Could McCain have found a woman in politics who's more different from Hillary Clinton in his transparent attempt to nab Hillary Clinton Democrats?
I posted yesterday about how she's a homophobic, corrupt, creationist, anti-choice zealot... but that doesn't seem to get to the heart of how ridiculous this choice is.
Pam sums it up:
I am sorry, this is such a slam to women everywhere if McCain thinks the mere fact one has a vagina (and is a hottie in his book) is a qualification to run the country and "attract the women and youth vote". I don't want to hear one whit about the GOP slamming Hillary Clinton all during this campaign season.
I want to see how they spin this utterly absurd pick.
I think we already know how they will. More after the jump.
Palin wasn't picked just because she's a woman. There are plenty of Republican women who, if chosen, at least wouldn't have been ridiculous (well, not ridiculous in the context of our contemporary political discourse. I'd say that anyone who wanted to attack Iraq in 2003 is simply ridiculous, but our traditional media wouldn't agree).
Condoleezza Rice, for example, has been in the foreign policy and national security business for nearly eight years. Sure, there are some good reasons why McCain shouldn't have picked her, but she's miles ahead of where Palin is in her career.
Carly Fiorina has been working for the McCain campaign. She has extensive business world experience but isn't a career politician. Sure, I wouldn't like a president Fiorina, but she wouldn't have been a ridiculous pick.
Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has been a US Senator for 15 years now and known entity in national politics. She's had a long career and has been reelected after investigations of her office in the mid-90's. Sure, she's another senator, but she wouldn't have been an absurd pick for the job.
No, I think the main problem with all three of these women, as well as other prominent female Republican politicians, is that they haven't followed the first rule for women who want to be darlings of the religious right: be rabidly anti-choice. For the same reason wingers like Black people who oppose affirmative action and gay people who jump back in the closet, a woman who doesn't think women should have the right to choose is gold.
Because then they can say about her what they say about the likes of Michelle Malkin: of course she isn't sexist because she's against a woman's right to choose. She's a woman!
Speaking of gold, what digby said:
There is much to be said about Sarah Palin, but I think the thing I like the most about this choice is the fact that McCain chose someone from the state which is simultaneously the most oil drenched and the one that is suffering the most dramatically from global warming. Not that the governor cares. She's far more concerned about saving blastocysts in petrie dishes than saving drowning polar bears.
For McCain, an Alaskan who wants to drill in the ANWR and ignore global warming, especially in a year when Republicans want the national conversation to focus on energy policy instead of the wars abroad and increasing economic disparity between the rich and the poor, is incredibly helpful.
Of course climate change isn't disrupting the arctic and drilling all over the ANWR for the little bit of oil that resides there is a better idea than switching over to alternative feuls... the governor of Alaska said so!
Finally, the fact that she has a son in the army makes her the anti-Cindy Sheehan....
Of course the Iraq War is worth it... the mother of one of the troops is running for vice president with Mr. One Hundred Years!
All of this puts her at odds with Hillary Clinton Democrats even further. While, during the primary, I wasn't particularly enamored with either Obama or Clinton, it was obvious Hillary wasn't a token.
But that's what I say now. I'm assuming that people will read into her politics and McCain's decision and see what he's doing, but considering the superficiality of our contemporary political discourse, many people probably won't.
In the meantime, can we at least run this quotation over and over again?
Once onstage, together with Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, Palin talked about what women expect from women leaders; how she took charge in Alaska during a political scandal that threatened to unseat the state's entire Republican power structure, and her feelings about Sen. Hillary Clinton. (She said she felt kind of bad she couldn't support a woman, but she didn't like Clinton's "whining.")
Yes, because women who stand up against sexism and for what they believe in are whiners. It doesn't matter if a man or a woman said it, it's still sexist.
Speaking of which, I should also throw out there that no matter who makes junk like this, whether it's liberals or conservatives or people who aren't that political, it's still sexist.
Yes, she's a former beauty pageant contestant and I'm sure that many people find her attractive. And considering that second rule for women who want to be darlings of the religious right is be either matronly or attractive (think Ann Coulter), I'm sure that's part of the reason McCain picked her.
But she's not a piece of meat to be stared at up there, and picking apart her looks, her voice, the fact that she's a mother, or her clothes will reflect poorly on Democrats if they participate in it.
Part of the strategy here, I'm sure, is to bait the left into being openly sexist. And since Republicans don't have a monopoly on misogyny, I'm predicting that we'll be seeing a lot of sexist garbage thrown Palin's way, and, by extension, against all women.
So, yeah, we have to watch out for that and call it out when it happens. No matter how cynical picking Palin is, it's still the second time a woman has been on a major party's presidential ticket. And the more she gets picked apart because of it, the more respect she's likely to earn.
Hell, if she calls out even a tenth of what's going to be thrown her way, she'll earn mine.
One more thing. As part of the "youth vote," all I can say to John McCain is "Mary, please."