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Kim Kane

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Bristol Palin: Ask Your Mom About Defending Women

Posted: 03/22/2012 7:08 pm

Bristol Palin, daughter of Sarah Palin, has penned an open letter to President Obama saying she is waiting for his phone call of sympathy -- a la Sandra Fluke. The President recently offered his support to Fluke, the Georgetown law student who started a national conversation after being called a "slut" and a "prostitute" by conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

Bristol wrote to Obama in a blog, "You explained to reporters that you called (Fluke) because you were thinking of your two daughters, Malia and Sasha. After all, you didn't want them to think it was OK for men to treat them that way... Now that you're in office, it seems you're only willing to defend certain women."

Bristol and Momma Grizzly have issue with President Obama's acceptance of a $1 million dollar Super Pac donation from Bill Maher, the Democratic television host of "Real Time With Bill Maher" who has (in the past) made crude remarks about Sarah Palin and her family. Bristol adds in the close of her letter -- "What if you did something radical and wildly unpopular with your base and took a stand against the denigration of all women... even if they're just single moms? Even if they're Republicans?"

When asked for her two cents, former Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin defended Rush Limbaugh's assault on Sandra Fluke, saying Limbaugh was within his rights:

I think the definition of hypocrisy is for Rush Limbaugh to have been called out, forced to apologize and retract what it is that he said in exercising his First Amendment rights and never is that... the same applied to the leftist radicals who say such horrible things about the handicapped, about women, about the defenseless. So I think that's the definition of hypocrisy, and that's my two cents.

Leftist radicals? Any relations to the Girl Scout radicals?

I find it ironic that Palin and child would gripe about the President and cry hypocrisy when Sarah Palin is on public record giving a pardon to the attack of another woman. Sandra Fluke was speaking at an unofficial Democratic Party hearing about the fact that Georgetown, a Jesuit University, fails to provide contraceptive coverage -- which in turn makes contraceptives prohibitively expensive for some members of its female student body. A man who has been called "the mouthpiece of the Republican Party propaganda machine" unfairly targeted Ms. Fluke. And yes, Bill Maher has said offensive things about the Palin family, and I'm not saying that's acceptable because it's not. But we must look at the bigger picture.

Sarah Palin is part of the problem. She's a politician who has contributed to the mud-slinging and the toxic political climate that has been a turn off for so many. She has headlined hate-filled tea party rallies and lent her support to a very non-inclusive Republican agenda. There have been shameful violations of women's rights on behalf of the Republican Party. The extreme right of that party is to thank for amendments in several states preventing in vitro fertilization and access to birth control, for criminalizing a woman's right to choose -- even in the case of rape and incest. Palin's views on women's rights do no match up with her gender, which makes the pill even harder to swallow.

During Sarah Palin's time as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, the town charged women for rape exam kits -- which can cost anywhere up to $1,000. This practice added insult to injury for rape victims in Alaska, which ranks number one in the nation for rape per capita. These are not new numbers, and this has been a problem in my home state for years. During my sophomore year at University of Alaska, Fairbanks, I became a statistic. Even though it was paid for by University insurance, I turned down the rape kit because it is extremely intrusive. Also, I was able to identify my attacker. They didn't need semen to catch him. Had this happened 300 miles up the road in Wasilla, Alaska, I would have been victimized all over again and forced to pay out of pocket for a dehumanizing rape kit - even though I was the one who was assaulted. Rape victims in Alaska have been very vocal about Sarah Palin's shortcomings, and the fact that women had to endure that on her watch is appalling. It's a problem that any attentive Alaskan lawmaker takes quite seriously.

Almost two years ago, President Obama signed the Affordable Health Care Act, a law that protects women. It covers preventative services like cancer screening and mammograms. It protects senior citizens and small business owners. And after August 1st 2012, it will cover female contraception. As of 2014, insurance companies can no longer deny women coverage because of a preexisting condition. Among his many Presidential accomplishments, Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to help close the gender gap. He extended the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for women and families. He has appointed more women and minorities to the federal branch than any President in the history of the United States. Is Obama perfect -- has his administration been perfect? Of course not, we've never had and never will have a perfect President. But no one could contest that Obama has been a champion for women.

The President accepted money from someone who was vocal about his dislike for Sarah Palin -- and SarahPAC has raked in millions from those who have been vocal about their dislike for the President. What's the difference? Let's just call that like it is. If what Sarah Palin said was hypothetically true -- if Rush Limbaugh was within his First Amendment rights to attack Sandra Fluke on the national airwaves -- why wasn't Bill Maher within his rights to attack her from his platform? Why does Sarah Palin feel she's somehow the exception to the rule and shout injustice after she's dished it out?

I know Bristol is young and seeking answers, but she should begin by asking her mother the same questions: why didn't and why doesn't she do something radical and wildly unpopular with her base and take a stand against the denigration of all women... Even if they're a Democrat -- like Sandra Fluke?

That would be a much more compelling story.

 

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