Saturday, September 06, 2008

Sarah Palin: Leftists Can’t Resist the “B-word”

In the National Post in Canada, a very perceptive column by George Jonas about the candidacy of Sarah Palin.

But the hair raising thing here comes not from Jonas, but from the first comment following the article.

(It may not be the first comment if you go to look an hour or a few days from now.)
Sara Palin proudly described herself as Pit ball with lipstick. Is that what America needs, after eight years of Bush Cheney administration, a self proclaimed vicious bitch in a Vice President?
And from a leftist blog:
Haha, one more thing re: Sarah Palin shitting on community organizers/non-profit workers

Because she’s a bitch.

Well, hope you like this little video, you bitch.
We won’t bother to describe the contents of the video.

Then there is this blog entry complaining about the Republican convention using Heart’s “Barracuda” as theme music for Palin:
Sarah Palin, no Barracuda for you, Bitch
Then there is another blog entry:
Sarah Palin is a retarded bitch
And there are more like this.

And finally, a comment to a blog post.
WTF, does she mean by soldiers were sent into iraq as a task from god, what is this bitch talking about.
And yet another comment to the same post:
I hope the poisonous bitch chokes on a mooseburger.
A fair assessment of Palin is that she is a tough, smart women. But since she is a Republican that translates among leftists into “vicious bitch.”

Of course, if one should Google “Hillary Clinton” AND “bitch” one would doubtless find quite a lot of people using similar language toward the former first lady.

In fact, the leftist blogosphere contains one poorly sourced claim that Palin used the term to refer to Hillary, and the fact that she giggled when a shock jock called a political rival of her’s a “bitch.” In fact, the actual clip shows that Palin did giggle (apparently a nervous giggle) and then said “oh” or “no,” in apparent dismay.

This account also says she giggled when her rival was called a “cancer,” but the audio clip shows this to be flatly untrue.

But no doubt conservative bloggers have used the same language about Hillary, and done so often.

But then, the Democrats claim to be the party of feminism. They claim to eschew nasty racial and gender epithets. But confront them with a strong, intelligent and accomplished woman who disagrees with their political views, and the sexism surfaces with amazing speed.

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19 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on, you're a professor. A few antecdotal examples don't speak for everyone.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Evan said...

Um, okay, honey, but to be fair I've also called Pastor Grant Swank, Rick Santorum, "payback," Michelle Malkin, Meghan McCain, John McCain, and my readers bitches recently, so...

It's a word.

Get over yourself.

It's obvious why you didn't post the contents of the video either...too funny. What also will be funny is when the American people send Sarah Palin back to Alaska?

Why? Because karma is a bitch. So let's grow up and stop focusing on potty-language as a red herring excuse to detract from the discussion of legitimate issues.

Here, by the way, is the video I posted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxPUhNxk6UQ

It's about community organizers, people who Sarah Palin and the rest of the Republican party apparently have no respect for. Sad.

11:26 PM  
OpenID Nick said...

Thats a pretty bold concept for a post from someone who links to Texas Hold'em Blogger, who seems to be generally incapable of mentioning Hillary Clinton's name without using some sort of sexist epithet.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Evan said...

Good point, Nick.

It's so funny that conservatives are having apoplectic fits over any perceived slight against their new snow queen, but these perceived "slights" are 100% strawmen.

Because they secretly know that what the left is saying about her lack of foreign policy experience, her poor judgment, and more importantly, John McCain's poor judgment in nominating a woman on the fly who has more scandals hiding back in Alaska than we even yet know about...they know what we're saying is true, and they cannot respond to it. Hell, a McCain spokesman even conceded that Palin isn't ready to be vice president, when he explained that she was going back to Alaska for a while to "study." I mean, my god.

So, because conservatives have NOTHING to say in response (I mean, look at the entire RNC...nothing to say), they build strawmen of "sexism" coming from the left based on a few offhand uses of the word "bitch," they create fantasies where in the left "hates" her because she has lots of children, and it's all utter BS, but the low-information voters that make up the conservative base don't know it because, hell, they never do.

2:19 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

Thats a pretty bold concept for a post from someone who links to Texas Hold'em Blogger, who seems to be generally incapable of mentioning Hillary Clinton's name without using some sort of sexist epithet.

Did you read my post? I said that conservatives have been guilty nasty words toward Hillary.

Is this Nick the social liberal who doesn't much like social conservatives? Is that why you don't like Palin?

Of course, if you put social issues first, perhaps you are willing to vote for a semi-socialist like Obama.

9:13 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

It's so funny that conservatives are having apoplectic fits over any perceived slight against their new snow queen, but these perceived "slights" are 100% strawmen.

Ok, you think it's OK to call a woman a bitch if she is a Republican.

All your huffing and puffing about how you don't like Palin doesn't justify the hatred that the left has lavished on her.

9:15 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

Why? Because karma is a bitch. So let's grow up and stop focusing on potty-language as a red herring excuse to detract from the discussion of legitimate issues.

If any conservative called Obama the n-word you wouldn't dismiss it as "potty language."

So quit huffing and puffing and admit that Palin should not be called a "bitch."

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Evan said...

"Ok, you think it's OK to call a woman a bitch if she is a Republican.

All your huffing and puffing about how you don't like Palin doesn't justify the hatred that the left has lavished on her."

No. I explained that in my response. I can't speak for the other blogs you cherry-picked, but on my blog, we use language very loosely.

But please, sir, you allegedly are a member of academia, so let's not insult peoples' intelligence by suggesting that the connotations of "bitch" and "nigger" have the same emotional charge.

You still haven't backed up your assertions of "hatred" from the left. Yes, the left has been vetting her, quite critically, because your candidate doesn't have the judgment/respect for the office of the presidency to vet her himself.

Normal people understand that a conservative calling out a liberal for "sexism" is laughable on its face. I'll bring you the numbers if you want them, but for conservatives to pat themselves on the back pretending that they somehow are the REAL party of womens' rights by rallying around Sarah Palin as a vice-presidential nominee is just silly, considering the fact that Democrats elect women to positions of political power at FAR higher rates than Republicans do.

I'm sorry that your candidate has nominated a woman whose record, beliefs, and policy positions are so laughable. But please don't insult women by insinuating that any criticism of said record, beliefs, and policy positions are "sexist."

This is typical Republican inability to answer for their failed policies -- John McCain answers questions by vomiting "POW," for Rudy Giuliani it's "9/11," for George W. Bush, it's any number of dumbass dogwhistles...but the triple-digit IQ's of America, on both sides of the aisle and in the middle, are fed up with it.

Oh, also, sir? When you call Obama a "semi-socialist" you betray your own status as a low-information voter. I'll teach you how to analyze a politician's congressional record for yourself, if you'd like.

9:58 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

let's not insult peoples' intelligence by suggesting that the connotations of "bitch" and "nigger" have the same emotional charge.

OIC. Racist language is wrong, and sexist language is OK.

Democrats elect women to positions of political power at FAR higher rates than Republicans do.

Sure, because politically ambitious women tend to get socialized by the media and their college professors to be left leaning feminists.

But Republicans are perfectly open to nominating and voting for women.

I'm sorry that your candidate has nominated a woman whose record, beliefs, and policy positions are so laughable.

OK, you are a leftist who disagrees with her.

That doesn't justify calling her a "bitch."

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Evan said...

"Sure, because politically ambitious women tend to get socialized by the media and their college professors to be left leaning feminists."

Hahahaha, my god, you must hate your life.

See, but what you just said -- that's the real sexism. The idea that women can't think for themselves and thus are "socialized" by some supposed boogeyman cabal of left-wing professors and the media.

It may make conservative types feel better to assume that there is some kind of brainwashing cadre on the left, but as usual, the truth is a lot simpler: the more education one has, the more likely he/she is to be a progressive. There are, of course, outliers like (presumably) yourself, and that's fine.

Anyway, your linear thought processes bore me now, and so I shall go back.

Please, please, please carry the torch on behalf of conservative women, fight for your newly discovered cause, sexism against Mooseburger Barbie...

As I said, boring.

11:21 PM  
Anonymous goodpress said...

Dr. McAdams, you completely baffle me. I'll make this simple.

Maliciously calling a woman a bitch is sexist. This happens on both the left and the right. Why does this happen? Because we live in a society where sexism still exists. Would you agree?

If yes, please proceed.

Okay, so both liberal and conservative bloggers have engaged in sexist behavior. Why? Because it is engrained in society. Got it.

But I'm wondering what the argument in your post is. You seem to acknowledge (retrospectively)that there was sexism from the media directed at Hillary Clinton during her run for the presidency, but never do you
explicitly state that this was wrong and should not have been tolerated. Instead you engage in some odd tattletale like behavior- attempting to unmask the supposed hypocrisy [of your monolithic idea] of "the left." But do you realize when you do this you automatically give direct proof of the conservative right's own hypocrisy for not calling out the sexism directed at Clinton?

Exhibit A: http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=184086
&
http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=184087

Therefore, what I'm saying is that your "argument" is pretty null. It would do your attempt-at-an-argument good if you explicitly acknowledged that sexism is alive and well in American social, political, economic, life and that we must hold each other accountable for sexist language and behavior. But then again, that may bring you too close to feminist ideology. And you hate feminists. What's odd here, though, is that most feminists would agree, of course, that calling Sarah Palin a bitch is pretty sexist and un-feminist. In fact, many feminists have been reacting to the sexism being used against Palin, just like they reacted to the sexism being displayed against Clinton. So for the millionth time, please do check out the feminist and progressive blog Shakesville.com and realize that getting rid of sexism is not and should not be a partisan issue. Thank you.

12:14 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

No John, this is Nick the libertarian. And please, read through my commentary on Sarah Palin. When I have provided commentary on her, I have talked about the actual things she did, or did not do, while in office. These are the things that we SHOULD be talking about regarding all the candidates. These are the things I've also talked about regarding Obama and McCain.

In fairness, I haven't mentioned much about Biden (though I have said a few things), mostly because NOBODY is really talking about Biden. That must piss off Biden something fierce. And Obama can't like the fact that he's being compared to the opposing VP candidate more than the opposing POTUS candidate lately either.

As far as my not liking Sarah Palin... I don't really like or dislike her. I hardly know anything about her. Of course, I don't like John McCain, and I don't like Barack Obama either. But Sarah Palin being a woman makes 0 difference in my opinion of her as a politician. It's simply not important at all.

But just so that I'm clear on what you're saying in your post, because obviously I was confused. It's perfectly OK to call her, or any other female politician, a bitch... just don't complain about it when the other side does?

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is foul language and name-calling on both sides. This is both obvious and boring.

However, Palin's outright slamming of community service should be serious news. I mean, electing someone who doesn't understand/makes fun of/doesn't support community service seems... well... really weird.

Also, calling any country that doesn't have US interests at heart an enemy makes every nation except the United States our enemy. Even Great Britain, since, well, any rational leader puts their own country's interests ahead of even close allies.

I'd rather talk about her worldview, as demonstrated by her speech, rather than childish name-calling.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I'm sorry that your candidate has nominated a woman whose record, beliefs, and policy positions are so laughable.

Yes - and popular. More popular than McCain, Obama, or Biden.

And, of this weekend, more popular in the polls.

You can call Palin all the names you want - the majority of Americans are put-off by the blatantly inherent sexism of leftists...it's by and large a bigger epidemic among liberals than conservatives.

Indeed - look at how liberals treat minorities (blacks, Hispanics, Asians) who are conservative. No racial epithet is off limits when, say, referring to Condoleeza Rice (who's been called a "Mammy" and a "house n*gger") or Clarence Thomas (who'd been called the same) or Michelle Malkin (who's been called a "slanty-eyed b*tch") to our local Jessica McBride (who was called a c*nt by a lefty blogger).

So evan and the rest can pretend to be righteous and tolerant and concerned about women and minorities - but the truth is they're only concerned about the groups that follow their ideology. When a woman, a black man, an Asian goes off the farm and is a conservative, they're no longer worthy of liberals' respect or tolerance.

10:24 AM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

fight for your newly discovered cause, sexism against Mooseburger Barbie...

Yep, you can't control the sexism.

See, but what you just said -- that's the real sexism. The idea that women can't think for themselves and thus are "socialized" by some supposed boogeyman cabal of left-wing professors and the media.

It's only "sexist" to believe that women are socialized by the media and by their professors if one believes that men aren't.

But everybody is.

Although I do think men are probably less likely to be socialized by leftists, since the leftists clearly don't like them.

But reverse the sides and the ideological biases and this would also reverse.

As for:

the more education one has, the more likely he/she is to be a progressive.

Not true. On economic issues, more education is associated with being more conservative.

And I thought poorly educated people were the victims of the evil affluent Republicans? Now they are just yahoos that you can sneer at.

5:09 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

However, Palin's outright slamming of community service should be serious news.

"Community organizer" is typically a description of somebody who is politically ambitious, and using the job as a stepping stone to political.

I have huge respect for people who (for example) staff soup kitchens, without expecting or wanting political power.

But that's not Obama.

5:12 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

It's perfectly OK to call her, or any other female politician, a bitch... just don't complain about it when the other side does?

I don't think it's OK.

I'm a libertarian too, and think calling a woman a "bitch" is protected speech, but people should have a bad opinion of those who do.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous femmemeister said...

I really cannot agree more with goodpress's comment. (Right on, and well said!) But since goodpress' fantastic comment has gotten lost amongst all the name-calling and back-and-forthing, I will put in my own (very similar) two cents and hope that people will take another look up at goodpress' comment as well.

Dr. McAdams, I can appreciate the fact that you are criticizing some of the blatant sexism directed at Palin. However, many of us progressives are doing the same thing. (Again, you should take a look at Shakesville, which now has about 10 posts about sexist comments about Palin. That's a lot of blogosphere space, I am sure you'll agree.)

However, I think you also must concede that many of the same people who are now publicly calling out those who have made sexist comments are people who, just a couple of months ago, disparaged Hillary Clinton supporters for calling out sexism directed at HER.

Does this mean that many right-wing people are being hypocritical? Yes. Does this mean that many on the left are also being hypocritical? Unfortunately, also yes.

So, what does this tell us?

This tells us that the term "feminism" is being thrown about VERY loosely, that attacks made about women based solely on the fact that they are women are seen as effective campaign strategies, that the Democratic Party as an organization failed to stand up against sexism (unlike the Republican Party, which defends its candidates tenaciously from the sort of attacks that it itself routinely makes on Democratic women), and that people tend to throw principles out the window when a race is as competitive as this one is.

That all really sucks, and it makes me very disappointed.

BUT, does this mean that feminism is to blame? Absolutely not. Feminists are the ones most likely to defend any person (man, woman, democrat, republican) from sexist attacks. And here we are. Doing that. (And a lot of us are Democrats too!)

The next question is, is the democratic party at fault? I would say that there are a lot of things wrong with the organization right now. People are desperate after the last administration and are resorting to low-down, dirty, and easy campaign strategies in order to win. That is also unfortunate.

But does this mean that the republican party is now the "refuge" for the "truly independent" woman? Definitely not. After all, their sexist attacks on democratic candidates were just as odious, and were even more blatant and widespread. (I mean, "Iron my Shirt" tee-shirts? Really?)

Furthermore, Democratic policies do tend to be more effective at helping women, and women tend to be more financially secure under Democratic administrations. These policies go beyond the controversial issues of reproduction and abortion. For example, the Democratic party supports child-care subsidies, providing women with equal access to education, and Biden was behind the Violence Against Women Act.

The fact that republicans are calling out sexism NOW does not mean they are more supportive of women or feminist ideals--it just means they are better at winning elections.

That being said, I disagree with the idea that conservative women are "betraying" other women. I disagree with conservatives, I think they are wrong for a number of reasons, but I also have to appreciate the fact that there are women who disagree with me and my own views about what is best for women. And it is also true that having more women in government, no matter what party, leads to a better quality of life for all women.

So, if there HAVE to be prominent conservatives, I am happy that there are women among them. But I WILL NOT support them with my vote. And I will try my best to explain why I think their positions are not as helpful to women (or the country in general) as those supported by Democrats. It is possible to support the idea of more women in government and to defend them from sexist attacks without endorsing this specific woman.

See? We can all work together! Yay feminism!

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OIC. So it's okay for community service professionals to keep their heads down, and just clean up community's messes, but it isn't okay for them to take a look around and try to change the policies that create those situations. Okay.

1:13 PM  

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