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Lauredhel is an Australian woman and mother with a disability. She blogs about disability and accessibility, social and reproductive justice, gender, freedom from violence, the uses and misuses of language, medical science, otters, gardening, and cooking.

This author has written 1618 posts for Hoyden About Town. Read more about Lauredhel »

134 responses to “Wallowing in victimhood in our purple ghetto”

  1. Beppie

    I just love how, when (some) American feminists (and other women) support Hillary Clinton, they’re all voting with their vaginas, but when they don’t support Sarah Palin they’re bitter and twisted women because they don’t consider gender to be the most important qualification for political office.

    Of course, it might help them if they actually went and checked out what Actual Feminists are saying. As for Maggie Thatcher– at least she was pro-choice.

    And Condi Rice must be feeling mightily (and rightfully) pissed off– I’d never support her politics, but any fool can see that she’s way more qualified than Palin.

  2. tigtog

    And Condi Rice must be feeling mightily (and rightfully) pissed off– I’d never support her politics, but any fool can see that she’s way more qualified than Palin.

    Maybe Rice was offered it first and refused. McNasty is definitely not to every Republican’s taste, after all.

  3. Beppie

    Good point. It’d be interesting to know if Palin was McCain’s first choice or not.

  4. Amanda

    Also, a “piglet” is a baby pig, not a female pig.

    I might be a female chauvinist sow, but never a piglet. A little respect, please.

    Amandas last blog post..Otii

  5. Grendel

    Beppie, from all accounts Palin was not the first choice – the speculation is that Lieberman was the first choice.

    Funny, whenever I see the name Palin in the headlines I think of some jolly ex-python travelling the wild places of the world.

    Perhaps that is why the attitudes of this Palin come as such a shock to me.

    Grendels last blog post..Fatherhood

  6. Amanda

    Lieberman and Tom Ridge apparently were McCain’s own choices (both pro-choice). James Dobson et al made it clear though “the base” (which is ‘al qaeda’ in Arabic *cough*) would hit the roof and make a scene at the convention. So he did what all good mavericks would do, and did exactly what they wanted. There are various news articles about how it went down if you google news search those names.

  7. Amanda

    And there are various experienced Republican women who could have been chosen if he just wanted a woman — Olympia Snowe and Kay Bailey Hutchinson are the names usually mentioned. But they wouldn’t have satisfied the Dobson crowd.

  8. orlando

    If you can credit the GOP being that shrewd, it is Palin’s inexperience (at national level, she actually seems to be pretty experienced at running practical stuff) they want. Now every time a Democrat criticises her for it they get to slap Obama on the same score.

    Has the Onion ever done a piece along the lines of “Feminism Discovered to be Responsible for Global Warming, Pornography and the Bad Road Conditions on the M25″?

  9. Beppie

    Lieberman and Tom Ridge apparently were McCain’s own choices

    Yes, I’d heard as much as well– but from the sound of it, he never actually got around to asking them to be on the ticket. I wondered if perhaps there were people ahead of Palin who actually turned it down?

  10. Grendel

    I suspect there were, but I also think that is information that the GOP would do anything to keep under wraps. Kind of takes the gloss off the final choice.

  11. orlando

    Oh wow. Wow wow wow. I just went and looked at the column and now I wish I hadn’t. There’s something that’s so frustrating about the way a newspaper can abuse the absense of a right of reply. They (and Miranda Devine too, from the sound of it, nothing new there) just made it all up and there’s nothing that can be done to make sure the average reader knows it’s a lie.

  12. Helen

    Wow. So a man who’s famous all over the world for beating up a little Dachsund is the man behind the choice of the potential POTUS-replacement? Dear me.

  13. Bene

    This makes so little sense to me that I have no comment about it.

  14. Bene

    It’s pretty depressing that the level of discourse is down to this. It sounds like the whinging I’ve heard from the conservative punditry. Except Australian.

  15. Helen

    Yet she is, as Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan says, a feminist “not in the Yale Gender Studies sense but the How Do I Reload This Thang way.”

    So the second type of “feminist” still has to ask a dude how to reload the gun? And why are they presenting SP as someone who wouldn’t know that when the whole point of the gun-totin’ mama image is that she does? Just who is running SP down here?

  16. Denizen of the Purple Ghetto

    While many sophisticated, big-city commentators sneered…

    Dog whistle lifted directly from US movement conservatives.

    I suppose it’s not much worse than whole articles lifted directly from the IPA, as at Fairfax, but still, barf.

  17. fuckpoliteness

    I have nothing here but expletives…when you discuss writers like this, the reaction is often “Oh, yeah, but s/he’s an idiot, everyone knows that”…but like Orlando at 13, the idea that these people get away with outright lies, that there will be people who will read at that surface level and go “Hmm, well, if the feminists are going to carry on in that way…” – and then we can annihilate their arguments bullet point by bullet point, but that doesn’t get published in the SMH/The Australian…

    fuckpolitenesss last blog post..More Devine Bullshit

  18. kerry miller

    A more sophisticated analysis of the Sarah Palin phenomenen is required.

    I disagree profoundly with many of her views. I’m an atheist and I support abortion for a start.

    However a large number of attacks on her have in fact been arrogant and elitist. They’ve been not so much on her views but on her constituency for being well…idiotic, simple minded, ignorant, uneducated, lacking in urbanity. That *is* sheer elitism. Anyone who is genuinely left wing doesn’t mock the people in that way.

    Reactionary views need to be struggled against but never from a position of downright contempt for ordinary people. This distinction is vitally important. No-one listens to prigs who talk down to them.

    And one thing which has not been noted around the traps is that her selection does in fact represent a social shift among conservatives. There would never have been this degree of enthusiasm for a woman like Palin a decade or so ago. It’s superficial to dismiss this change as hypocrisy. The change is real and it indicates that “middle America” has been pushed in a more progressive direction. Ideas which were unacceptable in the past have now become mainstream. That’s progress. The conservative swooning over Sarah will not turn the clock back. Celebration rather than panic is in order. Unfortunately many of those who see themselves as “Left” are so locked up in their ivory tower, that they can’t see it. All they can do is to deride “the simple people” for not having reached their own great heights of understanding.

    McCain was able to pull his trick precicely because of a real change in conservative attitudes toward women, unwed teenage girls, the role of mothers in the public arena and so on.

    I’ve written something about it elsewhere:
    Sarah Palin socks it to the prigs

    kerry millers last blog post..Palin socks it to the prigs

  19. fuckpoliteness

    Well I read your link Kerry and I’m afraid that “Woohoo, she’s gutsy and guntoting and who gives a crap that she’ll deny everyone their right to make choices in their lives” doesn’t really cut the mustard for that. The whole post focussed on the personal image she presents – she is a woman, a mother, she shoots and eats wild animals, she is sneeringly contemptuous of left wing ideas and commentary using the old Right Hook of ‘they think that because they’re ELITISTS’ (yeah, they’re SO elite with their calls for universal health care, workers rights, same sex partner rights, choice over when/how to procreate – whereas us, we’re salt of the earth with our ‘Fuck off and starve if you don’t got work’ and ‘Have sex, have a baby. And don’t expect me to help support it freeloader’, and ‘Excuse ME?? You want to be gay AND look after your partner financially as if your fully human??’ attitudes.
    Those excerpts you linked to are from *Larvatus Prodeo* and the substance of the comments was the danger to the future of a nation, and indeed to the world in having a deeply anti progressive Pres/Vice Pres team – did you know she in all seriousness asked how she could go about banning certain books? Because of concerns over the language? That she’s anti sex ed in schools?
    How can you in all seriousness ask us to celebrate her persona and ignore her politics and the way she will lead if given the chance?

  20. fuckpoliteness

    And is it not a little rich to berate the left and feminists for taking swipes at her on personal issues when you are arguing we support her on solely that basis?

  21. Denizen of the Purple Ghetto

    However a large number of attacks on her have in fact been arrogant and elitist. They’ve been not so much on her views but on her constituency for being well…idiotic, simple minded, ignorant, uneducated, lacking in urbanity. That *is* sheer elitism. Anyone who is genuinely left wing doesn’t mock the people in that way.

    Kerry, you don’t get the point. It was the Kos readership doing that. The feminist blogs were mainly variations on, “we disagree passionately with everything she stands for re. policy, but we refuse to attack her on the basis of her family baggage, because that would be to adopt the talking points of the social conservatives.” And so on. The idea of the op-ed quoted that it is feminists who are attacking Palin. I’ve read many feminist comments this week defending her – but not her policies or her social/political orientation (and religious wingnuttery) – see the difference.

  22. kerry miller

    Lauredhel,

    Thanks for your response. I’ll try to clarify.

    (1) The feminists I’m referring to are at places like Lovartus Prodeo, Huffington Post etc and also in the mainstream press. An MSM example is Maureen Dowd, but you only have to google around to find plenty of it. Of course it’s possible to dispute whether various of these people *really* are feminists, but they will be taken as such.

    (2) My use of the word “elite” referred to people who are well-educated, “bookish” and intellectually oriented. It doesn’t refer to wealth and I’m not implying that such people are part of the capitalist class (which is tiny). I’m not even referring to the bulk of people who see themselves as “on the left” and “progressive” although I think that the tendency to look down on the less educated (and yes, often more narrow minded “masses” has become widespread). The reason I regard the outlook as “aberrant” (well that is your word), I’d say “reactionary”, is that attitudes like that militate against being able to struggle for a better world. If we want to change things then we need to recognise that we won’t do it by talking down to the people.

    I too am part of that “elite” objectively speaking since I’m well educated. I’m also a materialist (pro-science, atheist), I support the right to abortion, sex ed. in schools and all the rest of it. I can’t wait for the day when those sorts of views are the norm. But we won’t get there by deriding those who don’t agree with us.

    I want to win – not just to pontificate *at* people.

    (3)And yes, I think that people in America (and Australia) have become more progressive. I’m 58 years old, and I’ve seen it happening. In saying that, I’m not also saying that everything is fine.It’s not. I’m just talking about the trend. A small relevant example: when I was growing up, unmarried girls who became pregnant were (literally) hidden away (and worse).

    Palin’s backward views are her own. She’s entitled to them. If elected there’s no way she’ll be able to impose them. I don’t think abortion rights in the USA will be under threat and I don’t think we’ll find an increase in book banning. She’s certainly not running on any platform to that effect.

    The reason I’m not worried is that I can see the shift in thinking even among her constituency in the Conservative right. People pay lip service to all sorts of views, long after they’ve to all intents and purposes, lost them. That’s the way of things. Just as most Australians will nominate one religion or another on the census form despite never setting foot in a church.

    Don’t be misled by the wild-eyed, breast thumping religious loonies. They aint gonna make it anyhow.

  23. Beppie

    Le Sigh. It’s a Compelling Cocktail: Cleavage and Authority.

    So the first page of this article: Sarah Palin is HAWT, huh huh huh. And so was Margaret Thatcher. Huh huh huh.

    Second page: Feminists (all of whom are apparenently represented by NOW) don’t know how to deal with her. But Republicans look awkward when they talk about sexism. And half of them want to undress her anyway. It does, however, finish up with a nice little tribute to female politicians in Australia:

    Our Deputy Prime Minister [Julia Gillard], who poses no threat to the moose world, is nevertheless looking more and more like the backbone of the Government.

  24. kerry miller

    fuckpoliteness,

    I’m nor arguing that we should support Palin. What I was arguing against was attacks on her which effectively jeer at the ordinary people who support her.

    My other (related) point was that the Palin phenomenen is something which requires more analysis than I’ve seen from thos epurporting to be leftwing and progressive. I don’t really give a shit about Palin herself, she’s all part of the spin. What I was talking about is the interesting (and good) social change which lies behind the image of Palin that the architects of McCain’s campaign have decided to project. What “the masses” are actually going for is her gutsy, “women can walk through any door” attitude, they also like the idea that she’s tough. They love that just as much as they are attracted to her more reactionary views. What she’s really like as a person is irrelevant to the social phenomenen.

    As far as I’m concerned, to all intents and purposes, the distinction between the Dems and the GOP is largely a Tweedledum/ Tweedledee thing. There was poverty and suffering under Clinton, there is poverty and suffering under Bush and that is unlikely to change much if Obama wins.

    As far as gays and women are concerned, things will continue to improve. American society in general is becoming more, rather than less, tolerant. Obama’s nomination is a reflection of that (and Palin’s too,although in a somewhat different way, for that matter) No need to panic.

    The problem isn’t so much that the clock could be turned back, but that no-one anywhere is seriously demanding that we could do away with wage slavery and run things for ourselves.

    Politics these days is all about demanding more kindly governments, not about fundamental change.

    kerry millers last blog post..Palin socks it to the prigs

  25. tigtog

    The feminists I’m referring to are at places like Lovartus Prodeo,

    Kerry, you either haven’t done your homework, or you’re only here to get in a sly dig. I’m one of the dreaded feminists of Larvatus Prodeo, and I’ve posted quite a bit there this week about how Palin deserves to be addressed on her policy grounds and how the personal mudslinging is not only offensively sexist but also counter-productive.

    My own post at LP about Palin was a crosspost of my original post here at Hoyden. Kim at LP posted along very similar lines: let’s not get sucked into pure culture wars and personality assassination stuff – stick to the issues. Why didn’t you link to one of the actual posts at LP, instead of only linking to comments from readers, most of whose political affiliations are unknown?

    As FP said, I’m curious as to why your own post is merely a reiteration of the culture wars from the other side of the Looking Glass.

  26. tigtog

    They really can’t handle treating women as people, can they? “Madonna! Whore! Madonna! Whore! Drool!”

    It’s vile.

    Argh. There’s nothing wrong with her being an attractive woman, but like so many other columns about her, there’s not one bit of analysis about her policy positions.

    The National Organisation of Women has no time for her because she is the wrong sort of woman – an attitude that cannot but diminish that organisation.

    Wow, a feminist organisation has no time for a woman who does not support women’s rights? Yeah, that certainly shows a lack of integrity, not. NOW certainly hasn’t been attacking Palin’s personal choices, only her policy positions.

  27. Denizen of the Purple Ghetto

    Jamelle at Feministe sums up the position of most feminists I’ve read:

    I don’t understand why this is so hard to understand: the vast majority of women who voted for Senator Clinton did so both because of what she represents and what she stands for. Yes, many Clinton voters were excited to see a woman in the Oval Office, but they were also excited to see a feminist and pro-woman president in the Oval Office. Sarah Palin is on the wrong side of a whole host of issues; not only is she anti-choice, but she’s also opposed to meaningful health care reform, universal pre-K, and comprehensive sex education. Or in other words, Sarah Palin is clearly a terrible choice for Clinton supporters and women in general. And – surprise! – most Democratic women (who voted for Clinton) understand this fact, and are reacting accordingly (by not giving Palin their political support). The fact that Gerson really believes that women will flock to McCain because he chose a woman as his running-mate, only shows how little regard he has for women as rational, thinking adults.

    See also Katha Pollitt’s latest in the Nation.

  28. fuckpoliteness

    OH THANK GOD!!!
    I just did my nut in a post on that exact same article (the “Cleavage and Authority” article by Anabel Crab). I was worried I was just being bad moody and uncharitable…cos why *else* would I be so cranky so often? CLEARLY it’s all in *my* head…*surely* the whole world is right and I’m wrong?

    But WOW that article was infuriating!I had no idea who’d written it at first and by the end of the first page my ears were almost BLEEDING over the crap about Thatcher…and the ‘p*ssy’ quote!!!??? I could not believe it was Anabel Crab! And WHAT was the freaking ‘point’ – her fans will hide behind ‘It’s commentary’…yeah…with little to no comment, and basically reinforcing misogyny and feminist bashing.

    SOOOOoooooo irresponsible!

    fuckpolitenesss last blog post..*Feminist smackdown continues*

  29. tigtog

    Many of you have probably already seen this around the traps, but Jon Stewart nailed the Republican1 hypocrisy regarding sexism with this video montage:


    Footnote: Republican, Republican, Republican: I’ll say it over and over again when discussing McCain/Palin even if their campaign hardly says the word any more – now why would they be avoiding that exactly?

  30. fuckpoliteness

    Yeah, Tigtog, this is what’s frustrating that ppl seem perplexed, like we’re trying to say she’s *not* attractive, or women shouldn’t *be* or *be seen to be* attractive. But wow. Acknowledging a political candidate is also atractive (hello Obama!) is different to “AAARRRUUUUUUUUUUUGGGAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!HubbahubbaSCHWIIING…auudiauudiauudi!! Bowm bom bom…chickachicka!” and not actually treating her politics or words with any seriousness.
    I get Crab was *describing* vile male reactions…but she didn’t go anywhere near asserting it as outrageously disrespectful. Nope – far better to build a straw feminist and set her alight for her sins.

  31. fuckpoliteness

    Just told Mini FP why I was cranky and that I worried it was all in my head. Mini FP says “WHAT??? You have a RIGHT to defend someone from being SEXISED ALL THE TIME!!”

  32. Rider of the Purple Sage

    Here’s what some conservative commentators had to say, when they thought they were off the air.

    Murphy: You know, because I come out of the blue swing state government work. Engler, Whitman, Thompson, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush. And these guys, this is all how you want to (inaudible) this race. You know, just run it up. And it’s not gonna work.
    Noonan: It’s over.
    Murphy: Still, McCain can give a version of the Lieberman speech to do himself some good.
    Noonan: I saw Kay this morning
    Todd: They’re all bummed out. I mean, is she really the most qualified woman they could have turned to?
    Murphy: She’s never been comfortable.
    Noonan: The most qualified? No. I think they went for this, excuse me, political bullshit about narratives and (inaudible) the picture.
    Murphy: Yeah, but what’s the narrative?
    Noonan: Every time the Republicans do that because that’s not where they live and it’s not what they’re good at and they blow it.
    Murphy: You know what’s really the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism
    Todd: And as you called it gimmicky.
    Murphy: … and this is cynicism.

    Bet they won’t be getting many invitations to vice-presidential do’s, if she gets in.

  33. Beppie

    This may be the worst I’ve seen yet:
    Palin is new “Feminist Ideal” (according to Donnie Douche Deutsch).

    Because you see, Sarah Palin is a product that men want to fuck (and she’s good with kids too), because she wears a skirt, unlike Hillary Clinton, who just wasn’t a complete cereal (yes, he says this) because she wore an unfuckable pantsuit.

    Watching this made me feel more than a little ill.

  34. Rider of the Purple Sage

    OK, I’m off to Saturday night BBQ – ultrarightwing brother in law will be in attendance – oh well!

  35. kerry miller

    Lauredhel,

    You are correct that only a small group of feminists have engaged in attacks on Palin along the lines that she’s a “bad mother” etc. And I too noticed that Kim at LP and various feminists at the Huffington Post took a principled stand against this stuff.

    My main point was never to do with the attacks on her for putting career above children (etc etc). What appalled me was the generalised scoffing at “ordinary people” (men and women).

    I think it’s you who is missing “the essential layer of the analysis here”. It may be that the McCain campaign has “co-opted some aspects of feminist language” but the fact that in hunting for a strategy, they chose one like that is a victory for women, not a defeat. It just shows how much mainstream support there now is for the idea that women can move into the public arena.

    You don’t really see it as some sort of conspiracy to sneak in a woman and then use her to unleash some sort of anti-woman progrom do you?

    Why would they do that? How on earth is it in the interests of those who rule to go after women in particular? Why would that make any sense? And tell me whether you seriously think that the women (and men) of America wouldn’t smite down any government which tried to drive them back into their homes, destroy their control over their reproductive lives, and so on? For that reason alone they won’t do it. They’ll woo conservative voters by presenting Palin’s credentials as an anti-abortion Christian, that’s all.

  36. fuckpoliteness

    Oh they won’t phrase it as ‘going after women in particular’, they never do. It’s ‘back to work’ programmes for single mums, it’s constant fighting to make abortions harder to obtain, it’s campaigns to remove sex education and replace it with abstinance education…

  37. kerry miller

    Fuckpoliteness, you write:

    Oh they won’t phrase it as ‘going after women in particular’, they never do. It’s ‘back to work’ programmes for single mums, it’s constant fighting to make abortions harder to obtain, it’s campaigns to remove sex education and replace it with abstinance education…
    You may be surprsied to know that despite all the funding of abstinence education, teenage use of contraception has increased in recent years. Between 1995 and 2002 the US teen pregnancy rate declined by 24%. Only 14% of the drop was due to increased abstinence. This is what we would expect since we know that abstinence education doesn’t work. It gets funded as a sop to the religious right. But the teenagers are increasingly smart enough to make use of contraception anyway,as the figures show.

    More abstinence education would mainly be an appalling waste of money. The social trend is for teenagers to use contraception regardless of what they are told.

    In those States which have enacted legislation that require teenagers to notify their parents before an abortion will be performed, the abortion rate has been largely unaffected. This suggests something about what happens in conservative families when it comes to the crunch.

    There is actually a higher abortion rate in the red states than the blue states. Presumably this is largely due to less contraceptive use and more abstinence education. Nevertheless, what we can see from looking at the actual statistics is that we don’t have a situation in which the young people in the more conservative parts of the USA are mindless dupes of silly stuff preached to them at school.

    Overall the abortion rate in the USA is at a 30% low. Nevertheless there are still 1.2 million per year (as compared with 4 million live births).

    This tells us what the people think (in practice) and the impossibility of turning back the clock.

    Now, on “back to work programs” for single mums. These can be bad or good, depending on the implementation. Jobs for women is something I support and in general outcomes for the children of single mothers who are able to work and earn money are better.

    This is an economic and social issue of greater complexity than you seem to believe.

    I don’t think that either the Republicans or the Democrats are likely to get it right. But I don’t think that having Sarah Palin in the mix would make the outcome any worse.

    kerry millers last blog post..Palin socks it to the prigs

  38. tigtog

    This thread at Shakesville has a nice line in online activism to suggest, and it’s one that works for us overseas (seeing as we can’t donate to election campaigns directly): why not donate to Planned Parenthood in the name of Sarah Palin? She’ll be notified of each donation by the PP website.

    [Donate to PP in honour of somebody]

    Why not let her know just how much she energises those who support women’s rights?

  39. tigtog

    P.S. If you are a Hoydenizen who has a personal objection to Planned Parenthood, consider donating to Greenpeace, or the Nature Conservancy, or the Southern Poverty Law Centre.

  40. Bene

    In those States which have enacted legislation that require teenagers to notify their parents before an abortion will be performed, the abortion rate has been largely unaffected. This suggests something about what happens in conservative families when it comes to the crunch.

    Kerry, I’d like to see a citation for that. Mostly because those states with parental notification laws often have very limited numbers of clinics; my state has parental notification laws in place (though there are loopholes) and the abortion rate went down 14% last year. Due to a governor’s BS about fifteen years ago, my state of six million people currently has something like five clinics in total.

    And we’re not even that conservative a state.

    The truth is, while the über-con families will possibly be supportive of their own children (and what this might say about Bristol Palin’s situation scares me, so I’m not going there) getting an abortion, or being gay, or voting Democrat, it’s still their own children.

  41. fuckpoliteness

    As a single mum who has been affected by the changes in the Australian law which required I work 15 hours per week (and no, the study I was doing at university did not count towards this) and researching the changes *I think I understand the complexity full well*

    Don’t set up false dichotomies there Kerry – thinking that *requiring* mothers to meet tick a box obligations could have a detrimental affect on their ability to make choices about what’s best for their family is NOT about NOT supporting work for women.

    *More abstinence education would mainly be an appalling waste of money* Sure. Doesn’t mean they won’t do it.

    Regarding kids not being the dupes of the silly stuff they hear at school, religious ideas and pressures from family and society hold enourmous sway over many lives – I think by reducing it to silliness they hear at school that you in fact are missing the complexity of issues of religion creeping into politics and having a say over the availability of contraceptives and abortions.

    I’m going to need to tag in an American here as I don’t live there – but I do know that if the Pres and the Vice Pres support abstinence only education and believe contraceptives are just lesser forms of abortion, and that same sex couples do not deserve equal rights that that *will* have an impact on the political landscape in America. Not to mention the continuation of foriegn aid policies where aid is linked to whether or not advice is provided about abortions etc.

  42. Bene

    Drive-by American…

    Yes, it does. The main fear is the fact that the President appoints nominees to the Supreme Court, and if the Senate is a majority Republican body, or can’t come up with any good reasons not to take the appointee, that’s a life position with singular authority.

    Also, the President has the veto pen, so if something regarding giving more access or rights were to come up through Congress, and wouldn’t be able to get the override majority (as these controversial subjects usually don’t), he/she could strike it down.

    Not to mention that the President and Vice President have a certain ability to push their pet causes into Congress…and it’s just really demoralizing in general.

  43. kerry miller

    Bene,

    A link for you here .

    You are perfectly correct that there would be many cases of teenage girls who don’t have access to an abortion clinic and also that conservative families who are prepared to support their own daughter may well keep this type of thing “in the family” and be unprepared to help the child of another family.

    Social change takes time. I’m only pointing to the trends and the cracks in the edifice. And the trend shows that people like Palin will continue to talk the talk while having no intention of seriously trying to turn the clock back.

    People relinquish cherished views only slowly, often pretending for some time both to themselves and to others that they haven’t. It’s not really so long since everybody was a conservative by today’s standards.

    The thing which drives people to change their ideas is when such ideas no longer work. And there is a clear clash between conservative ideology and modernity. The kids get it before the parents.

    Struggle led by more progressive people is also necessary. And that does not involve mocking and jeering which is the main thing that I have objected to in the response to the conservative enthusiasm for Palin.

    Left wing struggle involves being prepared to unite with all sorts of different trends in order to push things in a better direction. It’s about winning. And this is done by isolating the most reactionary forces from the less reactionary one.

    We say “great” when Conservatives finally acknowledge that it’s fine for women to play a leading role in the public arena. We don’t say “not good, enough you morons”. (The latter approach is exactly what the worst teachers do.)

    As far as a McCain/Palin presidential team being able to appoint judges who would go ahead and do things like outlaw abortion, it is as you say technically possible. (Although note, there is a Democrat majority in Congress and they do have the numbers to get the override majority. and in this case, unlike with Iraq war funding, they would).

    The bigger reason for why it won’t happen though is a non-technical one. They know that abortion is here to stay. It’s a norm of modern life. The loud voices of the religious right will be pandered to in various ways for some time, but real public policy will not be driven by them.

    The survival of religion in the USA is an anomaly of American capitalism. I can’t see it surviving, still less “taking power”. In fact I’d say that the main reason they make so much noise is that they feel very threatened my the relentless creep of more modern attitudes.

    The “left” panic at Palin’s nomination is a case of tilting at windmills.

  44. kerry miller

    fuckpoliteness writes:

    “As a single mum who has been affected by the changes in the Australian law which required I work 15 hours per week (and no, the study I was doing at university did not count towards this) and researching the changes *I think I understand the complexity full well*”

    Sure. My point was that it’s unlikely that either party is capable of establishing a welfare system which can do the job. This is partly because the whole welfare edifice is a vast bureaucracy which is completely insensitive to on the ground conditions. But more significantly it’s because it’s a product of capitalism and reflects capitalism’s internal contradictions.

    Fundamentally it’s always a matter of robbing Peter to pay Paul. If those we elect try to take money from the capitalist class (as the “left” always proposes) that causes job losses. Whatever “the other party” (here or in the USA) tells you, there is no magic solution.

    As far as the issues of “religion creeping into politics” is concerned. The reality is that many people still cling to religion. They don’t have the right to impose their religious ideas on the rest of us and we don’t have the right to deny them the right to practice their religion.

    What the debate is really about is the social attitudes which some people derive from their religious beliefs. That’s a matter of struggle and all the social indicators tell me that we will win on that one.

    Better for us not to lapse into the sort of proselytizing of which we accuse the other side however. You don’t need to believe in god(s)in order to be religious.

    (and a small correction: Palin herself is not opposed to contraception. She just prefers that teenagers be taught abstinence. Silly, but that’s her position. I repeat my point however, that the kids are smart enough to work that out)

    kerry millers last blog post..Palin socks it to the prigs

  45. kerry miller

    Lauredhel,

    I’ll respond to your summing up of what I’ve said in a little while. (Have another committment right now).

    However as quick question: Why do you characterise yourself as a “second class citizen”? (Presumably relative to, say the average Alaskan)? I’m very curious about that.

    While I’m at it, let me say that I don’t know any of you guys and I haven’t come here to make trouble. I’m interested in geunine discussion.

    My (possibly unfounded) assumption is that the people here are younger than me. I’m 58, mother of four, live in Melbourne and my political origins were as a “1968-er” at Monash University. I don’t know if such an introduction is useful. But let me repeat, I’m genuinely interested in fleshing out (and challenging) the ways in which you guys see the world.

  46. Bene

    Except for the fact that the Republicans are pretty damn dangerous. I laugh at anyone who tries to prove otherwise. They are anything but ineffectual at getting things done, and their

    Abortion is tenuous here in the US, regardless of how many are being performed. The sheer drop in clinics and providers here over the last decade or so (look into Susan Wicklund’s book This Common Secret for both her memoir and some hard facts) is evidence of what a Republican-led federal government has supported, if indirectly.

    If anything, the perception that things are tenuous adds to the reality, and the religious right has far more of a terrifying hold here in the US than is perceptible outside of it.

  47. Bene

    Crap, I fail; that should read ‘and their actions over the last eight years should make that brutally obvious.’ Between the Patriot Act and the war and water-boarding…they can get done whatever the hell they want, if things swing their way in terms of public sentiment and fear. And abortion is something that is intimately connected to that, as is gay rights.

  48. Writer of the Purple Prose

    My (possibly unfounded) assumption is that the people here are younger than me. I’m 58, mother of four, live in Melbourne and my political origins were as a “1968-er” at Monash University. I don’t know if such an introduction is useful.

    I certainly found following the link to your group blog useful. The one which hangs off the “Decent” Last Superpower.net, “established by leftwingers who support the war in Iraq”. The climate change denialist blog? The one with an glowing article about the Astroturf Australian Environment Foundation, complete with an approving comment by Jennifer Marohasy and glowing references to prominant denialists like William Kininmonth and other well-known right wing faces? The AEF’s status and history as a front group for the IPA are well known. I mean, WTF? You scary big revolutionary marxists are in bed with… the IPA? No wonder your writing comes off as a little contradictory most of the time.

    More gems from your blog: The kind of hatred of Teh “Greenies” and car-worship that I’ve found characteristic of the writings of the Labor Right, who also do that “Lefties sneer at the ordinary people!” schtick. On that subject, under the category “fun” we have two items, one an earnest article about oil – your idea of “fun” is rather different from ours – and this charming link post from you, (YouTube here.) See the “hicks in the MidWest” joke about 1.07 in? The “hick” has one tooth blacked out – hilarious! But presumably you thought this was funny enough to post about. So, who exactly is treating “ordinary people” with disrespect again?

    Sadly, you take uber-troll and serial discussion spoiler J.G. seriously, and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this response to one of his trademark misogynistic comments:

    I’m quite happy to sock it to ‘em. But…. even when enraged we should avoid casting aspersions and concentrate on exposing the ideas of those we oppose…
    …Nevertheless, we need to stick to our guns and avoid too much slagging off if we want to win in the end.

    (The comment by Huggybunny at LP which you describe as “just frothing” appears to be accurately calling you out as the “Aussie Neocon rump”. Given the stances taken by the writers in your group blog and yourself I’d say that was no more than accurate.)

    Good golly, Lauredhel! These people are going to expose your ideas (she says that like it’s a bad thing?) and win in the end! LOL. Overblown sense of importance alert! Oh do sock it to us Keza!

    I hope all these links have bumped up Strange Times’ stats, as they don’t appear to get many comments. The plan to Win over Teh Left doesn’t appear to be going so well.

  49. orlando

    “Laissez-faire progressivism” – love it!

    She’ll be right, mate, because the Patriot act really showed how inefectual the right is at pushing its agenda. Kerry, “second-class citizens” refers to women. Palin is buying herself a pass as an honorary man by giving support to the anti-women’s-rights status quo. It’s the oldest colonial narrative.

  50. kerry miller

    writer of the purple prose,

    I find your comments all rather ad hominem. A list of who I and others are apparently “in bed” with doesn’t actually amount to a refutation of our views. Sure it makes you suspicious, but it should also make you curious.

    It’s not a good idea to always talk to your own and close your mind to ‘the other’. In fact that can lead to exactly the sort of narrow mindedness which characterises the conservative Christian right. Sooner or later any group which refuses to engage with conflicting views, and indeed rejects them out of hand will slip into religiosity.

    Are you prepared to consider even for a moment that you may be wrong in your stance on some issues? Do you consider that it’s even remotely possible that you could be wrong?

    JG is “John Greenfield” who left a comment at ST, I take it. I didn’t take him especially seriously, indeed I chastised him mildly for the tone of his comment because I genuinely believe that just slagging off at people is not the way to discuss things.

    And what’s wrong with trying to win or expose the ideas of those you believe to be wrong. Don’t you want to do that?

    Huggybunny’s comment at LP was “just frothing” because it was another case of ad hominem name-calling and there was nothing of substance in it.

    And that link to a Youtube video that I posted. I enjoyed its political incorrectness. And the “hick with one tooth blacked out” was actually a parody of the superior attitude taken by many “lefty”/liberals who are currently barracking for Obama. I don’t think you got it.

    Yes, we don’t get much of a hearing. We’re a small group and very few people think similarly. Mostly be just cop a bit of abuse. But since when has level of popularity been a good gauge of truth?

  51. tigtog

    It’s not a good idea to always talk to your own and close your mind to ‘the other’.

    Lovely little motherhood statement there, Kerry. By all means state your views, but the melange of affiliations and stated positions you present aren’t especially coherent, let alone persuasive.

    At this stage of the thread I’d like to institute a 3 paragraph/300 words rule, please. No long essays in comments any more. Let’s keep it pithy.

  52. More Devine Bullshit « Fuck Politeness

    [...] here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here*, a great collection of links here, here, here (that one’s a Times article)…ok, you get the point right? Cos I’m going [...]

  53. Mindy

    All Sarah Palin being nominated for VP shows is if you are anti-abortion, animal hunting, pro-Intelligent design and happen to have a vagina, you might make it in the Republican party. It doesn’t show that ordinary women, single mothers, anyone who doesn’t subscribe to hardline Christianity, or any other Republican ideals can make it. Just because she’s got a vagina doesn’t mean her being VP is a good thing for all women.

    Kerry – have you looked at the threads here that talk about how much time she spends discussing her sons compared to her daughters? If, as seems to be the case, she doesn’t value her own daughters how can we expect her to value anyone else’s?

  54. kerry miller

    Would you have attacked groups like the very conservative “Women’s Christian Temperance Union” which played an active (and effective) role in achieving women’s suffrage in South Australia last century (SA was the first place in the world to give women the vote – 1896).

    In fact one reason they got the vote so early was that they were expected to vote more conservatively than men.

    Mary Lee, who is now regarded as the heroine of the struggle for women’s suffrage in SA is on the record as saying that she “is not a women’s rights woman”. She was far more progressive than the women of the WCTU nevertheless. Although they supported the vote for women they also called for things like 9pm curfews for women.

    They had vaginas alright, but perhaps their participation in politics was not really “a good thing for all women”?

  55. fuckpoliteness

    Who is ‘attacking’ anyone? This is getting decidedly boring.
    Over and over feminists have made clear that they do not support (right here and right now) Sarah Palin on the grounds that she is anti-choice, anti-same-sex-rights, anti-sex ed, pro war, curious about the steps involved in book banning…and a host of other issues. How is that an attack?
    Who can tell what one would have supported in another society, another century? Who cares?
    I imagine (consistently with our actions now in regards to Sarah Palin) we would have voiced our disagreement were they running for office (but they weren’t) and then got along with our own campaigns for equality.

  56. Pavlov's Cat

    ‘(SA was the first place in the world to give women the vote – 1896)’.

    Sorry, Kerry, but I believe that was NZ in 1894, and I speak as a proud South Australian so it pains me to say it. See also Wyoming (hard to believe, I know). It’s complicated because of the differing status of these places at the time as colonies/countries/states/what-have-you.

    Can I just say that I find your arguments weirdly similar to those being made by conservative men around the blogospheric traps. Like them, you appear to be using Sarah Palin to attack a group that, if your blog is anything to go by, you clearly hate despite the fact that it doesn’t demonstrably exist except in your projections. Sarah Palin seems no more than grist to your mill in your eagerness to attack the so-called ‘pseudo-left’, which is very like the eagerness of certain conservative men to attack the so-called ‘feminazis’. In both cases it has nothing to do with the truth of what’s actually been written and said about Palin by us of the twice-damned strawfeminazi pseudo-left; as has been pointed out on this thread several times already, what most of us object to is Palin’s policies, specifically those whose broad effect would be to keep women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, never mind how powerful and glam her own career has been.

  57. arthur

    Just passing through myself after kerry mentioned this discussion so I’ve read it in one hit.

    I think perhaps there is some mutual misunderstanding.

    As far as I can make out (from only this thread) people here are pissed off at the right-wing caricatures of how feminists like you are supposed to have reacted to Palin when in fact your position is nothing like the caricatures but simply opposed, as always, to her positions on abortion, abstinence etc.

    Kerry on the other hand is pissed off at Larvadeus Prodo et al (not you) for actually BEING the caricatured “feminists” accurately ridiculed by right-wing media.

    [Truncated at four paragraphs per moderator request upthread - I've given you a one-para leeway. Please read the thread you're replying to before commenting. I have the rest of your essay saved; email me if you'd like a copy and didn't keep one. ~L]

  58. fuckpoliteness

    It’s also coming off a little like: Ok. See, I stopped because I saw a chickfight. But never fear. Here I am, and I am a man. I will distill for you the logic and I will help you to see things rationally. Just calm down, have a cold milk and listen while I tell you how I see it.

    The post is about being pissed off about:
    * the media who are *obsessed* cos Palin’s a game-shooting straight woman – with *tits*!! (Being the underlying thread)
    * MSM shows tremendous sexism towards Palin: slavering over her, churning out personal rumour, not taking her seriously (emphasising her ‘hot mama’ ness over her actual policies)
    * MSM jumping on ‘the feminists are evil for not supporting Palin – I mean what do they WANT? She’s a Wo.Man!”
    * feminists ‘blamed’ for the rumours and personal meanness of the MSM
    * noone goes ‘Oh hey, there are STACKS of feminists staunchly defending a woman they intensely disagree with FROM THIS CRAP’
    * misrepresentation of feminism – she’s the wrong candidate from a feminist perspective: anti choice, anti equality of relationship status, anti sex-ed, etc etc etc

    Then the thread gets waylaid in being pissed of at Kerry’s misrepresentations of what feminists have been doing…and then, well it’s an argument where the goal posts keep being shifted on us, and I can’t be arsed tracing each individual new development. Suffice to say that everyone here is pretty clear on what they’re pissed off about. And hey, since we’re all individuals that might vary from person to person!
    But I’ll also add that Kerry you keep warning us of the evils of mocking a whole big class of people – only I don’t think anyone here’s really done that.
    Anyway…I don’t want my milk thanks, and I think we’re all ok here to see the issues at hand for ourselves.

  59. fuckpoliteness

    Oh CRAP – sorry guys – my early morning indignation (read this over a bowl of muesli) had me get carried away. :( I think I went over the 3 para/300 word rule!

    [I edited it down a bit to come closer to 300 words - tt]

  60. fuckpoliteness

    Thanks TT. I blame the lack of coffee for my oversight! :)

  61. Mindy

    Wow, FP *snaps* for ranting so coherently before your morning coffee. I aim to achieve that level of eloquence any time of day. I am in awe!

    Arthur/Kerry et al – what Lauredhel and FP said. Kthxbye.

  62. kerry miller

    Let me make it clear: I understand that you guys have expressed your distaste at people (some claiming to be feminists) who have launched personal attacks on Palin rather than restricting themselves to criticising her reactionary views on abortion, religion, sex education etc.

    My disagreement with you is purely over how to assess the historical significance of McCain’s choice. I don’t see it as a scary thing or a threat to what women have achieved, quite the contrary.

    I prefer the term “women’s liberation” to “feminism”. There seem to be a zillion different types of “feminists”, ranging from the post-modern to various “pro-life” groups (with which Palin identifies herself). “Women’s liberation” on the other hand, suggests something less abstract.

    But I’ll say no more in this message, given the 300 word limit.

    (oh! Except to add that I too was somewhat annoyed at Arthur’s apparent attempt to mediate between us)

  63. kerry miller

    Actually, I misrepresented my self above. In saying that my disagreement is purely over how to assess the significance of Palin’s nomination I should have added that this is all bound up with what I still perceive as a degree of contempt for ordinary (and yes, backward) people.

    Possibly “contempt” is too extreme, and a more accurate characterisation of the stance I’ve noted here would be that you misunderstand these people. I’m thinking about that.

  64. Mindy

    Kerry, how do you know we aren’t those very people you claim that we misunderstand? Or that they aren’t our parents, grandparents, etc etc?

    Again, I point out that Sarah Palin has only shown that a certain type of woman can succeed, not any woman. And personally, a certain type of woman that I don’t like the politics of, and who could wield significant power and turn back the clock on many of the things that “women’s liberation” has won for women over the years. Like access to safe abortions, birth control, and sex education.

  65. fuckpoliteness

    I’m wondering if you could furnish us with some evidence that we are on here misunderstanding ‘these people’ and further, who ‘these people’ are that we’re misunderstanding.
    Just because this post is about an article in the paper and all the comments up til your first were about the douchebaggery of this media article and the attidutes behind it (the blaming and shaming of feminists for not getting behind a female..any female).

  66. kerry miller

    Sarah Palin has legitimized (for people still in the grip of conservative ideas) the idea that a woman can engage in the public arena of male dominated politics That counts for a lot actually.

    It’s a real blow to the attitude that a women’s role is in the home, nurturing everybody around her. And that attitude has been a major plank in the ideology of the conservative Christian right.

    And the fun thing is that this conflicts with her declared views on abortion, sex ed etc.

    Once women in her demographic have jettisoned the idea that they belong in the kitchen, their other attitudes will begin to become unstuck. The fundamental reason for supporting abortion rights is that they increase our freedom. It’s not an abstract thing. People begin to get over their revulsion to abortion as a result of wanting more freedom, not so much from hearing reasoned arguments as to why it is not a sin.

    kerry millers last blog post..Palin socks it to the prigs

  67. kerry miller

    Kerry, how do you know we aren’t those very people you claim that we misunderstand? Or that they aren’t our parents, grandparents, etc etc?

    I don’t know who you all are. And I’m pretty sure that “those people” would at least in some cases be your parents, grandparents, great grandparents. That stands to reason. In fact it demonstrates my point that things have changed.

    I’m also sure that I do misunderstand you to some extent, since I don’t know you. And similarly you would misunderstand me.

    When I refer to “the people”, I’m obviously generalising. However I do believe that there is a gap between people like you guys(and me) who are bookish and educated, have no trouble supporting abortion and challenging all sorts of social norms (etc) and the people in Palin’s demographic. I could spell this out more, but within a 300 word limit, that’s difficult.

    kerry millers last blog post..Palin socks it to the prigs

  68. Mindy

    Palin calls herself a feminist. I don’t think the people you refer to who see a woman’s role as in the home will care at all, simply because she calls herself a feminist.

  69. Bene

    Sarah Palin has legitimized (for people still in the grip of conservative ideas) the idea that a woman can engage in the public arena of male dominated politics That counts for a lot actually.

    Except for all of the other conservative women in the public arena of male-dominated politics in the US. Christie Todd Whitman, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Elizabeth Dole, Olympia Snowe…

    Not in the Veep role, no, but probably with more power than Palin would have in that position anyway.

  70. tigtog

    My disagreement with you is purely over how to assess the historical significance of McCain’s choice. I don’t see it as a scary thing or a threat to what women have achieved, quite the contrary.

    I’d have exactly the same scary/threat reaction if McCain had chosen a male candidate with the same Religious Right credentials. Christian Dominionists are very weird people.

    The fact that he chose a woman as an exercise in blatant tokenism merely makes the choice insulting as well as alarming.

  71. kerry miller

    Except for all of the other conservative women in the public arena of male-dominated politics in the US. Christie Todd Whitman, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Elizabeth Dole, Olympia Snowe…”

    As far as I know, they all come from an entirely different demographic. Palin’s appeal is directly to the less educated and urbane.

  72. tigtog

    Back to the media coverage: the latest talking point for the GOP wingnuts is that NOW (aka “the feminists”) are not saying anything about the sexism facing Palin in the media coverage. They obviously haven’t checked out the Media Hall of Shame pages, or actually read the full columns clearly linked to on the front page:

    Over the next two months, NOW will be working to educate voters about the dangers of sending McCain and Palin to the White House. We will be posting information about their records and platform on our website. But we also will monitor the media and call them out for their sexism directed at Palin. A woman slurred, regardless of her party or stances, is a woman slurred.

    The media are not doing themselves any favors by questioning the priorities and abilities of moms who work outside the home. Juggling work and family responsibilities is a major issue for women, and many women don’t have the option of staying home with their children full-time. Many people made an issue of the fact that Palin only took a few days of leave after giving birth at age 44 — but I don’t hear concerns that mothers on welfare are forced to go back to work right away, or the majority of female workers who have no right to Family and Medical Leave.

    And anyway, would they be asking whether a man with five children should be running for high office?

  73. Bene

    And again we get the ‘yeehaw, the guns and redneck contingent will totally fall for her, hook line and sinker, yuk yuk yuk’ argument.

    I’ve been arguing in various arenas that the hoi polloi–my relatives, my neighbors–aren’t quite as thick as everyone makes them out to be, and that they don’t just buy someone because they’re rough and tumble, even if they buy it on image alone. I have little desire to repeat that again.

  74. kerry miller

    Thanks for the links, tig tog. The article from the National Organisation for Women: Have conservatives discovered sexism? was interesting to me. It took a far more principled stand than the out-of-control ravings of people, many of whom (like it or not), do claim to be feminists of one type or another.

    My thought when reading it was that this is all good.

    The fact that people who see themselves as deeply conservative (I’m talking of the ‘ordinary folk’ here, not the Republican leadership) have become all riled up at suggestions that a mother of five should be staying at home and caring for her family,rather than running for VP, is a rather nice development.

    To me it’s far more significant than the outcome of the election. It pushes these people to speak differently, and even though there is some hypocrisy involved, the ultimate impact will be that they will begin to think differently as well.

    kerry millers last blog post..Palin socks it to the prigs

  75. fuckpoliteness

    I’d still like to know what group we’re allegedly misunderstanding on here and which statements lead you to think we’re misunderstanding them.

    On your last comment Kerry, I’m sorry but I do not think that a few republicans strategically deploying indignation over sexism is more important than who ends up in the Whitehouse. Regarding whether or not Americans will stand for politicians (or anyone else) seizing control of reproduction rights, see:
    http://www.alternet.org/reproductivejustice/96362

  76. tigtog

    Agreed FP: the Republicans now fawning over Palin as a working mother are just engaging in yet another round of IOKIYAR – It’s OK If You Are Republican.

    The GOP has this huge double standard over all sorts of issues, and the corporate media lets them get away with it all the time. Woe betide anyone who INAR if they try and do the exact same thing that Repubs get a free pass for – they will be castigated as feckless ne’er-do-wells who are casting aside their family responsibilities.

    To think that “the less educated and urbane” can’t see through those double standards much of the time is insulting. If more of the “less educated and urbane” trusted the Repubs more the last few US elections wouldn’t have been so close – the GOP would have won in a landslide. They haven’t, and this one won’t be a landslide for them either.

  77. fuckpoliteness

    That *is* something else bugging me here – that the people we’re arguing against are in fact generally university educated wealthy priviledged mainstream media/Republican mouthpiece pundits. So why are we answering to some kind of ‘talking down’ accusatons?

  78. kerry miller

    I think you misunderstand how one section of ‘ordinary people’ think and the processes which lead them to become more progressive.

    Where do ideas come from? Why do people cling to particular views? What will nudge them in a better direction?

    As a Marxist, I’m of the view that what people believe is rooted in their material conditions. However I don’t think this is a mechanical process. There can be a long lag between changes in the real world and changes in the beliefs of people. What the conservative religious right believes is very much out-of-date. We need to consider why this is so.

    To us, it’s obvious that abortion is not a sin and that women should have control over their reproductive capacity (and that without it, they are prevented from leading full lives in the modern world).

    To them (so far) it is not. In less than 300 words I can’t attempt a full analysis, but briefly I’d say that it’s due to feeling threatened and insecure in the face of the way modernity encroaches on them. If you’re a working class person with few resources then what you tend to see is the underbelly of modernity. If your child gets involved in the drug culture or in a “promsicuous” lifestyle, the consequences can be very severe.

    We know that trying to enforce the old morality isn’t the answer. In fact it will tend to cause worse problems. But there are still many who can’t (yet) come at that. The first thing will be a continued adherence to their declaratory views on religion, abortion etc accompanied by changes in behaviour (there’s a necessary role for hypocrisy here. Very few people just come out and say “hey, I’ve changed my mind!”.

    My view is that Palin’s nomination will undercut at least some of this stuff. They can relate to her because she is “one of them”. and yet she is not (quite). Her nomination will give these people bigger ideas about what is possible for them. Sure, it’s never going to be possible for ordinary people to come to power through either major party. But breaking that monopoly depends upon ordinary people developing big ideas about what they are capable of.

    kerry millers last blog post..Palin socks it to the prigs

  79. Writer of the Purple Prose

    That *is* something else bugging me here – that the people we’re arguing against are in fact generally university educated wealthy priviledged mainstream media/Republican mouthpiece pundits. So why are we answering to some kind of ‘talking down’ accusatons?

    FP, that’s why I compared them to the Labor Right as exemplified by “The New City” website. They have a whole thing of standing for the Ordinary Worker against the (boo, hiss) “knowledge worker”, the tertiary educated elitist swine who talk down to them. The trouble is, all the dudes (they were all dudes last time I looked) who write the New City content are tertiary educated political staffers who have never worked on a building site in their lives, unless it was to work their way through… you guessed it… uni.
    ROFL!
    The stance is almost identical

  80. One-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater

    I should have added that this is all bound up with what I still perceive as a degree of contempt for ordinary (and yes, backward) people.

    You say they’re backward, Kerry?

  81. kerry miller

    “That *is* something else bugging me here – that the people we’re arguing against are in fact generally university educated wealthy priviledged mainstream media/Republican mouthpiece pundits. So why are we answering to some kind of ‘talking down’ accusatons?”

    Because the tone of many attacks on Palin has been that she’s not too bright and neither are her supporters. I’m not specifically pointing the finger at you guys here. But on LP the words “fundie airhead” (and similar) were littered through the thread that I read. Same at other places. And whether you like it or not, these people are seen as feminists.

    Regardless of what people at Hoyden’s are saying that has been the tenor of the campaign against Palin.

    While the real power in the Republican Party is clearly held by priveleged people the fight against them has taken the form of an attack on “the simple people”.

    I agree wholeheartedly with what Bene said about the “hoi polloi” not being thick. However this doesn’t just apply to those who will “see through” Palin. Those who vote for her won’t be thick either. Most of them will vote for her because of her image of standing up to “the good ole boys” and because they like the idea of a woman in power.

    That won’t make them “thick”, regardless of the fact that they haven’t come around to supporting abortion.

    kerry millers last blog post..Palin socks it to the prigs

  82. kerry miller

    Ok. I’ll consider starting a discussion at Strange Times and post a link here if I do.

    If I stick to the length rule am I still permitted to post here? Or am I now banned?

  83. tigtog

    Kerry, you your comments just qualify on the feminist, maybe. You’re not managing friendly, amusing or perspicacious from where I’m sitting.

    We don’t ban people simply for being tedious, but your arguments are increasingly not worth the powder to engage. It’s about time for an image link cascade.

  84. informally yours

    I admit to not knowing who the ‘real feminists’ are in this ‘discussion’, but I note that ex Uni of Adelaide Students’ Association Women’s Officer, Annabel Crabb is making herself the next object of hatred of ‘real’ feminists from Hoyden and LP with her recent piece ‘A compelling cocktail…’ (ie joining Devine, Albrechtson, Bone and Hirsi Ali etc as non-women, non-feminists or honourary men or whatever other denigration so-called feminists call *other* women/feminists who do not agree with them!) Who gets to decide who the “real” feminists are? The women’s movement doesn’t have a ruling body – and nor should it.

    As a mother, and a graduate Women’s Studies major, I applaud Palin’s candidacy despite disagreeing with her views on abortion. If I were an American voter, I would not automatically oppose the McCain/Palin ticket in favor of Obama/Biden. This is because I support the liberation of the Iraqi peoples’, and in Afghanistan. I regard this war as being against the enemies of all women, and all progressives. McCain got the surge right; whereas Obama would have stopped it. I don’t like to think of the consequences if the Democrats had used their numbers in the Congress to stop funding the war. Also Palin is supporting a soldier son (and they sorely need supporting). If I wasn’t a neither!, voter ** they could well win someone like me over.

    I think it was preferable when we had a Women’s Liberation Movement, and feminisms within it, combined with healthy debate as to the way forward. I’m aware that my views on the Iraq war are the opposite of yours. But I’ve been a women’s liberationist from way back and I resent the idea that in order to be accepted as such I should submit to the majority view as to the correct line on Palin, or on current U.S. policy in the Middle East. This topic should not be taboo. We should be able to discuss these things.

  85. One-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater

    The women’s movement doesn’t have a ruling body – and nor should it.

    You’ve just done exactly that appeal to authority yourself. They were calling Annabel Crabb at what she wrote at that particular time, while you say they had no right to because she was some kind of office-bearer and therefore, presumably, a more realler feminist or something.

  86. fuckpoliteness

    What is this if not debate? Calling people out in the midst of debate for shifting the goalposts, for misrepresentation, for being sexist does not mean debate is not happening.

  87. fuckpoliteness

    Is it possible to get a link to the LP thread/comments that show *hatred* of Crabb. Also, for that matter to where that *hatred* is manifested here. Anger at a poorly thought out article and the ways in which it can reinforce misogyny especially when it involves an assesment of NOW as ‘diminished’ for saying Palin is not the right candidate is not the same as hatred. Note that no one here has referred to Crabb’s appearance, sex life, cleavage, rumours, pregnancies, or anything else personal. It’s all about that one article. I can’t speak for LP of course, as I can’t *find* the comments/thread in question

  88. tigtog

    informally yours,

    joining Devine, Albrechtson, Bone and Hirsi Ali etc as non-women, non-feminists or honourary men or whatever other denigration so-called feminists call *other* women/feminists who do not agree with them!

    I challenge you to actually link to an example of any criticism of those writers here which does any such thing. Particular writings have been criticised as either embodying sexist or anti-feminist tropes, but we don’t go around revoking people’s feminist cards here. I also don’t check the CVs of people before I decide whether what they have written is sexist or not.

    Not everything done by a feminist is magically transformed into an unarguably feminist act: we all have our own internalised sexism and our own compromises with the sexist society around us to make. Much of what we do every day is non-feminist (in a neutral sense) and sometimes we all catch ourselves falling into socially sanctioned sexist grooves. When those with space in the corporate media do so, it matters more than when non-media folk do so.

    Other columns by Crabb have been linked to approvingly here. That particular column (<=oh look, a link) was linked to critically, not because the topic of Palin’s appeal to conservative men isn’t worth examining, but because Crabb fell into sexist tropes herself while describing that appeal. I can’t find any criticism of Crabb herself here either, you wouldn’t have a link, would you?

  89. tigtog

    I think it was preferable when we had a Women’s Liberation Movement, and feminisms within it, combined with healthy debate as to the way forward. I’m aware that my views on the Iraq war are the opposite of yours. But I’ve been a women’s liberationist from way back and I resent the idea that in order to be accepted as such I should submit to the majority view as to the correct line on Palin, or on current U.S. policy in the Middle East.

    Good thing that nobody’s actually said that one cannot be a feminist/women’s liberationist and believe those things here then.

  90. fuckpoliteness

    Oh wow – I missed the non-women dig the first time. I’ve never heard anyone on here call anyone a ‘non-woman’.

  91. fuckpoliteness

    More from the ‘the people of America would never stand for the State interfering in their reproductive rights’ files:
    http://www.alternet.org/reproductivejustice/97457
    Wow. Just wow.

  92. Bene

    Pretty much, yeah.

    It doesn’t matter what we Americans would stand for having done–protecting minority rights is currently a very difficult thing to accomplish.

  93. informally yours

    I would say that tig tog is dismissing, and making unnecessary judgements about either the ‘coherency’ of the views expressed at, or affiliations with Strange Times, especially as to their persuasiveness rather prematurely. (Just as readers here appear to have done when it comes to opposing or supporting any candidate for an election that has only just begun in a far away land) It just doesn’t make sense to take such a partisan position and from such a distance especially from a blog that is devoted as feminists? to improving the social conditions of all women and girls, regardless of how their parents vote – aren’t they?

    Over at Strange Times Arthur linked to the hysterical debates occurring at Kasama by those who are going nuts over Sarah Palin’s candidacy for VP – threatening to leave the country and the like if she’s elected, and attempting to bring Obama to account for not coming down hard enough upon the face of clerical fascism in 2008? What twaddle. This is the same sort of posturing by some Australians b4 the Howard govt. was elected and the sky fell in. (not)

    Orlando expressed the tendency to ‘de-feminise’ women with differing political views. “Palin is buying herself a pass as an honorary man by giving support to the anti-women’s-rights status quo. It’s the oldest colonial narrative.” This position exactly expresses designating women as non-women and is evident in positions expressed here. Why not use being ‘feminist’ to celebrate the achievements of women overall as Annabel Crabb’s article did rather than from afar pronounce judgement upon a partisan political issue and at such an early stage. – btw I didn’t say you hate Annabel Crabb but that it seemed that it was building up.

  94. tigtog

    making unnecessary judgements about either the ‘coherency’ of the views expressed at, or affiliations with Strange Times, especially as to their persuasiveness rather prematurely

    IY, if I’m not persuaded then obviously I don’t find those views persuasive. What’s wrong with stating so?

    readers here appear to have done when it comes to opposing or supporting any candidate for an election that has only just begun in a far away land

    The election campaign began months ago. I’ve known what McCain’s election platform for the whole of this year, enough to know that were I American I would not vote for him in a pink fit. His selection of Palin merely puts him further away from any positions that I could possibly support.

    As to your final paragraph, like Lauredhel I find it difficult to decipher, which I suspect is mostly down to you being disingenuous.

  95. informally yours

    Sorry for not being clear. Also that in answering Lauredhel I’ll be seen to break the rules of engagement but it definitely counts as perspicacious imv. So, who agrees with Orlando?

    Who says it’s OK to deem some women non-women as you call them honourary men while actively opposing them? When actually the woman body politic requires that a ‘feminism’ do the exact opposite and to disengage from partisan matters such as is on display here. Partisan disengagement is the classic kind of Women’s Electoral Lobby approach and I support it. Let the women who’ve joined the Democrat political party fight the partisan battle, or if you can’t resist the urge join them and campaign from within because if you don’t when your movement wants to lobby the next government for better services for women and girls then you will be at a disadvantage. (or the Aust. Labor Party [ALP] if in Australia) That way feminists can be the diplomats and hand out the kudos to political parties for taking women more seriously and the barracudda’s can get out of the kitchen.

    If you are not in the Democrat Party why publicly campaign for them especially when doing so can come back to bite you and the movement you work for on its arse? So it is not a question of don’t take a stand from afar but of when to, and I say this stance is wrong (and preemptory) and counter productive. I have just noticed that a Socialist Unity piece has been linked to at Strange Times where they sayofPalin; “When she eventually starts giving media interviews she will do well, and she will talk directly to the anxieties of middle class Americans in small towns. America stands as a land divided.”

  96. tigtog

    Who says it’s OK to deem some women non-women as you call them honourary men while actively opposing them?

    I totally disagree that the term “honorary man” is deeming a woman a non-woman. Perhaps you have some non-standard definition of the term “honorary”.

  97. tigtog

    If you are not in the Democrat Party why publicly campaign for them especially when doing so can come back to bite you and the movement you work for on its arse? So it is not a question of don’t take a stand from afar but of when to, and I say this stance is wrong (and preemptory) and counter productive.

    How can you ask this when so many planks in the platform of the Republican Party are clearly anti-feminist?

    The Democrats are notorious for talking the feminist talk and then not walking the walk, but there is at least a chance of pushing Dems to fulfil their feminist rhetoric. If the Repubs get in and push through socially conservative nominees onto the Supreme Court while having the numbers to harden even more socially conservative legislation, where will women’s rights to bodily autonomy and equal pay for equal work be then?

    I can’t see how it is either wrong or counter-productive to point out that the Republicans are an anti-feminist political party. The GOP’s nomination of a socially conservative femme who has actively opposed programs that help struggling women during her time in public office merely underlines this.

  98. fuckpoliteness

    I.Y says: That way feminists can be the diplomats and hand out the kudos to political parties for taking women more seriously and the barracudda’s can get out of the kitchen.

    What? Please explain what you mean by barracuda in this context. Because it sounds somewhat vicious and dehumanising of women – particularly when read in light of this definition:

    a woman manager in corporate america who will micromanage you or bite your ass

    Also, who said feminists wanted to be diplomats? Is that not what is required of us over and over again, to people please and silence our own opinions, to speak in code when we know what we say will have approval? To work quietly in the background having our opinions ignored, co-opted, taken up strategically and discarded?

    I.Y says:It just doesn’t make sense to take such a partisan position and from such a distance

    Well, see it isn’t *partisan* to say “Sarah Palin is being pushed as a victory to feminism and yet she is anti choice, anti sex ed, anti same sex rights – women’s rights are at risk” – and distance is irrelevant.

    IY: especially from a blog that is devoted as feminists? to improving the social conditions of all women and girls, regardless of how their parents vote – aren’t they?

    Well that’s the whole point – yes, we want to improve the social conditions of all women and girls, yes, of course “even” Palin and family – we will fight for her rights to live her life how she pleases, but it appears she will not fight for ours. Again, she has the right to run for office, and we have the right to denounce that campaign.

  99. tigtog

    What? Please explain what you mean by barracuda in this context.

    FP – Sarah Palin’s nickname since she played high school basketball has been Sarah Barracuda.

    I’m pretty sure that was all that IY was referencing with her use of the term, although (edited to add (for the benefit of the terminally obtuse):) as a separate issue your reference to its usage as a slang term is quite fascinating, especially when one considers that in the song by Heart that Palin is using on the campaign (eta: much to their disgust) the eponymous “barracuda” is a predatory male recording executive.

  100. informally yours

    Isn’t it technically correct that ‘honour’ would come through either men deeming women honourary men, or through its opposite women deeming men honourary women but when it comes to women, especially feminists deeming women honourary men there is nothing to do with honour; it’s straight out wrong and dehumanising.

    When FP says feminists don’t want to be diplomats, we will speak out etc., (implying I am a putting forward a sexist ‘trope’, an honourary man, a door mat), it is rhetoric and her feeling good and militant and not about how one develops a winning strategy to establish say an abortion clinic as the Coalition for a Woman’s Right to Choose did when it advocated for the Pregnancy Advisory Clinic and was actively seeking bipartisan support for the measure over a period of years before its inception.

    I didn’t use barracuda as an eponym for implying barracudda’s are male predators as suggested by the final comment of tig tog. I’d forgotten about the Heart song (great first album) I used the term because it is Palin’snickname, and due to the word limit to quickly describe the more cut and thrust required of women when they pursue feminist agendas in more mainstream political parties.

    Your position is that it’s all pre-judged and to hell with what the current Tweedle candidates say, or their actual policies, because they (like the Libs) are fundamentally anti-woman and to be opposed everytime and the party of Tweedledum is to be ‘critically’ supported. I get that and don’t buy it. For me this means you’ll be correctly criticized for ‘wallowing.’ (tailing the pseudo-left as they tail the ALP/Dems) The masses of women will instead look for women to represent their views, and largely be on the side of those actually representing those views. I could continue…

  101. tigtog

    I didn’t use barracuda as an eponym for implying barracudda’s are male predators as suggested by the final comment of tig tog.

    I did not suggest that you did, I was merely discussing more generally the term. I specifically said that I presumed that you were only referring to Palin’s existing nickname.

    This level of either incomprehension or misrepresentation is what makes people testy with you. That and the constant clumsy segues into your hobbyhorse of the “pseudo-left”.

    Yawn.

  102. Mindy

    Enough with the bitching about the word limit! Write your own post, please.

  103. Bene

    Except for the fact where the woman representing the views of women on the American right isn’t representing the views of the rest of American women, IY. And there are a lot of them considerably more moderate than Palin, probably the majority. And when Palin’s views have hurt women (see yesterday’s revelation of paying for rape kits), I think it’s pretty safe to say that she only represents women’s interests in the sense that she’s a woman and has interests. Not ‘women’s interests’ as a whole.

    (Or are we talking Aussie politics now, in which case I have little knowledge and will duck out?)

  104. fuckpoliteness

    Oh for crying out loud IY stop shifting the terms of the argument. I did not say feminists *don’t* want to be diplomats or to do x, y or z – *you* implied that what feminists *shoud/need to/have to* do is to join a party, play the diplomat, give kudos to the parties and then…get the barracuda’s out of the kitchen. Shall I point out you used a plural and non capitalised ‘barracudas’ and referred to getting them out of the kitchen. I asked for clarity as a/it didn’t make sense, and b/I maintain the phrase ‘the barracuda’s can get out of the kitchen’ (as if all that stands between feminism gaining acceptance, and what booting Singular Barricuda out of…the ‘kitchen’ is a bad attidude you could correct for us)

    It all seemed to tie in to one para of “Feminism: You’re doing it wrong”.
    What I said in response was “Who SAID feminists want to be diplomats?” – and pointed out the enourmous pressure on us to shut up when we complain, to play nice, the sort of pressure that your comments reflect when you suggest there is one way to do feminism, and it’s your way, ours is wrong and doing harm, and THAT is what I object to there.

    I also love your little sleight of hand where you pretend it’s Hoydenizens et al who are ignoring her *actual policies* – that’s what this argument is all about. We’re under pressure to support someone whose politics operate on the assumption that it’s ok to deny women their choices *just because she is a woman* and apparently this represents some *magical shift* of thinking. It is THIS argument that ignores Palin’s actual policies.

    No one here is telling you how to live your life, how to think, speak, vote and win friends with salad – it is this that I fundamentally object to, that you presume to tell others how *they* should “win the good fight”. The discussion of the Hoydenizens has been on policies, politics, the potential outcomes of the election, the media treatment of it, and the vitriol directed at feminists.

  105. informally yours

    FP Not sure I understand the need for the long-winded ‘grammatical correction’. ALL, stop pretending that you don’t understand what I’ve said and stop twisting what I say to segue into what next suits your little whinge. If you expect commenters not to treat you as unintelligent it goes both ways. This is about ideas and discerning correct strategy not misrepresentation and correcting poor spelling and or grammar.

    I also don’t understand why you’d say you feel pressured – this is my 5th post over a series of days. Also, I’ve implied nothing, but have stated my position baldly and sought to expose the limitations of the political ‘analysis’ of the ideas offered here. You need to look at yourself if that feels like being pressured.

    ContrarytoFPassertion I have not presumed to tell anyone how to live their life, how to think, speak, vote, and win friends with salad” or said that Sarah Palin in any way represents a “magical shift”, but that McCain choosing Palin as VP has re-energised the U.S. election campaign and countered the ascendancy of the Demscampaign and that is keeping politics interesting.

  106. informally yours

    FP, Tig tog and Mindy, I have not argued for you to support Sarah Palin because she is a woman but to at least allow her to give her first media interview as a VP candidate before labelling her unsupportable or embodying anti-woman policies. SP is a relative unknown until just under 2 weeks ago and so I criticized Hoydenizens for opposing her so actively from afar and at such an early stage in her run for office. I argued that this is counterproductive and that you need to look at your reasons for actively opposing her at this stage. FP accuses me of fabricating through ‘sleight of hand’ the idea you are ‘ignoring the policies’ when in fact it is your own statements that have caused you the grief you are now complaining of.

    I have not argued for feminists to go out and join political parties I have said that it is strategically better for a woman’s movement to be non-party-political or at least bi-partisan. I said that if as a feminist you really believe that your party is the best for women then support the Democrats or whomever you most support by joining the good fight from the inside instead of watering down the potential of the correctly positioned women’s movement to lobby for services etc., from the outside.

    How dare I presume to criticize the self-appointed representatives of all women for following a wrong political strategy?? Which planet are you from? Definitely not planet politics. If you are making your views public then be prepared to have them challenged and to defend them, or dump them.

  107. tigtog

    SP is a relative unknown until just under 2 weeks ago and so I criticized Hoydenizens for opposing her so actively from afar and at such an early stage in her run for office.

    You’re acting as if Google isn’t my, yours and everybody else’s friend when looking up the public record of someone we never heard of 2 weeks ago. It’s all out there.

  108. Bene

    No kidding, Lauredhel…finding Sarah Palin’s proven political statements and record is simple. How dare we judge her for things she’s said and implied while in public office that are against established feminist and woman-friendly ideals! The leopard (barracuda?) might change her spots, after all!

    I’m sorry, but that is not how political critique works, and in the US, people don’t just switch from that kind of political POV to something else, even to look good for a major race. The last thing the McCain/Palin campaign wants is to lose the evangelical vote, when that group was already dubious about supporting McCain.

    Sarah Palin will not change viewpoints, for two reasons: she thinks God is behind her, and because a tactical switch like that is suicide for her ticket and any credibility she may yet have.

    It’s not rocket science, we Americans really are as superficial as we seem here. But since I haven’t been heard by IY in any of this conversation, I’m not expecting much. God forbid I know something about just how bleeding virulent the far right can be in my own country.

  109. tigtog

    Bene, word. The elephant in the room for IY’s arguments is also that the US election system offers no way to vote a Palin only ticket this year even for those who think/hope that she’s wearing a halo – to get her into the White House one still has to vote for McNasty McCain.

    Anyone hoping that he’ll just drop off the twig and leave her to become Prez simply isn’t taking Cindy McCain’s squillions adequately into account: she’ll transform him into animatronic zombie Prez McCain before anyone has time to notice the body is cold, and the zombie will serve out the full term (probably make better speeches too).

    A McCain presidency will make the electorate only too keen to punish anyone marginally associated with it at the subsequent ballot box, so don’t think Palin would make the presidency then either, no matter how much the far fundamentalist right might wish it otherwise – they’re still a minority at the ballot.

  110. tigtog
  111. tigtog

    Of course, he’ll scrub up better once the make-up artists have been at him.

  112. One-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater

    she’ll transform him into animatronic zombie Prez McCain before anyone has time to notice the body is cold, and the zombie will serve out the full term (probably make better speeches too).

    Kind of like Kim Jong-ill (fully sic)? I read there was a rumour he’d been dead for four years already!

  113. tigtog

    Let’s compare:

    Clearly Cindy’s squillions are already showing an advantage in realistic function.

  114. One-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater

    From this article by Katha Pollitt, who I love:

    As for feminism’s meaning, what can you say after you’ve said that her career shows that even right-wing fundamentalist women have taken in feminism’s message of empowerment and that’s good, but that Palin’s example suggests women can do it all without support from society and that’s bad?

    And she has 10 questions for her:

    §?Suppose your 14-year-old daughter Willow is brutally raped in her bedroom by an intruder. She becomes pregnant and wants an abortion. Could you tell the parents of America why you think your child and their children should be forced by law to have their rapists’ babies?

    §?You say you don’t believe global warming is man-made. Could you tell us what scientists you’ve spoken with or read who have led you to that conclusion? What do you think the 2,500 scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are getting wrong?

    §?If you didn’t try to fire Wasilla librarian Mary Ellen Baker over her refusal to consider censoring books, why did you try to fire her?

    §?What is the European Union, and how does it function?

    §?Forty-seven million Americans lack health insurance. John Goodman, who has advised McCain on healthcare, has proposed redefining them as covered because, he says, anyone can get care at an ER. Do you agree with him?

    §?What is the function of the Federal Reserve?

    §?Cindy and John McCain say you have experience in foreign affairs because Alaska is next to Russia. When did you last speak with Prime Minister Putin, and what did you talk about?

    §?Approximately how old is the earth? Five thousand years? 10,000? 5 billion?

    §?You are a big fan of President Bush, so why didn’t you mention him even once in your convention speech?

    §?McCain says cutting earmarks and waste will make up for revenues lost by making the tax cuts permanent. Experts say that won’t wash. Balancing the Bush tax cuts plus new ones proposed by McCain would most likely mean cutting Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. Which would you cut?

    §?You’re suing the federal government to have polar bears removed from the endangered species list, even as Alaska’s northern coastal ice is melting and falling into the sea. Can you explain the science behind your decision?

    §?You’ve suggested that God approves of the Iraq War and the Alaska pipeline. How do you know?

    I haven’t had time to watch the interview you linked to, so I wonder whether any of those were asked!

  115. Bene

    More like Ronald Reagan and Nancy, people eater. It’s common knowledge she propped him up most of term two.

  116. tigtog

    Gloria Steinem, always one with a gift for the pithy summation, lays it out clearly (emphasis mine):

    Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton’s candidacy stood for — and that Barack Obama’s still does.[...] Palin’s value to those [GOP] patriarchs is clear: She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women’s wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves “abstinence-only” programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers’ millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn’t spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation.

    For IY to suggest that criticising Palin, on the grounds of what is already easily discoverable about her political history and stated ideology, is “rushing to judgement” is simply one of the most ludicrous assertions I have ever read on the Web.

  117. fuckpoliteness

    Yes, thanks for pointing that one out TT it was making my brain hurt. Just cos we know how to research…jeez.

  118. One-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater

    Bene, I could only find a Robot Nixon and a zombie Reagan

  119. Bene

    zomg, robot Nixon. I still say W’s smirk pwns both, though. shudder.

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