Huffpost Politics
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Taylor Marsh Headshot

We Have Not Come A Long Way, Babe

Posted: Updated:

by Taylor Marsh

If Sarah Palin was a man being nominated for vice president she would be laughed out of politics and so would John McCain.

About the woman thing: "We should all be proud," Hillary Clinton said in a statement, of this "historic nomination."

Sorry, but count me out. I found Palin's selection, and her calculated shout-out to unhappy Clinton supporters, insulting. In that sense, Palin's selection seems less like Quayle and more like Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court. "She's exactly who I need," McCain said -- but the notion that Palin, like Thomas, is the best-qualified for the job is ludicrous.

Count me out, too.

It's not sexist to call McCain's Sarah Palin pick what it is. A gift to the religious right.

Speaking before the Pentecostal church, Palin painted the current war in Iraq as a messianic affair in which the United States could act out the will of the Lord.

"Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God," she exhorted the congregants. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."

Religion, however, was not strictly a thread in Palin's foreign policy. It was part of her energy proposals as well. ...

If Sarah Palin was a Democrat, she would be ridiculed by the right and forced to remove her name from consideration, though it's doubtful that Democrats would make such a boneheaded, ignorant, insulting move, because Republicans would let us have it if we did.

But now, all of a sudden, Sarah Palin is supposed to be taken seriously for the vice presidency, because John McCain cannot be doubted? He panicked, deciding he better make a deal with the devil he used to rail against rather than get caught with his base disaffected. The "straight talk express" sold his soul to the fanatics. Sarah Palin is what America got in return.

Maureen Dowd is the president of the Clinton haters, but she nails Sarah Palin today and the hypocrisy surrounding this choice. Elevating women the likes of Palin to being one step away from commander in chief, but not calling this affirmative action selection in go-go boots, diminishes all women of real competency.

At some point, women have to stand up and say no to insulting selections that make a mockery of the rest of us who have not only had to pay our dues, but wait our turn. It took Hillary Clinton 35 years to prove her prowess. It's taken me decades, including honorable investigative work that is often ridiculed, plus years of working tirelessly to make a name for myself, to get where I am today. Women need to be able to stand up against and separate themselves from a political marketing plan based solely on packaging, as opposed to a worthy choice that honors the expertise of women of real stature. The choice of Sarah Palin is gender affirmative action and nothing more, which no independent woman should support or condone. It's nothing less than a slap in the face to all sisters wanting equality based on merit, not marketing.

McCain's choice of Palin reveals his reasoning for being against equal pay, believing that women need more training before being eligible for pay equity. If anyone needs more training to be a heart beat away from the presidency it is Sarah Palin.

"She's going to learn national security at the foot of the master for the next four years, and most doctors think that he'll be around at least that long," said Charlie Black, one of Mr. McCain's top advisers...

Either women are going to be judged equally, which includes the requisite experience for the same jobs, with men or we are not. If we are to be considered for serious positions like the most important job of all, the presidency and commander in chief, then we should be judged on the same criteria as men.

There's a lot of talk now about sexist language and judgments being leveled, with terms, phrases and graphics judged inappropriate. It's not sexist to call the selection of Sarah Palin what it is. She was chosen on purely gender terms, her looks, and her personality, along with her hard reactionary right wing views, so John McCain could buy the presidency through the pulpit wing of the Republican Party. That's how she will be judged around here.

Sarah Palin is the Miss Vice President candidate, nothing more. She has been tapped to be Miss Republican 2008. I have no intention of opining otherwise.

Palin's selection, though, feels like a disappointing retreat to the identity politics of 1984, when Geraldine Ferraro was picked solely because Walter Mondale wanted a woman on the Democratic ticket. On Friday, Ferraro was on Fox News, talking about how "people are looking for a historic campaign," and suggesting that the choice of Palin "might do it."

No wonder I never felt simpatico with Geraldine Ferraro.

Sarah Palin has no foreign policy stance, writings, thoughts or experience whatsoever. Palin also has no stance on jobs. National security and the economy evidently haven't crossed her mind as important enough to weigh in on. She's too busy pushing that dinosaurs and people lived on the planet at the same time. That is when she's not telling women that if they're raped to suck it up and have the child, including in cases of incest.

This woman isn't vice presidential material. She should be nominated for administrator to the creation museum in Kansas.

Yet we are supposed to ignore her resume, including her ethics issues and the tawdry soap opera dogging her that has her being investigated, and not call her what she is. An unqualified embarrassment to all women who have the requisite experience to be seriously considered for leadership jobs of great importance, as well as a potential danger to our country's national security.

Hillary Clinton was supported because she was qualified. Nobody voted for her because she was simply a woman. Those who did make up the unhinged fringe, having no credibility or numbers whatsoever, now being relegated to the sidelines only to whine, because they can't take defeat like a man.

Sarah Palin wasn't chosen by 18 million voters in a primary. As Paul Begala said on CNN, she was chosen by one man to be the vice presidential nominee and be one fatal moment away from the presidency. Why John McCain did this is beyond all rationale, especially since Palin brings the age issue into stark view, something people had been tip toeing around before. We want this woman next in line to the presidency?

Yet McCain, after looking into her Miss Vice President soul, channeling the Bush strategy for leadership once again, evidently saw someone he thinks can be commander in chief if he drops dead. I wrote it first, Ruth Marcus seconds it.

How dumb do they think women are? So dumb that former Clinton supporters would defect to McCain-Palin, even though the candidates' agendas -- including their agendas on issues of particular importance to women -- could not be more different?

In the estimation of this woman, anyway, McCain's standing went down, not up, with this cynical choice.

It also proves that John McCain does not have the judgment or the seriousness to be president. His first important decision as the Republican nominee was to choose a running mate not close to being up for the job. Of course, that doesn't mean McCain-Palin can't get elected. It just means that if they do we're risking the safety of this nation, our military, and the prestige of the United States of America, in the process.

Taylor Marsh is a political analyst who's been seen on CNN and MSNBC, talk radio personality, and author. Twittering politics from the Dem convention thru the general election.

Read more reaction from HuffPost bloggers to John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate