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October 1, 2008
Morgan—whose controversial essay for the Women’s Media Center on sexism in the primary race, “Goodbye To All That #2,” was reprinted on 3,000 sites around the world—expounds here on women’s stake in the general election and the vote that will “make history.”
I screwed up. I started writing this weeks ago as a Letter to Undecided Women Voters—especially those still scarred by the profound misogyny battering Hillary Rodham Clinton in the primaries. But headlines kept breaking and I kept adding stuff until the piece threatened to become the Black Hole that ate the Electoral College. By now, my short tolerance for willful ignorance is as spent as Wall Street while socialism-Republican-style tries to nationalize it. But it’s hard to know where to start. So many dolts and liars, so little time. So much to cover. This essay needs lists.
Since feminists are reluctant to criticize a woman (as much from a healthy fear of headlines screaming, “Catfight!” as from sisterly sanctity), I offer:
Ten Nice Things to Say About Sarah Palin:
1. She’s a lifelong NRA member and crack rifle-woman, but hasn’t yet shot a single person in the face.
2. She’s so unafraid of power that a majority-Republican legislative committee is investigating her abuse of it.
3. She’s broad-minded, willing to have evolution taught alongside creationism.
4. She gives “the personal is political” new meaning: Axing the public-safety commissioner for not firing her ex-brother-in-law (Trooper-gate); firing “foes” suspected of “disloyalty” (Library-gate).
5. She knows how to delegate, involving “First Dude” husband Todd in more governmental decisions than any male politician’s spouse has dared since Hillary tried to give us healthcare in 1993. (First Dude’s defying a subpoena from those meanies mentioned up in #2.)
6. She has executive experience: As mayor of Wasilla, then-constituency 5,000 souls, she presided over a population almost as vast as that of some urban high-schools.
7. She’s an existentialist: Bridge-to-Nowhere-gate, Highway-to-Nowhere-gate. She never “focused much on Iraq”—after all, “the war is part of God’s plan”—and she dismisses McCain’s reluctance to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as being like “Eastern politicians” about environment. (Check out Wasilla’s dead-Lake-Lucille-gate.)
8. She brings home the earmarked bacon—plus moose, caribou, wolf, and any other animal stumbling haplessly across her rifle-sight as she leans out of the ‘copter on another heli-hunt. But! Does she rely solely on godless government for her $500 million U.S.-subsidized natural-gas pipeline? No! Last June, at the Pentecostal Assembly of God Church, she declared, “God's will has to be done to get that gas line built!”
9. She displays refreshing curiosity, as when she asked, “What is it exactly the VP does?” (Don’t scoff: Are you smarter than a 5th grader?)
10. She’s multi-talented—studied journalism, tried sportscasting, can slickly scan a teleprompter (unlike her running-mate). She’s a jock (Sports-Complex-gate.) She was a beauty queen (as all of McCain’s wives were; how ‘bout that?) She’s patriotic—well, except for attending that secessionist Alaska Independent Party conference during the seven years when First Dude was a party member pulling down DWI convictions on the side. Best of all, she’s a born-again feminist, a “feminist for life.” Which I guess makes me a feminist for death.
Oh,the irony of it all.
We’ve lurched through a surreal looking-glass. Cheney advisor Mary Matalin smirks “we feminists have fought thirty years for this moment.” GOP Committee Victory Chairman (sic) Carly Fiorina—who sneered, “The glass ceiling doesn't exist”—steals my words from “Goodbye To All That #2” to support McCain. Conservatives now complain about “misogynistic” coverage of continually emerging political misdeeds by Palin—who herself denounced as “whiners” those millions of us livid at media sexism and Democratic National Committee (DNC) indifference to it in their joint political gangbang of Hillary last spring. The gall is breathtaking.
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