Saturday, August 30, 2008

Why, Yes, it is, in Part, about the Parts

Because this is not some black or white, left or right, right or wrong duality. It is about both policy and history. And anyone who can't see that, has either never been on the short end of the history stick, or simply doesn't want to open his white, christian eyes. I just turned 41, and the closest I have ever come to seeing a woman anywhere near the Oval Office was when Geraldine Ferraro was chosen as Walter Mondale's running mate. We all know how that went. We were thisclose to changing that this election year, but my party chose to go in a different direction. A direction I am certain that has Black Republicans wrestling with the decision they will make this November. Now McCain has brought gender back into this campaign, and by doing so, ensured that history will be made, regardless of which candidate wins, this election year. Is that a political move? Of course it is. But it is also a move that taps into the powerful yearning my generation has to see that glass ceiling shattered.

And the thing that will drive me to help my fellow Republicans shatter it is if one more male Democrat tells me I'm being played. Let's just add being condescending to the list of mistakes the democratic spin doctors are making since McCain's announcement. Unlike some of my fellow Democrats, I am able to consider the whole picture and make a decision that is informed by both my philosophical leanings on policy AND my respect for what it means to finally have a woman in the White House, in a role other than that of First Lady. If I believe that McCain/Palin will lead this country in a manner that will do damage to the institutions I hold dear, then, of course, I will not vote for that ticket. So stop insulting me by suggesting they're insulting me by choosing Palin as a running mate. HOWEVER, if I'm not convinced that McCain/Palin will undo the very fabric of democracy in America. If, instead, I am intrigued that the first veto Palin exercised as Governer was to insure that gay couples had same-sex benefits and if I believe that her pro-life position is a hell of a lot less political than that of the men in her party, and that McCain is fundamentally a good man and far from George Bush's twin, then you better believe I am going to be influenced by the fact that voting for McCain/Palin on November 4th will be making a long overdue entry into the history books. The fact that the 2012 election would likely be Palin vs. Clinton doesn't hurt this narrative a bit. Will I make that choice come election day? I honestly haven't yet decided. But the Democrats in my party (save Hillary Clinton, who made the one relatively intelligent comment I've yet to hear) are so far playing their part to push me in that direction.


6 comments:

Malagueta said...

Wow, as a woman who has too frequently been the only skirt in the room, I could not be more disgusted at John McCain's pathetic attempt to garner my support by throwing Palin on his ticket. The level of condescension toward women in this nomination is simply infuriating . . . and insulting. There are, without a doubt, qualified Republican women who could have been vice presidential candidates--women who have paid their dues somewhere other than the NRA lipgloss booth. In addition to Kay Bailey Hutchison, who had been a suggested candidate, this list might include Christine Todd Whitman, Olympia Snowe, Cathy Rodgers, and outside of politics, there was certainly Meg Whitman (my favorite). They may not be former beauty queens who served as part time mayors of towns as big as my subdivision, but they do bring actual experience to the table. I have never been a Hillary fan--during her tenure as first lady or her run for president. She is, however, without question a woman of great intelligence and experience (who still strikes me as a great behind the scenes wonky advisor rather than a front of the room draw). Though she was not my candidate, Hillary has the bona fides to be president and certainly vice president. Palin doesn't have the breadth of qualifications to manage the Jonas Brothers let alone the country. And, please don't believe the hype. Palin's supposed support for same sex marriage/benefits has not given the conservatives a moment's pause because she did not and does not support same sex marriage or partners' benefits. In her veto, she was advised by the Alaska Attorney General that the law was unconstitutional and signing it would violate an order by the Alaska Supreme Court (see this analysis by Media Matters: http://mediamatters.org/items/200808290025). If she's elected, Palin will certainly shatter the glass ceiling. My greatest concern is just who will be cut to pieces by all that falling glass. I know for certain it won't be the Mad Men of the Republican or Democratic parties.

Amy said...

I figured this blog entry would bring you out of the woodwork, Anne :-)

Dana said...

Well, you can see my thoughts by going to Clay's blog. I agree that it is a political move, but what isn't? But I don't buy into the qualifications argument, particularly from anyone who sees Obama as more qualified than Palin. And I don't think it is condescending. And I don't think it is aimed to try to sway your vote or the vote of any left winger. It is aimed at the more conservative woemn in the Dem party, and the more Independent and moderate voters in the GOP. Obviously, time will tell if McCain's gamble worked.

Amy said...

In case I hadn't made it clear initially, I do not pretend to know enough about Palin to find her a good or bad pick. That said, if McCain wins in November, she will be the first female Vice-President. And that alone will take the sting out of Obama's loss for me. The day won't come when it's second nature for a woman to hold the highest office in the nation until the day comes that a woman actually has done so.

meetinmontauk said...

Not much I can say that Anne didn't say much better...

But I will add that Nancy Pelosi is currently third in line for the presidency, which is a hell of a lot closer than Geraldine Ferraro ever got. And she's qualified to be there, too.

I understand (as well as I can, possessing testicles) the desire to see a woman in the White House. But the thought that any woman will do doesn't make sense to me.

Amy said...

As I've just said in a comment on your blog, any woman will do in the most general sense. Sure I would prefer if I could hand pick the woman who would hold that place in history. But my choice wouldn't be Nancy Pelosi either, yet I've been content with the fact of her presence in the important role she now serves. I imagine the same will be true of Palin, if she and McCain are elected. No position she has on any issue will determine whether the country goes in a particular direction. If shards of glass are slicing and dicing the women of this country, it will be because the President and Congress and the Supreme Court and state governors and legislatures all work together to make that happen. So, forgive me if I don't see electing Sarah Palin as the beginning of the end of women's rights. I don't see much threat of The Handmaid's Tale unfolding in the good ole USA. Rather I see the symbolic importance that a woman just got one heartbeat closer to the highest office one can hold in our country.