Is Sarah Palin The "21st Century Symbol Of American Women In Politics?"

I do not have particularly strong feelings about Sarah Palin. To me she is a fairly standard issue wingnut, with some decent political skills. She may be a force in the Republican Party, but the reality is Sarah Palin will never hold high national office (she could of course be a Senator from Alaska anytime she wants to be - where she can join the likes of Inhofe, Coburn and DeMint in the Know Nothing extreme right wing of the Republican Party, but she will never be President.) Because of that, this column seems startlingly off base:

Since the 2008 election, progressive leaders have done little to address the obvious national appetite for female leadership. And despite (or because of) their continuing obsession with Ms. Palin, they have done nothing to stop an anti-choice, pro-abstinence, socialist-bashing Tea Party enthusiast from becoming the 21st century symbol of American women in politics.

Say what? This strikes me as ridiculous. Palin is a run of the mill extreme right wing Republican Know Nothing, who happens to be a woman. There is nothing about her stances that addresses womens issues, nor could there be in the Republican Party, which finds womens issues to be anathema. Of course many women are Republicans, but not because of womens issues. Sarah Palin is no symbol of women in politics. She's just an extremist in the Republican Party, who happens to be a woman. While the column's thesis that a strong political female figure fighting for womens rights is necessary seems right to me, using Palin as the takeoff point of this argument makes it a silly column.

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    I think she is a dangerous person (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Saul on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 09:44:14 AM EST
    I know that the Republicans really hate Obama and I am not savvy enough to point out what would have happened if McCain and Palin would have won but I think we would be worse than we are today.

    She scares me just knowing there is the rare possibility she could become President.


    Someone has to fill the vacuum (5.00 / 6) (#7)
    by davnee on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:27:08 AM EST
    No, she'll never hold high office, but that's not the point.  The point is that Sarah Palin and her mama grizzlies are the only women in politics right now who have captured the national stage (as a matter of optics not reality).  I think the author's point that progressives need to do more to promote its women leaders and women's issues is well taken.  Until then, Palin and her grizzlies get to co-opt feminism as their own.  

    Also, the one thing I will give Palin, and which I think the author touches on, is that she so unabashedly and without apology celebrates herself as a woman leader.  Cynical on her part, no doubt.  But effective.  I think women on the Left should spend less time bitterly tearing her down (because in the end she is not really that important), and more time drowning her out.  Be just as loud and proud about being women leaders.  That might actually, you know, be good for women and for a liberal agenda.  Until then, the loudmouth from Alaska's ten minutes continue.

    Yes. (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by rennies on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:15:10 PM EST
     " I think the author's point that progressives need to do more to promote its women leaders and women's issues is well taken."

    But they also reference the sexism and misogyny directed against Hillary in the primaries by progressive. And OMG, I couldn't believe how toxic it was at the time.


    This article pissed me off for a different (5.00 / 5) (#58)
    by masslib on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:37:49 AM EST
    Imagine a Democrat willing to brag about breaking the glass ceiling at the explosive beginning, not the safe end, of her campaign.

    I don't know what rock these two authors were sleeping under during the '08 primary, but Hillary's first campaign stop was a Wellesley college, where she did just that.  I'll never forget Chris Matthews smug look of disapproval that she dare bring up her womanhood on the campaign trail.  Obama was questioned about it by some other talking head and said something extremely dismissive.  In other words, the Democrats and the media pushed back hard against Hillary making any mention of her own history making campaign.  She didn't wait until the safe end of her campaign to address the issue as these two dolts suggest.  Indeed, one of her campaign slogans was "let's make history".

    That said, I think what the authors are saying is women are hungry to see themselves as leaders in politics, and that has greatly helped Palin become the force she is, and Democrats have ignored or dismissed this desire on the part of women in the electorate.  Obviously, women do hold more seats on the Dem side than the Republican side, but for a majority woman Party it's not enough, and if liberal women had the power that reflects their numbers in the base, womens reproductive rights would not be used by the Democrats as a bargaining chip.

    And if the 'throw out the incumbents' theme (5.00 / 3) (#70)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:48:14 AM EST
    Holds true, woman officeholders will be even fewer next term.

    Regarding HRC v Palin, it's paradoxical, but it makes sense. If you are not a threat to really improve women's lot in life, you can talk like a 'Mama Grizzly'. If you really want to help women, you get criticized by the boy's club.


    Which Democratic female politician is (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by MO Blue on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 12:13:04 PM EST
    promoting Democratic female candidates as the solution to the problems confronting the U.S.?

    You'd be forgiven for thinking she does. Ms. Palin has spent much of 2010 burnishing her political bona fides and extending her influence by way of the Mama Grizzlies, a gang of Sarah- approved, maverick-y female politicians looking to "take back" America with "common-sense" solutions.

    IMO everything that Palin does is to further her own financial well being. How is she doing that? Palin is specifically targeting conservative women. Palin is promoting conservative women candidates. She is promoting the idea that CONSERVATIVE women can change the world as we know it. That is a type of woman power. Are most conservative positions anti-women? IMO definitely yes. Are we successfully counter balancing her in the political sphere or the arena of public opinion.? Definitely, not. In fact, in the political arena, our female politicians are voting for conservative values on women's issues.  


    Nah (none / 0) (#89)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:00:40 PM EST
    Palin has not concentrated on women candidates. See, e.g., Joe Miller.

    Palin has not concentrated soley (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by MO Blue on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:15:27 PM EST
    on women candidates According to WaPo Palin has endorsed 42 candidates, 22 women and 20 men. link

    Palin is somewhat of a "media darling." (none / 0) (#90)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:14:31 PM EST
    As is Glenn Beck apparently.  Very neutral headline on front page of NYT today re his rally yesterday.  

    I tried to ignore the Clinton-centric parts (none / 0) (#62)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:41:38 AM EST
    of the article.

    But it is worse than that. No woman candidate will ever run their campaign as a feminist crusade.

    It can be a part of the message, but the premise of the quote is simply absurd.

    That is a protest candidacy - see Shirley Chisolm, not a serious one with a chance to win.


    Oh yes, I agree with that. That would not have (none / 0) (#66)
    by masslib on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:44:01 AM EST
    broad appeal.  

    Palin Uses Sexuality and Power (5.00 / 0) (#71)
    by squeaky on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 12:02:07 PM EST
    Which distinguishes her from Hillary, whose sexuality has always been under wraps and out of bounds. Palin is more like codpiece, or Bill. She is the first major woman politican to both strut her stuff, and be a model for powerful women.

    Women in politics have never been able to own their virility, and sexual prowess, imo.

    Palin also has attempted to do, with Feminism, what GOP does best, claim the she represents the center. Of course she is reactionary when it comes to Feminism, but she represents the "family values" type of feminism with not only a wild side (sexuality) but a side that models a powerful woman who hunts and can compete with men.

    I think that she is a contender, and a wild card to be reckoned with.

    The authors make a point, in my view, (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by KeysDan on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 12:38:49 PM EST
    when they note, essentially, that Hillary's acceptance goes up when her threat level goes down (e.g., she was a good senator because she reached across the aisle and good at State because she works well with Gates).

    And, we underestimate Sarah Palin at our peril. While two years is a long time, especially for a tea party-type movement that may well become disenchanted by the successful candidates they worked for, I see Sarah Palin as the Republican presidential nominee.  As for her chances at the presidency, I used to feel that should the Republicans actually be so foolhardy as to nominate her, the campaign would undo her.  But, I am no longer so sure based on her 'celebrity' draw.  Her big problem, of course, would be the  debates, but she might be able to get away with dodging them, on the grounds that they are just  liberal, socialist "gotcha, by golly" opportunities.  


    This is incorrect (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 01:59:20 PM EST
    Hillary's political height, on her own terms, was when she became a voice for working class populism and fought the Establishment Media.

    I think that in many ways people miss the real feminist victory in the Hillary campaign, no matter the electoral result - a woman wrote a political story on her own terms.


    Right on, BTD (5.00 / 3) (#96)
    by rennies on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:18:56 PM EST
    And look what she got from the liberal elite for her successes.

    I must have mnissed HRC's (none / 0) (#92)
    by BobTinKY on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:15:20 PM EST
    becoming a voice foe working class populism.

    I heard John Edwards, but alas he had other issues.


    You sure did. (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by rennies on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:20:36 PM EST
    Check out, for example, the Pennsylvania primary.

    Don't forget about those people who "cling" to their guns, religion etc.


    so now we can't talk (none / 0) (#122)
    by jondee on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 03:52:15 PM EST
    publicly talk about gun control scare tactics and the exploitation of Biblical imagery, or we'll alienate "the people"..

    Why don't the Dems just lure over Sarah to our side to be on the safe side?


    But isn't the point of the op ed who is (none / 0) (#94)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:15:52 PM EST
    filling that role now?

    Oh, I agree. (none / 0) (#120)
    by KeysDan on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 03:40:12 PM EST
    It was the establishment media I thought the authors had in mind.

    They dod not (none / 0) (#135)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 07:53:04 PM EST
    have them in mind. Their sentences were directed at Clinton herself.

    Debates? (none / 0) (#80)
    by squeaky on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 12:49:40 PM EST
    Most of america detests debates. They are for wind surfing french speaking elites...

    Bush always came off as stupid, ignorant, and when it came to anything intellectual he expressed a 'which way did they go' cowboy smirk that drew applause and approbation,  from a majority of "regular" americans.


    Sad but mostly true (none / 0) (#81)
    by jondee on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 12:57:05 PM EST
    they can be scripted, orchestrated and afterward spun by people like Peggy Noonan, who said Palin "hit it out of the park" with her folksy, Marge Gunderson "can I call you Joe?" and "that's a white flag of surrender, Joe" swill..

    Debates? I agree, and (none / 0) (#82)
    by KeysDan on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 01:18:59 PM EST
    it re-inforces my point.  Even easier for her to walk away from that danger; she tried and almost got away with it during her debate with Biden, as I recall.  And, did we ever really find out what that little box-like impression was at the shoulder blade level under Bush's suit coat in that debate?

    ..it's a miniature (none / 0) (#84)
    by jondee on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 01:23:55 PM EST
    lethal injection machine, carved for him by a Texas-plains grandmother, that he sometimes carries as a keepsake/good luck charm..

    If Sarah Palin is a symbol of anything, (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Anne on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 12:29:27 PM EST
    it may be of how identity politics is a knife that cuts both ways - as all identity politics does.

    Her gender is being used as the passport to credibility for a host of beliefs that are not just contrary to women's interests, but to the interests of people in general.

    Please note that I am not saying that women have to believe only one way on every issue; they absolutely don't.  I firmly believe in people - not just women - having the right of self-determination, and that includes the right to act in accordance with their best interests, free of attempts to legislate religious beliefs - which I think is at the root of much of Palin's message.  She may believe that God wants the same things she does, but when she and others like her start trying to weave that message - however subtle and coded that message is - into the fabric of government such that it might impose those beliefs on me, I can see her as no less than a symbol of betrayal - not just of women, but of all people.

    I hate the Mama Grizzly thing more than you know, perhaps because I don't want to think of myself as one of her "cubs," but maybe also because she seems to have to invoke symbols of motherhood in order to make her message at all credible.

    Hillary Clinton is so much a better symbol of self-actualization and -determination than Palin that it's ridiculous.  She expresses her beliefs and her passions in terms that all people can identify with - and doesn't condescend to us as the Mother Bear who knows what's best for her babies.  We're not cubs or babies or property, and treating us as such is offensive.

    If Palin is a symbol of 21st century symbol of American women in politics, all I can say is, she's not MY symbol of that in any way, shape or form.

    If Hillary Clinton could make one more contribution to American life apart from political office, I would love to see her mentor and develop more true symbols of women in politics and public service that honor and respect women and the people they would serve, as opposed to what I see Palin doing, which is using women to help keep themselves and others (non-Christian, non-white) - but not her, of course -  in their proper place.

    "Hottest V.P. from the Coolest State" (5.00 / 0) (#85)
    by squeaky on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 01:32:20 PM EST
    RNC campaign button....  But talking openly about Palin's sexuality is taboo. 300 pound gorilla in the room... Susie Bright gets it right, imo:

    But here's the most controversial part, and it's just as rich as any other aspect of her candidacy: we finally have an image of a powerful, fertile, virile woman on the national stage. And it's a female image that's been almost entirely absent from America's pop culture. When you think of women who've been in the news, two kinds come to mind. One we'll call the Paris Hilton model -- or Lindsay Lohan, or Britney Spears -- this illiterate, anorexic, or drug-addicted pop tart. "She's so rich. Everybody wants to f*ck her. She's so special." This, as many mothers wring their hands saying "This is the role model for our daughters? This is who they see as someone they should look up to?" It's been a travesty.

    The other kind of strong woman on a national stage has been an older woman like Hillary Clinton. In some ways, you can say that's how sexism worked against her. Every time she got a little ballsy, a little rip-roaring -- every time she showed her fierceness and her strength -- she was bound to be called a Wellesley lesbian, that somehow she wasn't enough for Bill Clinton, that all those girls she went to college with she was secretly f*cking.

    Now all of this has just been a big pile of right-wing baloney, but it's what happened to Hillary Clinton. She has never allowed herself, or been encouraged to show her sexual side, because it's been considered something that would get her in trouble -- like there was no positive way to show it. She had to refrain from being a ball-buster for fear of being dyke-baited.
    So here comes Sarah Palin, who apparently is not in menopause at all. She just had a baby a few months ago, so her heterosexuality is just bleeding out all over the place. She's just rolled out of bed! That's the impression we get from this woman. They can't get her on the dyke thing. She's up in Alaska, shooting guns and taking names! So she's gotten a pass on this. And she is irresistible!

    We simply haven't had an overtly fecund, butch, straight-woman sex symbol in so long. She's like Annie Oakley with her six-shooters and her polar bears, her caribou dressing and her moose stew. She's got five kids hanging off of her, and you're like "Hells bells, that woman can f*ck in the morning, go out for a long hike on the Arctic tundra, take down a polar bear or two, and be back in time to pass some new creationist legislation." She just kicks a$$. I mean, she's just so -- mmm. So like a powerful woman.

    Susie Bright

    If Sarah Palin looked like one of the (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by Anne on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:50:04 PM EST
    grizzlies she's so fond of comparing herself to, no one would even know her name.

    While that's a fairly negative commentary on our obsession with looks to the exclusion of less visual attributes, the further negative is that looks accords credibility to ideas and beliefs that might otherwise be seen for how ugly and crazy they really are.


    Got that right (none / 0) (#87)
    by Zorba on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 01:46:57 PM EST
    Susie's correct- see my comment #83.  The (white, conservative) men want to sleep with her, the (white, conservative) women want to be her.

    Its a mistake to underestimate her (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by richj25 on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 03:02:21 PM EST
    When she first appeared liberals tried to send her packing under a deluge of insults and ridicule. She bore it all with grace and now the jeering just seems small minded. Moreover, she's very adept at pushing liberal's buttons. During the healthcare debate she put Obama on the defensive with a simple Facebook post. Liberals should stop trying to dismiss her and start engaging her on policy issues where, hopefully, they can show a favorable contrast.

    21st century woman in politics huh? (5.00 / 0) (#124)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 04:01:15 PM EST
    Not hardly!  I'd say that position goes mostly to Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton today and who knows tomorrow.  While I bow to Madeline Albright who was unafraid to go toe to toe with Milosevic and his genocide.  These women are women who are in a position or have been in a position to change the world and they have done it at times they deemed necessary.

    It has never been easy for me to miss the fact that your average male Republican voter has a ginormous Madonna Whore complex.  Sarah Palin is nothing more than the promise of the self professed Madonna who will save them from disgusting liberal whores like me :)

    I totally agree, Tracy (none / 0) (#125)
    by Zorba on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 04:16:07 PM EST
    Except I'd add to what the "average male Republican voter " has going on for Sarah Palin.  It's not just a "ginormous Madonna Whore complex," it's a ginormous.....well, let us say, something that they get either only in their dreams, of from the use of Viagra and other ED drugs.   ;-)

    I really don't know what to do with (none / 0) (#126)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 04:41:23 PM EST
    such men or the women who spend their lifetimes on them.  They always want something half of their self has decided to hate, and secretly hate their wives for never being it.  But they do worship the Madonna their wives work so hard to be when they aren't spending their free time thinking about the bad girl woman they wish they had.

    Pray tell. How do you know all this? (none / 0) (#141)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:56:58 PM EST
    Just my ticked at men observations (none / 0) (#142)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 05:03:02 AM EST
    and reading too much psych at too early an age probably.  The whole Palin fascination seems literally jerked from a textbook.

    Perhaps you will be sympathetic (none / 0) (#148)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 10:51:48 AM EST
    to my plight at Petco Park yesterday.  Average sized older man is seated to my left.  The seats are canted to the left--toward home plate.  The man insists on sitting with his legs very far apart, invading my preciously small space.  He knows he is doing it because whenever my foot or leg touches his he slyly looks down but still does not move.  Would a woman do this?

    Only a woman with a severe (none / 0) (#150)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 11:55:09 AM EST
    personality disorder :)  Was Jewel good?  She is one of my favorites from not so long ago.

    Jewel was announced as an upcoming (none / 0) (#154)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 01:18:41 PM EST
    attraction.  Not to me though.

    Ah yes (none / 0) (#147)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 09:46:03 AM EST
    Margaret Thatcher was just such a huge turn on.



    But I put her (none / 0) (#151)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 11:58:22 AM EST
    in the Clinton/Pelosi category.  She showed up to work and put in an honest days sweat and then some.  Sarah Palin quits as the governor of Alaska to go chase bucks.....and nothing greater than that.  What service to nation and mankind has she provided?  Sarah Palin seems to be unable to commit to doing anything that could break a nail.

    I give her credit for nourishing Trig. (none / 0) (#155)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 01:20:19 PM EST
    PRobably a tough decision, even for a person of her stated beliefs, to carry this pregnancy to term.

    Really? (none / 0) (#156)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 01:34:35 PM EST
    Her stated beliefs are that a woman should be forced to bear a child even if it were her daughter and she had been raped.

    Hard for me to credit her with anything when it comes to her staunch anti choice position.

    Fine for her to choose to have Trig. Absurd for her to demand her choice be the law for others.


    As you doubtless know, some people (none / 0) (#157)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 01:40:07 PM EST
    make different decisions than their stated beliefs in face of extreme adversity.  Other people choose to have the child and then either place the child for adoption or place the child somewhere other than in their home.  

    Yes (none / 0) (#158)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 01:54:42 PM EST
    But I doubt that Palin struggled with anything regarding her choice to bear Trig.

    Just a hunch...  

    If a fascist leader who believes in eugenics were to bear a child with a birth defect and out of principle murdered the child soon after birth, I would not be impressed with their decision either, even if it indicated that the fascist was not a hypocrite.


    I respect the right to choose (none / 0) (#160)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 02:05:10 PM EST
    Whatever that choice is.  I have to say though the right to choose means that never a day goes by that I ever feel like my son was forced on me.  He was always my choice, and my mothering energy is always very authentic and robust because of that :)

    Yes (none / 0) (#161)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 02:10:29 PM EST
    And even if one wanted to make a case that Palin is a big supporter of people with disabilities, I would argue that she would also force them to have an unwanted child.

    That is not a unconditional support of people with disabilities, imo.

    And as far as your choice goes, Josh is a very lucky boy to have you, and you are lucky to have him, that is clear.


    I'm lucky to have my husband too (none / 0) (#163)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 02:31:09 PM EST
    He just takes the ball and runs with it when I need a break.  We have argued our way through insurance denials, and now we are having some school problems but we hand the baton off so smoothly when someone is tired.  And we play good cop bad cop instinctively in a scary sort of way, most likely many couples who can survive the birth of a special needs child do.

    Having a special needs child born has a 50/50 chance of destroying a marriage.  In recent studies the mothers of special needs children have shorter cellular telomeres than expected.  It is suspected that is likely due to long term  stress.  You can try to take breaks too, but the mothering instinct can be so strong I have literally had to knock myself out to get myself to sleep at times.

    There is less of me for my "normal" daughter and my "normal" granddaughters, and siblings of special needs children often need outside counseling, suffer from a lot of trauma over what they see their sibling go through, and deal with a lot of guilt over being the "lucky" one that borders on survivor guilt.  It is an enormous balancing act and if anyone decided they didn't want to do this or have their family go through it, I would understand completely.


    Have you run across (none / 0) (#159)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 02:01:32 PM EST
    the questioning about her actually being Trigs mom?  I saw a photo of her when she should have been six months preggers but she had not told anyone, and Trig had a very very strange delivery.  It is rumored that Sarah has actually been a grandmother twice but is hiding it.

    Yes (2.00 / 1) (#162)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 02:12:11 PM EST
    And it is completely plausible, imo.

    Wouldn't be surprised if the true story is even darker...


    As I recall, this is a verboten topic here. (none / 0) (#164)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 02:38:39 PM EST
    Oops (none / 0) (#165)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 02:40:44 PM EST
    I'm late to the party

    Really? (none / 0) (#166)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 04:02:54 PM EST
    Missed the memo...

    gobbsmacked by a headline (none / 0) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 09:39:35 AM EST

    oh dear god.

    I hope not.

    The authors will see that in (none / 0) (#3)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:01:25 AM EST
    the coming campaign, Nancy Pelosi's name will be mentioned a lot more than Sarah Palin's. I think beefing mentioned in the other party's negative ads is about as much of a political symbol as you can get. and no one forgets she is a woman.  

    Ha- ''beefing'. Meant 'being' (none / 0) (#4)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:02:30 AM EST
    Yeah, but Pelosi is going to be out of power (none / 0) (#6)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:26:10 AM EST
    in a few months. And then largely forgotten. Palin isn't going away quite that quickly.

    That makes no sense (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:40:37 AM EST
    Palin is not in power now so how could she be the symbol now by your reasoning?

    Palin has the power of driving the tea party (none / 0) (#14)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:50:15 AM EST
    movement, which we can see is a powerful factor in the Republican party. She just knocked off a sitting Senator because of past grudges. She is the driving force behind the Republican party and that's the first time that a woman has held that position, for either party.

    You really compare that to being the leader of the Tea Party movement?

    Ridiculous. Simply ridiculous.


    Nancy Pelosi is clearly on a downslide. In (none / 0) (#21)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:54:43 AM EST
    a little over 2 months she will be a lame duck. Palin remains on an upswing.

    And while the Tea Party movement is indeed a ridiculous movement, it is a major factor in the Republcian party.

    The argument isn't over who the most powerful woman in the country is (Pelosi for a few more months) but who the symbol is. And you only have to look at a Newspaper or turn on our odious cable news to know that it is Palin.


    Perhaps so (none / 0) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:58:47 AM EST
    but she is Speaker of the House.

    Palin is a symbol of women in politics by virtue of what? The Tea Party? What does the Tea Party have to do with women? Excepting for detesting them?

    Let me ask you this, did you argue that Phyllis Schlafly was the symbol of women in politics in the 1970s? Actually, that would be more credible because at least Schlafly made an argument directed at womens issues.

    Your argument is preposterous.


    The TP detests women? (none / 0) (#32)
    by BTAL on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:05:30 AM EST
    The closest I've come is observing the TP from a distance (media/www) but don't see anything indicating they detest women.

    Pretty sure they do (none / 0) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:11:23 AM EST
    Psst, they also detest minorities.

    But apologists will pretend otherwise.


    Proof? (none / 0) (#74)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 12:27:30 PM EST
    "Proof"? The guy who ... (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Yman on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:51:58 PM EST
    ... claims that the Muslims seeking to build a community center near ground zero are doing so in order to celebrate the slaughter of innocents by radical Muslims on 9/11 in a way that is visible to the whole world., then offers as his proof "It's common sense", .... now wants proof?!?

    The guy who (on his blog) shows one picture of Obama without flags in the background, then one picture of three other Presidents with a flag in the background, with the accusatory "question" - "What's missing?", as if that's evidence of anything ... wants "proof"?!?

    Hey, Jimmy .... it's just "common sense".


    heh (none / 0) (#139)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:30:14 PM EST
    Ymanny, you wouldn't know common sense if it was biting your behind.



    It's you wingers that have trouble ... (none / 0) (#140)
    by Yman on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:39:44 PM EST
    ... with common sense, JimmyJoe ...

    ... but speaking of "biting my behind" ...


    Ymanny (none / 0) (#145)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 09:32:24 AM EST
    You think everyone who doesn't agree with your personal agenda is a "right winger."

    Grow up. Don't you embrace diversity?


    Of course i don't believe that ... (none / 0) (#146)
    by Yman on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 09:42:00 AM EST
    ... "everyone who disagrees with me is a right winger".

    But a guy who consistently pushes debunked wingnut claims on his own blog and tries to make the same sophomoric arguments here?

    Oh yeah ...


    Heh (none / 0) (#149)
    by jondee on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 11:17:14 AM EST
    this is the place in the discussion where he disappears down the wingnut hole, to resurface six hours later.

    Jondee, my very own troll! (none / 0) (#167)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 08:09:25 PM EST
    Right on schedule (none / 0) (#168)
    by jondee on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 08:21:21 PM EST
    and still guarding us all from Muslim Presidents and the possible imposition of Sharia Law in the NFL.

    I thought of Schlafly too (none / 0) (#42)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:17:22 AM EST
    I put her and Palin in roughly the same category. Schlafly also would have been more accurate as a symbol because of the relative dearth of female pols in the 70s.

    But I rejected the idea immediately. 'symbol' to me requires a very deep seated mental connection.

    and really, comparing Schlafly to Palin is insulting to Schlafly, not that I'm averse to doing that. At least I believed PS  really cared about issues.  

    As you say below, there is really only one obvious symbol today.


    I see Schlafly's son (none / 0) (#79)
    by jondee on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 12:39:56 PM EST
    has started up "Conservapedia", which dedicates itself to, among other things, debunking Einstein's Theory of Relativity, for it's secularist implications..

    Who cares how much they're committed and 'deeply care'? The Spanish Inquisition was deeply committed and 'stood on principal' too.

    Imo, people like Phyllis and her son cant be held up for ridicule and insulted definitively enough.


    No, I think the article is correct. Palin is right (none / 0) (#5)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:25:09 AM EST
    now the figure head of the Republican party and a power player behind who get nominated in their primaries. She's been at nearly every damn tea party rally that exists. While there are a couple of women with more actual power then her, there are none as visible as her.

    Even so when I hear 'female pol' (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:41:20 AM EST
    I don't think of Palin. I see her as a Beck/Limbaugh rabble rouser, not a politician.

    More importantly (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:52:32 AM EST
    Not a symbol of women in politics.

    Right- if she were a symbol of women in politics (none / 0) (#25)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:59:01 AM EST
    I would think she would be in the first 5 I think of when I hear the term.

    That has nothing to do with (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:39:54 AM EST
    whether Palin is the "21st Century Symbol of Women in American Politics."

    Palin is not a symbol of women in American Politics.


    Not a symbol? (none / 0) (#11)
    by davnee on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:45:51 AM EST
    Why not?  Are you arguing that only women who actually hold political office qualify for such status?  I too think she will ultimately prove to be a flash in the pan (just a longer flash than expected), but I am curious as to your reasoning.

    No I'm not (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:50:38 AM EST
    Tigercourse was. I was taking issue with that argument.

    My argument is that women do not see Palin as asymbol of women in politics in the 21st Century.

    My evidence is that Palin does not have a single stance released to womens issues, the fact that women despise her and the fact that Palin simply is not a symbol of women in politics.


    Fair enough (none / 0) (#26)
    by davnee on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:01:36 AM EST
    Though I think you are overstating the degree to which women despise her.  She has a lot of fans among Republican women.  But as you said earlier, those women are Republicans because they care about things other than women's issues.  

    What's fascinating about Palin is how much conservative men have embraced her.  Goes to show you that issues mean more than identity when you get right down to it.  In Palin, they get a pol who not only speaks to their issues, but also provides them the bell and whistle of getting to declare they are not a sexist.

    What does worry me about Palin is that she is sucking up all the oxygen on this issue.  Let's get the word out on the real women in politics.  I still think that was a point well taken from the article.


    I do not think so (none / 0) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:04:24 AM EST
    The polls have been consistent on the fact that women detest Palin.

    She is loved by white men and no one else.


    Really? Why don't you think she's a symbol? (none / 0) (#12)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:46:08 AM EST
    She's the most prominent female politician in the country. That's like saying Paris Hilton isn't s symbol of the problems of inherited wealth.

    She is neither in office or trying to shape policy (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:52:28 AM EST
    She is using the tea party to keep her personal gravy train rolling, and they are using her star power. I don't think she cares about policy at all.

    Because Palin is not about wwomen (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:48:56 AM EST
    in politics. There is nothing about Palin that says womens issues. She says nothing about womens issues.

    Frankly, the entire argument is just plain stupid.

    She happens to be a woman, but there is nothing about her politics that speaks to women.

    She polls very poorly with women, much worse than with men.

    How in blazes do you see here as a torchbearer for women? Women certainly do not agree with you.


    The issues is whether she's a symbol (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:51:42 AM EST
    of women, not whether she's a symbole of "women's issues". She's certainly not the latter, but is clearly the former.

    WTF? (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:54:01 AM EST
    Is Glenn Beck a "symbol of white conservative men" because he is white? No, he is because he is conservative.

    You are making a ridiculous argument.

    This is especially obvious as women roundly reject Palin.


    Who is a more prominent female politcian (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:57:27 AM EST
    in the united states then Sarah Palin?

    Do a Google search of Sarah Palin and (none / 0) (#24)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:59:01 AM EST
    Nancy Pelosi. Palin's name shows up about 8 times more then Pelosi's.

    LOL (none / 0) (#27)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:01:51 AM EST
    Well, that settles it. My mistake.

    I did not want to go this way (none / 0) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:03:37 AM EST
    with this, but the symbol of women in politics is and has been for years, Hillary Clinton.

    This is obvious to anyone with eyes.


    Hillary Clinton isn't a politician right now. (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:06:43 AM EST
    Maybe she will be again in the future but not right now. And she's not particularly visible outside of the 5th page of the foreign section of the Times every once in awhile.

    Neither is Palin (none / 0) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:10:31 AM EST
    We're talking symbols, as you have been at pains to point out.

    When people think women in politics - they still think Hillary Clinton.

    There is no close second.

    Palin is not even in the competition imo.


    Being prominent and a woman (none / 0) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:01:56 AM EST
    is not synonymous with being the symbol of women in politics in the 21qst Century.

    Plain's being a woman has little to do with her being a symbol of women in politics. This is because Palin takes no positions on womens issues.

    To be a symbol of women in politics you have to embrace a view of women in politics.

    Palin has no views on that.


    I guess I completley disagree with the idea (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:05:00 AM EST
    that to be a symbol of women you have to take a position on women's issues. Obama didn't take much of a position on African American issues and he's the symbol of African Americans in politics.

    COMPLETELY different (none / 0) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:09:23 AM EST
    Obama was supported by 95% of A-As in the Dem primary.

    He was adopted as the A-A symbol in American politics and REMAINS so because he WON.

    Women fully rejected Palin and still do.


    So what? Women may indeed hate her. That (none / 0) (#38)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:11:55 AM EST
    doesn't mean she isn't a symbol of women in politics. It means she isn't a POSITIVE symbol of women in politics. Most people in this country despise politicians.

    Actually (none / 0) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:13:09 AM EST
    that is exactly what it means.

    If women reject her, how could she be symbolic of them?


    Women only make up 52% of the population. (none / 0) (#43)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:18:04 AM EST
    Men's opinions matter here as well. And I'm sure Republicans would prefer not to be associated with Dick Cheney or Bush, but they remain very prominent symbols of Republcian politicians.

    Prominent example and symbol are not the same (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:20:55 AM EST
    "only" make up 52%? (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by nycstray on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:24:00 PM EST
    I thought (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Zorba on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:53:06 PM EST
    the same thing, nystray. "Only" 52%?

    White men like her BECAUSE (none / 0) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:20:43 AM EST
    she is NOT a symbol of women in American politics.

    Exactly, BTD (none / 0) (#83)
    by Zorba on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 01:22:18 PM EST
    white men (conservative white men) like her because, not only is she "NOT a symbol of women in American politics," she is (to them) physically attractive and spouts the correct conservative, Evangelical Christian talking points.  I've always felt that her popularity among Republicans, and now Tea Partiers, is/was because the men all got, to put it in Chris Matthews terminology, a "tingle" up their legs.  Yes, many conservative women like her, too.  Perhaps we could say that the conservative male Palinistas wanted to sleep with her, and the conservative female Palinistas wanted to be her.  (Okay, maybe that's a bit too snarky- apologies.)  

    I think you did not read the column (none / 0) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:14:41 AM EST
    Because you are arguing for something different than the authors, who accept my understanding of the word "symbol."

    You seem to be in a different discussion.


    How is the author's understanding different from (none / 0) (#50)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:23:37 AM EST
    my own?

    Examples (5.00 / 0) (#54)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:28:24 AM EST
    "Ms. Palin, in turn, has been making a greedy grab at claiming feminism as her own. She recently marked the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment by expressing her gratitude "to those brave feminist foremothers who struggled and sacrificed, endured imprisonment and ridicule ... to grant future generations of American women a voice." On the same day, she sent out this Twitter message: "Who hijacked the term `feminist'? A cackle of rads who want 2 crucify other women w/ whom they disagree on a singular issue."

    The hijacking accusation goes both ways. Ms. Palin's infuriating ability to put a new twist on feminism -- after decades of the word's being besmirched by the right and the left -- allows her to both distance herself from and accentuate the movement's maligned reputation. Her new spin, of course, is that she does not support policies that move women forward.

    You'd be forgiven for thinking she does. Ms. Palin has spent much of 2010 burnishing her political bona fides and extending her influence by way of the Mama Grizzlies, a gang of Sarah- approved, maverick-y female politicians looking to "take back" America with "common-sense" solutions.

    Sure, the Grizzlies sound somewhat progressive on paper. But from their opposition to reproductive rights to their work against health care reform and labor policies that would empower American women, their ideas are just antiquated clichés dressed up in designer suits. Like Ms. Palin herself, their talk about being "mama bears" and "tough as an ox ... wearing lipstick" simply reduces female candidates' political prospects to maternal worth and sex appeal."

    This defines Palin in the nation's consciousness and in her "symbolism?" Not even you would argue that I think.


    I'm not sure what you are arguing here. On (none / 0) (#56)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:34:34 AM EST
    the Democratic side, yes, she is seen as most of the negative things mentioned in the excerpt. Greedy, oppurtunistic, lacking in solid political positions.

    I'm not sure what you are arguing (none / 0) (#59)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:38:16 AM EST
    I am rejecting the premise that symbol of Palin is what the authors portray.

    They see this image as essential to stating that Palin is a "symbol of women in 2lst Century politics."

    Since I reject that they have accurately described Palin's image in the country, I also reject that Palin is the symbol of women in American politics.

    Indeed, the notion is preposterous. No one thinks of Palin is emblematic or a leading figure of women in American politics.

    She is a joke.

    Let's be clear, she is just a publicity stunt, not a serious person.  


    Thank you (none / 0) (#86)
    by Zorba on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 01:35:14 PM EST
    If I could give you twenty or more "5's," I would.  As someone who was active in the "second wave" feminist movement of the 1960's and 70's, and as someone who supported and worked for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, I resent like h*ll Palin and her supporters' attempts to co-opt the feminist movement.

    Palin has strong views on women's issues (none / 0) (#48)
    by waldenpond on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:23:15 AM EST
    Where have you been?  Palin is anti-abortion, anti-public education, anti-equal pay and would give predictable answers on other women's issues such as access in education, taxes, health care, transportation (if the questions were very simple)

    Many politicians are flat out stupid and incapable of more than the simplest understanding of issues.  Seems you are holding Palin to a standard many that have been or are in govt have no desire to meet.

    I put Palin in a group with Virginia Fox and Michele Bachman.


    Those views do not define Palin (none / 0) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:26:06 AM EST
    and I dare say she talks about them less than any Republican politician I have ever seen.

    Her projection is Mama Grizzly, not anti-choice activist. Indeed, in terms of policy, Palin is the most ephemeral nothing out there.

    Other than detesting Obama, what do people REALLY know about what she thinks?

    For all her PROMINENCE, it is in no way tied to her policy positions.

    She is nothing like Phyllis Schlafly in that regard.


    Palin is the hood ornament for "right (none / 0) (#73)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 12:27:16 PM EST
    to life."

    Yes, she does take a position on (none / 0) (#78)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 12:38:50 PM EST
    women's rights. For example, she is anti-abortion.

    Sarah Palin isn't a symbol of GOOD WOMEN (none / 0) (#35)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:10:27 AM EST
    in politics. She's not liberal (or even moderate) she's not well informed on issues, she's not terribly inteligent, she doesn't have much experience, etc. But she is currently (and for almost 2 years now) the most prominent female politician, the most in the news, the most politicaly influential, the most talked about, etc. and I think that makes her a symbol.

    She is not a symbol of any women (none / 0) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:21:50 AM EST
    And FTR (none / 0) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:22:36 AM EST
    Hillary Clinton is easily the most prominent woman in America.

    Oprah might be more prominent (none / 0) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:23:18 AM EST

    That is a more apt comparison to Palin as well.


    Oprah is the symbol of successful women (none / 0) (#51)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:25:17 AM EST
    in business. I don't think she's seen as having much to do with politics (though she did alot to help Obama).

    Clinton is power (none / 0) (#53)
    by waldenpond on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:27:45 AM EST
    They aren't comparable.  Clinton would be the choice for someone looking to fund raise and for connections to the systems of power.  Palin gets more attention and turnout.

    If they each backed a candidate, there is no clear winner.  They are attracting those that reason versus those that feel.


    Horsesh*t (none / 0) (#55)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:30:02 AM EST
    Clinton can outdraw, outraise, outpolitick Palin 6 days a week and twice on Sunday.

    If they ever faced off in an election, Clinton would beat her by 20 points.


    Read again (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by waldenpond on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:39:52 AM EST
    I said if they backed a candidate not if they ran against each other.  Palin could never win the Presidency.  jeez

    Times they are a changin'.  You have a public that is obsessed with reality tv and the shenanagins of shallow celebrities.... Palin has joined in the celebrity/politician niche.  Comedians?  WWE?  The majority of people don't vote on policy... it's nothing more than a high school popularity contest for most.

    Boehner and Cantor are representatives for Repubs and Palin is an example of Repub women.  

    I find her to be a legitimate reflection of what is going on with media and politics and the marketing of distraction.


    If Clinton dedicated herself (5.00 / 0) (#64)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:42:57 AM EST
    to electing candidates and making money, she could easily do what Palin does in a much bigger and better way.

    Palin is a pimple on the butt of American politics.

    She is basically meaningless.


    A huge "if." Isn't that the point of (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 12:30:41 PM EST
    the op-ed?  (Which caused me to immed. start "reliving the primaries."  

    If pols had only substance (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by jondee on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:45:24 AM EST
    to rely on, Clinton would beat her by 100 points.

    Unfortunately, Reagan and GWB's two terms prove that we're dangerously close to a point in this country at which substance is the least of it.

    If the Koch brothers, the Scaifes et al and their very-well-oiled, interconnected machine decided to get whole hog behind someone like Palin, they'd launch a relentless, no-holds-barred smear campaign against Clinton, playing on all the memes they began planting in the nineties, that would make the Swift Boaters look like The Friends of John Kerry..

    And Clinton still might win, but it'd probably be a lot closer than most of us would like to think.


    There is not a Dem in the country (none / 0) (#68)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:46:47 AM EST
    who would not salivate at running against Palin.

    Romney is the threat in 2012.


    The Administration blew it on the economy (none / 0) (#99)
    by BobTinKY on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:21:13 PM EST
    and we will be no better off economically in 2012.  A Republican Congress can and would work in 2011 & 2012 to paint Obama as the obstructionist to GOP-led economic recovery, absurd as that is. I think 2012 is wide open for the GOP and the nitwit could win.

    GOP nitwits have won before.

    Romney will never get past his Mormonism with today's fundamental Christian fascist-dominated GOP.


    A yankee Mormon (none / 0) (#118)
    by jondee on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 03:04:57 PM EST
    with some "big government" tendencies.

    I hope you're right that he's the biggest threat.


    And with Citizens United (none / 0) (#105)
    by BobTinKY on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:36:17 PM EST
    the full financial force of corporate USA would be put behind Palin.

    HRC may be a corporate Dem but why settle for that when you can have a complete no holds barred, hands off GOP right wing nut in charge.


    20 points? I don't think so. But she would (none / 0) (#57)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:37:47 AM EST
    win. We'll never see that though.

    And why won't we ever see that? (none / 0) (#60)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:39:41 AM EST
    Who is the more unlikely to be seen on a national ticket?

    Palin is a possibility for 2012. If not then, (none / 0) (#63)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:42:24 AM EST
    never. Clinton is a possibility for 2016. So they won't meet up.

    I wish Palin was possible (none / 0) (#65)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:43:23 AM EST
    She really isn't.

    While I believe that Romney will be the candidate (none / 0) (#69)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 11:46:49 AM EST
    I think anything can happen. Not a strong possibility (I still don't really think she'll even run) but it could happen.

    You would not know that from the media (none / 0) (#103)
    by BobTinKY on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:29:31 PM EST
    Palin;s every twit is front page news.  And HRC is Sec of State for crying out loud!

    Corporate America & the media it owns is in full blown support for this woman, Palin.  Same as what they did for W.  They don;t care that she's an idiot, they were not bothered by Bush's idiocy.

    I would say normally HRC would wallop Palin but these are not normal times.  Obama is increasingly being blamed for economic catastrophe we are in, with some justification too. HRC has aligned herself with Obama as his SoS.


    The article (none / 0) (#95)
    by BobTinKY on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:16:36 PM EST
    lost me when it said progressives had done nothing for women in leadership.  Obama appointed tow women to the Supreme Court.  

    I am no big Obama fan any longer, but credit where credit is due.

    How magnificent of him. His cabinet has 4 (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:19:47 PM EST
    women on it, out of 15 positions.

    I'm no fan (none / 0) (#101)
    by BobTinKY on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:24:04 PM EST
    but to say, as the article does, "progressive leaders have done little to address the obvious national appetite for female leadership" is factually incorrect.  I stopped reading it at that point.

    Putting aside the quesiton of whether or not Obama is a progressive.


    I think "done little" is a pretty (none / 0) (#102)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:29:20 PM EST
    accurate description. What have they done outside of Sotomayor or Kagan?

    I think that is pretty big (none / 0) (#104)
    by BobTinKY on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:33:32 PM EST
    what have the Saints done outside of winning the Super Bowl?

    Prior to Obama only 2 women had been appointed at all.  He appointed women at both his opportunities to do so.

    I'd love to vote for woman in 2012, Elizabeth Warren, but I would not vote for Obama or MRC at this point and for the same reason.  They are both of the corporatist wing of the Democratic Party and we need real reform.


    I meant HRC (none / 0) (#106)
    by BobTinKY on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:41:39 PM EST
    We also have a real progressive (none / 0) (#107)
    by BobTinKY on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:46:22 PM EST
    female Speaker of the HOuse

    Pelosi is an incompetent. And she's going to (none / 0) (#112)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:57:20 PM EST
    lose her Speaker position pretty soon.

    MOre competent than the other (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by BobTinKY on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 03:02:17 PM EST
    Democratic leaders

    Wow (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 03:44:55 PM EST
    You may not like her, but she's no incompetent.  That's just silly.

    Any Democrat who didn't pound the podium (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 03:56:24 PM EST
    for jobs over the past 2 years is an incompetent. Which is almost all of them.

    Pounding the podium (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by christinep on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 09:31:21 PM EST
    has nothing to do with "competence."  In fact, if the votes weren't there overall, it is super-competent to have enough sense not to pound a buzz saw. Problem: Tossing around the word "incompetent" to describe someone who takes a different approach than one would like has its own sense of incompetence, if not immaturity.

    Bingo (none / 0) (#143)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 08:42:38 AM EST
    I suspect Pelosi is going to go down in history as one of the most effective speakers ever.  But you have to understand what the job is in order to get that.  She's wrung more out of this Congress than I thought anybody could.

    Oh, please...how do you get the votes? (none / 0) (#144)
    by Anne on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 08:47:53 AM EST
    By keeping your mouth shut and hoping someone else will speak up, or thinking that if somehow the din of the people clamoring for work eventually reaches the halls of Congress, that's when it will be time to do something, or do you just wait for the Magic Jobs Fairy to appear and rescue the economy?  

    For sure, those are "different approaches," but they would also be supremely incompetent, and a disservice to the people looking to their Congress for leadership.  

    Yes, there's an argument that the stimulus was supposed to be the cure for what was ailing us, but there were too many voices calling for it to be larger and more focused on jobs for there not to have been a louder conversation about what to do, or more of an effort to get the votes you say weren't there.  

    As we have seen on almost every issue, the things that drove legislation were the corporate interests and Obama's need to preface everything with "historic."  Over and over, Democrats caved in to Republican demands, took orders from the corporate interests with whom Obama was working hand-in-glove, watered down the legislation to the point of ineffectiveness and behaved like good little boys and girls who didn't want to make Obama mad.  I can't be the only one who sees the irony in all this legislation being called both "historic" and "just the first step in a long journey."

    Dems have proven themselves to be highly competent in serving the corporate interests, and if that's enough for you, well, I suppose that's valid.  The rest of us, however, see competence at serving the special interests at the expense of the individuals as a dereliction of their duty to the people they represent, and deem that incompetence of the first order.


    This much I know (none / 0) (#152)
    by christinep on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 11:59:08 AM EST
    You do not "get the votes" in the throes of politics by speechifying, bulldozing (unless you have the early 20th century kind of machine power to run over or off the opposition), and threatening in public. The smart speakers--historically--have worked out the matter more adroitly (and, like it or not, privately in the sense of "threats" behind doors.)
    The measure of a good speaker in the long run has to do with the legislative actions achieved in support of her party and membership. (And, because they were elected in a republic, that means--by extension--the people's government.) While we may want more or we may want other legislation or other personalities, that has very little to do with the effectiveness of a speaker. Whether we approve of an approach or not does not go to ability or competence...it goes only to our own attitudes. And my attitude is that Nancy Pelosi has done us all proud by any measure; and, she did it while constantly being portrayed by the anti-women right as a (w)itch. (It is no accident that the right went after Pelosi--in her personhood--from the day she assumed her position. The purpose was to undermine anything near the left by outlandishly portraying her as a kind of devil-woman incarnate---in the classic antifeminist way--from the characature pictures in Drudge Report to the vehement adjectives everytime they mentioned the name of the first woman Speaker.)

    Maybe (none / 0) (#153)
    by dk on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 12:38:16 PM EST
    but she also presided over the cementing of the national Democratic party as the second anti-choice, anti-woman party through the HCR bill.

    So, I'd grant she is a legislator that has produced results.  As for policy, though, those results have been in opposition to liberal values.  


    Nevertheless, she is a female leader (none / 0) (#114)
    by BobTinKY on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 03:01:34 PM EST
    of nationla stature put in place by progressives.

    Too much (none / 0) (#108)
    by NYShooter on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 02:47:47 PM EST
     "women this, women that." Shouldn't the term be prefaced with "some," "many," "a few," " a lot?"

    Many women DO see Palin as their symbol of feminism; the question is how many? So, IMO, I don't fear a Palin candidacy; while she has a pretty strong plurality of the white, "wing nut" constituency I doubt that the total, empirical votes are there.

    She could, if nominated, receive protest votes (none / 0) (#113)
    by BobTinKY on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 03:00:15 PM EST
    against Obama's mishandling of the economy.  If unemployment remains at, or near, or more than 10% in 2012 he will not be re-elected.

    Sharon Angle, Rand Paul, Joe Miller.  All tea Party nutjobs who toppled established GOP politicians.  Palin could be the 2012 GOP nominee.  I know Romney won;t win, he's a Mormon, a heretical cultist to most right wing evangelicals who make up the majority of GOP primary voters.


    Agreed. I looked up the polls (none / 0) (#127)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 05:59:08 PM EST
    on her approval ratings, noted but not named or linked by our good blogger on this post, who writes with such absolutes.

    I fear that I find that many women do like Palin.  Not all, of course.  Not most.  But not just some.


    You disagree that there is a huge gender gap (none / 0) (#128)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 06:06:19 PM EST
    in Palin approval ratings?And given that Palin has higher negatives than positives overall, how can you possibly question that Palin is deeply unpopular among women?

    What the hell are you talkiing about?


    Oh, and (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 06:42:25 PM EST
    the "what the hell are you talking about" is odd.  I'm talking about what you're talking about, but you're talking in generalities rather than citing specific polls, so I am doing you the honor -- despite your repetition of this phrase at me lately -- of trying to find the evidence to support what you say.

    That means that I respect your opinion, you know -- even when stated in absolutes, which never exist and weaken an argument, as the comment to whom I replied was stating, and quite correctly.  We don't all think alike, nor do men. . . .  

    But reading opinion pieces that are only that  also means that if evidence is not provided to support it, I well may go seek it.  I'm just that way, silly me.


    Now you've done it (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by NYShooter on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 07:02:54 PM EST
    I'm heading for the shelter.....lol

    I prefer when uninformed people (none / 0) (#134)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 07:51:55 PM EST
    refrain from commenting on things they obviously know nothing about.

    I applaud your decision.


    Specific polls? (none / 0) (#132)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 07:48:51 PM EST
    There is NO specific poll that does not show that result.

    Are you really this uninformed about this?

    I don;t link to them because most intelligent people who decide to discuss this point do not need this explained to them.

    Goggle is your friend if you need convincing. I am not wasting my time.


    Gee, gosh, I'm so darn dumb (none / 0) (#136)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 07:54:42 PM EST
    that I did google for the evidence and didn't find it.  Just how else would I look for the evidence?

    And yes, I certainly may be uninformed about evidence that is not cited.  That's how it works!  (This conversation is do deja vu all over again, the conversation I have about too many term papers.)


    I'm not finding such a poll (none / 0) (#129)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 06:36:19 PM EST
    as what I found (a CNN poll is one I recall)-- when your comments sent me looking -- were statistics such as 45% approval, 55% disapproval by women.  That was to one of your points as to women not liking her.  I don't think that's a huge gap.

    As to the different point of a gap between genders, it is wider, from what I see.  Huge?  No, but that is a subjective term applied to objective data, so what is not huge in my eyes may be so in yours.

    Could you link to or name the polls I must be missing?  I certainly hope that you are correct, and would find considerable comfort in same -- perhaps in part because, according to one poll I saw, Palin may be most popular in my region of the country.  So it would be comforting to know that what I am seeing here (and this could explain Capt Howdy's repeated concerns, too, as we're in the same region) is not everywhere.  Thanks.


    You missed the July Q poll (none / 0) (#133)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 07:50:56 PM EST
    The May CBS poll? Frankly, every freaking poll there has ever been on the subject.

    Look, I'm sorry that you do not have the basic facts on Palin's polling, but I am not going to do your research for you.

    I know you are misinformed. Know it.

    If you don't, that's your problem, not mine.


    Ah, thanks -- (none / 0) (#137)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 08:02:32 PM EST
    I wasn't looking back that far; I found only more recent polls that were not as bad . . . sadly.

    So now I can fix my problem and be informed about older polls; thanks.  And this is all that I had to do, given the basic terms you used.


    What if Palin is copying Reagan ca. 1964-65? (none / 0) (#117)
    by EL seattle on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 03:03:34 PM EST
    Reagan didn't run for president in 1968, but even before he became CA governor wasn't he positioning himself as one of the dominant players in the GOP?

    Yeah (none / 0) (#119)
    by lilburro on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 03:15:05 PM EST
    when I found out that Bristol Palin was going to be on Dancing with the Stars I decided she had no chance of winning in 2012 and I question if she will even run.