Watch as the ultra-feminist sisterhood back away in horror from Sarah Palin, John McCain's new running mate.
Mrs Palin is technically female, but she's enthusiastically married, hates abortion and thinks criminals should not be the only people allowed to own guns. She's everything Hillary Clinton isn't. In short, she's the wrong kind of woman.
Which just goes to show that ultra-feminists are not actually interested in promoting women because they're women. They pretend they are, but really their agenda is a campaign against marriage, in favour of abortion and for every other disastrous liberal and socialist cause that ever existed. In which case, they really can't go on pretending that their opponents are women-hating bigots.
Not least because they are the bigots - merciless when it comes to a choice between their own convenience and the life of an unborn baby.
Perhaps I wouldn't put it quite in those terms, and I don't want to get sidetracked by the abortion debate, but Hitchens' point is valid. The left hate it when a woman succeeds on the right. They cannot stand it when a black person becomes famous as a Conservative - remember Ray Lewis?
The coverage of Sarah Palin in the Sunday papers borders on the sexist. She's dismissed as an inexperienced bimbo. Why is it that people describe her as inexperienced? Obama hasn't run anything, Biden hasn't run anything, McCain, so far as I am aware hasn't run anything. Palin has. She is the Governor of one of the 50 US States. OK, it's a small one, but were these charges really made so virulently against a certain Bill Clinton when he ran for the Presidency in 1992? Jimmy Carter in 1976? Neither of them had any foreign policy experience and both had been governors of comparatively small states.
I don't know a huge amount about Sarah Palin, but the left's reaction to her tends to indicate that they are deeply concerned by her electoral appeal. They're even dissing her as McCain's Dan Quayle. We'll see. For my own part, I like what I see so far.
52 states? I can only find 50 on my map.
You are of course right! I will edit.
There's a difference in experience. Bill Clinton was Governor for 11 years and Carter for 4. Forget it's a small state - Palin at 1 1/2 hasn't even served a full term.
Hitchens is wrong. The 'ultra feminist sisterhood' are a very small proportion of female voters in the state. Palin represents the working class mother who has got to where she is by sheer hard work and determination. When gordon says he feels our pain, we don't believe him, because he is lying. When Palin says she feels their pain the American voters will believe her, because it is true.
I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that I can't be a real conservative.
I believe in a woman's right to choose, that religion (especially creationism) should be kept out of schools, that people shouldn't have any kind of access to guns, that homosexuality is normal and gay people should be allowed to get married.
I like everything I've seen and read about Obama/Biden, and everything about McCain/Palin makes me believe that they have neither the temperament nor the philosophy to run America.
Iain, if you "like what you see" then I begin to wonder if the only thing we can really agree on is the principal of free markets and small governments.
Come on Iain- you are being too generous to Palin here. She announced in 2007 that she had no view on the surge and hadn't thought about Iraq. Leading conservative commentators like Ramesh Ponnuru of the National Review and David Frum Bush's speech writer have said they worry about her lack of experience. Biden in contrast has been in the senate working on foreign affairs for a hell of a long time- so has McCain. Obama definitely has views on things like Iraq.
Its not that Palin is an awful choice- but she is a choice that was made electorally and not for governing on January 2nd. McCain has only actually met her twice for a start- unlike Biden I don't envision her having a large role in a McCain White House. Its not sexist to point that out- McCain afterall had many more experienced women he could have chosen- Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas or Olympia Snowe of Maine would have been interesting picks.
Worry not. The word conservative encompasses a broad tent.
I like what I see in Sarah Palin as a character. I don't have to agree with everything she spouts to be supportive of her.
As I have said before, this is the first US election where I could conceivably support the Democratic ticket.
I was underwhelmed with his VP choice of Biden as I thought it jarred with his Change message.
If the election had been held in July I may well have declared my support for Obama. I am now drifting back from whence I came, but not irrevocably so. I shall wait to see what happens in the debates and in the rest of the campaign before making up my mind.
Hitchins, nor you, mention that Palin is also a creationist.
I suspect this wacky belief is so destructive of her credibility in all other things that Hitchins and yourself consciously edited it out because you knew it rather supports the bimbo thesis.
I think Palin is a wonderful and inspired choice. If she can help wipe Obamalamadingdong and the Clintonites off the map then more power to her elbow
Oh course the left is going to hate her and attack her. In case you hadn't noticed there is an election in the offing. Therefore IMO highlighting her supposed inexperience and lack of foreign policy experience as weaknesses are fair game.
For what its worth I agree with you. She has more executive experience than Obama, Biden and McCain combined and what you say about foreign policy experience in respect of Clinton and Carter. Same could have been said of GWB as well.
All that said this is politics and all's fair ...
And what is wrong with being a creationist? It certainly is NOT waccy.
Well at least we can agree on one thing - it's certainly different from what we expected! I think the democratic campaign or, more likely the soft money campaigns, will have to focus on McCain's age much more so now.
Your punt about Romney seemed logical but that's all up in the air. Hmm... 'curiouser and curiouser' said Alice.
Iain, you really are losing your marbles. It's got nothing to with ultra-feminists. Palin was picked to cynically attempt to sway disgruntled Clinton voters. It's Hitchens and you who are being sexist. That McCain should pick a woman, any woman and then expect woman to vote McCain/Palin. How loony left is that? It's insulting to female Clinton voters who generally hold policy positions that are diametrically opposed to Palin.
I am afraid you argue against yourself there. If McCain was just trying to attract former Hillary voters for the reasons you outline, why would he have picked a gun toting anti abortionist?
Wait. So Hillary Clinton supporters should vote against everything they believe in, and everything that Clinton has spent her life fighting for, simply because McCain picked a woman?
Why on earth should they do that?
Andy .. phew I was worried that was the only Tory who believed in what you do.
Creationism not wacky ...?
It's barking, anti-scientific garbage and Palin is trying to get it - masquerading as ID - taught in schools. Every scientist in the states - and many elsewhere - will be viewing the possibility of her being veep with unalloyed horror.
because he thinks women are stupid. That's how bad his judgement is.
And you can't deny it's not about Clinton. Palin has only given 2 speeches so far and in both she has highlighted Hillary Clinton and her supporters. Why talk about Clinton so much if it isn't their strategy. And that's despite the risk of inflaming the GOP base that at one of those speeches booed at the very mention of Clinton.
"...the left's reaction to her tends to indicate that they are deeply concerned by her electoral appeal. They're even dissing her as McCain's Dan Quayle."
They're going urtherthan that. Some are suggesting it's her own fault she has a Down's Syndrome child.
Ah, the 'compassionate' Left...
Hitchens is spot on, once again.
I don't get that line of argument. Elections are about getting votes. Why shouldn't McCain/Palin go after former Clinton votes?
Unlike some (ie Obama devotees) I don't think McCain picked Palin with only that motive in mind. If that had been the case there were plenty of other emale candidates who would have ticked more boxes.
Following up on your last comment there Iain, there are two main reasons he has chosen Palin.
Firstly she is hugely appealing to the ultra-conservative base of the party.
Secondly, the entire media narrative in America recently is that Clinton supporters were willing to vote for McCain out of anger, and that if he put a woman on the ticket this tendency would be increased.
They are going after 'low-information' women voters, who they believe will not look too closely at Palin's actual views. It is a strategy which might work, but might also anger any 'high-information' Clinton voters who were thinking of voting for McCain. Why? Because it is an insult to their intelligence, and their hard work for Clinton over the past 18 months, to expect them to vote against everything they believe in, simply to elect a woman.
She does seem to be a nice sort of politician though, even if her views are somewhat extreme.
I know many many professionals who are creationists (believe in a creator God). I have never found any conflict with science, mine being nuclear engineering. To call it wacky is just down right insulting. One might suggest that accepting the universe suddenly existed from nothing is the wacky view.
This talk of experience is a bit of a red herring, the debate about the comparative worth of the two running mates should be about competence.
Biden may have twenty plus years of foreign policy experience but he has demonstrated a remarkable lack of competence when it comes to important issues. He was against the war in the gulf, one of not very many, and he suggested dividing Iraq into three seperate enclaves for shiites, sunnies and kurds, a plan generally regarded as being potentially disastrous.
Palin, on the other hand, seems to have brought a high level of competence to everything she has done in her political life. She defeated her corrupt party bosses, she took on her state legislature (over welfare rights for gay couples and excessive public spending) and won and she is the most popular governor in the US.
It's early days and we'll learn a lot more about her in the coming days, but as of right now, she seems every bit as ready to be VP as Biden, probably more so.
Like Thatcher, she's the wrong kind of woman for the left. It'll be great entertainment watching the liberal left froth at the mouth as this pans out in the next few weeks.
How about this for a kicker - NYT: Is History Siding With Obama’s Economic Plan? "Data for the whole period from 1948 to 2007, during which Republicans occupied the White House for 34 years and Democrats for 26, show average annual growth of real gross national product of 1.64 percent per capita under Republican presidents versus 2.78 percent under Democrats."
It is no more 'wacky' to suggest that the universe "sprang from nothing" than it is to suggest that the universe was created by an all-powerful being... who also "sprang from nothing".
I doubt that anyone here really objects to an individual's right to their own religious beliefs.
But using political power to proselytise, to create legislation based on supernatural beliefs (however genuinely held), and to indoctrinate children, is wrong.
I will at least give her credit for vetoing legislation to ban gay marriage, on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. It would be a refreshing change to have an executive branch which has at least *read* the constitution.
I genuinely think the GOP have thrown their chances into the bin. He had to pick a heavyweight, had to, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, religion etc etc.
He's picked a nobody who happens to be lodged in the outback of the US constitution. It's madness, madness I tell yee.
Everyone knows he ain't spritely and is getting on a bit. This is the first time since Reagan that you'd be putting an X by a chap that you be more inclined to believe wouldn't make it through his term. It's madness.....
She is the Governor of one of the 50 US States. OK, it's a small one...
Actually, it's the LARGEST one :-)
But I take your point Iain, of course - not by population, it isn't.
Creationism = wacky. Sorry, anonymous 2:19, and bonetired headlines why. It's waccy, as well.
However is she actually a creationist, in the sense that term is usually used to describe debate-stiflers, or is she a religuous person who will allow others to make up their own minds? News reports state that she says she is "open" to teaching creationism in schools, not that she insists that is the only thing kids are to be taught.
"In a 2006 gubernatorial debate, the soon-to-be governor of Alaska said of evolution and creation education, "Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of education. Healthy debate is so important, and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both."
... Asked by the Anchorage Daily News whether she believed in evolution, Palin declined to answer, but said that "I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class."
"I’m not going to pretend I know how all this came to be," she said."
Mistaken IMO, but not a nut-job as the label "creationist" usually suggests. Frankly, the above isn't an unreasonable position to take, if you consider religion reasonable.
Another reason why the VP announcement might work for McCain. The democrats are going to spend so much time doing opposition research on Palin and attacking her because she represents a genuine threat. She's going to appeal to small town blue collar workers with conservative values (the Reagan Dems)and also some disenchanted Hillary supporters. The Dems will have to attack that threat from the bottom of the ticket which gives them less time to go after McCain at the top of the ticket.
The point about creationism is that it goes against the US constitution for one religion to be favoured by government. State funded schools should really be secular, but this is clearly ignored in parts of the US.
Sorry, Iain, but I think you're wrong on the point about experience.
Working from 2007 population statistics, Alaska comes 47th in terms of population amongst the 50 states. Compare this with Arkansas (Bill Clinton) at 33rd, or even Georgia (Jimmy Carter) at 9th! How is 9th most populous state out of 50 'relatively small'?
Add to this the profound peculiarities of Alaska (economic and otherwise), plus the fact that Palin has only served two years as governor - in other words, only half a full term. Are you still trying to claim that only bigots, lefties and horrid feminists could question her lack of relevant experience?
(And, admittedly off on a tangent, are you really suggesting that Jimmy Carter's career provides evidence that state governors are good at foreign policy??)
Back to the topic, though. It's fair enough to point out that Obama has very little political experience, but trying to inflate the significance of Palin's 'experience' mostly highlights the fact that while Obama was teaching constitutional law at a first-rate law school, Palin was serving as mayor as a town with a population of something like 6,000 souls, and not necessarily making a great job of it, either.
Finally, I'm slightly amazed that Peter Hitchens is so enthusiastic about the sort of woman who, three days after she's been blessed enough to give birth to a lovely new baby, is ready to hand that baby over to someone else (presumably some under-educated, under-paid childminder) in order to pursue her political ambitions. Probably that fact tells us as much about Palin's character as anything else in her career. And I, for one, am not so sure that I like what I see.
It's not quite straight forward as you and Hitchens make out, like - oh look a woman in the white house, yay for women everywhere.
A McCain/Palin ticket in the white house would just purely be a symbolic victory for women - nothing more. Even I, as a male, can see that. It's no coincidence that McCain bypassed strong-willed independent women for the relatively inexperience Palin who is currently embroiled with corruption scandals and holds some quite shocking views on marriage equality and anti-choice even in circumstances of rape. It's a cynical ploy from McCain that will probably backfire. Indeed Palin is no Clinton, but she is no Thatcher either! Women everywhere are right to recoil in horror that in the event of McCain keeling over in office, Palin will be the next president.
The first poll from Rasmussen already shows that Palin has put off most undecided voters (31% less likely yo vote McXain, 6% more likely). 59% of undecideds said Palin was not ready to be president. In a Gallup poll democratic women (including Clinton supporters) were 15% less likely to vote McCain because of Palin as opposed to 9% more likely.
Of course the Palin pick deserves derision because it is a joke and totally unserious. That is a reflection of McCain not Palin. Give her 10 years and she'd be suitable. Using sexism or this "ultra-feminist" Hitchens crap is precisely what you were talking about it shaming Americans to vote Obama otherwise they're racist.
Fugitive Ink.. you said "Obama was teaching constitutional law at a first-rate law school, Palin was serving as mayor as a town with a population of something like 6,000 souls, and not necessarily making a great job of it, either."
So while Obama was still in education, Palin was already getting experience in politics. So just who is it you think the least experienced?
I suspect if Brown had picked someone he hardly knew for a senior position the word inspired wouldn't have been mentioned?
Sadly when Iain says elections are about winning votes he's hit the nail on the head. Problem is both in the States and the UK those votes appear to be chased by playing a numbers game and not actaully presenting any visions. Sad really.
I'd also add the Alaska is not a typical red-state by a long way. And has elements of socialist policy in many areas. They have things like the Alaska Permanent Fund which essentially comes from windfall taxes on oil and results in socialised income in the form of a dividend to all Alaska's citizens of about $1600. (Isn't this what Salmond wants in Scotland?) One of Palin's plans was to give every Alaskan $1,200 as energy cost relief based on Oil Windfall Profits Taxes and increased oil taxes.
Peter Hitchins point is a simple one and is neither for or against Sara Palin. It's just that the left think it desperately unfair for Republicans or Conservatives to have female/black/gay/whatever, candidates because the left think they "own" all minority or oppressed groups. Ergo any female/black etc candidate who allies themselves with a right wing party must be morally bankrupt and unworthy of belonging to their chosen victim group.
Not only are the Democrats in the US foaming at the mouth at this blatant piece of electioneering (disgraceful as the Republicans should accept that it's their turn to lose!) but several readers of this blog have fallen into the same trap.
I think it's great that McCain has gone for a real outsider instead of an impotent windbag like Biden.
Iain, I think you've got wrong again.
How could Palin ever be considered a responsible choice of VP?
McCain is old with a history of cancer. Can you honestly see her as President? It's just a cynical and embarrassing choice that McCain has made.
Obama is the safest and best option by a way.
a longgg way
Who are these " ultra-feminists"?
People complain about them often in the media, in fact PH has a regular contributor (Micheal Savell) who seems convinced that women rule this country and that feminists (women) are bent on an agenda to obliterate men. He seems to spend his time on websites that support this view, a practice I find very odd indeed - there are all sorts of disgusting behaviours and practices to be found on the net but one doesn't have to dwell on those sites, unless you have an agenda. Yet PH does not criticise this mysonginist, PH targets a woman; Gabriela Manuela Scherer, for particular censure. That discrimination in itself makes its own comment.
As for Sarah Palin - people seeking to criticise her will find a reason. If she wasn't married they would criticise that.
Incidentally, many politicians have been "enthusiastically married" whilst enjoying prostitutes, homosexuality and drugs. And what exactly is "technically female"? Well I get what he means in context but I suppose I too could be considered "technically female" - I'm an unmarried mother who has more balls than any man I've dated. When I went head-to-head with Peter Hitchens... well, let's just say he's a handful!
Canvas. Yes I can see her as President, or at least more than I can see Obama as President, she is the more experienced politically and executively after all.
The one thing Obamafans seem to neglect to mention is that if the worst does happen and she is thrust into the top position, she only has to do what Obama tried to do with Biden, and surround herself with foreign policy experts including her own VP pick.
Palin is also getting flak from women in the Christian evangelical community. Some see Palin as actually being too feminist - the have it all family/career feminism. They point to her taking an 8 hour plane trip after her waters broke from Texas to Alaska with her most recent, disabled baby as being reckless. Or that she went back to work only 3 days after giving birth to said baby. Of course there are still a sizeable number of women on the right who see family commitments as incompatible if not superior to furthering careers. Some don't consider Palin pro-family or Christian at all.
I have seen my relatives' kids taught by teachers
(prompted by their masters) in science classes to consider the creationist angle for universe creation and not completely believe what Darwin said!
I have no problems in people holding religious views as long as they do not wave the Bible at others during elections saying homosexuality is sin and abnormal and say that voting for a black person or a liberal is heresy. I am not a liberal, but was shocked to see them badgering the families in Ohio who I know well during Bush's second term election.
If uncle McCain in his first term were to succumb to an illness, Palin will become the leader of the free world and I shudder think that she will have access to the suitcase containing the code. I respected McCain as a person and as a maverick, but now with Palin at his side....?
Palin proves in deeds her love and courage: being a proud mother of five children, and a son with Down syndrome, is a good sign. She could be a person with a not long political experience, but I think that I could trust in this woman.
Good luck, America!
Santiago, Granada (Spain)
Iain Dale is spot on about the left's attitude to minorities. And by attacking Mrs Palin so much, the Democrats appear to be saying they think McCain is a perfect choice for President, but they're just worried about what would happen if he could no longer serve. Now looking at their candidate with Biden, he looks a bit boyish and out of his depth. And on the health issue, should Obama not be around, Biden has had a brain aneurysm.
Just wondering when this campaign would feature a discussion of policy and how America can be made a better country.
If you cannot destroy your oponents by rational argument, as the socialists have completely failed to do, then you need to find another way to achive power. I read somewhere that the early Russian socialists realised that the honest working class believed firmly in the values of the family and were Faithfull people. They therefore set about portaying that as a technique by the ruling classes to keep thw workrs down. In the same way the current crop of lefties have to propogate the lie that righties screw the minorities, when of course they do not. Choosinga righy lady as a VP is a direct threat to this 'technique' and will therefore attract every bit of venom that the lefties can muster. They dare not let a single one through the gap, otheriwse they will be doomed. BTW I do not class the BNP as righties - they are nutters.
iain- 2 things:
1- why did you not publish my last post (if it was a bit long then fair enough)
2- Election may be about getting votes- but McCain has people waving 'country first' banners at all his rallies- this choice puts country most defiantly second by putting an inexperienced liability next in line to a guy who is 74 with a long and serious list of medical problems (for instance the 5 malignant tumors he has had to have removed over the years), in the hope he can win over those women dumb enough to vote against their interests in favour of their genitals.
Chrome Diplomat, I haven't deleted any posts. Comment moderation has not been on or three weeks. I deleted one post yesterday due to a bad word being used, but none today. Maybe you didn't complete the process properly.
Sorry- wasn't crisitism, could well be that computer dropped a link somewhere. Wasn't suggesting you had motive to delete it!
All the best!
"a small one" - and there was me thinking that Alaska was far the largest
Hitchens' argument is based on the weird idea that left-wing women should always support the female candidate, regardless of her character, views and anything else. Isn't this, in that much overused phrase on the internet, a 'straw man'.
It's worth remembering when opponents play the inexperience card that Richard Nixon was under 40 when he was chosen as Eisenhower's running mate. He had no executive experience (other than in the Navy) and only 6 years total experience as a Congressman and Senator.
The problem with Palin that I see is this: a VP is an insurance policy. They exist to step into the breach if the president drops down dead.
Given that, a VP should be one of two things: either an echo of the main candidate or a 'safe pair of hands'. Biden and, I suppose, Cheney were chosen as a safe pair of hands; Gore was an echo.
The problem with Palin is that she is neither.
Stuart at 6:43
Very good point, well made. You're right she is neither, what she is is a spark that's ignited an election process, already ablaze, even more. And from a purely voyeuristic perspective, I say amen to that.
@anon - Thank you. I agree with on that the appointment adds spark. In terms of political spectacle, she helps. It's a fun ride.
Come on, Iain, maybe you are getting a touch paranoid. 'The Left' whatever that multi-headed hydras is (are all hydras multi-headed?) would not have reacted the same way if McCain had selected Condi Rice, as Political Betting suggested he might. Her views seem to be abominable. Should one not say this because she is a woman? A large part - bit not all - of the US left did not support Hilary because of her vote on the war. An important point this with all the complaints about Obama's victory being unfair to women. It was her politics not her gender that did down Hilary, had she voted against the Iraq invasion should would now be the Democratic Party candidate. Similarly, what's wrong with attacking Pailin for her politics?
PS: I've started a post on Darling's interview and here you were spot on!
Now Condi Rice as McCain's VP would be someone to fear and respect.
The reason that the feminists have rejected her is her record on abortion, largely.
That's rather the focus of the American movement feminism.
It's just that the left think it desperately unfair for Republicans or Conservatives to have female/black/gay/whatever, candidates because the left think they "own" all minority or oppressed groups.
this is probably true and something I've believed for a while (and said here). But it doesn't make Hitchens any less bigotes and paranoid. The "campaign against marriage" is the same accusation that's levelled against homosexuals frequently, together with all the other rubbish about there being a 'gay/liberal/feminist/secular agenda' to make everyone hate God, England and St George. (or God, America, Motherhood and Apple Pie, depending on which side of the pond you're sitting). Check out James Dobson on the subject, who thinks that part of the 'gay agenda; is to make paedophilia legal and accepted. It also percolates down to minor levels like separation of church and state and stains major ones like freedom of speech. Hitchens is just a tail-end of the old fashioned culture wars as promoted by Pat Buchanan and his ilk.
It's going to be an issue here too very soon. It's interesting that andy (above) says
"I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that I can't be a real conservative.
I believe in a woman's right to choose, that religion (especially creationism) should be kept out of schools, that people shouldn't have any kind of access to guns, that homosexuality is normal and gay people should be allowed to get married.".
It is the votes of people like him that will - of they retain them - buoy the tories to power. It is not having those votes that has kept them out of power for a decade.
Ray Lewis wasn't a Tory. Was he? But Sarah Palin is not the "wrong kind of woman". She is the wrong kind of person.
Creationist, anti Polar Bears!, allegedly corrupt re family scores, incredibly inexperienced however you try to big up the parish pump she controlled, and I'm told fiscally incompetent/un-Republican with a huge defecit and a sneak tax-hike that was double what she announced.
There is no sign of her being vetted properly by the forgetful maverick Senator Magoo.
It's very typical of the to Right defend Palin with this ridiculous straw man argument about experience.
It's not that she's inexperienced per se, but that it makes McCain look like a complete and utter hypocrite for attacking Obama for weeks on end for being inexperienced, only for his VP candidate to be arguably less experienced than Obama. How is it not hard to see the problem there?
this article is fine, but you got it soo wrong about the size of Alaska, Alaska is small, you say??? are you on crack? Alaska is the single largest state of the US. hello??? what planet are you from??? Alaska is 5 times the size of the UK and it's a key state in terms of energy. that's where all the oil and gas reserves of the US are. gee, you people in the UK, you still think that the world revolves around your little island...jeez, alaska is 'small' :-)
Her interviews have revealed her to be so hopelessly out of her depth that some US conservative commentators are calling her to withdraw. She has yet to give a press conference, even Quayle did that. Such are the low expectations of the first debate, that anything less than a complete humiliation will be spun as a succes. Do you still 'like what you see' Iain?
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