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Is Palin ready, or not? (Palin Sexism Watch)

 
 
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 06:43 pm
This is getting very silly.

Prominent political figures are subject to scrutiny on their records, their positions and their weaknesses. This is a good thing... the public has a legitimate need to screen out people who aren't ready for the public and often contentious life of an elected public official.

For better or for worse public political figures are also subject having jokes made at their expense. Every public figure is subjected to this... and those who aren't ready to be a politician, shouldn't be running for office.

In my experience, the worse abuse has been leveled at Democrats by conservative pundits (i.e. Limbaugh, Ann Coulter or Michael Savage)... but I am sure conservatives will give the counter example. The point is, if you aren't ready to step into the battle of the American political system... then don't do it.

So why the need to protect Palin as if she isn't ready to enter political life?

There are two contradictory messages here...

1) She is an experienced, tough politician who is fully ready to face the tough challenges involved in running for the vice presidency.

2) She is weak and inexperience and needs to be protected from the "savagery".

There is nothing that Palin is facing that hasn't been faced by Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy... or any other Democratic candidate for national office (and maybe any Republican one either).

So let's get this straight.

1) Being made fun of on Saturday Night live is not sexism.
2) Having your foreign policy experience questioned is part of the process.
3) Questioning your abortion stance is necessary.
4) Offensive t-shirts are regrettable... but if they are are fact of life in a free market. Palin supporters should Google "Clinton t-shirt" and then stop whining.

Is she ready for this job, or not.

If she is, then please stop whining?
 
cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 06:54 pm
@ebrown p,
Actually your abortion stance isn't really necessary. Do us all a favor and keep it in your pants, ebp.

Sorry, I'm pro choice - but abortion is NOT A RIGHT. Deal.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 07:42 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown's opinion about "scrutiny" and "jokes" is the facts of political life; if they can't handle it, they should resign or not run for office.

0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 07:51 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:
4) Offensive t-shirts are regrettable... but if they are are fact of life in a free market. Palin supporters should Google "Clinton t-shirt" and then stop whining.

Is she ready for this job, or not.

If she is, then please stop whining?

Lemme guess - you never complained about rancid jokes, stupid insults, sexist or racist remarks etc that were levelled at Democratic candidates?

When, "in your experience", such abuse "was leveled at Democrats," you didnt speak up? Didnt say, this is just wrong? Because that would have been "whining"?

Or you did in fact complain - it's just that when someone like Palin is targeted, complaining about it is just "whining" and a question of hey, what did people expect?

That'd be pretty hypocritical, wouldnt it?

As the women at Shakesville put it,

Quote:
We defend Sarah Palin against misogynist smears not because we endorse her or her politics, but because that's how feminism works.

This is how they put it when it was Hillary that was the butt of sexist remarks:

Quote:
I have not written about the sexism in these Democratic Primaries in order to protect Hillary Clinton. She looks fairly well equipped to protect herself. I have written about it because sexism hurts all women [..].

Quote:
Not that it matters, but Clinton (obviously) wasn't my first choice, and she wasn't my second, and she wasn't even my third [..]. That she wasn't my first choice never had anything to do with why I've written about sexist attacks on her"and it sure as **** never crossed my mind to use it as an excuse to not write about sexist attacks on her. [..] Individual women don't have to earn a feminist's defense from sexist attacks; it is offered because a feminist recognizes how sexism works [..].
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 07:54 pm
This is the thread ebrown is referring, by the way:

Guys? You're not helping (Palin sexism watch)
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2008 08:40 am
Compare the jokes made with Palin with the jokes made about Nancy Pelosi. Then compare the protests made in defense of Palin with the protests in defense of Pelosi.

Most of the jokes about Pelosi aren't even about her gender... they are about a unprepared candidate being put forward... The press treatment of Pelosi is comparable to that of Mike Dukakis.

If the story is about how Politicians are treated (and that would include males like Ted Kennedy and Barney Frank)... then fine.

But there is nothing special about what Palin is facing other than whether she is tough enough for the job.
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2008 08:49 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown, put it this way...

When people direct sexist comments, jokes etc. at Palin, do you think that makes Obama more or less likely to win?

I think the more that Palin can legitimately be seen as persecuted, the more that she can make spirited speeches about how she's tough and won't let those mean ol' chauvinist pigs get her down, how she'll show them a thing or two -- the more she's helped.

In fact, I think that's the main thing she has going for her at this point.

The less excuses she has -- when all she has to rail at is the likes of the SNL episode -- the weaker she is.

This isn't the only reason I oppose sexism (whether directed at her or someone else), but it's one reason that it dismays me when I see it directed at her.

Again, I think there is far less directed at her than she is claiming. I don't think the SNL skit was sexist. I think that the vetting she's getting is largely legitimate and necessary -- not sexist.

But I don't think there's any reason to give her ammo.
ebrown p
 
  3  
Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2008 09:11 am
@sozobe,
First... we need to define "sexist". Let me break the examples of alleged sexism into three groups.

1) The "offensive sexist" jokes (i.e. talking about female dogs or body parts ) are on the fringes. These are not part of the Obama campaign.

2) Then there are questions about whether she is frighteningly unsuited for the job which are being tagged as "sexist"

3) Then there is SNL type skits in the national media that make fun of her public persona which are also being tagged sexist.

The first category is background noise. Offensive jokes are made about every single public figure. There is no way to stop them, and some people obviously think they are funny (and some of them I may even laugh at over a beer). As long as the Obama campaign is not part of this... then what's the big deal. This is just part of the society we live in.

The second category is a bit tricky, but a again it is part of political life. Michael Dukakis, Eagleton, Stockton ... history is full of candidates who were shown to be completely unprepared for the job. The press is happy to take the job of showing candidates as unprepared. The question is whether Palin is facing more scrutiny because of sexism. I don't see any evidence of this.

The Saturday Night Live skit? These charges of sexism are just silliness.

I don't see any story here. Palin is being treated on all levels as a national political figure (only she is has much more protected than most).

This sexism thing with Palin is nothing more than a distraction from the fact that she is completely unprepared.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2008 09:15 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

First... we need to define "sexist". Let me break the examples of alleged sexism into three groups.

1) The "offensive sexist" jokes (i.e. talking about female dogs or body parts ) are on the fringes. These are not part of the Obama campaign.


I assumed you were writing this in response to nimh's thread. Did you read it? Doesn't really seem like it. Nobody, for example, is saying that the "offensive sexist" jokes are part of the Obama campaign.

Quote:
The Saturday Night Live skit? How is this sexist?


Again, I'm not sure how carefully you're reading. I specifically said it's NOT sexist.

I think that the stuff that IS sexist -- and nimh's thread has some examples -- doesn't help anything and deserves censure.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2008 09:20 am
@sozobe,
Sozobe... I understand your point about strategy.

The Obama campaign is staying completely above this. The rules for members of the campaign are very clear-- and a doubt a slip up on this.

The Obama campaign doesn't control public culture. Some of the people making these jokes don't even care about the election. What do you do?

My real point is there is a tendency for Democrats to hit the panic button. I think that the Democrats "worrying" about sexism and Palin will do more damage than anything else.

We are winning. We have a great candidate running a great campaign. We have the message and now even the polls are showing it.

We don't have to be so compulsively worried about every little thing.
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2008 09:59 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown wrote:
My real point is there is a tendency for Democrats to hit the panic button. I think that the Democrats "worrying" about sexism and Palin will do more damage than anything else.

We are winning. We have a great candidate running a great campaign. We have the message and now even the polls are showing it.

We don't have to be so compulsively worried about every little thing.


OK, I agree with this in general. I definitely thought there was too much panicking when Palin was first picked, and Obama was getting all of this strident (but contradictory) advice. I thought he would handle it well, and I think he did.

I'm not really sure I see "compulsive worrying" here though. Seemed like a kind of offhand "not helping" comment -- which I agree with (and had stated in similar terms earlier in the day. A goose/ gander thing.
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2008 11:44 am
@sozobe,
I had a gut feeling that Palin's glitter would fade with time; she just doesn't have the background to fool all the people all the time.
DontTreadOnMe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2008 03:37 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

I had a gut feeling that Palin's glitter would fade with time; she just doesn't have the background to fool all the people all the time.


the public usually manages to see through a brick wall, given enough time. in this case there's just not a lot of "there" there.

whether or not they act on that is hard to tell. but, as i look around and see what a disaster area the u.s. has become under bush/cheney, we can but hope that for a change, they really will put country first and tell the republicans; "thanks, but no thanks to that bridge to nowhere".


0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2008 04:26 pm
@cjhsa,
sure it is. Any woman has a right to an abortion... legal or otherwise. If illegal she will possibly face criminal charges but armed with that knowledge she still has the right to abort.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2008 04:36 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
Re: sozobe (Post 3409294)
I had a gut feeling that Palin's glitter would fade with time; she just doesn't have the background to fool all the people all the time.


I continue to be amazed by the level of ignorance in this society about politics, this nonsense that they are all untalented idiots, that anyone can play politics at the highest level with no training what so ever. 20 years ago the call was to go out and get ceo's to run, to put America in line. That sure failed, nobody could be successful at the national level and only a few at the less demanding state level. Now we think that we can get a glorified house wife to be VP...what a crock.

American politicians pretty much suck, but they still have more political talent than 95% of the rest of us.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2008 05:20 pm
@hawkeye10,
If people bothered to look at McCain's past, they would see that his campaign rhetoric has no relationship to his past actions - except he lies more now. All one has to do is do a FactCheck on McCain; he not only stretches the truth, but includes outright lies in how he constructs his charges against Obama.

A tv program today did a FactCheck on McCain's charge against Obama on the amount of lobby money Obama received from Mae and Mac; the fact is McCain received over $160,000 and Obama received about 10% of that amount. The wonder of wonders is that those attending McCain's campaign trail gatherings are eating it up, because they're ignorant about the facts.
0 Replies
 
 

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