Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Stop the sexism, McCain campaign

I hate to say it, but I am starting to agree with the self-serving Campbell Brown. The McCain Campaign has GOT to free Sarah Palin. They are starting to REALLY tick me off. In order to treat her equally, this is what they need to do ASAP:
  • Let HER do the post-debate spinning on cable TV - not Rudy Giuliani. Why are they sending a man out there to do something that is typically the role of the VP? If they don't even express confidence in Palin, how can they expect her to feel confidence in herself?
  • Send her on SNL for a cameo next week. It would show that she's a good sport and that she considers the parody a harmless joke, and it would knock the socks off the critics.
  • Let her talk to the press - NOW. No limits. Let her take questions at every appearance. Part of the reason the Obama/Biden gaffes don't get as much attention is because those guys are out there so much, talking so much. I do think there's a major double standard in how the media are treating Obama/Biden gaffes, don't get me wrong. It's just that the McCain campaign is asking for gaffe-hype when they up the stakes for any one interview by making it such a rare thing. Furthermore, they need to start getting her USED to these interviews and the national interviewers' styles. It's human nature to feel a little uncomfortable in a new setting at first and then to loosen up as you do it more. Why would it be any different with Sarah Palin?
  • Take Obama's talking points. Remind people he voted for the Bridge to Nowhere, for example.
  • Have her dial up Kathleen Parker. Not to overstate Parker's importance, but send Palin into the lions' dens to demonstrate her fearlessness and strength.

Airhead Sarah

Pal Mulshine attempts satire. Loaded with sexism.
But just between you and me, caballero, John McCain doesn't pick women for their brains. Just take a look at that blonde wife of his, the one with the beer distributorship in Arizona. The same goes for Sarah. Her body may be as hot as the Sonora Desert, but her head's just as empty. She'll do whatever the party bosses tell her to do.

VP "Fashion faceoff"

Nope, not in Cosmo or Vogue.
ABC News:
ABC News' Matt Jaffe and Sunlen Miller report: When Joe Biden and Sarah Palin square off Thursday in the vice-presidential debate in St. Louis, their much-anticipated confrontation might now be considered a cosmetic competition. So what if Republican presidential nominee John McCain chose a former beauty queen to share his ticket? Democratic candidate Barack Obama thinks he's got the best-dressed running mate around.
Ridiculous. McCain also chose a former governor... can we talk about that?

And Fox News...
The Washington Post refers to her style as "unassertive". Is that because it's feminine? Yes, these paragraphs actually appeared in the WASHINGTON POST:

Palin seems to dress for pretty rather than powerful. She is willing to be sexual, with the occasional fitted jacket and high heels. She wears dangly earrings. Campaign photographers can't seem to resist shooting her legs, as if they've never seen an American female politician with bare gams wearing three-inch heels. (Then again, they probably haven't.)

She talks tough. She doesn't blink. She speaks of "guys and gals." What is a gal? One thinks of a waitress in a bar who knows that if she pretends she doesn't notice when a guy's ogling her legs and gives as good as she gets when it comes to off-color jokes, life will go along more smoothly. She's not one of the guys, but she doesn't confront them with either a lawyer or rhetoric from a women's studies seminar.

Why didn't "Katie" refer to her as "governor" instead of "Palin"?

Interesting claim - that Couric purposely struck references to Gov. Palin's title from the infamous interview...

It's part of a trend in the media. Refer to Gov. Palin as "Sarah", the mayor of a town of 9,000, or a former beauty pageant contestant... anything but governor.

Palin power

A woman has painted the words "Palin power" on the side of her house. There are two conversations going on about Palin: One in the mainstream media, which, by and large, can't find a single good thing to say about her, and one in the rest of the country, where a lot of people like her - a lot.

Newsflash! Sarah Palin is one of the world's hottest politicians

And, for some reason, the Washington Post thinks it's news.

Defining Palin by the beauty pageant stuff

Folks, it was TWENTY-FOUR YEARS AGO. Surely, they could lead off with another part of her resume first? Say, governor???

Belfast newspaper lead:

Only a few weeks ago, no-one had heard of former beauty contestant Sarah Palin. Now she could well determine the entire outcome of this year's US presidential election.

They really want her out of the race...

Right after Sarah Palin was announced as John McCain's VP, some liberal pundits and news types were already speculating about whether she would withdraw from the race. The reason? Her daughter was pregnant.

Now, after one bad interview with Katie Couric, they're again saying she should get out of the race, joined by a conservative columnist, Kathleen Parker.

Parker's column has sparked a spurt of stories about how conservatives are supposedly turning on Palin. As far as I can tell, they pretty much only cite Parker as evidence. Parker is entitled to her opinion, but she's only one person. So, they should stop extrapolating her opinion into a bigger whole.

Where has Sarah's confidence gone?

I agree that the Katie Couric interview was painful to watch. Sarah Palin didn't seem like the same person - not just compared to her convention speech but, more importantly, compared to her early pre-nomination interviews and appearances. For example, I watched her 2006 gubernatorial debate on C-Span, and she was confident, smart, poised, and articulate - similar to the convention speech, and very different from the Couric interview.

So, what happened? The media spin is:

Has the McCain Campaign Broken Palin?

Chris Orr in the New Republic:
I'm reminded of the situation you see every now and then in sports, when a talented athlete--which, conveniently enough, Palin was--gets a taste of heavy duty coaching and, rather than being built up, is broken down, losing confidence in his game, becoming tentative, second-guessing himself even to the point of paralysis. I don't know whether that's what's happened to Sarah Palin. But from where I sit, it sure looks like it.
Or - have the media broken Palin? Imagine being on the receiving end of the vicious media juggernaut. Imagine being told day in and day out that you are stupid, unprepared, unqualified, a moron, etc. Imagine having no experience with such slime and criticism. It might throw anyone briefly off his or her game. But - the kitchen comes with the heat.

I don't feel anyone's broken Palin, although I do believe the McCain campaign should have let her immediately start doing interviews and fielding questions - the more you do it, the more comfortable you get with the process. I believe she's getting a feel for the style of the national press corps. She was far from her best with Couric, to put it mildly.

But, largely due to the strength of her past debate and interview appearances, I do not take it as a sign that she is a disaster, lacking intelligence, should step down immediately, etc. She seems a bit defensive and like the media have knocked her off her game. I'm thinking she'll revert to past debate-interview form. Clearly, it needs to happen soon. She can't pull a Favre and throw an interception in the last few seconds of the Super Bowl. The upcoming VP debate is show time. That's why the McCain camp should have been putting the last few weeks to better use by letting her deal with the national press.

Watch the 2006 debate for yourself:

The media are giving Palin zero margin for error, a standard that they do not hold over anyone else's heads, especially not Joe Biden.

Or Barack Obama - remember when Obama gave a rambling nonsensical speech in Milwaukee in which he linked the Virginia Tech massacre to a culture of violence that included job outsourcing and Don Imus?

Remember when he said there were 57 states in the U.S.?

Here's a run down, and this was just through May.

You knew they'd go there...

The LA Times has dug up video of Sarah Palin in a beauty pageant swimsuit contest from years and years ago. And this is news because...?

The New York Daily News is on the "story" too.

Michael McCord: An American Idol princess

The implication: She could just be any average Joe (or Jane) plucked off the streets. Newsflash to McCord and other columnists: Sarah Palin is the GOVERNOR of her state.

Myron Pitts: "Legally Brunette"... compares Palin's upcoming VP debate appearance to death penalty execution

The Fayetteville Observer columnist:

Legally Brunette: Palin Should Throw in the Towel, Before Debate

In 2006, the State of Alabama executed a convicted murderer in Huntsville. The man had to be dragged into the death chamber by the guards, after he said he would not participate in his own execution. As the lethal drugs began to take hold he muttered the fragment, “This is some nasty.”

I believe we will all be saying something similar some time on Thursday night if John McCain’s campaign allows Sarah Palin to get dismantled before 40+ million viewers on live TV....

That this Legally Brunette former TV anchor and model would back up a president who is 72 and has had four bouts of cancer is not lost on anyone who cares more for the country than for partisan politics.

Dahlia Lithwick in Newsweek: A "campaign accessory"

She compares Palin - and other women around McCain - to flag pins with nice calves.
Where Clarence Thomas excoriated liberals for promoting token blacks so America might become a Benetton commercial, John McCain has mastered the fine art of turning women into campaign accessories: flag pins with nice calves.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hilary Cosell: He picked a conservative uterus, a reproductive vessel as a running mate

In the Providence Journal:

Instead, all that mattered was that he pick a conservative uterus as running mate.


McCain wasn’t looking for a qualified Republican woman candidate who could lead from “day one” and be “commander-in-chief.” He wanted a reproductive vessel to boost his new, right-wing credentials. Republicans think we will be afraid to criticize Palin simply because she is a woman. They are wrong. They are always wrong. Look at the past eight years.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pakistani president: You're gorgeous... can I hug you?

This has got to be an SNL skit Saturday. But it's real:

Pakistan's recently-elected president, Asif Ali Zardari, entered the room seconds later. Palin rose to shake his hand, saying she was “honored” to meet him.

Zardari then called her "gorgeous" and said: "Now I know why the whole of America is crazy about you."

"You are so nice," Palin said, smiling. "Thank you."

A handler from Zardari's entourage then told the two politicians to keep shaking hands for the cameras.

"If he's insisting, I might hug," Zardari said. Palin smiled politely.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Naomi Wolf: Palin is Frankenbarbie

...I believe the Rove-Cheney cabal is using Sarah Palin as a stalking horse, an Evita figure, to put a popular, populist face on the coming police state and be the talk show hostess for the end of elections as we know them.
...the muse of the coming police state
For a truly paranoid rant, click here.

New York magazine imagines a conversation between Palin and Kissinger

Actually, they imagine Kissinger as a dirty old man and Palin as a ditz. How sophisticated.

Oh, don't you worry about it for one minute. Everybody always thinks I'm a greeter at Wal-Mart — it's the combination of my glasses and spunk.

Palin: Oh, I thought I just explained. I'm not a concierge — I'm Sarah Palin, I'm the woman John McCain selected as his vice-presidential running mate.

Kissinger: Come closer for a moment. Has anyone ever told you that you look a little like a brunette Jill St. John?
Palin: Is she a real saint? I haven't heard of that one. But I am in full support of the war in Iraq, just like God!
Kissinger: [Softly] You know, power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
Palin: I certainly don't think we should elect someone just because he is black, if that's what you mean.
Kissinger: Vat?

More Palin is "speed dating" world leaders

This time from Deutsche Welle

New York Post: Palin has "crash course" with world leaders

How come Obama's meetings with foreign leaders weren't dubbed a "crash course"?

And casting Kissinger as the "teacher"

Idaho Mountain Express headline:
Sarah (‘I’m ready!’) Palin takes cram course

Stanley Crouch: Palin is a proxy male... more one of the boys than the boys

I think he means it as a compliment. I think she's just one tough, accomplished woman:
These are the kinds of things that make Palin more one of the boys than even most of the boys are. So while remaining the loving mother of five, Palin also has the credentials to be a proxy male who can go in the door of the men's club and not be sneered at unless one is willing to take her on in a target shooting contest.

She might be pretty enough for Rush Limbaugh to call "a babe"; she might shoot well enough to be nicknamed "Annie Oakley" and she may even have squeaky clean but gritty charm. But, when the sun goes down and nobody else is around, Sarah Palin kneels to and bows low before the language that can prepare the way to totalitarianism. Always a dangerous thing.

Speed dating with world leaders

Again, courtesy of Newsbusters

Ken Burns: In the entire history of the country, no one has ever had as thin of a credential

Speaking to a university panel, as recounted by Newsbusters:

"He (McCain) selected someone who is so supremely unqualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, and he has turned the selection process into a high school popularity contest and an 'American Idol' competition," Burns said. He said that McCain made a "cynical" pick in what he said was the most important decision of his presidential candidacy.

Burns, whose body of work has focused on American history, said that "in the whole history of the republic there has been no one with as thin as a credential" as Palin. He said it was, for McCain, a "Hail Mary pass" that will be decided in November.

Rolling Stone: Mad dog Palin

Tawdry, half-assed article not yet available online.

Mad Dog Palin

John McCain's running mate may be a tawdry, half-assed fraud — but that's not as scary as what her candidacy really says about America.

UPDATE: A blogger has excerpts:

....a two-bit caricature culled from some cutting-room-floor episode of Roseanne
...And if she's a good enough likeness of a loudmouthed Middle American archetype, as Sarah Palin is, John Q. Public will drop his giant sized bag of Doritos in gratitude, wipe the sizzlin' picante dust from his lips and rush to the booth to vote for her. Not because it makes sense, or because it has a chance of improving his life or anyone else's, but simply because it appeals to the low-humming narcissism that substitutes for his personality, because that image on TV reminds him of the mean brainless slob he sees in the mirror every morning.
...Sarah Palin is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the modern United States. As a representative of our political system, she's a new low in reptilian villainy
...Not only is Sarah Palin a fraud, she's the tawdriest, most half-assed fraud imaginable, 20 floors below the lowest common denominator, a character too dumb even for daytime TV – and this country is going to eat her up, cheering every step of the way.

McCain, stop protecting Sarah

I'm getting sick of the shielding of Sarah Palin by the McCain campaign. That's sexist in its own way. I understood it at first because the media were in a feeding frenzy. Why assist their efforts?

But, it's gone on too long. The tightening of debate rules, blocking of the press from the New York appearances with world leaders, the limited number of media interviews... I personally believe that Palin can handle it. So let her talk. If she can't handle it, then she doesn't belong in the race. Stop creating the perception that she can't handle it.

Frankly, this is also a political mistake. It just ratchets up the attention on each selective media appearance. True, that drives ratings. But it also creates additional pressure on Palin to not utter a single gaffe (of course, Biden is apparently no longer taking questions and has made a series of recent gaffes without getting called on them with equal intensity). It's also creating unbelievable pressure for her regarding the debate.

I say - let her talk. Let her do interviews. Let her do them a lot. Get her comfortable with the national media's style of questioning. Let her show her mettle. Over and over again. We know she's got it.

Just saying.

David Talbot: Mean Girl

Writing on Salon.com:
Sarah Palin has a way of using "old boys" -- then dumping them when they become inconvenient.

There was a knife-sharp, personal edge to Palin's campaign that many locals found disturbing, particularly because of the warm relationship between Palin and Stein before the race.
This is classic sexism. When the man shows a certain ruthlessness or toughness, he's establishing leadership and authority. When the woman does it, it's mean and personal - a feud.

Talbot continues:
According to some political observers in Alaska, this pattern -- exploiting "old-boy" mentors and then turning against them for her own advantage -- defines Sarah Palin's rise to power. Again and again, Palin has charmed powerful political patrons, and then rejected them when it suited her purposes.
Well, then, Mr. Talbot, Palin sounds exactly like the kind of person we need going toe-to-toe with Putin. Thanks for making the case.

Monday, September 22, 2008

PBS wants to know: Do you think Palin is qualified

I wonder if they ran a similar poll on Obama....I suppose they didn't run a similar poll on Biden. Now that the media have decided that Washington insider experience is a prerequisite for public office, what's the point?
Do you think Sarah Palin is qualified to serve as Vice President of the United States?

Not Sure

(The "yes" votes are winning)

Thoughts on the SNL Todd Palin incest skit?

I have mixed thoughts on it. Clearly, the skit was poking fun at the NY Times, not the Palins. The premise was that the Times, and other media, will say anything to go after the Palins, without the facts. It's pretty funny purely as a send up of the Times.

On the other hand, joking about Todd Palin having sex with his daughter is really not very funny. Imagine how you'd feel if you were the daughter. Remember when SNL made fun of Chelsea? Everyone rightly said to back off. I think SNL could have made the same point in a way that didn't involve the Palin kids - especially a skit that involved having sex with their father. Kids should be off limits.

You have to wonder why good people go into politics sometimes. Is it really worth the cost in a culture as coarse as ours?

Bill Clinton gets it

Not being sarcastic - he really does. But then he always understood how to relate to small town/rural America:

Bill Clinton said Monday he understands why Sarah Palin is popular in the heartland: because people relate to her.

"I come from Arkansas, I get why she's hot out there," Clinton said. "Why she's doing well."

Speaking to reporters before his Clinton Global Initiative meeting, the former president described Palin's appeal by adding, "People look at her, and they say, 'All those kids. Something that happens in everybody's family. I'm glad she loves her daughter and she's not ashamed of her. Glad that girl's going around with her boyfriend. Glad they're going to get married.'"

Clinton said voters would think, "I like that little Down syndrome kid. One of them lives down the street. They're wonderful children. They're wonderful people. And I like the idea that this guy does those long-distance races. Stayed in the race for 500 miles with a broken arm. My kind of guy."

Palin, the governor of Alaska, became an overnight star when Republican presidential candidate John McCain tapped her for his running mate. Her family, including her Down syndrome baby, Trig, her pregnant 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, and her husband, Todd, four-time winner of the 2,000-mile Iron Dog snowmobile race, have garnered intense media interest.

"I get this," Clinton said. "My view is ... why say, ever, anything bad about a person? Why don't we like them and celebrate them and be happy for her elevation to the ticket? And just say that she was a good choice for him and we disagree with them?"

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Palin/McCain porn

Only click on this one if you want to throw up.

Maureen Dowd strikes again: Compares Palin to a Lancome Rep

She imagines a conversation between Barack Obama and West Wing president Bartlet:
Bartlet: I didn’t expect you to be getting beat by John McCain and a LancĂ´me rep who thinks “The Flintstones” was based on a true story, so let’s call it even... and I don’t know whether or not Governor Palin has the tenacity of a pit bull, but I know for sure she’s got the qualifications of one

More sick T-shirts

Click here for the latest example.

Manisha Sinha: Palin selection is one of the biggest betrayals of American women in history

...she fails the test of common human decency...
...her unseemly pride in declaring her ignorance
...anti-woman candidate
Palin is probably the worst breed of conservative women since southern white slaveholding women defended slavery as a positive good and opposed the women's rights movement as heretical for allegedly overturning both God's and nature's plans for women.
I found this one reprinted on History News Network

Barry Ronge: Sounds like a TV sitcom super bitch, looks fresh as a daisy

Writing in the Times newspaper of South Africa

Margaret Cho, at it again

WARNING!!! Very offensive language alert

Rhetorical rape

She also says McCain was not a good soldier because he was captured (not sexism but worth noting)

And now with Sarah Palin at his side, they have actually become the worst ticket imaginable. The only way it could be worse would be if Satan were running with Chuck Norris as his VP. Actually, Lucifer-Norris sounds better than McCain-Palin.

But even though I would never, ever vote for Palin, I am kind of obsessed with fucking her. She is sexy and hot in a MILF/Cougar way. Like you could have that real mature, straight to the point, adult, over forty, gonna cum multiple times with a big, oversize t-shirt on and nothing else and "I don't care what I look like cuz I am gonna bust nuts in your curl" kind of fucking with her. I want to steam up those glasses and show her what a pitbull with lipstick really needs – doggy style!

Seriously – I wanna eat her Alaskan pussy from behind. Like an Eskimo. What?! I'm just trying to keep warm!

Although you know that thing is frozen and my tongue would probably stick.

Barb Guy: Palin is the smiling dumb guy

Writing in the Salt Lake Tribune

Steven Katz: Palin is like political junk food... a chick magnet

That's a new one!

Writing in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the former counsel to John Glenn:
What does it sound like when people can't stomach McCain's political junk food diet? "Shame on John McCain for choosing Palin as his running mate." This is just one of the more common, and most disgusted of voter reactions to be heard, and which the media does not report on....

In fact, they may not vote at all -- and that makes the real untold story of John McCain's campaign different than reports of how he discovered a "chick magnet" to resuscitate his dying presidential aspirations.

Caly Pol professors: Palin's place is in the home... her kids are a disqualifying burden

Ralph E. Shaffer and Walter P. Coombs are professors emeritus at Cal Poly Pomona.


Sarah Palin belongs at home, not in Washington

They write:

But Palin knew full well when she succumbed to the lure of high office that she had personal, family matters that should disqualify her in the minds of family-value voters, the very people her party counts on for its base.

What is Palin's disqualifying burden?

If ever there was a valid argument that a mother should be home with her kids instead of playing politics, this is it. For starters, she has an infant with Down syndrome. What family-oriented mother would willingly choose the demanding and extremely busy life of vice president when faced with the needs of her own child?

No one is asking Palin to give up her career. She may very well be able to carry on as governor of Alaska. But the duties associated with that office in one of the least populated states hardly compares with the enormous responsibility of being vice president and only a heart beat away from the presidency. She doesn't need a job to support her family. She's not a single mother, and her husband earns good pay.

Were she the only woman in the country qualified for the job of vice president their might be justification for abandoning her duties at home, but that is not the case. McCain had several better qualified women who could have accepted the post without jeopardizing their children.

Phyllis Schlafly responds

Why feminists are against Palin

Caille Millner: Palin chosen for sex appeal, freshness

The columnist, in the San Francisco Chronicle, tries to explain why Palin is a "token" not a "feminist":
A couple possibilities: Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson or Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. But these women, substantive though they may be, lack the "freshness" and sex appeal of Palin, a former beauty queen...

It is challenging, especially after being bombarded with the sight of so many "Coldest State, Hottest Governor" buttons during the Republican Convention, to avoid the feeling that another reason McCain picked Palin was for the chance to have something easy on the eyes around during his policy meetings....

Instead, she defers to the stronger men who have plucked her from obscurity and fashioned her into one of their own.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Perky and spunky

Anthony Bonaparte, writing in the Suburban, a Quebec newspaper:
God-fearing-religiously-conservative-anti-abortion-mothers-of-knocked-up-17-year-old-daughters.Palin is effervescent, congenial, knows how to skin an animal, can chant “drill baby drill” with gusto and a perky smile, and she has spunk. I hate spunk.
And I hate words that make accomplished, mature women sound like little girls.

Some gays support Palin and like her a lot

But you'd never know it from the media coverage painting her as an extremist homophobe. This gay columnist argues that she's anything but. Palin deserves a more nuanced presentation than the media are giving her. You'd think she's never done a single thing right in her entire life from the tone and amount of the negative coverage.

(Note: This post isn't really about sexism. I occasionally like to point out angles that the media just won't cover)

McCain married her on the second date

Former Republican U.S. senator Dave Durenberger said:
Sarah Palin didn't blink when John McCain asked her to marry him on their second date.

Julia Hayes: Palin is the team's "water boy"

Writing in Whit Online, Rowan University's independent student newspaper:
...But the same fact remains: the water boy just doesn't know how to bring a team to victory, to ensure that the offence and defense coordinate, follow the rules and succeed.

If Andy Reid did this, the fans would be fuming, so why is it okay that Sen. John McCain has done the same thing?

Voters are going cold on the hottie

Writes Julie Baird in the Sydney Morning Herald:

Sometimes the bumper stickers say it all. "Our VP is hotter than yours". "Sarah Palin - God, Guns, Guts. Kickin' butt. Takin' names". "McCain and Palin: a Hero and a Hottie". "Barbies for War" and "Girls just wanna have guns".

The standout is the delightful and direct slogan, "VPILF" (vice-president I'd like to f---).

Which is well and good if you are single and your dating pool consists only of vice-presidential candidates. But for the rest of us the question we'd ask of a VP candidate is less likely to be "are you lonesome tonight?" and more likely to be "what are you going to do about this flailing economy? Iraq? Pakistan? Afghanistan? The health system?"

And this is why Sarah Palin's dazzling star is finally starting to fade. Only slightly, but significantly enough to turn down the volume of the Republican cheer squad who have hailed her as the saviour of their political hopes.

Revealing interviews

Do you know any hockey moms? No.

Boston University Daily Free Press: Sarah Palin's my lil' mama.... she embraces femininity with "open legs"

This is what passes for an "editorial":

....The camera panned back to the smiling Alaska governor, pearly whites and high cheekbones beaming above sleek, businesslike attire. Like a naughty librarian.
..."Dude, she's a certified GILF."
..."Well, as far as grandmas go," I reasoned, "she's pretty hot."
...It may come as no surprise, then, that a woman like Hillary Clinton, who avoided femininity like the plague would fare worse than a woman like Palin, who embraces it with open legs.
...As she stood on the sidelines of the RNC last Thursday, clapping the potential president on with a naive smile, I began to think that maybe it wouldn't be so bad to have Sarah Palin as my mom.

The editorial

Diptesh Soni, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, is a weekly columnist for The Daily Free Press. He can be reached at diptesh@bu.edu.

Jacob Rowe: A candidate who can not possibly be taken seriously

McCain selected a running mate who cannot possibly be taken seriously. Is there more merit in her physical appearance than in her political record? If the highlight of your public life is someone selling provocative action figures in your likeness, how are you to be taken seriously?
Source here

Tara McIntosh: She's cute... men are besotted...eye candy...moms know "Princess Palin" is full of it

In the Tri-City news (British Columbia):

...She might be the kind of gal you would spend the day with... before your cruise ship headed back to Vancouver.
...And while this hockey mom feels superhumanly capable of raising five children “without help” (she’s bragged) while serving as the governor of Alaska, moms everywhere who are juggling everyday life with children know Princess Palin is full of it.
...So the question is this: Did Republican presidential nominee John McCain honestly think that by choosing eye candy for a running mate, 18 million Hillary Clinton supporters would see Palin as a viable alternative by finding these two women remotely comparable?

I've gotta tell you folks.... reading these bilious columns every night... I'm angrier than I've ever been in a political situation. The sexism is so rampant it's hard to keep up with, and it's become accepted on the pages of supposedly responsible publications. It makes me sick.

Entertainment Tonight: What dress size is Palin?

And Hillary, Michelle, and Cindy...

What pants size is Obama?


Political scientist Norman Ornstein: The prettiest candidate since John Edwards

But what's such a quote doing in a supposedly serious U.S. News and World Report article?
Fortier and other political scientists spoke Thursday at the think tank, where Ornstein observed that Palin gets his vote, at least in one respect. "Sarah Palin's choice did electrify the country," he said. "I believe she's the prettiest vice presidential choice since John Edwards."

Dutch female politicians praise Palin

Even though they don't all agree with her views. Contrast their comments with those from American politicians and female commentators.

Mark Morford: Shrill...anti-female...nasty caricature of femininity

More in the San Francisco Chronicle:

...a homophobic, Creationist evangelical nutball
...she essentially hates them (women)
....women who would vote for Palin are "dupes"
...Palin's finger jabbed at the heart of all that's right and good with the world.


(Source: Michelle Malkin)

"I hate her."

Why the hate?

Connie Schultz: Bristol never had a choice for an abortion

More from the bad mommy! files

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer columnist also accuses Palin of "outing" her own daughter and says she shouldn't have run for VP with a pregnant teen.

New Palin T-shirt: Palin is a Republic-nt

Rhetorical rape....

Here are the T-shirts. Source: Charlie Sykes

Rep. Charlie Rangel: Palin is "disabled"

In a CBS 2 HD exclusive interview, Rep. Rangel called Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin "disabled."

The question was simple: Why are the Democrats so afraid of Palin and her popularity?

The answer was astonishing.

"You got to be kind to the disabled," Rangel said.

That's right. The chairman of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee called Palin disabled -- even when CBS 2 HD called him on it.

CBS 2 HD: "You got to be kind to the disabled?"

Rangel: "Yes."

CBS 2 HD: "She's disabled?"

Rangel: "There's no question about it politically. It's a nightmare to think that a person's foreign policy is based on their ability to look at Russia from where they live.


Sandra Bernhard: Palin would get gang raped in New York...a turncoat b-tch...a whore

From Newsbusters:
... from the blog of Theater J, where Bernhard is appearing. It has video of Bernhard calling Palin "Uncle Women," a "turncoat b—h" and a "whore." One complaint on the blog that Bernhard crosses a line of political incorrectness draws a defense from Ari Roth of Theater J that really drops the curtain on how coarse this show is:

In fact, the play wears its politically VERY correct heart on its sleeve with its indictment of America as "A Man’s World, It’s a White Man’s World, It’s a F–ked Up White Man’s Racist World" and can only be suggested to be racist in its content if one is hell-bent on protecting White Folk for Sandra’s blistering indictment.When Sandra warns Sarah Palin not to come into Manhattan lest she get gang-raped by some of Sandra’s big black brothers, she’s being provocative, combative, humorous, and yes, let’s allow, disgusting. VIDEO HERE

A local anchorwoman feels the Palin hate

Because she looks a LOT like her.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Journalistic irresponsibility

Scumbags invaded Sarah Palin's personal email account, and the Washington Post reprints
the contents - verbatim - of emails (I'm choosing not to link to the newspaper article). This is journalistic irresponsibility that makes the newspaper complicit in the invasion of Palin's privacy. Yes, it's a story that the emails were hacked. Reprinting the content? Goes way too far. Receiving stolen property?

On top of it, they're trying to turn her personal emails into a public scandal.

It's just as in court - this is fruit of the poisoned tree, so the contents of the email account should be OFF limits for public discussion.

So-called feminist admits: She thinks about murdering Palin

"What I feel for her privately could be described as violent, nay, murderous, rage. When Palin spoke on Wednesday night, my head almost exploded from the incandescent anger boiling in my skull. And I'm not the only one! I had simultaneous IM conversations with many friends, who said things like, "she seems like a fucking monster" and "this feminist wants to murk that idiotic cunt."
Read further and you discover she's really upset because Palin reminds her of the Homecoming Queen.

Dowd column headline: ‘Barbies for War!’

Yes, she's quoting someone else's sign. You can tell from the rest of the column that she doesn't disapprove.

UW Badger Herald: Palin is a woman who knows her place

Instead, we take pride in a different kind of female leader — a woman who publicly displays her second-rate knowledge and her second-rate abilities.

If you’re lucky, Sarah, you might get your secondary role. Kudos to Sarah Palin, a woman who knows her place.

Article here.

Biden introduction: Palin is a "bucket of fluff"

Biden's response: What a great introduction!
Barbara Theaker, a local Obama-Biden supporter in Flat Rock, Mich., gave a feisty introduction for the Democratic vice presidential candidate Monday at a rally on the high school football field, Victoria McGrane reports.

Almost obscured by the podium, the woman praised Obama’s running mate pick. But McCain chose "a bucket of fluff," she said.
Source here.

Mary Sanchez: Palin is gloriously, fabulously unfit for duty

But no word about how Obama, with his equivalent resume, is gloriously, fabulously unfit?

The Kansas City Star columnist adds:
As if the presidency is about who has the hottest wardrobe, the best-coiffed hair and the attention of the hunky quarterback...

I don’t envy Sarah Palin — I pity her...

But the presidential race is not “American Idol” or a cheerleader tryout...

Would racist jokes be allowed on national television?

No, but sexist jokes are fair game.

Chevy Chase - Leave Hillary out of it.... decimate "this woman", Palin

Why do so many Palin critics insist on referring to her as "this woman"? Chase on the Tina Fey skit:
"I thought it was extraordinary how well she played her and much she looked like her, I'd like her, personally I felt we didn't need the Hillary stuff, I'd like her to go even harder. I want her to decimate this woman. This woman, I can't believe there hasn't been more about it... It's just unbelievable to me this woman is actually running for vice president."
Source here

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Boston Herald: The brainy babe look

More on the glasses...

Dick Cavett: Latest celeb sexist....stuffed like a goose...

Watching a woman, slight of build and full of pizazz so thoroughly bedazzle a vast audience is entertaining. Something chimed in my memory when she brought that crowd to its feet with frantic and worshipful cheering.

Ah, yes. I had seen it all before.

It was Judy Garland at The Palace....

There’s something almost funny in the idea that she is being speedily stuffed, Strasbourg-goose-style, with knowledge she should have had before she was selected. You can’t help wondering about her current tutors and coaches and experts. Will they collect their checks and depart?
Stuffed like a goose?

Candy Neville: Bubbly, a looker, her only claims to fame

Claims Obama and McCain should apologize to every woman in the country for dissing Hillary and picking Palin. And she says that electing Palin would be putting her in a position she hasn't earned.

Every woman in the country? Guess what, Candy, every woman in the country doesn't agree with your sexist bile. Some of us want YOU to apologize to the rest of us.
Palin is not touted for her progressive stands. She holds uninformed and antiquated views. But she's a looker and she's bubbly and those qualities are her claim to fame. It's not a new role for women, and it's a well-worn path to success. If we allow bitterness and spite to rule and decide how we vote, Palin will become the first woman elected vice president and may well end up in the Oval Office.

A textbook token candidate

More about Palin in the college press.
...."ain't no trailblazer"
..."textbook token candidate"

Trophy female running mate

From the mouths of "tolerant" average women.

Also, a "silly joke"

Bernard Henri-Levy: A caricature of a free woman; absence of feeling with Trig

The French philosopher's advice for Obama in New York magazine:
“I would beg him to speak directly, solemnly, to the women of this country, asking them if they are prepared to see themselves in this caricature of a free woman who plans to deny her peers one of their most cherished and hard-won rights, the right to an abortion. I would underline the cynicism, the absence of feeling one must have to exhibit in front of the world’s television cameras that which a mother should hold most dear, most private, and painfully precious: a child with Down syndrome. I would advise him to assign this task to Hillary."
Yeah, Henri-Levy. That will work. And what's with the baguette whacking her on the head?

What headline did they choose...

Carly Fiorina, as many know by now, stated today that Palin, Obama, McCain, and Biden are not qualified to run a corporation. So which headline did CNN choose?

McCain adviser Fiorina: Palin not ready to run a corporation

From the pens of students - "I hate Sarah Palin".... plus, she's the devil....killer pair of legs...ugly on the inside...give her a cookie

Wow, very sophisticated. Write the editor here: editor@commonwealthtimes.com. The Commonwealth Times, the independent student press of Virginia Commonwealth University, runs the drawing at top along with a must-be-read-to-be-believed column that says in part:

Sarah Palin--awful for people and polar bears

The editor, Sarah Sonies, wrote an article that reads like a satire of mainstream media talking points, but this one is no satire (it's as if she's just absorbed the surface nastiness of the rote arguments. What ARE they teaching their students in Virginia?):
More to the point, however, I hate Sarah Palin. I hate her so much I cannot even bring myself to write a numbered list of things that I dislike about her. It would be endless....

She is not a feminist and, as a nation, I think we should be ashamed there is a possibility of a woman so backwards doing one of the most important jobs in the country. I am all for a woman president; however, I do not think any woman should be able to have the job.


It amazes me that someone so pretty on the outside, who has such a killer pair of legs, can be so ugly on the inside. I do not think it's cute that she's a "pit-bull who wears lipstick." Palin is a former beauty queen, who appears to right-wing conservatives. Someone give her a cookie for being pretty and make her go away.

You know what I'm sick of?

The snickering about Palin being able to see Russia from her house.

What's Obama's foreign policy experience? Giving a speech in Berlin?

P.J. Bednarsky: The anchorman/anchorwoman pairing

One other thing strikes me about the McCain-Palin ticket: It's the anchorman-anchorwoman formula, also a brilliant strategy, planned or not.

Think of all the newscasts that feature the avuncular old pro who's been at the station for years, teamed with the youthful, attractive female anchor.

He's the cranky, old salt who tells it like it is and jokes he can't figure out that that My Friendbook, let along work that damn newfangled fax machine. She’s the breath of fresh air who humors the old coot and draws in the women and younger demos. My intention, of course, is not to demean female anchors or older male anchors; the May-December anchor formula is well known. He teaches; she learns.

Article here.

Will Obama learn from Biden?

Gov. Palin's own words

Not a feminist? Right. Read her own words!

Sign the petition!

Women against Palin sexism... join here.

Making fun of the kids' names

Not sure it's sexist, but it sure is mean.
Picking on the kids? Not funny. Imagine if people picked on Obama's kids' names? How long would it take before people cried racism?

This is what reasonable, non-sexist debate about Sarah Palin sounds like

Maybe the media should take note. Contrast the tone of these average women, pro and con, to the nasty, one-sided, over-the-top media rhetoric.

Quantifying the media bias

You've got to read this story. Very revealing. (But is it ideological bias, sexist bias, or both? I'd opt for the latter)

Chris Matthews: Palin is a "vessel"

I was watching Hardball tonight, and Matthews went off on Palin - AGAIN - saying that she is a "vessel" - basically an empty one - who is told what to do or say. He specifically used the word vessel.

Michelle Malkin exposes the sickest anti-Palin T-shirt yet


(Hat tip, Michelle Malkin.)

Huffington Post compares Palin to Night Stalker serial killer; Philly Inquirer invokes the Unabomber

Non-linear thought. Update: Readers tell me this writer is a conservative satirist. Taken in that light, it's almost funny.
One must wonder if George Orwell would have seen the irony in Palin winning the Miss Wasilla Pageant, for it happened, of course - in 1984, only a few miles from a local animal farm. Eerily, this is the same year that Richard Ramirez, also known as the Night Stalker, claimed his first victim. Whether Palin was in contact with Ramirez at the time cannot be verified, but when Palin finished second runner-up in the Miss Alaska pageant, it is unlikely that the outcome sat well with either of them. Few experts know what drives serial killers to kill serially - but later, Palin winning the "Miss Congeniality" award, must have been icing on the cake.

A very deadly cake, one might add. With murderous frosting. Made of death.
And murder.

During this time Palin continued hunting, as did the Night Stalker, who often linked his crimes to his love of the hard rock band AC/DC, an outfit known for such songs as "Gone Shootin,""Guns for Hire," and "Shoot to Thrill" - all songs that describe Palin's hobbies succinctly. As the Night Stalker's victims piled up, it never once occured to Palin that her implicit endorsement of the Australian band's hateful brand of music might come back to haunt her like a ghost of one of her dead moose victims....Ending her term as mayor of Wasilla in 2002, the town itself had about 6,300 residents. Now, according to 2008 statistics, there are 7,000 plus - a profoundly dramatic increase since Palin vacated the job. Where were these 700 people during her reign? No one knows - and to raise the possibility that these individuals were possibly "hidden," perhaps because they were the products of a right wing Christian baby mill, seems a tad premature. Sure, you and I both know that Hipparchus is the father of trigonometry. Yet we still don't know who the mother of Trig is.

Update! But this writer is NOT a conservative satirist. Maybe they should be.

And: In the Philadelphia Inquirer: Invoking the Unabomber, Terry Nichols, and the Aryan Nation. Why inject them into a discussion of Sarah Palin? Because they once lived in the northwest!!!!!!!!!!! That's a new standard for relevance.

Political campaigns can't bring up non-white criminals in campaigns even if the candidate in question released them on furlough or they get accused of injecting Willie Horton into the race. But I guess it's OK to inject every white bomber into the race just because they, like Palin, once lived in the northwest (btw, it's a LONG way from Idaho to Alaska).

Well, many more criminals live in Chicago, but no one's comparing them to Obama. Except for Tony Rezko.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell: Palin makes me "sick.".... laughingstock

..."Sarah Palin makes me sick"
...compares her to Susan Sarandon in Thelma and Louise (who shot a rapist)
..."Sarah Palin scares me"
..."I couldn't help but wonder what it's really like for these kids."
...blacks are being insulted by feminists crossing over to McCain
..."should make her a laughingstock"

Full column here - be forewarned; it will make you sick.

Another Obama supporter: You can't juggle a breast pump with the vice presidency

“You can juggle a BlackBerry and a breast pump in a lot of jobs, but not in the vice presidency,” said Christina Henry de Tessan, a mother of two in Portland, Ore., who supports Mr. Obama.

Sarah Robertson, a mother of four from Kennebunk, Me., who was one of the few evangelical Christians interviewed to criticize Ms. Palin, said: “A mother of a 4-month-old infant with Down syndrome taking up full-time campaigning? Not my value set.”

The New York Times would not run a neutral story about racist comments referring to Obama in the same manner as they ran a "neutral story" about sexist comments referring to Palin. I guess they don't see it as sexist; it's just another point of view.

Judith Warner: Palin selection equivalent of McCain suggesting wife compete in topless competition

...Palin is "as fake as they can come"
..."with her delicate infant son hauled out night after night under the klieg lights and her pregnant teenage daughter shamelessly instrumentalized for political purposes"
..."makes it clear that she’s subordinate to a great man"

Appeared in the NY Times' blog

"Can-do feminism":

Versus what government can do for me feminism.
Great read.

NYTimes: Shockingly irresponsible... what was John McCain thinking?

The sexism: Where's the similar outrage over the thin resume and gaffes of Obama, who AFTER ALL IS AT THE TOP OF THE OTHER TICKET?

Story here.

Powerline has the tally of the Times' weekend anti-Palin avalanche (I will be waiting for the anti Joe Biden stories to follow... about the plagiarism... the lobbyist son... the gaffes....etc. And waiting. And waiting...)

More gems of wisdom from average women: Palin is spunky and cute

"Palin is spunky and cute, and I have no reason to dislike her," said Jackie Hoover, a paralegal. "But that doesn't make her qualified to lead the country just because she's a woman. I just can't seen her staring down [Russia's Vladimir] Putin.
Source here.

Obama supporter: A bad actor from a B-list sex movie

“You want to know the honest truth? I think she’s like a bad actor from a B-list sex movie,” said Paula Vanbuskirk, an Obama-supporting independent, whose contempt for the Alaska governor and self-styled “hockey mom” was shared by almost everyone questioned by the Financial Times.
Source here.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pink: The woman hates women

Nutty celebrity anti-Palin quote of the day:
"This woman hates women," the singer said. "She is not a feminist. She is not the woman that's going to come behind Hillary Clinton and do anything that Hillary Clinton would've been capable of ... I can't imagine overturning Roe vs. Wade. She's not of this time. The woman terrifies me."
Source here.

Beauty and the Beast

These people are sick. In the Nation:
A man fiddling with his wedding ring in the presence of another woman usually has something on his mind. At his introduction of Sarah Palin to the world on August 29, John McCain appeared a man possessed, playing with his ring, fastening his gaze on her breasts, her backside, his right fingers sliding up from that dratted gold band to the finger tip, pinching it as if to control the volcano stirring within him.
That's funny. I saw a man announcing a very accomplished governor to be his vice president. Maybe this is how THEY see her - eh?

The article just gets worse and worse. The basic premise: That Palin was selected solely for her sexual appeal to men.

"Caribou Barbie"

Description starts on blogs, then migrates to mainstream media outlets under the guise of writing about blogs...

Maureen Dowd: Napoleon in bunny boots

...And the sexy new model...

Does Dowd offer anything to this debate other than tired gender stereotypes?

Librarians for Palin

An interesting new blog.

Her famous peep-toe pumps

Covering Palin like a First Lady....

Andrew Sullivan: Princess of Alaska...An insult to all intelligent people...a farce...absurd...sign of a candidate who has lost his mind

Two candidates. One male, on the top of the ticket. One female, second on the ticket. Two resumes, similar in nature.

Two different standards for competence, experience, and qualifications = sexism. Women in the workforce know this well - the feeling that the woman has to work twice as hard to be taken seriously at the same job. Andrew Sullivan's over-the-top rhetoric gives away the sexism here:
She is the biggest joke to be put on a ticket in national politics.
But the male on the top of the other ticket then is not? Imagine if people had used similar rhetoric to describe Obama's candidacy - a "joke", for example. How long would it take for racism to be alleged by the mainstream media? Obama has been criticized sharply by conservatives for his inexperience, of course, but not generally with such over-the-top verbiage - farce, absurd, a joke, and so on.

Sullivan also calls Palin the "Princess of Alaska." Spare me the princess analogies. They are right up there with Barbie doll references.
I’m afraid I cannot join in. In fact I cannot say anything about this candidacy that takes it in any way seriously. It is a farce. It is absurd. It is an insult to all intelligent people. It is a sign of a candidate who has lost his mind. There is no way to take the nomination of Palin to be vice-president of the world’s sole superpower - except to treat it as a massive, unforgivable, inexplicable decision by someone who has either gone insane or is managerially unfit to be president of the United States....They knew she knew nothing and was utterly unqualified to be president at a moment’s notice. And so she spent the last week furiously prepping. As Maureen Dowd noticed, she is Eliza Doolittle to John McCain’s Henry Higgins.
This is very insulting to a woman who is the governor of her state, for goodness sake.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Xena, the Warrior Princess

Sarah Baxter in the UK Times:
The mother of five, who has been called Xena, the warrior princess, said in a television interview: “I think he’s regretting not picking [Clinton] now, I do. What determination and grit and even grace through some tough shots that were fired her way - she handled those well,” Palin said.
It's better than comparing her to Nicole Kidman in To Die For. I kind of like the Xena comparison.

Canadian doc: Palin is a bad role model because she didn't abort her Down Syndrome baby

More for the bad mommy! files. But this one hits a new low - attacking Palin for not killing her own baby. If pro abortion folks want to argue the point on the "it's too inconvenient to have a disabled kid" front, go for it.


Dr. Andre Lalonde, the executive vice president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada, is "expressing concerns" that a "prominent public role model as the governor of Alaska and potential vice president of the United States completing a Down syndrome pregnancy may prompt other women to make the same decision against abortion because of that genetic abnormality. And thereby reduce the number of abortions." This, Lalonde feels, would be problematic, because of women who aren't "prepared to deal with the consequences" of a Down syndrome child.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Why McCain can't send emails

Hot Air explains: His war injuries prevent him from typing with ease on a keyboard.

Will Obama be asked to explain his McCain-can't-email-ad with as much frequency as Palin's being pressed on the Bridge to Nowhere and McCain's being accused of going unfairly negative?

Michael Seitzman: I want to have sex with her...Palin was chosen for her appearance... her appearance is all she offers....tranny makeup

But if you think I'm sexist, buzz off.
In case you missed it, the offending line is, "I want to have sex with her [Palin] on my Barack Obama sheets while my wife reads aloud from the Constitution." In my business there's an old expression, "Never cut funny." And, excuse me, but that one's kinda funny...
I don't give a damn whether Palin has a penis or a vagina.
Well, if she had the former, he probably wouldn't be saying these things.
If she is going to tell me that the reason she's qualified to follow up on her threats of war with Russia and its thousands of nuclear warheads (that's n-u-c-l-e-a-r, by the way), is because on a clear day she can actually see Russia from her igloo window, then we have every right to take her on in both a serious manner and in the form of boundless ridicule. And, yes, even commenting on her appearance. Frankly, it's all she offers....I'm not required to take her seriously when she actually was chosen, not because of her experience, but because of her appearance.
Yes, Seitzman, you are definitely a sexist. Plus, igloo jokes? So sophisticated.

The first column is here. It's even worse.

A Hillary supporter in Vermont explains why she's voting for Palin

Article here.

Amanda Marcotte: McCain campaign treating Palin like its "consort"

She writes in the LA Times:
But she's being sheltered as if she were the idealized naive housewife. The campaign's first photo of her gave the impression that she'd be another lady taking tea in the White House. Then there's the careful shielding of Palin from media inquiries, as if she's a delicate flower. We shouldn't condemn Chris Matthews for describing her campaign as a mix between "a vice president and first lady"; we should ask why the McCain campaign is so sexist as to handle her this way.
I agree with her essential point. I think the McCain camp should stop shielding Palin. It's true, as the Gibson interview proved, that some in the media won't interview her fairly and that they are simply looking for gotcha moments. Well, get used to it. That's what happens when conservatives seek political office. I say, put her out there. She can handle herself.

Former top Clinton aide: Media tougher on Palin

Mark Penn is right. Can you say, double standard? The argument that she's fresher, and they've already written a lot about the other candidates doesn't completely hold water. Few voters, for example, are very familiar with Joe Biden's votes, expense reports, earmarks, etc. etc. etc.
CBSNews.com: Your former colleague Howard Wolfson argued that you all unintentionally paved the way for Palin by exposing some of the unfair media coverage that Hillary Clinton received. And, therefore, a lot of the media may now be treating Sarah Palin with kid gloves. Do you agree with that?

Mark Penn: Well, no, I think the people themselves saw unfair media coverage of Senator Clinton. I think if you go back, the polls reflected very clearly what "Saturday Night Live" crystallized in one of their mock debates about what was happening with the press.

I think here the media is on very dangerous ground. I think that when you see them going through every single expense report that Governor Palin ever filed, if they don't do that for all four of the candidates, they're on very dangerous ground. I think the media so far has been the biggest loser in this race. And they continue to have growing credibility problems.

And I think that that's a real problem growing out of this election. The media now, all of the media — not just Fox News, that was perceived as highly partisan — but all of the media is now being viewed as partisan in one way or another. And that is an unfortunate development.

CBSNews.com: So you think the media is being uniquely tough on Palin now?

Mark Penn: Well, I think that the media is doing the kinds of stories on Palin that they're not doing on the other candidates. And that's going to subject them to people concluding that they're giving her a tougher time. Now, the media defense would be, "Yeah, we looked at these other candidates who have been in public life at an earlier time."

Media: Don't blame us, we tried. We really tried

Not sexism. Comes close to being the most blatant admission of ideological bias yet (hat tip Instapundit). The subtext seems to be: We really tried to elect Obama. Why isn't it working?

The sexism part is that Obama has been painted as a transcendent figure by the media - His Hopiness, according to Vanity Fair - whereas Palin, whose bid is equally historical, is just a target who never even got a media honeymoon.

By the way, can we abandon the media mythology that the Democrats refuse to hit back hard enough? They fight hard. Just look at some of the postings in this blog.

AP: Palin struggles, but we're objective

Supposedly objective headline in the Associated Press:
Sarah Palin tries to defend qualifications, struggles with foreign policy questions
The questions they thought she struggled over?
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska (AP) -- John McCain running mate Sarah Palin sought Thursday to defend her qualifications but struggled with foreign policy, unable to describe President Bush's doctrine of pre-emptive strikes against threatening nations and acknowledging she's never met a foreign head of state.
For one, she did respond to the Charlie Gibson "Bush doctrine" question. She did describe the doctrine and give her take on it. Yes, she asked Gibson to define what he meant by it first. So what? I would have done the same thing. Many people would define a phrase like the "Bush doctrine" many different ways. The media probably define it differently than conservatives do, for example. I'd want to know Gibson's exact definition before committing to a response about it too. After all, it revolves around how you define "threatening nations", does it not?

Brad Garrett: Palin is White trash

More classism than sexism but worth noting.

Sarah thongs

Only in America.

Gaffe double standard

Imagine the media hyperventilating if Sarah Palin had said these things.

Professor Wendy Doniger: Palin's biggest hypocrisy is her pretense that she's a woman

Either go after her motherhood or womanhood. You don't get to do both at the same time, professor.
Her greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman. The Republican party's cynical calculation that because she has a womb and makes lots and lots of babies (and drives them to school! wow!) she speaks for the women of America, and will capture their hearts and their votes, has driven thousands of real women to take to their computers in outrage. She does not speak for women; she has no sympathy for the problems of other women, particularly working class women.
(Washington Post)

Roger Ebert: "A shallow, chirpy person with those vaguely alarming eyeglasses"

Pot calling kettle...
(Source: Charlie Sykes)

Pamela Anderson: Palin can "suck it"

Pot calling kettle....

Lincoln Chafee: Palin is a "cocky wacko"

Source here.

What is feminism?

An insightful read by Victor David Hanson.

Hating on Palin

But do they have their history straight?

Maher: Palin is a "snarling bitch"

This isn't humor. It's misogyny. Maher made the comments at the Toronto film festival, according to the Canadian Press:

Last week, Palin gave a fiery speech to the party faithful that pulled no punches against her Democratic rivals.

Maher's appraisal of her oratory skills were succinct: "She snarls."

"It was like, wow, I will send (Obama) whatever I have to to keep this snarling bitch out of the White House."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Robert Shrum: Palin is "Miss September"

But won't be "Miss November":
However much the Republican base hoots and whistles, Palin may not become their Miss November; she’s been a runner-up before.
Ugh. Can we leave the centerfold analogies out of it? Note: Shrum is former advisor to Al Gore

The headlines say it all

Christian Science Monitor:

Pigs and lipstick? The campaign gets really weird

This one in the Kansas City Star is even better:

Lipstick, pitbulls, pigs...and a fish

The voters are thinking: Are these people all completely nuts? Wrote the Star writer:
Say what? Sarah Palin says she’s like a pit bull but with lipstick, but don’t dare compare her to a pig?
Then again, at least judging from the viewer comments on this Chicago TV website, a bunch of average women are pretty hacked off at Obama for the lipstick comment.

LOL - Why isn't Palin shooting the wolves in McCain's new ad?

Gail Collins usually really annoys me, but this paragraph in her new column on the NY Times' site is pretty funny:
If you really want to see a strange line of attack, take a look at the wolf ad. It cuts from Palin’s face to Obama’s to packs of wolves prowling through the forest, presumably in search of vice-presidential prey. Then comes the text claiming that as Barack drops in the polls, “he’ll try to destroy her.” Given Palin’s affection for shooting wolves from airplanes with high-powered rifles, it’d be more appropriate to have them cowering in their dens while she aims her machine gun from a diving Cessna.
On a serious note, this is why the McCain camp needs to not overdo the Palin-is-a-victim-stuff with wolf ads and the like. Let women watch the media beating up on her and draw their own conclusions. They will, believe me; women know sexism when they see it. The McCain camp itself is muddying its own narrative here. Is Palin a victim or a tough-talking, rifle-shooting pitbull reformer capable of leading the Free World? The McCain camp should focus on the latter.

Personally, I feel that Palin has been treated in a sexist fashion (as documented in this blog), by many in the media, and by some politicians. However, I don't see her as a victim per se because I think she's perfectly capable of handling the sexism and defeating it (as her speech proved). She doesn't need McCain and wolf ads to help her do that. When asked about sexism by Charlie Gibson (inevitably), she should focus on a message of strength, not victimhood. McCain: No more victimhood ads!

Boston Globe: A pretty, sassy "snow princess"

Peter Gelzinis column:
Before the Snow Princess entered the picture, Rush Limbaugh was openly urging his legions of ditto brains to vote for Hillary Clinton rather than John McCain....
Sassy and pretty come in other paragraphs.

Ms. Palin?

This isn't that big of a deal, but it is sort of odd. I was reading a New York Times' story on Sarah Palin tonight, and I noticed they call her "Ms. Palin" throughout the story. I realize that the Times typically calls everyone by a salutation - Mr. McCain and so forth.

But why Ms.? Isn't she Mrs. Palin? I then searched their archives for "Ms. Clinton." Mostly stories about Chelsea come up. I searched Mrs. Clinton. Sure enough, that's what they call Hillary. (I also found stories referring to Mrs. McCain and Mrs. Edwards)

Now, I'm not sure what this means (the continued devaluing of Todd Palin in the media's mind as if he doesn't exist?). I just noticed it. It seems to be a pattern in their stories. Maybe, to give them the benefit of the doubt, Hillary asked to be referred to as Mrs. but they try not to define other public women (save for candidates' wives) by their marital status? Maybe they think they're NOT being sexist? I suspect if one asked Sarah Palin, she'd say she's Mrs. Palin. Or, how about just calling her Gov. Palin.

In a Sept. 5 article, they asked:
The question is, will Mrs. Clinton fight Ms. Palin to help her former rival, Mr. Obama?

Crying wolf

Media jackals, yes. But this ad strikes me as over the top. Obama in the darkened shadows; McCain in the white light....that's just asking for it. When McCain/Palin stand back and let the media and cultural elites pummel - and, yes, try to destroy - Palin, they win. When they pummel Obama, who has not directly attacked Palin in a sexist fashion (yeah, I know teams of Dem lawyers have descended on Alaska...), they risk creating a boomerang effect, especially when it seems excessively mean or overreaching. Obviously, I believe there's sexism in this race. But, as another well-worn phrase goes, don't cry wolf.

A pro-choice feminist makes the argument for Palin

The opposite of sexism. Decrying sexism in the San Francisco Chronicle. Column by Tammy Bruce here.
Clinton voters, in particular, have received a political wake-up call they never expected. Having watched their candidate and their principles betrayed by the very people who are supposed to be the flame-holders for equal rights and fairness, they now look across the aisle and see a woman who represents everything the feminist movement claimed it stood for. Women can have a family and a career. We can be whatever we choose, on our own terms. For some, that might mean shooting a moose. For others, perhaps it's about shooting a movie or shooting for a career as a teacher. However diverse our passions, we will vote for a system that allows us to make the choices that best suit us. It's that simple.

Obama: Palin would be the lipstick

Good grief. Well, at least he doesn't think she's the pig. She's the lipstick!

Once again, I am willing to give Sen. Obama the benefit of the doubt. I believe that his initial comment about lipstick on pigs was not an intentional slam at Palin.

I also believe the comment above was a joke. But - Sen. Obama, move on. This is not helping you. At the very least, it's distracting you off your message. You just compared the second ever female candidate for VP to a lipstick! LOL. Think about it.
"Keep in mind, technically, had I meant it this way, [Palin] would be the lipstick. The failed policies of John McCain would be the pig, just following the logic of this illogical situation," Obama said. (Source here.)

Salon strikes again: "Stepford wife in sexy librarian costume"... "a lady but no woman"..."f-uckable"..."political Viagra"..."cheerleader stage mom"..

Virulent, disgusting sexism. Alive and well in the American news media. Who's calling them on it? This online publication should NEVER be considered legitimate or serious in any way, shape or form, by anyone else in the media or politics ever again. Imagine if a conservative online news site - say, the American Spectator - uttered such virulently racist comments about Barack Obama.

It's ugly out there, folks. It's really, really ugly.

It doesn't stop with the comments summarized in the headlines. More from Salon's article author Cintra Wilson, referring to Sarah Palin:
  • "blow-up doll"
  • "their hardcore pornographic centerfold spread"
  • hot to cut the throat of all American women
  • Down's Syndrome baby ensures her own political ambitions
  • submissive, female Uncle Tommie
  • the Carmella Soprano of the GOP
  • White House bunny
  • "It is a kind of eerie coincidence that Sarah Palin is being sprung on the public at the same time as the bimbo/frat-boy titty comedy "House Bunny," which features a poster of a beautiful young lady with Playmate-style bunny ears, big, stupid eyes and her mouth hanging open like someone just punched her."
  • Levi Johnston is a "hapless, horny, condomless youth"
  • She wears a "virtual Burqa"
  • "I feel as horrified as a ghetto Jew watching the rise of National Socialism."
  • She's anti-life
  • "untethered from her own needs and those of her own family"
  • "If not, what the hell? John McCain should go the whole Hugh Hefner route and have eight V.P.s that all look exactly like Sarah Palin."
More on Salon.

Previously on Salon, Sarah the dominatrix.

Perez Hilton strikes again

When will Hilton, the virulently sexist celebrity blogger, stop getting media credibility and jobs? (Hat tip, Michelle Malkin.)


Here's a new one. Dem leader: Palin isn't qualified because she never had an abortion

Clearly, a disqualifier not applied to men.

We can all at least stipulate that it's good she hasn't had an abortion.... right?

Matt Damon: "Like a really bad Disney movie"

A Palin presidency? A really terrifying possibility. A really scary thing. A disaster. Totally absurd.


Because Obama is so much more experienced - right?

The NY Daily News' burning questions for Sarah Palin

11. You've managed motherhood while serving as governor. Does serving as vice president or President pose additional challenges?
This is not a burning question that would ever be asked of male candidates. Period. If asked it, she should say: Not relevant. Not asked of the other candidates. Move on.

I sense a shift...

...in the prevailing attacks against Sarah Palin....
The focus seems to be shifting from attacking Palin as a mother to painting her as a mere sex object...

Sexist slide show

This northwoods blogger has perfectly captured the media/liberal intelligentsia response to the Sarah Palin candidacy - in a slideshow. Watch it, and you will see what I mean.

Slate: Dreaming about Sarah

..."a scolding, ominous figure"...
...serving creme fraiche at a fashion show...
...killing her with a string bean
...sexual fantasies

Oh, what's coming out of the liberal intelligentsia's collective subconsciousness.... and spilling out onto pages all over the country.

Donny Deutsch: Men want to "mate with her"

Good for Ms. Magazine for pointing this sexism out.

Saudia Arabia media and Gloria Steinem

Nothing in common? Not when it comes to Sarah Palin.

Peggy Drexler: "Don't underestimate the babe factor"

So, if we believe many liberal female columnists, Gov. Sarah Palin is utterly unqualified, should stay at home because she has a lot of kids, and is a babe. That's the prevailing narrative anyway. Talk about trafficking in tired gender stereotypes. They're the ones with the steamed windows.
Face it:

Palin's hot, and McCain's not. And all of a sudden, there are steamed up windows at the RNC. (Drexler/Huffington Post)

Biden: Palin would be a "backward step for women"

If I didn't support Hillary Clinton, and she was elected president, I would still acknowledge her election was a step forward for women.

Apparently, Biden thinks electing the first female vice president would be a step backward.

Maureen Dowd: Palin's "vapid cheerleading"

And, no, this isn't from her last column about go-go boots. This is from her new column:
In the end, none of it may matter, since Palin has rocketed in the polls, drawing women and men with her vapid — if vivacious and visceral — scripted cheerleading.

"Eugenic abortion"

It doesn't have anything to do with sexism, but I found this article about Trig Palin interesting. The Charles DeGaulle anecdotes about his daughter with Down Syndrome were particularly touching.

Note: Did anyone argue DeGaulle should have stayed home because he had a disabled child?

Salon.com's Gary Kamiya: "The dominatrix...a whip-wielding mistress...a pinup of war...a babe...doable...babaliciousness...S/M....yearns to drill her"

The dominatrix: Sarah Palin is trying to seduce independent voters. But she comes across like a whip-wielding mistress who wants to discipline a naughty America.
Wow. I don't even know what to say about such blatant sexism coming from the mouths of some on the American left. To describe the second female candidate for vice president through such a perverted sexual lens says a lot more about the author than about the candidate. It feels a bit like a rhetorical rape, doesn't it? (If you think that's too strong, keep reading)

Disgusting. Absolutely, thoroughly, completely disgusting. Maybe McCain/Palin should stop going after lipstick on pig metaphors and start taking on some of this stuff. Will Obama/Biden repudiate these attacks? Isn't Salon supposed to be a relatively mainstream liberal mag?

Meanwhile, mainstream media pundits like Howard Kurtz opine about Salon's article and can't bring themselves to really express an opinion and just outright declare it's sexist. What would it take then? Imagine such virulent sexism repackaged as virulent racism against Obama. No one in the media would hesitate to just call it what it is in that case: Racism.

It's not the first time the media has compared Palin to a dominatrix.

The author, Kamiya, also writes:
  • Palin is described as a "pinup queen" of war
  • The author comments:

    And large numbers of Americans think she's hot.

    This latter point cannot be underestimated. Iraq may be a quagmire, a new cold war may be looming, the economy may be tanking and the world may be heading toward environmental doom, but the presidential race may be decided by the perceived doability of the governor of Alaska.

  • Palin's "perceive babaliciousness"

  • "Because Palin's a woman, and even more, a babe, suddenly she and her party have been magically transformed into fresh-faced reformers."

  • The GOP is working the id and the gonads.

  • "Right now, Palin has Democrats quaking in their boots -- and with good reason. But all hope isn't lost. For even if this election turns out to be a referendum on the national libido, Palin may scare off more voters than she attracts.

  • Because to anyone who isn't a true believer, Palin comes across not as a fantasy pinup, but as a dominatrix. And the S/M demographic isn't going to put the Republicans over the top in the swing states."

  • "For the die-hard Republicans who lusted over Palin at the convention, her whip-wielding persona was a turn-on. You could practically feel the crowd getting a collective woody as Palin bent Obama and the Democrats over, shoved a leather gag in their mouths and flogged them as un-American wimps, appeasers and losers. "Drill, baby, drill!" the chant ecstatically repeated by the GOP faithful during Rudy Giuliani's speech, acquired a distinctly Freudian subtext after Palin spoke. The more Palin drilled the Democrats, the more hotly the base yearned to drill her."

  • "Joe Voter may think Palin is a babe. And at first glance, she looks like the girl next door. But on closer inspection, that house next door turns out to be the Mansion of Mistress Palin (rhymes with "pain")."

  • McCain's Palin Pinup Ploy was a masterstroke -- no pun intended. But in the end, I suspect most Americans will be driven by their pocketbooks, not their pocket rockets. That is, unless the voters of this great nation turn out to be a herd of masochistic moose, yearning to be field-dressed."

The silence of female journalists

Michelle Malkin on the work/kids "juggling acts" of top female journalists.

Paglia: Palin represents a "brand new style of muscular feminism"

I think she's onto something here.

Frontier feminism.

Was Obama referring to Palin? "Lipstick on a pig"

Critics say Barack Obama was talking about Sarah Palin. Was he? The audience certainly thought so, and they thought it was pretty funny too.

What’s the difference between a more hopeful kind of politics and old-fashioned attacks? Lipstick.

Barack Obama says the John McCain-Sarah Palin policies don’t represent change, they’re “just calling the same thing something different.”

“You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig,” Obama said during a town-hall style event here Tuesday night.

The comment was widely interpreted as a play on Republican vice presidential candidate Palin’s joke during the Republican National Convention that the only difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom was lipstick, though the campaign said Obama wasn’t referencing Palin’s comments.

I guess I'm willing at this point to give Obama the benefit of the doubt and assume that he was just using a well-worn turn of phrase and not calling Palin a pig. It's not the first time he's made a gaffe when the teleprompter was off.

BUT, if Obama didn't realize the comment would be interpreted as a slam at Palin, then he's pretty naive.

Then again...
This isn’t the first time in a 24-hour period that lipstick has become an issue. As he was introducing Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden, Missouri Rep. Russ Carnahan said Palin had “zero experience in national government, zero experience in foreign affairs. There’s no way you can dress up that record, even with a lot of lipstick.”
Plus: Why did he immediately bring up Palin's kids? What was the point of that?
"Look. she's new, she hasn't been on the scene, she's got five kids. And my hat goes off to anybody who's looking after five. I've got two, and they tire Michelle and me out," he said.
Someone should have asked a follow-up question: "Senator, what exactly is your point here? Why bring up the kids and being tired?" This comes pretty close to saying the kids are a detriment to her ability to lead because she must be REALLY tired with all of those kids. Didn't he say kids were off limits? Why, then, is he bringing up Palin's kids?