminist to me.


    Palin feminist because of her husband? (none / 0) (#142)
    by laila on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:15:34 PM EST
    Why does the way your man treats you a automatic nod for being a feminist.  If that be the case then we could argue against a lot of women who's men did them wrong and say they are not feminist?  What about Hilary, a feminist, a strong leader, right about the issues, is she not a feminist because of Bill?  Ridiculous. I have dated a couple of jerks but I will stand up for the rights of women and solidarity any day of the week.  A woman's right to choose, forcing marriage on a teenage pregnant daughter, and her non-support of unwed teen mother's are just a few reasons why I don't buy her feminism for a minute.  A feminist stands up for Women Issues...period. Regardless of who she is sleeping with.

    in other words (none / 0) (#166)
    by Polkan on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:55:04 PM EST
    feminist is an activist????? wow

    I had the same feeling (none / 0) (#187)
    by lmv on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 06:42:27 PM EST
    And, for goodness sake, the Dems need to stop holding Roe over women's heads.  THE most insulting thing I've heard from Dems this election year has been the Roe mantra.  

    1.  That was decided 35 years ago.  We have different issues to focus on now, like pharmacists that won't fill Rxs for the morning after pill.

    2.  The battle for the Supremes was lost in 2000.  Dems need a new strategy.

    3.  This lifelong feminist is only pro-choice because the alternative is worse.  Pro-CHOICE.  Palin chose to keep her baby.  That's a choice.

    To attack a trailblazer like Palin and her loving spouse just because they aren't pro-choice is beyond the pale.  And, the attacks about running for office with a special needs baby have been appalling.

    Silly me.  I thought the feminist movement was about equal opportunity for all women, including those who don't belong to NOW, who keep their babies, and manage a career and motherhood.  If it's not, what exactly IS feminsm about?


    I think that the big problem is (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by txpolitico67 on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:27:26 PM EST
    for some would be, are feminism and being a Democrat or a liberal mutually exclusive?

    So (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by cawaltz on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:31:19 PM EST
    How are we any better than them when we say that feminism is restricted to a particular political affiliatio0n. It's almost as absurd as the GOP claim that you can't be christian unless you are in the GOP.

    VERY (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by txpolitico67 on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:41:10 PM EST
    astute cawaltz

    I dunno (none / 0) (#129)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 05:20:50 PM EST
    is feminism defined by the advancement of one woman?

    Was the cause of African-Americans furthered by the appointment of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court?


    Feminism is defined (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by kredwyn on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 05:34:28 PM EST
    in many ways...as has been noted at various conferences on Feminisms, there are many different types of feminism out there. No one group of feminists have total ownership of what goes into being a feminist.

    I had a prof who considers herself to be a technofeminist...several years back she ran head first into the "feminist establishment," which appeared to find the use of technology to be simply an extension of the typewriter vis a vis the secretarial pool. That luddite-esque attitude has since changed as various women have worked to show how the use of computer technology can extend and expand to assist women in their search for X.

    My mother and folks like HRC fought to help even the playing field for the next generation of women.

    The advancement of one woman can help. It's not the end...


    Even if (none / 0) (#159)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:07:48 PM EST
    that woman runs completely counter to the causes that most women find important?

    Is she running against EVERYTHING? (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by kredwyn on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:34:21 PM EST
    or is it her ideology on specific issues that you have problems with?

    Are those things relevant to her interpretation re: what it means to be a feminist? Though most conservative women do not self-identify as a feminist (I taught in TX...and many of my female students at a woman's university shuddered even at the use of the word feminist), there are some out there who do...but reject the radicalness of some feminisms.

    There was actually an interesting discussion going on back in 1998.

    The idea that I, or some other woman, has to go along and agree with most women on "the causes that most women find important" in order to be a feminist...well...bugs me a bit. If I agree with it, it's because I'm pro-choice for my own reasons...not because other women are for it.


    Well (none / 0) (#170)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 08:33:21 PM EST
    I can't speak for everyone, but I don't think the argument is really that Sarah Palin is not a feminist.  I mean, it's almost an issue of self-identification, with all the waves of feminism we've seen that often disagree sharply with one another.  In my book, if you believe you're advancing the cause of women's equality, you're perfectly entitled to call yourself a feminist.

    But as a self-identified feminist myself, I certainly have my own opinion about what serves to advance the cause of equality, and what doesn't.  Gloria Steinem obviously has opinions about that as well.  And so it's entirely appropriate for me to say look, Sarah Palin may think that her approach is the right one for women, but I disagree and I'm going to vote for someone else.  That doesn't mean I reject her as a feminist, that means I don't think voting for her is the right thing for feminists to do.

    I believe Clarence Thomas, deep in his heart, thinks that the policies he supports are the right ones for the advancement of black folks.  I don't think he's self-hating or any of that crap, and I don't think I care about racial equality more than he does.  Heck, he probably cares more than me, if it comes right down to it.  I just think he's very wrong in how he goes about it.


    My initial response (none / 0) (#172)
    by kredwyn on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 08:41:55 PM EST
    was to flyerhawk's initial question re: definitions of feminism.

    It's been argued that when Kennedy took his oath, he shattered the meme that POTUS had to be a Protestant...Jesse Jackson as a Democratic contender for the nominee...Gerry Ferarro's being in the VP candidate slot helped open up the frame to allow women to see themselves in the Oval Office as a real possibility. Thurgood Marshall did much the same for SCOTUS.

    As I said..."The advancement of one woman can help. It's not the end..." It's rarely ever the end.


    Empowered Women (none / 0) (#183)
    by daring grace on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 10:46:28 AM EST
    This is an interesting thread to me.

    A couple years ago I wrote a paper for a historiography course about the anti-suffragists, women who organized against the campaign to gain women the right to vote in the U.S.

    Having little background in Women's History, I was startled to see how long after 1920 it was before substantive scholarship about the suffragists themselves made it into print.

    But then I encountered the absolute wall that existed for many years around examining the empowerment of women from the...shall we say...distinctly non liberal political and social movements: like the anti-suffragists, the women active in the Ku Klux Klan, John Birch Society, Nazis, Fascists etc.

    I don't recall now if the debates I read for this research related to whether they could be called feminists. I do know some of the writers whose work I referenced in my paper were just at the stage of questioning why the 'breakthroughs' of some of these right wing women weren't being studied as much as their more centrist and lefty sisters.


    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by bridget on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:22:01 PM EST
    or the nomination of Obama (3.00 / 2) (#150)
    by honora on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:39:01 PM EST
    There is nothing wrong for pointing out... (none / 0) (#123)
    by alexei on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 05:12:41 PM EST
    the differences in ideology.  Plus, I suppose that the majority of Republicans are supporting her because of her ideology.

    This is a perfectly acceptable way to show the differences and why we are Democrats and what Republican ideology has brought us.  Remember Bill Clinton's convention speech - this is the way to go up against the Republicans, with ideas not personal attacks.


    I thought this (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:06:57 PM EST
    was a powerful piece.  A lot of folks don't know much about where Palin stands on the issues and it's important to inform them.

    Very few people will vote for someone who believes the exact opposite of them, but that only holds true if they find out what the person believes.  A lot of folks would assume that because Sarah Palin is a working mom with a special-needs kid, she'd be a big supporter of government programs that help working moms and special-needs kids - not to mention principles of basic fairness like equal pay for equal work - but no, she offers a hardcore Republican ideology straight down the line.  So it's important for people to know.

    Sure is (none / 0) (#108)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:32:12 PM EST
    I hear her views are fairly radical and out of the mainstream.

    Is this another (5.00 / 0) (#28)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:13:27 PM EST
    "any natural-born citizen 35 or older is qualified" argument?

    I've heard lots of people, of all political stripes, suggest that Palin is unqualified to be VP.  Some of these people had no idea of her politics whatsoever.

    Everyone has different criteria for what "qualified" means, and that's their right as a voter.  Don't try and discount other people's beliefs on the topic just because you, yourself, find her to be qualified.

    Experience? (none / 0) (#101)
    by cib on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:23:24 PM EST
    Is it your opinion then, that Bush 1, who was, as far as I can tell the most qualified man to ever hold the Presidency was the greatest President ever?

    Quite frankly I think this "experience" shtick is over-rated, and is an argument that Obama can't help but lose as well. What we need in office are honest people, not professional dissemblers. Education? An engineering degree from Podunck U is more impressive to me than A similar degree in International Studies from Harvard U, not that most of our existing politicians have any more useful a degree than a law one, and not often Constitutional law at that, Obama being an exception to the rule.

    I think as Kinsey points out that there is no real analogue to the Presidency in our daily political scene, and thus its impossible to "train" for it. Do you have several years experience leading people (whether private business owner or political organizer in a large scale corrupt machine)? Do you have a decent education? Then you have what it takes if you keep an open mind. Most of it can be learned on the job.


    Thank goodness she is not running for President!!! (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Buckeye on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:14:31 PM EST
    I get no pleasure from imagining [Obama] in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which [he] has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. [John McCain's] 37 years' experience.

    ....[he] was elected [Senator] largely because the [opponent dropped out of the race from scandal]

    One detail about the oil rebates (5.00 / 0) (#31)
    by shoephone on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:17:02 PM EST
    AFAIK, Alaskans have been receiving those oil rebates for years. Palin didn't create that policy.

    The rebate went way up (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:21:34 PM EST
    as a result of a windfall profits tax she supported.

    It's remarkable what taking money from big companies and redistributing it to the public can do for your approval ratings.  Why, some people think that's the Democratic Party's entire racket!


    Of course she's wrong for Democratic women. (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Lysis on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:31:07 PM EST
    And she wasn't picked to appeal to them.  If she gets a few crossovers, those are the icing on the cake.

    She was chosen to revive the McCain Maverick Brand(TM) as a Washington outsider, to mobilize and excite the conservative base which was always suspicious about McCain, and to boost turnout among Republican and independent women.

    On that front, she's been a success.  If the election remains close, it will come down to turnout. Before Palin, McCain didn't have a prayer of matching Obama's turnout. Now he does.  

    Which is why attacking her instead of ignoring her was a huge mistake.  Her base has now rallied behind her. Obama still has the edge, but the reaction of the left to her nomination (which continues unabated) has made things unnecessarily more difficult.

    well (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by connecticut yankee on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:36:09 PM EST
    My mom was an on the fence hillary voter but this woman has thrown her solidly to Obama.  She stressed that she is terrified of this woman's agenda.  All of her friends feel the same.

    Just an anecdote, for what its worth.

    Ya know (5.00 / 4) (#75)
    by echinopsia on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:48:05 PM EST
    All this "women, don't be fooled!" concern trolling is really getting old. It's especially rich coming from all the people who wallowed in sexism during the primaries (not you, Jeralyn) while telling us, "That's not sexism/misogyny, you ninny, stop playing victim" "Can't you take a joke?" and "I'd love to have a woman president, just not THIS woman." As if  we couldn't see through THAT cr@p perfectly as well.

    We are not infants, and we are not idiots. We weren't fooled by what they said then and we are not fooled now, either by Palin or those who tell us not to be fooled.

    I still don't know what I'll be doing Nov. 4, but Sarah Palin will have approximately zero influence on it either way.

    I will still defend her and dispute lies about her, because feminism means standing up for women even if you don't like them or what they stand for. Please note that Gloria wrote a whole op-ed about her without telling a single (big) lie (I don't agree that discussing creationism in school is wrong; it's always been used as a foil for scientific method) or sexist trope. Yay, Gloria.

    But this:

    Barack Obama and Joe Biden are campaigning on their belief that men should be, can be and want to be at home for their children.

    Makes me go "Huh?"

    "Huh" is right, echinopsia ! (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by bridget on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:19:02 PM EST
    "Barack Obama and Joe Biden are campaigning on their belief that men should be, can be and want to be at home for their children."

    What's up with that?


    Obama would like her to speak tonight too (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by domerdem on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:56:03 PM EST
    "The downside to big television ratings: An Obama aide confirms to Ben Smith that Sen. Barack Obama has raised about $8 million from more than 130,000 donors since Gov. Sarah Palin's speech last night"


    Best evidence yet she gave a great speech (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by davnee on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:01:53 PM EST
    She got people's attention, and I bet you dollars to doughnuts it wasn't because she looked incompetent.  She's a hard right culture warrior in lipstick and pumps, and she looks to be a talented one at that.  Let's not let her get elected.

    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by domerdem on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:06:03 PM EST
    I think it is the best evidence yet that Dems were repulsed by her views and mean-spirited speech, and are really want to make sure that Pat Buchanan kindred spirit does not end up as VP.

    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by davnee on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:13:50 PM EST
    That was kinda my point.  People aren't whipping out their checkbooks today because they are afraid this woman would melt down in the White House.  They are whipping out their checkbooks because they think she might get there and actually realize her right wing agenda.

    Got it, thanks (none / 0) (#116)
    by domerdem on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:54:32 PM EST
    Agree (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by AccidentalTourist on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:56:25 PM EST
    If it scared our side into action, good. She is a talented politician with an appealing stage presence, and we belittle her skills and appeal at our peril. She is a better speaker than GWB ever was, and look how far he got.

    I'd be curious to see what amount was raised by the McCain campaign as well.

    Audience ratings for her speech last night were apparently in the neighborhood of Obama's. 37 million, not counting PBS and C-Span.


    The special needs pandering (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by nalo on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:20:30 PM EST
    was what made me cynical.  The first part introducing the baby was fine.  But how would she be an advocate in the White House for special needs children?  Isn't that by definition a government help???

    Her positions (some before her baby was born) were to cut funding in Alaska.  All government is bad from her strict conservative ideology.  Does she still hold those beliefs?  Did her baby make her change mind about government programs that help the disenfranchised?  

    An Alaska group claims she cut funding for special needs by 60%.  It sounds like she's pandering and using her baby to get votes to me.


    FWIW (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by NJDem on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:53:53 PM EST
    "Gov. Sarah Palin and state lawmakers have gone ahead with an overhaul of Alaska's school funding system that supporters predict will provide much-needed financial help to rural schools and those serving students with disabilities.

    The plan, enacted in the recently concluded session of the legislature, is based on recommendations issued by a legislative task force last year. It will phase in a greater flow of money to districts outside of Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, over the next five years.

    Advocates for rural and remote schools have lobbied for years for more funding, in particular noting the higher fuel, transportation, and other costs associated with providing education in communities scattered across the vast state.

    A second part of the measure raises spending for students with special needs to $73,840 in fiscal 2011, from the current $26,900 per student in fiscal 2008, according to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development."



    She's as qualified to be VP (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:33:53 PM EST
    As Obama is to be President.

    The rest is issues.

    I'd focus on the issues.

    If experience is the important issue, McCain has more than Obama.

    I was just thinking... (5.00 / 0) (#112)
    by Oje on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:44:44 PM EST
    after reading this and a NY Times article, how insulting the label "disaffected Clinton voters" is. This is obviously a name that comes from the Obama campaign and Obama-friendly media.

    If there is a real fear (rather than a concern trolling) that the Democratic party might lose some of its traditional support, we (Democrats) should start referring to them as "disaffected Democratic voters." Referring to them as such keeps them in the Democratic fold and signifies, to me, that there are real Democratic differences to resolve.

    Labeling them "Clinton voters" begins the process of naming and purging Clinton Democrats as separate from the Democratic party, as BTD has decried for a long while. Repeatedly calling them "disaffected Clinton voters" brackets their identity within the narrow confines of "sore losers in an election," without substantive issues. In which case, it is both concern trolling and derogatory.

    To add to the thought.... (none / 0) (#148)
    by Oje on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:23:53 PM EST
    Since when did our opponents begin to refer to Democrats as "Obama-Biden Democrats":

    But her spokeswoman said Obama's campaign was not responsible, even though a Palin fundraising letter named the Democratic ticket with the words: "the Obama-Biden Democrats have been vicious in their attacks directed toward me, my family and John McCain."

    The Republicans are attempting to exploit the divisions in our party as a tribalism of personality after the primary. Something that comes across in their references to Clinton or use of her criticism of Obama. There are many on our side prepared to run with the Clinton Democrat meme and, of course, new political identities that see this as a means to bring legitimate democratic changes to the Democratic party.

    Maybe Republicans are not trying to appeal to disaffected Democrats, but they are certainly trying to solidify divisions in our party (should we lose the presidential race in 2008).


    No, they're just trying to blame Obama (none / 0) (#153)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:46:04 PM EST
    for what other people have said about Palin.  They're trying to get the base to circle the wagons, and the best way to do that is by transference.  Christian culture is replete with victimization mentality.  The GOP knows the response to perceived attacks will be to rally behind her.  In this case, right wing pundits are actually making sexist comments to stir the pot.  The talk show hosts are picking people who are belittling Palin, then cutting them off and firing up the base.  I'm getting attack emails from Republican lists, followed by criticism of that kind of attack.  Who said what is already muddied in some people's minds and in the end the GOP will get more mileage by saying we picked on her.  Hence the descriptor "the Obama-Biden Democrats" implying Obama or the campaign is behind it all.  They've already used the supposed "media attack" to keep reporters away from her before her delivery of their message.  They'll even used the fundraising to feed off the victimization culture.  We're elite, they're the common people.  They won't ever get around to mentioning the number of donors in the $1 vs. $10 Mil pools.  

    Team Obama is playing this right but the GOP will use their usual trickery to make this into a culture war of identity politics.  


    In that article.... (none / 0) (#161)
    by Oje on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:32:27 PM EST
    Palin is very careful to absolve the Obama campaign, while putting her name to a fundraiser against "Obama-Biden Democrats." Personally, without really caring about the consciousness of the design, the language creeping into the memory of this past Democratic primary is going to prove divisive in the event of a Democratic loss in November. MyDD, case in point, in response to nothing but a post by Jerome Armstrong about the most recent SUSA survey.

    She is not the Dem choice for VP (5.00 / 3) (#113)
    by kredwyn on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:49:26 PM EST
    She is the GOP choice for VP candidate.

    Gloria knows full well that there are numerous types of feminism. Liberal, pro-choice feminism is just one of many...

    The Dems had a chance to go for experience, historic, and female in HRC. Instead, they went with Joe Biden.

    It's time to stop futzing about it and accept the fact that Dems are going to have their hands full during the election.

    The Edwards kids? (5.00 / 3) (#125)
    by kredwyn on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 05:15:23 PM EST
    paraded all over the stage. Remember the antics of Little Jack?

    Gloria lost all credibility (3.57 / 7) (#3)
    by cawaltz on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:34:23 PM EST
    with me when she did not speak up in defense of Clinton. Our gender is part and parcel of who we are and how we experience things. I may not vote solely for someone based on the fact that she is a woman but it will be a consideration. Furthermore, Sarah Palin is more than just a female, she is an accomplished female unafraid of voicing her beliefs(whether or not I agree with them is another story). For that, she has my respect.

    Whaaat? (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by CST on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:42:47 PM EST
    You mean like this?

    Didn't see that op ed (5.00 / 0) (#18)
    by cawaltz on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:51:35 PM EST
    It's nice to know that she took the time to say something. I certainly don't recall her being that vocal though. Anyway whatever. While I respect Gloria, I won't be making my decision based on her.

    she doesn't have the bully pulpit (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by dws3665 on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:30:31 PM EST
    she once did. or perhaps she is more focused on her other work than on upfront political commentary.

    perhaps (none / 0) (#63)
    by cawaltz on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:35:31 PM EST
    There are areas of the commentary I find uncomfortable. The male leaders threw up a flag for me. I understand that in order for women to become equal there has to be cooperation from the male half of the population. That said I reject the idea that we sit idly by and wait for our male leaders to come to an epiphany. We need more female leaders. Steinem didn't say that though because in this case she disagrees with this female leader on issues.

    does it advance the cause of women (none / 0) (#66)
    by dws3665 on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:39:41 PM EST
    if there are more women leaders whose views do not advance the cause of women's rights? i think this is sometimes a difficult issue for the media to get a handle on, but my answer is a resounding no.

    Actually, it does. (5.00 / 5) (#96)
    by echinopsia on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:14:50 PM EST
    Even if a woman leader does nothing else for women's rights, just having more women leaders is good for women. And it's not just the obvious plus of visibility, which helps women be pictured as leaders and breaks down barriers.

    I cited a couple of studies the other day (can't find links) that showed that the more women there are in Congress (for just one example), the more women's issues are addressed by legislation. As you'd expect, these issues get more attention from Democratic women than Republican women, but regardless of ideology, women are more likely to propose legislation relevant to women.


    Bingo. (5.00 / 4) (#107)
    by blcc on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:31:43 PM EST
    The sooner a woman gets into the Oval Office, the sooner we can close the door on disgustingly invasive speculation about her uterus, her pregnancies, and her child-rearing abilities.

    Even if by some catastrophic event Roe v. Wade were overturned tomorrow safe and legal abortions would still be available and affordable in every state that wants them to be (most of which have long since passed laws to protect them).  Roe v. Wade is a political red herring.  Both sides use it to frighten and fire-up their bases and keep us in line when they've failed to meet our needs otherwise.  Well, enough.  I choose to ignore this cudgel.  

    If the DNC cared about my vote in November they should have listened to my voice in April.


    Better be careful there (1.00 / 1) (#104)
    by cib on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:28:06 PM EST
    Our leaders are to address the problems and rights of everyone in society.

    If poor homeless men can't get any attention in a female dominated legislature because they have the wrong chromosomes, you have no moral leg to stand on.


    This makes no sense. (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by echinopsia on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:25:22 PM EST
    Homeless families (most headed by women) and children  are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population (Wiki). What makes you think legislation to help the homeless would be gender-specific?

    And what "moral leg" is it that you think I'm trying to stand on?


    Ok, it took a while, but I see what you're saying. (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by echinopsia on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 08:36:52 PM EST
    And I guess I'd have to reply that given the fact that men have dominated the legislature since 1776, and have all along ignored the issues of those with the the "wrong chromosomes," I'm not too worried about losing the moral high ground anytime soon.

    Maybe an equal number of years after the legislature becomes woman-dominated would be fair.



    Not so fast there, echino (none / 0) (#173)
    by cib on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 09:17:39 PM EST
    From wiki:

    40% are families with children--the fastest growing segment.
    41% are single males.
    14% are single females.
    5% are minors unaccompanied by adults.
    1.37 million (or 39%) of the total homeless population are children under the age of 18.

    Obviously, quite a few of the children are MALE.

    The overwhelming majority of homeless are women and children ? What are you snorting again?

    And you can have your female dominated legislature , but I'd like to see an equal number of female deaths on the battlefield. Perhaps we could institute a female only draft for tne next two hundred years. Game?


    Read it again, odd collection of letters. (none / 0) (#177)
    by echinopsia on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 12:00:29 AM EST
    Homeless families (most headed by women) and children  are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population

    The words "overwhelming majority" do not appear in my comment. What are you snorting?


    Oh, and female-only draft? Fine. (none / 0) (#178)
    by echinopsia on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 12:14:05 AM EST
    And men lose the right to vote, hold elective office, sign contracts, have credit in their own names, own property, sue, serve on juries, defend themselves and testify in court, go to college, and divorce. They become the property of their mothers or wives, earn 77 cents to a woman's dollar, may be committed to mental institutions or divorced at their wife's whim, and they never get the kids.

    For the next two hundred years.

    Still game?


    Wow, what a bunch of irony, echino (none / 0) (#179)
    by cib on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 03:53:53 AM EST
    Men lose the right to vote..
    Some women could vote in the 1780's in various states. Bet you didn't know that.

    Hold elective office..
    I know there were female mayors in the 1800's. I'm not sure there were ever formal laws in all US states that forbade women from being in politics.

    Sign contracts..
    Depends on state and time as for whether a woman could or a slave could.. and heaven's to Betsy, some slaves were men..

    have credit, own property..

    Once again, and just speaking of the US you will find female business and property owners in every century of our countries existence...

    sue, serve on juries..
    Slaves couldn't either and some slaves were men.. and yes, once again, it depended on state law as to whether women had the rights to sue, and I'm not aware of women being kept off juries in the US..

    testify, college, divorce..

    Wow, if you aren't aware that some women were college educated in the US in the 1800's I feel sorry for you. As for divorce, it was often hard for both parties to get. We've never had the "snap his fingers" divorce here. Well until now, when we let anyone divorce anytime for no reason at all , despite the wishes of their partners and even if they have kids...

    Property.. properly speaking, women were never slaves in the US and , unless you go back to antiquity they were never property (you know, traded or sold) in Europe either. Of course back then, slavery was much more widespread. But you knew that, right?

    Earn 77 cents.. Nice to know you believe that after it's been roundly debunked for 20 plus years and not just by right wing think tanks.

    Committed to mental institutions or divorced...

    There was a time in the 20th century when you could be committed to mental institution with no due process. Course this applied to both men and women. Nowadays it's of course impossible, just like there is no women alive under 90 something who was alive when women last didn't have the Constitutional right to vote in the US..

    Never got the kids..

    Maybe in the mid to late 1800's the man might have been considered the default better parent. After all, he had the job. Nowadays with the "tender years" doctrine, welfare, and the vast ability to squeeze child support outta the non custodial parent, that is reversed.

    You are also aware I'm sure that the vote wasn't given to poor men until after the civil war, and that women could vote in many states before black males could?

    It seems you just want revenge based on half understood and mythologized history and also on the idea that somehow all men of all classes always have had it so good, and all women so bad. Sorry I don't play that game. I'll make my one on one trade, but no other.


    Perfectly predictable (none / 0) (#181)
    by echinopsia on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 10:15:23 AM EST
    that you would cite a list of rare exceptions, as if they proved anything.

    Women fought in wars, too. They were exceptions, but they were there.

    But at least we know now how much you really know about women's history - not much at all.


    BTW (none / 0) (#184)
    by echinopsia on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 10:51:06 AM EST
    It seems you just want revenge

    Project much? Read back up this thread. I was answering a question about whether having women leaders, even if they do not work for women's issues, was a plus for women. There's nothing there about men at all.

    You are the one who jumped in with a warning not that women leaders would not a have a "moral leg" (whatever TF that is) if they ignored the needs of  men.

    Let's guess who's got issues with the opposite sex.


    And you dismissed those issues with snark (none / 0) (#186)
    by cib on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 03:07:01 PM EST
    instead of compassion.

    I think you've shown your true colors. Rather than argue points, you argue against the poster.


    Again, projection (none / 0) (#188)
    by echinopsia on Sat Sep 06, 2008 at 09:32:01 AM EST
    It seems you just want revenge

    Who's arguing not points, but against the poster?


    We disagree (none / 0) (#180)
    by dws3665 on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 09:14:30 AM EST
    But this is the opposing case. Thanks for posting it.

    Her editorial (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by lilburro on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:58:05 PM EST
    A huge fuss was made over her editorial in January.  Exactly how vocal do you need her to be?  

    Fair enough (none / 0) (#22)
    by CST on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:01:05 PM EST
    Just trying to give credit where it's due.

    Personally, there are only 4 people who will influence my decision on who to vote for.  They are the 4 people on the repub/dem tickets.  So I can understand that sentiment.


    Yeah... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Oje on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:59:44 PM EST
    Steinem was attacked for how she tried to defend Hillary Clinton. There is a 30-year old rift in the feminist movement that places / regards some early feminists like Steinem as advocates for white middle-class women. You can still see the differences among feminisms about the relation between gender and race on blogs like Feministe. Anglachel recently called out the question of gender and class as well in her analysis of the reaction to Palin.

    Gloria Steinem DID DEFEND HILLARY (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:10:30 PM EST
    See this NYTimes story: Women are Never Frontrunners, from Jan8/08:

    I'm supporting Senator Clinton because like Senator Obama she has community organizing experience, but she also has more years in the Senate, an unprecedented eight years of on-the-job training in the White House, no masculinity to prove, the potential to tap a huge reservoir of this country's talent by her example, and now even the courage to break the no-tears rule. I'm not opposing Mr. Obama; if he's the nominee, I'll volunteer...

    What worries me is that she is accused of "playing the gender card" when citing the old boys' club, while he is seen as unifying by citing civil rights confrontations.

    CSJ already pointed it out (none / 0) (#41)
    by cawaltz on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:22:40 PM EST
    I guess Gloria got drowned out by the punditry and I missed her op ed in the paper. Thanks though.

    She was (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by MichaelGale on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 05:19:35 PM EST
    "drowned out" and put in the "old ladies" trash bag.

    She was so trashed for that article, by the progressive blogs, that she never said another word until the primaries were decided.

    Sarah Palin appears to be to the right of every Democratic value, at least the ones that I still hold firm. However, she still has the right to run on the opposing ticket. As a female, I say go for it.


    Which beliefs are you speaking of? (3.00 / 2) (#11)
    by prose on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:42:24 PM EST
    All we know about her is that she parrots the safe talking points of the far right.  Not too much bravery in that.

    Personally I think she walks the walk (5.00 / 3) (#97)
    by blcc on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:18:08 PM EST
    in her own life better than any politician I can think of, ever.

    Now, I'm adamantly pro-choice.  I've been pro-choice my entire voting life (I'm 40) and I don't imagine that ever changing.  But when we starting mocking and denigrating a woman's CHOICE to keep her child and raise it as she sees fit, then we surrender our path on the high road.  I'm not pro-ABORTION, I'm pro-CHOICE.


    Heh (4.33 / 3) (#17)
    by cawaltz on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:49:02 PM EST
    yeah I'm sure that those children she has including the one with Down's aren't a testament to her belief system.

    Look, I disagree with her on choice but I can respect that she has taken a principled position.
    As for parroting right wing talking points, considering critical comments are limited and curtailed here, I find that comment incredibly ironic.


    You misspelled her name. (none / 0) (#6)
    by lobary on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:39:10 PM EST
    It's Steinem.

    Come on (none / 0) (#5)
    by TomStewart on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:37:16 PM EST
    do we really need 24/7 Palin coverage?

    it's my first post of the day (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:42:37 PM EST
    on the topic. Just scroll on by please.

    That's true (none / 0) (#16)
    by TomStewart on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:44:54 PM EST
    and it's not like I haven't been writing on your wall about the subject. You're right, sorry.

    Scrolling on....


    steinEM (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:39:13 PM EST
    I love her but how much does she speak for the middle class voters????

    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by cawaltz on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:44:36 PM EST
    em at the end not am. I noticed that too.

    Furthermore, voting "present" on women's issues (for political strategy) certainly shouldn't be lauded as good on women's issues.


    Steinem knows economic hard-ship first hand: (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:25:49 PM EST
    See her bio in Wikipedia, check the sources for verification:

    Steinem was born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1934. Her mother, Ruth Nuneviller, was of part German descent. Her Jewish-American father, Leo Steinem, was a traveling antiques dealer (with trailer and family in tow) and the son of immigrants from Germany and Poland.[1] The family split in 1944, when he went to California to find work while Gloria lived with her mother in Toledo.

    As a child in Toledo, she cared for her ill mother and helped support the family along with her sister Susanne.

    I know steinems (none / 0) (#61)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:34:36 PM EST
    background, I am curious as to whether or not she has been moved to the "elite" camp and whether or not she still resonates with the working class.  They were adamantly throwing out elitist all night despite the fact that Romney, Giuliana, McCain, Thompson are all multi-millionaires.  What makes one multi-millionaire an elitist and another a populist?  

    Edwards was villified for being a millionaire and speaking about populism and he came from working class.  The republican party no longer owns the family values,  can no longer claim hold to the working middle class and surely is out of touch with the crises facing ordinary americans.  

    I still wonder how Steinem plays to that audience....


    Oh, I'm pretty sure (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:56:15 PM EST
    the GOP has moved Steinem into the "elite camp" of the intelligentsia, if for no other reason than that she is a widely-published, self-proclaimed feminist.

    Sarah Palin would be a good friend to women if she could also say what STEINEM said here in the LATimes editorial:

    Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie.

    and she says it so well... (none / 0) (#92)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:07:14 PM EST
    lots to love about her...

    her politics scare the bejesus out of me (none / 0) (#47)
    by coigue on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:26:29 PM EST
    is that irrelevant?

    As to the experience issue, I think she's experienced, but not enough for the bar the McCain campaign has set.

    It disqualifies her (none / 0) (#127)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 05:18:21 PM EST
    from getting my vote.

    It does qualify her for getting my criticism though.


    leading people off a cliff is bad judgement (none / 0) (#175)
    by coigue on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 10:20:21 PM EST
    that's what is the issue.

    Experience v judgment.

    I'll take judgment every time.


    indeed (none / 0) (#50)
    by dws3665 on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:28:22 PM EST
    Thanks for posting this! I hadn't seen it.

    They need justification? (none / 0) (#59)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:31:34 PM EST
    They are anti-everyone who doesn't agree with them.

    My only beef with this is competence (none / 0) (#65)
    by davnee on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:38:16 PM EST
    Palin is dead wrong on the issues and not what I would consider a feminist, though people may disagree on the meaning of feminism.    I do credit her though for being a successful woman in what is still overwhelmingly a man's game.  

    My beef is on the competence point.  I'm not particularly comfortable with her being POTUS either, but that is largely due to her newness in office, not the nature of her experience, which as a mayor, commissioner and governor (even of small places) are all just dandy.  But this is not the year to be trumpeting experience as the be all/end all, since one of the men running for POTUS is still a political neophyte himself.  Why aren't we all freaking out about that?  There sure as heck were more experienced candidates to choose from for him too, if that was so terribly important.  And as to her political instincts for leadership and grasp of the relevant issues, which go along with experience, as predictors of competence, I think that is an open question still given how little we yet know of her record.  I'm staying tuned for more information before I judge her on competence.

    Palin's not suitable for POTUS because she has the wrong values and ideas and would do harm promoting them.  She's dangerous exactly because she just might be effective if she got in there.  She might prove to be too competent.

    Although (none / 0) (#68)
    by txpolitico67 on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:40:01 PM EST
    Gloria Steinem's voice is an important one to consider. However, in this piece, she doesn't provide any leverage to the debate on behalf of women, just Democratic principle.  I do laud her for that as a former Democrat that will support down-tix Demz.

    I did consider voting for McCain/Palin because I was (and still am a bit) cranky about the primary.  But after I read about Palin's family planning stances, I ran like HELL back into the arms of the Cynthia McKinney.

    I too didn't know that Steinem defended Hillary's candidacy.  Bravo Gloria Bravo!!

    Actually, she isn't... (none / 0) (#77)
    by Roosevelt Fan on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:51:45 PM EST
    that is if one examines her record, her views, and, yes, her experience. There are a number of women and minorities in both "recognized" parties and the so-called "fringe" parties as well who are truly qualified to assume the presidency should that be necessary -- and if you place their qualifications against Sarah Palin's, well, there can be no comparison. This has absolutely nothing to do with political positions.

    Now, when it DOES come to views on issues of importance to a majority of Americans, especially women, Ms. Palin surely is lacking there as well. To illustrate this point (which Gloria Steinem did quite well in her opinion piece) AND as a checklist for Sarah's lack of actual qualifications for the position, Think Progress offers "The Sarah Palin Digest" at: http://thinkprogress.org/palin-digest/

    Also, it's instructive to read Robert Reich's blog entries on this question of suitability. Note his comments: Saturday, August 30, 2008
    "McCain, Palin, and the Important Difference Between Boldness and Riskiness" -- and Tuesday, September 02, 2008, "Vetting"):


    Christie Todd Whitman, Ahhhnold... (none / 0) (#84)
    by byteb on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:58:41 PM EST

    Meh. It loses its punch (none / 0) (#93)
    by blcc on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:11:37 PM EST
    when you read the whole story in her column:


    It seems to me that what she's lamenting as "over" is the idea that the GOP is supposed to be "above" the strategy of narrative politics.

    Palin is the wrong woman (none / 0) (#114)
    by reaonablevoice on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:49:50 PM EST
    I am a 63 old woman.  I was and am an avid Hillary Clinton supporter.  To see John McCain, et al, try to substitute another female in place of Senator Clinton is not only offensive it is insulting.  Any woman who can remember "classified adds" for help wanted separated by "male help wanted" and "female help wanted" knows that we have not come as far as we should have.  ALL of the MEN (newsmedia included) discounted Hillary's qualifcations.  I will vote for Obama-Biden by default, because the Republican ticket is the the exact opposite of what we women want and need. How sad that we have to submit, yet again, to the good old boy's club.

    Clark (none / 0) (#119)
    by Gustavion on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 05:04:56 PM EST
    I'm a bit concerned with the McCain/Palin energy policy (especially in regard to drilling in the ANWR).  Given the state of the environment these days I think it is important for us, as consumers to support 'green business.'  For example, http://www.simplestop.net stops your postal junk mail and benefits the environment.

    Best intro paragraph in an Op Ed (none / 0) (#120)
    by samtaylor2 on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 05:05:05 PM EST
    That I have read in a long time.  

    For those who've been wondering, (none / 0) (#131)
    by oculus on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 05:29:35 PM EST
    Phyllis Schafly says not to worry.  Palin will handle being VP and 5 kids, etc.

    But Phyllis Schlafly, the 84-year-old archetypal anti-feminist, thinks people fretting about whether Palin can do it all should just pipe down.

    "People who don't have children, or who only have one or two, don't comprehend what it's like to have five," said Schlafly, who was on the convention floor this week.

    "I had six children," Schlafly said. "I ran for Congress. An organized mother puts it all together. The time management mother uses the older ones to help with the younger ones. You should read that old book 'Cheaper by the Dozen.' "

     [Excerpt from Robin Abcarian's piece in LA Times.]

    motherhood is not the point (none / 0) (#135)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 05:36:33 PM EST
    her politics and positions on issues and experience are what's relevant. I do not want to get into an off-topic discussion of her parenting skills.

    Palin is certainly energizing the Dem base (none / 0) (#132)
    by fuzzyone on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 05:32:42 PM EST
    $8 million raised [by Obama] since Palin's speech from over 130,000 donors - on pace to hit $10 million by the time John McCain hits the stage tonight.

    The Palin pick energized Republicans...... and has given a jolt to Democrats, too. (The RNC has raised $1m since Palin's speech.)

    via Mark Ambinder

    You're confusing apples and oranges (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Cream City on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:45:01 PM EST
    it seems.  How much did the RNC raise right after Biden's speech?  Or the DNC, for that matter?  The DNC is the comparate to the RNC.

    The comparate to the Obama campaign you cite here is, amazingly, the McCain campaign.  Have you seen figures on what the McCain campaign raised since last night?  I haven't yet.  I have seen that the McCain campaign raised $8 million in only hours after Palin was announced as VP, so perhaps $10 million by the end of that day.

    Dems lose when they underestimate the opposition -- in part by confusing the numbers.


    Well (none / 0) (#140)
    by nell on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:04:22 PM EST
    the RNC should keep the 1 million number to themselves. It's sad to see that touted next to the Dem's 10 million number.

    And I say that as a Clinton voter who has not jumped on the Obama bandwagon.

    Really, I am beginning to agree with BTD, there is no way really that Obama will lose.


    I don't get the feminist rules of engagement. (none / 0) (#139)
    by WillBFair on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 05:59:15 PM EST
    You may talk of everyone else's personal life, but not Palin's. And anyone who does so is a sexist.
    They called Bill Clinton a racist for noting that 90% of African Americans, after adoring to Clintons for years, switched to the unknown Obama in three minutes. And no one was allowed to ask why.
    Now we are not to speak of the republican's gross hypocrisy in sugar coating Ms. Palin. What makes her personal life so sacred?
    Playing the bigot card was used by the Obama campaign not only to slander the Clintons, but also to silence serious inquiry.  Will the democrats always keep silence when any overly sesitive group flings a word like racist, sexist, or homophope without proof?    

    Those are not the feminist rules (none / 0) (#154)
    by Cream City on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:47:07 PM EST
    which in itself is an odd phrase, since there are so many kinds of feminists.

    What you describe reads more like the New Dem rules.


    Regarding the Clintons, that is. (none / 0) (#155)
    by Cream City on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:48:35 PM EST
    Sorry, got cut off. . . .

    hey, jeralyn... (none / 0) (#141)
    by alexei on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:12:40 PM EST
    Here is another post you can delete.  

    The horrible nature (none / 0) (#165)
    by glanton on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:45:58 PM EST
    of McCain was already emerging, but with the Palin pick it's become a caricature of itself.  Not a shred of personal or political honor between the two of them.  That they aren't being laughed off of stages, instead of on the cusp of election, speaks poorly about the country.  

    Sorry, but I can't trust you on this (none / 0) (#168)
    by Cream City on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 08:22:31 PM EST
    from what you've written here.  I'll trust what I know, since I research the topic for a livelihood.

    I've written on it, and I've read what she and others have written on it for years.  And I was part of it.

    I trust other former marxists, too, on a lot of our history.  Do you also disparage Howard Zinn?

    sigh. (none / 0) (#176)
    by canadian gal on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 10:51:27 PM EST
    steinhem's piece is as unfortunate as the tone here in recent days.  something is v. wrong when people ignore or diminish (on its face) the first female candidate for a party when they don't happen to agree with her ideology.

    and you know what this is playing right into the trap to show independent and GOP women that women on the left only stand for feminists that share their political views.

    Marxist in Her Early Years (none / 0) (#182)
    by daring grace on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 10:29:11 AM EST
    I'm not sure which one of us is living in the more rarefied bubble here--you or me. Of course, I'm making that up. I really think it is you.

    As I've already said, the onus and scare quality of this idea is...well past its prime.

    In this century, that image has far less (if any) power to repel or terrify people.

    At best, if anyone pays attention to it, it may produce a bit of a giggle or an eye roll.

    The old gray Marxism it ain't what it used to be in this newfangled global economy.