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Rob Stafford Headshot

Picking On A Girl

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I've now read a lot of analysis of why John McCain picked Governor Palin as his running mate, and a lot more on how best to approach the issue. I had a blog ready to go on Friday but then withdrew it as the rush of ideas and information coming through the tubes pretty much mooted it before it was queued up.

I do want to offer a few thoughts on how to treat Governor Palin.

First, I think we need to treat her with the gravitas she deserves -- if she's not getting any traction -- we shouldn't give her any (I know, I know, I'm doing that now). So -- let's watch her, if she has an impact -- on the press, on the polls, we need to respond. If she doesn't -- let's not (and let's stop soon) give her too much free publicity.

Secondly, if she does get some traction, it's simple. We let Joe Biden and Hillary bust her up. Will some people accuse us of being bullies, of picking on a girl? -- yes, they will. I call those folks "Republicans." You know, the guys who will say or do anything to win -- no matter the cost. Will we lose a few votes because of it? Yes.

Now, let's be clear -- we should be careful not to fall into the trap we did in the primary -- where some democrats (at least they called themselves Democrats) used Hillary's gender against her. Attack Palin on the issues -- that will work just fine. A commenter on another thread got it exactly right, somebody asks a question, we let Joe Biden answer it, then sit back and watch her squirm or say something nutty. And if she answers first, even better.

What will be the net result of a few patriarchal old white guys telling us not to "pick on the girl"?

Well, for women who actually know that they are equal and deserve to be treated equally, they will perceive this 'defense' as condescending and old fashioned -- just like John McCain.

For Christian Fundamentalists, they will have Paul's words from the New Testament to fall back on -- women shouldn't lead, women shouldn't speak publicly, they need a big, strong man to take care of them and tell them what's what. They can't have a female leader -- it's against Paul's will.

We're not gonna win in a landslide, and if we think we are, we may still lose it. But we are not divided -- the only 'divide' in the Democratic party are the PUMAs, who, I suspect, most people have realized now are Republican shills and closet racists, and not much else -- we don't need 'em. And we will make up for them with millions of independents and moderate Republicans.

Yes, some of the Republican men will like her looks and admire her recreational activities -- but will the religious right really be enthusiastic to vote for the man who called them "Agents of Intolerance" and a woman who, according to the beliefs they profess to hold so dearly, "[is] not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If [she] want[s] to inquire about something, [she] should ask [her] own [husband] at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church"?

I'm tellin' ya, the Republican base is staying home in droves in November -- and anything we can do to increase their unhappiness with their lot, we should do.

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