Thursday, September 4

:: Right Back Atcha

I watched Governor Palin's speech last night. She rocked. I cannot believe this woman is not on our side. She was strong, smart, confident, funny, tough and likeable. There probably is not a single policy position of hers that I agree with.  But I was rooting for her when she told all the smarmy, sneering jackwipes to go scratch. I was rooting for her when she made them look like the scared little boys they are. 

And I was rooting for her when she handed Obama his ass.

Why can't she be one of ours?  Why does she have to be so conservative? Why, I ask you, why, Doggamit!

There aren't any poll numbers yet that reflect the speech; I don't think we'll see those until Sunday or Monday. But there is data from Nielsen:
More than 37.2 million people tuned in for coverage of the third night of the 2008 Republican National Convention, which featured Sarah Palin’s much anticipated national debut.

Wednesday night’s RNC broadcasts attracted just a 1.1 million fewer viewers than Barack Obama’s record-breaking speech on day four of the Democratic convention.

Coverage of day three of the GOP convention drew a large female audience (19.5 million) — 5.2 million more women than tuned in for day two of the Democratic convention, when Hillary Clinton addressed the delegates, and 6.9 million more women than watched Joe Biden accept the Democrats’ vice presidential nomination last Wednesday night.
I think that's the first evidence that the Dem leadership screwed up royally by unleashing the viciousness they let run rampant during the primary.  Here's where the brain trust went wrong:
  1. They drove interest in her speech sky high. Surely a good many of the viewers were like me, curious to see how she would do. I'd have been less curious if the Dems hadn't made such a spectacle of her.

  2. They set the bar for success ridiculously low. If the Dems had prepped the media and the public that Palin was a vicious attack dog and a formidable speaker, the response to her speech might have been "huh, she wasn't that big a deal." Instead the headlines were "Palin the Rising Star."

  3. They set themselves up to be seen as the sneering elitists they are.  They actually built with their own actions the paradigm of Ivy League Snob vs. Real America days before the Republicans went for it at their convention.  

  4. They revived the problem of Obama's lack of experience. They bought right into an Obama-Palin deathmatch, with McCain hovering above the fray.
Has the Dem leadership learned a lesson yet?  Are they going to get their shit together?  I don't think so.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid - a guy who is supposed to be on our side - had his press guy make the following statement in response to last night's speech:
"Shrill and sarcastic political attacks may fire up the Republican base, but they don't change the fact that a McCain-Palin administration would mean four more years of failed Bush-Cheney policies."
Shrill.  Everybody gets the implications of that word.  So I guess this was Reid's way of signaling that Dems should be comfortable using low blows - because hey, she *deserves* it, right?  And sure enough, right in the first handful of comments, we see Our People having a good ol' hatefest:
- I guess the lady at the check out counter in Wal Mart should be groomed to run for Secretary of State…….. this is becoming pitiful and beyond a joke

- So how is this going to fix the domestic and international problems we face? She brings to the table NOTHING. Quite pathetic.

- I don't think Senator Reid should dignify this parasite by responding to her laughable attacks.
Over at the Democratic Strategist, some people are doing their bit to keep the Democrats in the gutter:
But the bigger question is whether Sarah Palin herself, in her acceptance speech tonight, does some tastefully delivered whining of her own. To put it another way, does she cast herself as Everywoman--a highly sympathetic "hockey mom" who's being beat up on by elitist Democrats and media figures--or as Superwoman--a highly acccomplished executive whose slim resume disguises a deep knowledge of public affairs and a demonstrated commitment to "reform?"
That's right, she's just whining. Cause that's what women do, whine whine whine.  They don't have serious concerns, real concerns, like men do.  

[Seriously, how does "whining" fit into the "Everywoman / Superwoman" dichotomy?  Being a hockey mom is whining? Or being an executive is whining? Or perhaps its RWF (Running While Female) that constitutes whining?]

Of course there have been plenty of completely inappropiate charges hurled around the media - that Palin can't be a good mother and run for high office, that she should be too scandalized by having a pregnant daughter to even think of joining the ticket, and that she's a bad person because of her own reproductive choices. Not to mention the characterization of an elected Governor as a "joke" and a "stewardess" (Bill Maher). And of course, according to Senator Reid, she's "shrill."

These are serious matters to women who want to succeed in politics and other spheres. Responding to them isn't "whining," regardless of whether the target is a Republican or a Democrat. It is important to address the use of stereotypes, constrictive gender roles and shaming as political tools against a female candidate. The deployment of stereotypes - even against an "enemy" - reinforces their validity and normalizes their use.  Words like "shrill" or "bimbo" or "beauty queen" don't just criticize an opponent for being harshly negative, unintelligent or lacking in substance.  They invoke the opponent's gender, making gender a part of the problem.   If someone wants to say that Governor Palin is inexperienced or too negative, so be it.  But calling her a "bimbo" or "shrill" is like saying the problem is that she's an inexperienced woman, or a harshly negative woman.  

Gender equality is supposed to be a core Democratic value. But you won't see this kind of essay at the Democratic Strategist.   It is a terrible thing to hear slimemasters like Giuliani scoring points on this issue.  Because he wouldn't have the opportunity to score those points if the Democrats would have just stood up for women in the first place.  Reid and Dean and the Obamabots created the opportunity that Giuliani et al are now exploiting.

Who will save the Democrats from themselves?  I don't have the slightest idea.


    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    I retrospect, you look downright retarded.....oh wait, I said that before this post was made. Never mind moron.