Monday, September 1, 2008

A Superwoman? I don't think so.

There was a great post on Silicon Valley Moms Blog from one of the co-founders about how much Sarah Palin scares her. I totally agree, but we’re just a couple of Californians who would be unlikely to vote for McCain-Palin anyway. I’m a coastal Democrat who has lived in places like Silicon Valley, New York, Washington, D.C., etc. Clearly, I don’t have a lot of first-hand red state experience. So I decided to see what Fox News was saying about her. Apparently, First Lady Laura Bush “electrified” the crowd at the Republican Convention when she introduced Palin and said “Every woman in this room knows that she is truly a superwoman.”

OK, so the red-meat, red-state conservatives are excited about her. No surprise there. I’m not sure why anyone would call her a superwoman though. Is it because she has a lot of children and works? So do most American women. Is it because she is governor of Alaska -- a state with a tiny population where she did not have strong opponents in the race? Is it because she decided (or more likely accidentally decided) to have a fifth child at age 44? None of these are decisions or achievements that I find especially impressive.

Sarah Palin is totally unqualified to be Vice President and her political views are so extreme as to be frightening. In addition to being anti-choice, she wants to drill for more oil, denies that global warming is man-made and thinks we should teach Creationism in school. Her Dad was supposedly a science teacher. Where does a college-educated person get such insane ideas about education? Is this how we will ensure that our country continues to excel in science and technology?

She is also an insulting choice to women on so many levels. The idea that Hilary supporters will blindly flock to vote for McCain because he nominated a (totally unqualified and extreme right-wing) woman is despicable. Are all women candidates supposed to be the same to us female voters? By that standard, how would men ever choose between 2 men to vote for? (Obama, McCain? Who cares? They're both guys.)

And what to say about her total lack of foreign policy experience or even foreign experience? Barack Obama has had to take positions and vote on nearly every major foreign policy issue as a senator, plus he is a global citizen who has spent time in Africa with his father’s family and lived in Indonesia. He is also smarter than smart, having graduated from Harvard Law School where he was editor of the Law Review. He is almost certainly more qualified in the area of foreign policy than either President Clinton or Bush was when they took office. And on the important matter of judgement – he chose one of the country’s top foreign policy practitioners to be his runningmate: Joe Biden, the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

I was a staffer on foreign policy issues for a United States Senator, and I clearly recall how much we respected Senator Biden’s work on that committee. He has only gained more foreign policy experience and influence in the fifteen years since. Choosing him as a runningmate was a great choice by Obama and reflects his sound judgement. McCain’s choice on the other hand reflects raw political calculation and a fundamental belief that we soft-headed women will vote for a woman regardless of her qualifications. Let’s prove him wrong.


Stacie said...

thanks for nailing it -- it is interesting how the right *loves* her when they do like to attack other women who work full-time as tho they are abandoning the holiest job of all...
next time can you write about how men never have to do the math of "if i take this job, the effect on my kids will be x", where women do that before they even submit their resume for a position? Why does her motherhood get called into question immediately? Did anyone wonder about the effects on Cheney's children when he was nominated?

Andrea said...

Well said. I did, however, think about the effect on Obama's kids. Not that I woudln't vote for him, but ... Cheney's kids? Nope, can't say I thought that one through!

lisa said...

you rock - you summed it all up. now can you blog on the fact that the conservatives are saying that the fact that her 17 year old daughter got knocked up shows that she's not perfect and makes her more real, instead of coming after her like they would with any other candidate? her support of abstinence and not providing birth control in schools really worked in her own damn house!

CosMama said...

Love the comments and the fervor, friends. It's great to hear your thoughts. I'm trying to be mature and Obama-like and go with the whole "The families and especially the children are off-limits" thing but permit me one moment of cattiness. After seeing the 17-year old daughter wearing the 4-month old baby in the Bjorn and then hearing she was pregnant herself, I did stop to think, "Well, there goes the free babysitter!" And I don't think "abstinence only" has any place in a modern society. Get real. Accidental pregnancies amongst "abstainers" are so frequent they can happen even to a) teenagers, b) governors and c) the 45 year-old wife of a British Prime Minister (remember when Cherie Blair had their "oops" baby?)