Palin Speech: Sneers Like Cheney--but if You Go Moose Hunting with Her, Hope She's a Better Shot

John McCain's vice presidential running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, delivered an engaging speech last night at the Republican National Convention.
Her roaring crowd voraciously devoured every morsel of the copious red
meat she served up with a fierceness that illustrates how she earned
the nickname "Sarah Barracuda" in high school sports competition.

Jill Miller Zimon at Writes Like She Talks put together a wide
compendium of opinion about McCain's veep pick
and concluded it will
turn out to be a miscalculation on his part. Seems to me that Palin's speech last night suggests otherwise.

It Takes Which Woman?

Early on I urged that both
McCain and Obama should choose female running mates. Obama, leading in
the polls, chose the safe route with Senator Joe Biden. McCain, who had
both more to gain and more to lose, took the risk of choosing the
clearly underqualified but attractive and ambitious Palin.

one tough cookie and good for her. It makes my feminist heart sing to
know that even the right-wing Republicans know women are going to
decide the outcome of this election.

But in a twist of fate
both cruel and predictable, Palin is to women's rights what Clarence
Thomas and Ward Connerly are to civil rights: the antithesis of the
quest for social justice and equality.

Sarah Palin: Mother of Contradictions

a mother of contradictons, a faux feminist who claims her right to run
for the second highest office in the land while aligning with the
masters of women's subjugation. She demands her family's privacy and
that her pregnant 17-year-old daughter Bristol's "choice" to continue her pregnancy be respected yet wants to take away all other women's privacy and their right to make their own childbearing choices without government intervention.

I could write on, but,... "> Gloria Steinem summed it up eloquently in this Los Angeles Times op ed:

Palin's value to those 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; she runs with a candidate
who opposes the Fair Pay Act but supports $500 million in subsidies for
a natural gas pipeline across Alaska; she supports drilling in the
Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain has opted for the
lesser evil of offshore drilling. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger


Over at Blogher, there has been much back-and-forth, multipartisan banter about Palin's speech, but one comment really caught my eye:

am offended that while Palin’s family is supposed to be off limit to
criticism, and I agree that they should, she gets to parade them before
the public and score Mommy points and, by inference, anti-abortion
candidate points as a mom with a special needs infant and a pregnant,
unwed 17 year old daughter standing there with the Baby Daddy at her
side. You don't get to have it both ways Palin. I'm not saying Palin
has to hide her family. Absolutely not. But there was something surreal
about watching a Party whose strong conservative base believes that a
woman can't/shouldn't pastor a church and that a wife should submit to
her husband trot out a woman with a young brood of five as a candidate
to run the country. Take off the gloves, ladies.

Did You Catch the Sneer?

By and large CNN's pundits give
Palin's speech an "A" grade with caveats about what that means and
whether it might or might not turn into votes in November. Stacy Beam at CafePolitico says Palin benefitted from low expectations going into the speech.

But did you notice how she curled her mouth into a Cheney-esque sneer while hurling epithets at the
mild-mannered Sen Harry Reid and while sarcastically disparaging Barack Obama's community
organizing work? Never mind that we'd never have had an American
Revolution were it not for community organizing. I predict that one will come back to haunt her.

Palin doesn't just sneer like Cheney ); her environmental policy is
like his too--drill, drill, drill. In fact, she threw out all the buzz
words her audience wanted to hear, as this graphic also courtesy of Blogher comments, shows:

times during the speech I had that "down-is-up and up-is-down" feeling
I've experienced so many times during George W. Bush's presidency, and
for good reason: every economic, national security, war, and tax policy
she mentioned predict four more years, or heaven help us, eight just
like the same failed administration America is reeling from now. Yet
she managed to spin it as though all these failures have been the fault
of either the Democrats or the media.

Joe Biden's tepid response
today on the morning shows didn't give me any sense of security that
the Obama campaign has figured out how to deal with the bundle of
contradictions that make up Sarah Palin. How will the terminally
loose-lipped, grey haired Biden play in a debate against the spunky,
charismatic Palin? How will these two men counter the energy she has
brought to the evangelical Republican base?

Since we're all
agreed women are going to determine the outcome of this election, it's
clear Obama/Biden need the help of all the women who agree a McCain
presidency would be a disaster. As the Blogher commenter advised, "Take
off the gloves ladies."



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