Saturday, September 6, 2008

Palin, Family Values, Campaigning and Family Policy

Friend JC writes in regarding the intersection of Sarah Palin's family and the election....

If Sarah Palin wants to keep her family/children as an untouchable subject in the political world, then she shouldn't be parading the crew out at political events or using them as props in her speeches and in developing her political persona. You can't have it both ways. If you're running on "family values" than your own personal family values are absolutely fair game for fair criticism, especially due to the double standards she holds for her and her family. She's out there saying that you can be VP with 5 children under 18, including an infant, including a disabled child, including a pregnant teen, but fighting against supports for other working mothers, such as subsidized childcare and extended familial leave policies. I don't think that it's anti-feminist to admit that working mothers simply cannot to do it all on their own. They require extra help and adjusted circumstances. Working men need these things too, but women's needs are greater, due to the fact they're the ones gestating, giving labor, and breastfeeding the child, a process that takes up at least a year and ideally more like 3 years. She seems to shun assistance for her family, which demeans the way the vast majority of American families live their lives.

There are plenty of political issues that make Sarah Palin an easy target for democrats, but pointing these out only helps secure left-leaning voters. If we want to capture independents and fed-up Republicans, we need to show the hypocrisy and lies inherent in the Republican party and their candidates. The criticism doesn't have to be personal, it just needs to be pointed. Sarah Palin claims to be just like you, but she's not, for X, Y, and Z reasons (wealth and privilege among them). Sarah Palin claims to support famllies, but her decisions and policies, such as cutting funding for social programs don't support this fact. Sarah Palin's daughter has choices Sarah Palin doesn't think your daughters deserve. Sarah Palin is an extremist who doesn't believe in contraception and thinks rape victims of any age should be forced to carry to term their attacker's offspring. John McCain used to believe the opposite of most of those (and OMG there are so many things he's changed his position on in the last 4 years!) and now he agrees with Palin? How can you trust a man like this? Dems need to start getting personal, because the Republicans already have. And that doesn't mean they have to be nasty, but they need to fight hard. The media isn't doing their job, so the Dems have to be the ones to bring out the skeletons in their closets.

The only thing I'd add is to make it crystal clear that the only reason Sarah Palin could succeed as governor of Alaska, or as VP, with her family is that she has staff take care of damn near everything: Shopping, laundry, child care, etc. That's a luxury almost no one has, so the next time you hear someone saying "well, Sarah Palin can do it," just remember that it's actually Sarah Palin with substantial help - help that the rest of us don't get. It's not Supermom; it's Supermom and Friends.

The other alternative is that she really is refusing that help, and thus neglecting her job. There's just no way to do both.


Anonymous said...

As far as I can see she will be the first woman president of the United State of America. As an independent voter, she had won my vote.

Dennis said...

Anon @ 10:09,

Can I ask why?

jt said...

she is the one true leader

Anonymous said...

This is why she had won my vote. She is a mom a wife that was not groomed to be a politican. She reminds me of mothers I met at soccer fields, basketball, baseball and the hockey arena cheering on their kids. They are caring, loving and speak from the heart. Not a person that went to elite universities with a goal in mind to be a politican and willing to do what ever it takes. She does not take sides but only looks out for the average person. She praised Obama in the beginning of the year when she heard that Obama was suggesting some good reforms and she even went against her on party when she had to. She is a true reformer, conservative and a simple person.

In many years I have known my wife and her friends they had always hated politics. They did not pay attention until she was picked as VP for McCain. This is the first time I had ever seen them become engaged and excited about politics. She had brought true hope to her and women she said. Something they can relate to and believe. Believe me, my wife is not easy to be persuaded. She is the most skeptical person I had ever met and this really surprises me too, especially how independent she is. Therefore I can conclude she brings hope to more women than the liberal media is willing to admit and most husbands will understand what I had just said.

Anonymous said...

To anon 8:42,

While I am glad in some strange way that your wife's first political engagement should motivate you, I am sad at what it takes to 'win your vote.' Very sad.
Being a teacher I am all for people cheering on kids, however I would never be foolish enough to think that every teacher or parent, fan or coach is fit to be president, fit to run this complex, modern industrial (post-industrial) society.
Certainly the last example of 'I 'd rather have a beer and burger with Bush than Kerry' has not worked out very well.
Would you want Ken Toombs to be President? Just asking.

p.s. people that kill people are not people, people who kill people are people... Just to help you with your English usage- It should be 'Not a person who went to...' not that.

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