Before I say anything else, I want to show you this great response to Gov. Palin. Take the time to watch it.
I started this post last night but waited to post it until I cooled off and now I'm glad, because there are so many thoughtful responses from people who have gone beyond the rage I have been feeling. The first is the above video response from Nerdette. For some reason the mocking of community organizers was particularly painful to me. Of course since I've been listening to The People Have the Power for days now I guess that's not a surprise.
I also recommend. thanks to a tweet from Pundit Mom, the ever-wise Gloria Steinem's response in the Los Angeles Times, which includes this: It
won't work. This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified
woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most
other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job
for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere.
It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us
for that. It's about baking a new pie.
Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters. Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton's candidacy stood for -- and that Barack Obama's still does. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, "Somebody stole my shoes, so I'll amputate my legs."
My good friend Mocha Momma offers some very personal yet universal and policy-based observations - YES you can be personal - as SP was - and still think about policy -- as Mocha did. Here's a sample but go read the whole thing. She's a wonderful person and educator whose commitment to schools in underserved neighborhoods is profound. She scoffed at Obama’s community organizing and pushed for her own small town agenda. You know what I heard in that thinly veiled line? Her lack of experience with people of color and the power of community organization. She doesn’t know cities or poverty that way or even what that does for education. She is keeping that dividing line bold and prominent by letting me see what she thinks about that: small town = hard-working white farming families vs. city/community = blacks and latinos and asians and other people she knows nothing about. She so wasn’t talking to me.
OK I can't hide any longer. Here's me talking. I've been around a lot of political campaigns and presidencies. I remember Spiro Agnew and his vicious attacks on the press -- many other Republican "red meat" speeches and Democratic ones too. But I don't remember anything like this (except Pat Buchanan in 1992 but that was different.) Cruelty, sarcasm, disguised bigotry, language so beyond the appropriate, in my view, that it was breathtaking. Literally.
In Mocha Momma's post there's a link to a New York Times piece on Palin's time as mayor of Wasilla. Here's a taste:
Shortly after becoming mayor, former city officials and Wasilla residents said, Ms. Palin approached the town librarian about the possibility of banning some books, though she never followed through and it was unclear which books or passages were in question.
Ann Kilkenny, a Democrat who said she attended every City Council meeting in Ms. Palin’s first year in office, said Ms. Palin brought up the idea of banning some books at one meeting. “They were somehow morally or socially objectionable to her,” Ms. Kilkenny said.
The librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, pledged to “resist all efforts at censorship,” Ms. Kilkenny recalled. Ms. Palin fired Ms. Emmons shortly after taking office but changed course after residents made a strong show of support. Ms. Emmons, who left her job and Wasilla a couple of years later, declined to comment for this article.
If you have read Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, you've seen a society in which these values were completely in control. Not only government control of women's bodies but a government of rage, male-domination and the absence of liberty. Of course not even these folks can take us that far but every time we get into one of these periods it's all I can think about.
Someone on Twitter last night wrote: When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis
OK. So that's why this song says so much. It has to.