Private Matters, Public Consequences

"We have to take into consideration that this is a private family matter, and the family was hoping it would remain a private matter. ... I'd just hope that the private family matters would remain just that." - Tucker Bounds, McCain campaign spokescritter on PBS, 9/02/08

"And government is certainly not the church" - Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), Republican National Convention speech, 9/02/08

"We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby ..." - press statement by Sarah and Todd Palin, 9/01/08 (via)

I'm glad that Republicans are finally, kicking and screaming all the way, coming around to a feminist point of view. It's glacial, but you can see the cracks around the edges in the way they defend themselves from attacks like the agreement of former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan that Palin's not the most experienced choice and that the selection decision was based on "bullsh*t".

While the Republicans have tried to obscure the truth, these are all feminist and pro-choice positions: That medical and parenting decisions should be made by individuals and their doctors. That the government should not act as a church, making illegal all that is held by some to be immoral. That teenage women, like all women, should have the right to decide whether to become parents, whatever their choice may be. That they should be supported in those decisions, by their families and the larger community, rather than shamed, hidden away or shunned.

Not least, Republicans like corrupt serial adulterer Rudy Giuliani can say that Sarah Palin is being attacked because she's a parent all they want. They can suggest that Democrats and feminists look down on her because she's a mother of five. But what more needs to be said in response to that than, 'Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House.' The idea that a mother of five can be qualified for a tough job in public life is one that we've been championing for a long time.

So as I mentioned, and as irritating as the zealotry of the newly converted always is, I'm glad to see that they're starting to come around.

There's more...

GLORIA STEINEM: Palin [is] Wrong Woman, Wrong Message

You really don't want to hear any editorializing from me on Gloria Steinem's brilliant op-ed in today's LA Times.  Follow the link to read the full text: e-steinem4-2008sep04,0,7541303.story

Here's the good news: Women have become so politically powerful that even the anti-feminist right wing -- the folks with a headlock on the Republican Party -- are trying to appease the gender gap with a first-ever female vice president. We owe this to women -- and to many men too -- who have picketed, gone on hunger strikes or confronted violence at the polls so women can vote. We owe it to Shirley Chisholm, who first took the "white-male-only" sign off the White House, and to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who hung in there through ridicule and misogyny to win 18 million votes.

But here is even better news: It won't work. This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie.

Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters. Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. 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. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, "Somebody stole my shoes, so I'll amputate my legs."

This is not to beat up on Palin. I defend her right to be wrong, even on issues that matter most to me. I regret that people say she can't do the job because she has children in need of care, especially if they wouldn't say the same about a father. I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden's 37 years' experience.

More after the bump.

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McCain/Palin Under Consideration wrote a comment just a few days ago (I'm sure it is HR by now) stating I didn't think the Republicans would do it. I was wrong. I also said I would at least consider McCain if he chose a woman who was pro-choice because it would make him more palatable to a larger group of democratic women. Well I was wrong on that one too. He chose a woman who is pro-life. I am a Democrat is who pro-life. As of today McCain/Palin can consider themselves under consideration for my vote.

I have said before and I will say it again. People come to the process for different reasons. Some women were in it this cycle to support the political aspirations of a woman who was qualified but found the party did not support their efforts. Democratic women have been unsuccessful in building coalitions to support their efforts to get women elected beyond the U.S. Senate.

The Republicans are willing to do what Democrats are unwilling to do; put a woman in the White House as VPOTUS with the long term look at becoming POTUS.

This is change I can believe in.

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Women Like Me--Michelle's speech and PUMAs

Crossposted from user nj mom at dailykos
Tue Aug 26, 2008 at 09:07:43 AM PDT

By superficial measures, you might mistake me for a Republican.

Having put on hold 10 years ago a very successful career, I am a dedicated full-time mother with three young children who is an active community volunteers and, yes, even occasionally bakes cookies.  As a practicing Catholic, I go to church regularly, think life is sacred and work actively to instill a sense of values in my children.  My husband works in finance, and we benefitted from the Bush tax cuts.

I could be a Republican but yet I am a true progressive Dem, bringing my children with me to political rallies, the Million Mom March, door-to-door canvassing, phone banks, and most recently the Women for Obama event in NYC.  I'm not alone--there are millions of women like me. Michelle's speech gave me hope that the Obamas get women like me.

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Joe Biden, Sexist Surrogate

The selection of Joe Biden as the number two on the Democratic ticket frankly dumbfounds me. It really makes me wonder what has become of this party. I have Googled for transcripts and searched youtube for video, but it seems those hearings have been cleaned up a bit. Or maybe I'm not looking in the right places. In the early 90's Joe Biden served as chairman of the judicial committee during the Clarence Thomas hearings. Some videos of the questioning of Thomas are available on youtube. Surprisingly I cannot find video of the questioning of Anita Hill.

Some may say that was a long time ago and is no longer relevant. I believe it is relevant as long as Thomas sits on the SCOTUS. It will be relevant in every decision that is made by the Court. Biden's incompetence is primarily the reason why Thomas's nomination went through. Thomas was confirmed with a Senate vote of 52-48. I didn't bother to look this up but if he was chairman of the judicial committee, does that mean Democrats held a majority in the Senate?

Thankfully I watched those hearings live and I know firsthand the judicial committee treated Thomas with kid gloves. They were courteous and respectful to him. They attacked Anita Hill like rabid dogs. Biden was shown to be sexist along with the 13 others and incompetent. Anita Hill provided vivid testimony on sexual harrassment by Thomas. This failure of leadership alone should have been enough to deny Biden VP into eternity.

From the NYT on Biden's role:

"He was basically playing judge," Susan Deller Ross, a Georgetown University law professor and expert in workplace sex discrimination, said of Mr. Biden, adding "the other side was playing advocate" for Mr. Thomas. "I'm sure you remember nobody played advocate for her. I don't think he did well and he bears responsibility for Mr. Thomas being on the court."

The complete article can be read here 08/23/biden-and-anita-hill-revisited/ Did you observe who is sitting next to Biden in the photo? Yes, he also served on the committee.

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