August 29, 2008

Ace and the Problem of "Perception."

'Cause, you know: there are a lot of sexists out there who aren't sure women are tough enough.

Come on: she's a mother. Does anyone remember which gender of bear you're supposed to look out for in grizzly country?

But Ace is right: she'll get more points for "grit" after she takes the razor wire to Biden.

His Aceness claims to be deducting "style points" for her "cuteness" and "sweetness," but it's impossible this time to tell whether he's joking. He acknowledges that there's real sexism going on out there in some of the reactions to Palin, but won't disclose for real whether or not he's sipping a little of that particular Kool-Aid. (At least, I can't suss it out. Does someone else have the "Moron Code Book"?)

She surprised me today. She was confident and unfazed, direct and sharp. I'm looking forward to being surprised further. But I guess I do need to be surprised further, as do many voters.

Adorableness has its advantages, but it has its drawbacks too. She's got to show some real iron. And maybe cutting apart that soft-handed starched-shirt Joe Biden woud be a good start.

On a related note... Here's some sexist bias—some say women might be all in favor of women achieving great things in principle, but when it comes to specific women making concrete achievements, suddenly they're a bit lukewarm on the whole idea of sisterhood.

Jealousy and envy, I'm talking about. [We know, Ace: it's called "the Queen Bee syndrome," and every working woman has encountered it.—Ed.]

Is that real? Will this actually backfire and drive women away? [Maybe. One. Her initials are HRC, and she may actually, today, be contemplating voting for Barack Obama, for the very first time.—Ed.]

Attack Dog: Actually, a good start in dispelling the "too nice, too sweet" impression would be to play the role of the attack dog well. If she's thought of as being 25% a ball-breaker . . . well, win-win.

Burn on Barracuda: I wanted to google some of Palin's attacks against the Dems to remind myself of how well she did.

Allah has one, wrapping "fearmongering" on energy production around Joe Biden's pencil neck.

She has a sweetness to her as she "attacks." (Attacks in quotes, because of course what she's saying is both true and vitally relevant; but anytime a Republican notes a Democrat's votes or quotes it's an "attack," most often of the "intolerable and unacceptable" sort.)

I have to deduct style points, though, because that bubbly, sweet, gosh-darn sort of manner just doesn't seem serious or dour enough to me.

I know we've got that in spades from Mr. Warmth McCain, but still... I think she'll have to ease up on the sweetness and get a bit more grim.

On the plus side: Everything she says is right and informed. The only knock is the style one.

Yeah, well. Lady Thatcher made breakfast for her husband every goddamned day when she was P.M. But she seemed to acquit herself just fine on the job, despite the "handicap" of femininity.

Stacy Mac claims that some of the "morons" are genuinely conflicted about whether it's okay to ogle our next "vpilf," or quite possibly our next "cicilf." He suggests that they "go for it," but I suspect that the dudes doth protest too much, and . . . . what? Does anyone honestly think that they aren't already Googling "Sarah Palin naked"? Are you kidding me?

They just want to know whether they should feel guilty about doing it. You're up against biological imperatives, boys. Give yourselves a break.

Posted by Attila Girl at August 29, 2008 03:25 PM | TrackBack

what qualifications does she have to be (a heartbeat from) President of the United States and de facto Leader of the Free World, besides being a mother of 5, a 1 1/2 year governor of an unpopulous state, a pro-drilling maven, and a woman who chose not to have an abortion?

I may not be a big fan of Biden, but at least he's experienced enough to take office if need be.

What did Republicans say after 9/11 about "the grownups" being in charge*? Can you honestly say that, in terms of experience and preparedness, Governor Palin counts as a grownup? Really?

*a bollocks argument, and one that didn't really pan out, in my book, cited only for comparison here....

Posted by: Rin at August 29, 2008 04:12 PM

- She singlehandedly demolished the corrupt/comfy members of the GOP in Alaska, at great risk to her political career. (Which I suspect she didn't give a shit about--it was probably more a case of 'nothin' left to lose.' But she took on some powerful guys in her own party, and they lost their jobs/had to pay fines, etc.)

- She has executive experience, which none of the three guys in the race have--she's been a mayor, and she's been a governor. Statistically speaking, U.S. Senators rarely wins elections, because the skill sets they learn in the Senate aren't always compatible with either: a) winning campaigns, or b) governing.

- No one in this race has any foreign policy experience, really. But Biden is the one who suggested that we go ahead and partition Iraq! And she does have the minor foreign-policy experience that G.W. brought to the White House (and I bring this up because I know you're a big fan of his): she is Governor of a State that borders other countries--in his case, it was Mexico. In her case, it's Canada [not a big deal] and Russia [yes--a big deal].

- She supports benefits for the partners of gay couples. Once again: one doesn't have to agree with all of her beliefs to acknowledge that she plays by her own rules, and is neither sucking up to her own party, nor the "centrists."

- She's from a blue-collar background, and both her parents were union members. She's from a blue state. These facts should help her to see as many issues as possible from "both sides," as Judy Collins would say. Not a bad attribute in a chief executive.

Let's not get too distracted by all the local color, here. Remember when Janet Reno got tired of all the biographical information floating around as she was starting out as Attorney General? She finally just said, "my childhood did not consist of watching my mother wrestle with alligators." (Or, presumably, watching her build a house with her own hands, another cool thing Reno's mom did.)

The reason people dig the color/personality stuff--in Palin's case, the moose stew and the midnight runs and so forth--is that they show that she's not a "Beltway Insider."

Americans tend to long for politicians who are not politicians, which gets awkward sometimes.

But it is best, when criticizing the accomplishments of (say) Teddy Roosevelt, to stick with what he did and did not accomplish, rather than to focus on the hunting, and the throwing around of words like "bully" and so forth.

In the end, it will not matter to the future of the country that Sarah can shoot and drive a snowmobile. But it may matter quite a lot that she says what she thinks, and doesn't tend to back down when she feels that something corrupt/semi-corrupt/too politically cozy is going on.

Posted by: Attila Girl at August 29, 2008 04:47 PM

Good question. What qualifications does Obama have?

Obama couldn't run a falafel wagon without 300 advisors and a $2 million annual federal subsidy. Biden? He's your measure of experience and leadership? Real men mature beyond fabricating imaginary early-life accomplishments, and slights. Making faces and noises at age 60+ while someone speaks is an embarrassmnet and/or a sign of mental illness.

Posted by: Darrell at August 29, 2008 06:48 PM

You're up against biological imperatives, boys. Give yourselves a break.

I've been in my bunk all afternoon.

Posted by: Desert Cat at August 29, 2008 07:18 PM

Yeah. I was thinking of investing in "facial tissues marketed specifically to conservative/libertarian/gun-loving guys." That's a bull market, right there . . . ;)

Limbaugh was beside himself today regarding the fact that Palin showed up for the presser wearing a skirt, rather than a pantsuit. I didn't have the heart to call in and tell him that she may not own that many: it's probably too cold in Alaska for a lot of skirt-wearing (and, conversely, too mosquito-ridden).

Posted by: Attila Girl at August 29, 2008 10:15 PM

Allow me to plant a google bomblet

Sarah Palin as a naked, or is it nekkid, pr0n actress who loses her bikini and starts topless then has a lesbian romp followed by the standard three-way (with Ron Jeremy, no less).

Spam filters to hit in 3...2...1...

Posted by: I R A Darth Aggie at August 30, 2008 10:10 AM

To hell with tissues. That's what underwear is for. Let the woman do the laundry after that.

No, let me rephrase that. To hell with underwear. That's what the woman is for. We can take showers after that. Together.

Morons for MILFs! Palin for President!

(I suspect that's gonna be my signature for the next, oh, 30 years or so)

Posted by: Gregory at September 2, 2008 12:34 AM

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