Wednesday, 8 July 2009

sarah palin no longer governor

it's old news now that sarah palin has resigned from her position as governor of alaska. all around the media and blogosphere, there is plenty of speculation about the real reason for her departure. these range from a hidden scandal yet to emerge from current investigations to the supposition that she wants to be able to spend more time campaigning for the next presidential race.

one of the issues raised was the negative and sometimes pretty nasty media commentary. there was some interesting discussion about this on an abc (american) panel. the one woman amongst five other white dudes response was "i have two words: hilary clinton". she then went on to talk about what hilary and chelsea clinton faced in the 1990s. her line was basically that if ms palin wasn't tough enough to take this kind of nastiness (she did mention that it was not a good thing, but that it was the current reality), then it was best she stay away from the limelight and not seek higher office.

of course, many feminists would rather that we work on changing the culture that savages women politicians with misogynistic putdowns. hence the sarah palin sexism watch at shakesville & also at the hoydens. and we've been pretty clear about that here as well - disagree with her politics as much as you like, but don't attack her just for being a woman. however, all feminists haven't taken that line, and one of the better posts i've read on the subject is here by violet socks at reclusive leftist (hat tip: hoyden about town).

so who knows what's next for sarah palin. even though i totally disagree with most of the policy positions i've seen her advocate, i'd actually like to see her on the republican team. if for nothing else than to watch the most conservative people defend from the kind of misogynistic attacks that they've been quite happy to make themselves.

18 comments:

Hugh said...

You'd like to see her on the Republican team?

Umm... I think she's already on it.

stargazer said...

um, i meant in some kind of leadership position. right now she has no position at all, so it will be interesting where she goes from here.

Hugh said...

What sort of leadership position?

Remember, US political parties are not like New Zealand political parties. The party institution is extremely weak.

People who fancy themselves future candidates for high-ranking elected office don't usually find some position in the party - anybody who sees themselves as a potential Senator or Governor, let alone President, will be very unlikely to seek a position in the party hierarchy. This is usually seen as the province of third or fourth string politicians (to demonstrate what I mean, the current institutional leader of the Republican Party is a former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland).

Party leadership in the USA, in other words, is much more informal and based on networking and prestige than it is here (and in other Parliamentary systems). This can lead to chaos, as the Republicans saw during the last primaries (and may well see during the next ones).

On a related note, the spectacle of long-time pillars of patriarchy defending Palin using feminist arguments is not a new one - it happened plenty during the last election. Personally, however, I find it less amusing than sickening and depressing.

A Blogger said...

You really havent researched Palin have you?

She is the worst type of Republican.

She brings new meaning to the words, "Religious right"

stargazer said...

have a read of the post i linked to. i disagree with almost all republican policies, totally oppose what they've done to the world 7 their own country in the terms of mr bush, mr reagan etc. but palin being the worst of them? nope, she wasn't even worse than john mccain. i'd say they were pretty much equal.

hugh, while i'd agree that "the spectacle of long-time pillars of patriarchy defending Palin using feminist arguments" was the height of hypocrisy & sickening. but on the other hand, them having to do it for a prolonged period is likely to be a good thing. in the same way that i see national having to support maori party positions to actually be a good thing for decreasing racism in this country. still totally hypocritical (given what brash, brownlee etc were saying in 2004/2005), but better for the country overall.

A Blogger said...

I guess we have to agree to disagree, her religious beliefs is what puts her over the top for me.

Like Bush, she believes God wants her to be president, and that is very dangerous, she is part of the Christian Taliban.

Hugh said...

Stargazer... hmm, no. The right is very, very good at appropriating the language of the left when it needs to do so, and has been doing so quite profitably since the 1960s. When this happens on an institutional basis, rather than forcing people on the right to re-evaluate their beliefs, it usually simply results in the ideas being degraded by their association with people who practice them, at best, extremely selectively (and more often not at all).

Your comparison with John Key is a good one but I think it actually supports mine more than yours. Just as Palin's enthusiastic participation in the campaign was a good way for McCain to avoid talking about gender issues, John Key's default position on racial issues is "Look! There are brown people in my Cabinet!".

stargazer said...

"Look! There are brown people in my Cabinet!".

no, i think it goes further than that. because he's relying on maori party support, he'll never be able to take the line that maori are "privileged" or lazy bludgers or use any one of ms rankin's more famous lines. when you have political leaders make those kinds of statements (with a fakely innocent "what? i was just telling the truth that everyone knows but is afraid to say") it actually affects the atmosphere in the whole country. the absence of that in the last two years has been great. of course it's not likely to translate to any substantive policy that is of benefit to maori, but just the absence of hate in the public discourse is not something to be belittled.

Hugh said...

I really doubt that the presence of the Maori Party guarantees that there won't be any racist statements made by Key or his lieutenants. But I guess only the next few years will tell us whether or not I'm right, or you are.

A Nonny Moose said...

As much as I detest American Republican Party policies, I'd much rather see Condoleeza Rice lead the charge of GOP feminists than Palin. At least Rice is intelligent, informed and has held a position of power. Palin will be nothing but an insult of a Barbie Doll for the GOP to hold up and say "Yay! We luv teh wimmens too!"

Cactus Kate said...

I only attack her because she is stupid.

That is not gender specific. Men can be equally as stupid as well.

Chrystal K. said...

Maybe her resignation was the best thing for her state.

katy said...

I agree with A Nonny Moose, there are good Republican women out there but I am not convinced Sarah Palin is one.

stargazer said...

hugh: whether or not key & co may revert to using the race card in the future, but that would be entirely dependent on how much they needed support from the maori party. the way things are at present, they need MP quite a lot to avoid being held hostage by ACT.

a nonny moose: yes ms rice is definitely more intelligent than ms palin, but on the other hand is totally complicit in the illegal iraqi invasion and a lot of other crap that happened under the bush regime (including, it seems, the torture stuff). so intelligence didn't really make a difference in the scheme of things. which is why i see them both as much of a muchness.

and katy, agree that there are probably much better republican women out there, but given ms rice's history, one has to question how effective they'd be. and again, i'm not saying ms palin's good, i'm just saying she's really not any worse than others. certainly not worse than messrs bush, cheyney and rumsfeld!

Hugh said...

stargazer: You're assuming that the Maori Party would immediately withdraw support from the government if any racist utterances were made.

You're also assuming that the Nats would rather be reliant on Maori than on ACT. I think they'd rather be reliant on both than either one (and on neither then either, obviously) but if given a choice, the average National voter has much warmer feelings for ACT and it does for the Maori Party - although the latter does seem to be changing.

Anonymous said...

I think you're making very veiled comments on National being slightly "racist" or that "brown" people do not belong on the right.

stargazer said...

i'm not making any veiled comments anon. i'm just poniting out very public comments and behaviour by the national party of 3-4 years ago. it's all on record, and i was present during some of the debates in the 2005 campaign, one including brownlee, another including ms bennett, so have their comments first hand. speculation that they might revert to that line of attack is hardly unfair, given they've done it before, and done it when messrs key, english, brownlee, smith, and ms collins & bennett (in fact much of the cabinet) were senior MPs.

A Nonny Moose said...

Stargazer: I've never agreed with Rice's politics, especially Iraq. But if I had to choose someone as the "female face" of the Republicans, I'd rather have someone who is informed and educated, who will argue intelligently for their case, rather than using a wink and a smile to get by. Intelligent arguments on the conservative side may be disingenuous, but a pretty face is just downright manipulation.