Tag Archives: Sarah Palin

Sexist Newsweek Cover Inspires Frum’s Latest Opinion: “She Asked for It!”

And now, an entirely new argument for sexism: She asked for it! Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Sarah Palin complains that her Newsweek cover is sexist. The magazine borrowed a photo from Palin’s Runner’s World interview last year, showing the fit governor in running shorts next to the question: How do you solve a problem like Sarah? Journalist David Frum scorns Palin’s complaints, claiming that “she brought it on herself.”


Where have we heard this one before?

For such a smart guy this is a remarkably tired argument. This smacks of all the flaccid-minded men who have long attempted to control women by demeaning them, justifying their actions because “she asked for it.”

This has nothing to do with Palin’s politics. This has everything to do with an old-fashioned Salem-style witch trial. Frum’s claim that Palin “brought it on herself” attempts to pigeonhole the governor into a prefabricated conception of women that comes from Frum – not Palin.

Frum told The News Hour with Jim Lehrer Nov. 18 that “[Palin] is a woman who has got into a position of leadership by sending very powerful sexual signals. And we see that in the way that men like her much more than women do.”

Or perhaps men like Palin much more than women do because she is a Republican. Men tend to lean right at the polls, while women lean left. Perhaps the gender disparity in Palin’s fan base comes from her politics, not her person.

Frum wants to inject Palin’s public persona with a Salem witch trial mentality. She must be a witch, your honor; she came to seduce me in my dreams! But the only “powerful sex signals” Palin sends come from the base fact that she’s a woman. Once, last year, she showed a little toe cleavage. But really, David, what would an attractive woman have to wear that could spare you from discomfort?

Society has long understood that insecure people impose those insecurities on the people around them. Folks eager to be perceived as the smartest person in the room treat every conversation like a competition, talking over their colleagues and only about themselves.


Similarly, insecure men have long objectified the women around them. You need only look to how Rodrigo and Iago, and finally Othello, objectify Desdemona in Othello to see how deep this particular vein runs. Perhaps a more modern man than Othello should be able to engage with an authoritative woman without determinedly reducing her in his mind to one of those laughably-outdated sexist paradigms long after women shed those old pigeonholed roles.

It does not take a feminist to be offended by such intellectual laziness. Frum’s claim that Palin has forced sexuality on us reflects his own uncreative “scholarship”. This cheap attack is the punditry equivalent of a schoolboy dipping a compatriette’s pigtail in ink. It’s unnecessary. It’s weak.

It wasn’t Palin who sent “sex signals,” in the form of fit thighs on the cover of Newsweek – it was the magazine. Former White House press secretary Dana Perino notes that Newsweek’s decision to run this revealing cover without Palin’s permission was “worse than sexist”:

I think it is demeaning and degrading and Newsweek knew exactly what it was doing. They made sexuality a part of her performance. And this is something that if it had happened to someone on the left, the feminist organizations would be screaming about.

This is not a question of sexism versus feminism. This is a small-minded ad hominem attack by a man made uncomfortable by Palin’s femininity.

Says Perino:

There is a special burden for women in politics. And we saw that even for Hillary Clinton. And especially if you’re an attractive woman and a conservative woman, then that burden is even greater. But the great thing for Sarah Palin is she’s having a wonderful book tour, she’s done some great interviews. She’s going to tour the country.

This has nothing to do with politics. Women should not have to wear ugly clothes because attractive suits make men like David Frum blush. Old-school misogyny stems from insecurity and will thrive in a community that does not rebuke Frum for comments like this.

Lashing out at Sarah Palin because she dared to leave the house with her face uncovered is outdated and inappropriate. Of course, if Frum would feel more comfortable around women to whom he is not attracted, that remains entirely his prerogative.

At The New Agenda.


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Palin’s Resignation: Uncut

I love, love, love to read edits.  Check out the transcript of Palin’s resignation speech and Vanity Fair’s suggestions:


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Former Gov. Palin blasts the media reaction to her dramatic exit as “predictable” and “sad”:

The response in the main stream media has been most predictable, ironic, and as always, detached from the lives of ordinary Americans who are sick of the ‘politics of personal destruction.  How sad that Washington and the media will never understand; it’s about country.

And though it’s honorable for countless others to leave their positions for a higher calling and without finishing a term, of course we know by now, for some reason a different standard applies for the decisions I make.

But if the reaction was so “predictable,” then why did Palin let it happen?

She’s also threatening the press if they publish “defamatory materials”:

To the extent several websites, most notably liberal Alaska blogger Shannyn Moore, are now claiming as “fact” that Governor Palin resigned because she is “under federal investigation” for embezzlement or other criminal wrongdoing, we will be exploring legal options this week to address such defamation. This is to provide notice to Ms. Moore, and those who re-publish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, the New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law. The Alaska Constitution protects the right of free speech, while simultaneously holding those “responsible for the abuse of that right.”  Alaska Constitution Art. I, Sec. 5.  These falsehoods abuse the right to free speech; continuing to publish these falsehoods of criminal activity is reckless, done without any regard for the truth, and is actionable.

But the naysayers are (marginally) gaining credibility.  Many of the more serious statements come from the blogosphere, but the New York Times reported yesterday on Palin’s $500,000 debt in legal defense for ethics charges.

Gov. Palin should realize that we’re eager to hear what she has to say, but “predictably” a sudden, cryptic address on a national holiday will generate major speculation.

Also from Palin’s Facebook missive:

I shared with you yesterday my heartfeltand candid reasons for this change; I’ve never thought I needed a title before one’s name to forge progress in America. I am now looking ahead and how we can advance this country together with our values of less government intervention, greater energy independence, stronger national security, and much-needed fiscal restraint.

You don’t want the media to speculate, but you make 2012 noises while claiming you don’t need a “title…to forge progress.”  Which is it?  Are you looking for a different title, or leaving politics altogether for awhile?

Zina Saunders, "Alaskan Roulette"

Zina Saunders, "Alaskan Roulette"

We’re eager to see eye to eye.  But politics is about acting on your predictions.  If you do something wild and predict that the public opinion will respond with speculation and condemnation, then feeling wounded is your own mistake.  Sarah you whacked your fans with a political sucker-punch.  We’re supportive…just trying to understand.

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Wonkette on Palin Resignation

Alt title: Quitter?  I hardly know ‘er!

Wonkette quotes a commenter:

In the middle of this monster Palin Chaos Theory post, commenter-personAlaska Girl reminds us why Sarah Palin’s latest “I’m gonna take my ball and go home” move is standard Wasilla Snowbilly behavior: “She didn’t finish her term as mayor, stepping down to run for Lt. Governor. She didn’t finish her term on the petroleum board ethics panel, she resigned in protest and then ran for Governor. She doesn’t want the office, she just likes running for office. She doesn’t want (can’t actually) accomplish anything, she just wants to talk about it.”

Hrm.  Sounds eerily familiar.  So what we’re seeing, Gov. Palin, is that you love the chase.  You like to win, but you aren’t interested in nurturing the constituency’s trust that you’ve won.

Yea, female politicians are *so* different from men.  Because I’m sure Maria Belen would be *so* much more satisfying than the many other women whose “ultimate line” Gov. Sanford resisted crossing.

Integrity isn’t about winning, or refusing to take “no” for an answer, or developing a resume — paper transcript for “persona” — that sees ends disassociated from means.  Integrity requires discretion in accepting duties so that a person can perform them as promised.

I like a lot of things about Gov. Palin.  Her utter failure to perform in 2008 aside, she (appears to) tend to her family, she funnels resources to her constituents, even at federal expense.  Assuming, arguendo, that Palin has the GOP’s interests at heart, a Presi-run provides the most optimistic explanation for her abrupt resignation.  Do we want a President who does a job only until she decides it’s time to move on?

Keeping her kids (but  not husband) around her at her resignation speech only hurt Palin’s case more.  I completely understand reserving time for family (just ask anyone I’ve ever dated!).  But this basically makes a case for keeping a glass ceiling.  Male governor plunges ahead w/ his political aspirations, despite his cheating that tears his family apart.  Meanwhile female governor decides she’s too ambitious for state and plays the “look at my cute children” card to displace criticism.

Of 50 governors, 7 are women.  Only 3 of the 22 Republican governors are female.  Governor Palin, you’re not just representing your state; you’re representing that lucky constituency that boasts an extra X chromosome.  Do take care of your family.  But please (please!) don’t increase the risk probability employers (and voters!) will consider when choosing the best person for a job.

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Palin Resignation: The Plot Thickens

[File under: HEARSAY]

But wait, there’s more news from Anchorage.  What of these embezzlement rumors, Sarah?

Sources are saying that Sarah Palin’s sudden resignation as Alaska Governor is actually damage control because a major embezzlement scandal is about to erupt involving construction projects in her home town of Wasilla, Alaska.

Multiple sources have been digging around in the wake of Sarah Palin’s cryptic resignation speech Friday and they’ve found that when Palin was Mayor of her home town of Wasilla, AK in 2002, she was influental in the construction of the Wasilla Sports Complex and hockey arena. First of all, the $12mil+ project ended up in the hands of contractors who were friends of friends of Palin. Secondly, at around the same time the sports complex was being built, so was Palin’s new house. What’s interesting about that is the house is constructed from the exact same materials the sports complex was built with. The windows in both structures are the same, the wood is the same, pretty well everything.

When the house was being built, Palin, being Mayor at the time, influenced the bylaw requiring building permits in the town so that now there is no official list of the contractors who worked on her house.

So…was the Saks Affair not an anomaly?  Did America shake a haystack and a mini-embezzlement fell out?

Rather than focus on this major disappointment — and yes, this is hearsay, but barring 2012 prep w/ constituency protection, any time someone quits before finishing a job is a disappointment — let’s ask a bigger question.  Can anyone name a single politician who hasn’t disappointed?  I admit I’ve been a bit down since l’Affair Argentine.  But with the entire elected-dem tax dodge, Barack’s glib perpetuating 100% of Bush’s existing foreign policy (not complaining — just criticizing such disrespectful, pervasive hypocrisy!), and the long  GOP breakdown, I can’t imagine anyone who still keeps faith in our advocates.

On a Fed 10 note: I was under the impression that Alaska was so small and sophisticated a populus that the government operated almost like a direct democracy.  When the Ted Stevens CF surfaced Alaskans were so aware of the consequences of removing Sen. Stevens that they effectively decided en masse to keep Stevens in so the poltical train wreck would dissolve before the next election, rather than boot Stevens, re-elect immediately, and risk a dramatically different course for the state in the midst of scandal.

All of this proves Madison’s infinite wisdom in Federalist 10.  Indeed diversity is critical to a functioning democracy.  Without a vigorous public to demand transparency, representatives will reveal what they choose.  I’d rather be a part of a proactive republic than participate in a direct democracy utterly neutered of that critical diversity.

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What Up, Sarah?

Alaska’s leggiest governor has left the building.

Is she positioning for a 2012 run?  Sarah coquettishly denies it, but stays cryptic:

“I know when it’s time to pass the ball for victory,” Palin said.

But Palin also hinted at her own national ambitions, invoking a quote that she credited to Gen. Douglas MacArthur: “We are not retreating; we are advancing in another direction.”

Sarah isn’t my #1 favorite politician, but then, my #1 fave just held a press conference to confess that he cheated on his mistress, so we’re through, Mark.

Palin said she planned to make a “positive change outside government,” without elaborating. She also expressed frustration with her current role as governor.

“I cannot stand here as your governor and allow the millions of dollars and all that time go to waste just so I can hold the title of governor,” Palin said.

Later, on Twitter, she promised supporters more details: “We’ll soon attach info on decision to not seek re-election … this is in Alaska’s best interest, my family’s happy … it is good. Stay tuned”

We’re tuned, Sarah.  But keep in mind that when you keep actively alienating your already-waning fans, your political ambitions aren’t necessarily…our first priority.  Your two stated reasons for resigning (first, that you want to make a 2012 play, or alternatively because you want more time for family) are in direct contradition.

I have no doubt that a position on the state side can be frustrating when such dire issues face America as a nation.  Indeed, we’re facing the most serious threat: a lack of national faith rotting from the inside out.

Get your act together, Sarah.  We — Americans — need to believe in our representatives!  We need our public figures to stop betraying our trust!

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