There’s been a lot of back and forth about whether McCain’s outrage over Obama’s “lipstick on a pig” comment is phony or Obama’s outrage over McCain’s outrage is phony, but I think the outcry from Democrats misses the point…and the outcry from Republicans is intended to ensure that the rest of us do.
In Sarah Palin’s convention speech, she referred to herself as a “hockey mom” and devoted a lot of time to talking about her family and her PTA experience and such. That begged for a response—and McCain had to know it before Palin ever opened her mouth to speak. And maybe that was the plan, because the moment the Democrats (and other rational people) said, “Being a hockey mom doesn’t qualify you to be President”, crises of sexism rang from sea to shining sea. Never mind that NO ONE had suggested that being a hockey mom disqualified one from being qualified for public office. Sarah Palin identified herself as a hockey mom, loud and clear, and then the Republican spin-machine went straight to work repositioning “hockey mom” as a sexist term.
It’s brilliant, really. In her speech at the RNC, Sarah Palin artfully couched her greatest weaknesses in terms that wouldn’t allow anyone to point them out without raising the diversionary cry of “sexism”. Never mind that millions of the people now being accused of sexism were fervent supporters of Senator Hillary Clinton for the Presidency.
It wasn’t limited to “sexism”, either. Palin analogized herself to a pit bull and then when the moniker stuck, Republicans came out in force to protest the way Democrats were attacking her by, among other things, calling her a pit bull.
And it worked. Millions of Americans think those who don’t feel “hockey mom” is a credential worth boasting about in the Presidential race are sexists. Millions of Americans think it’s unprovoked meanness when someone points out that Sarah Palin compared herself to a pit bull. Suddenly, her weaknesses are her strengths, because anyone who points them out must be mean, sexist, or both…and therefore not worth listening to.
Talk about sexism. I can’t recall there ever before being a major-party political candidate at the national level whom we weren’t allowed to find fault with.
And it’s working. It’s such pure genius that I’d almost think Plain was qualified to be Vice-President, in a twisted, Machiavellian kind of way…if I thought for a minute that she was doing any more than reading what was put in front of her.