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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