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Friday September 12 2008

Mark Holland emailed a link to me today, to a headline that he believed might interest me, because it suggests an army of digital photographers.  The headline reads Feminist Army Aims Its Canons at Palin.  Mark added: “Surely that’s a spelling mistake rather than an Americanism. Or perhaps it refers to men of the cloth?”

More to the point, the piece itself, by Jonah Goldberg, is rather good:

Whether or not Sarah Palin helps John McCain win the election, her greatest work may already be behind her. She’s exposed the feminist con job.

Don’t take my word for it. Feminists have been screaming like stuck pigs 24/7 since Palin was announced as McCain’s running mate. (Are pig metaphors completely verboten now?)

Feminist author Cintra Wilson writes in Salon (a house organ of the angry left) that the notion of Palin as vice president is “akin to ideological brain rape.” Presumably just before the nurse upped the dosage on her medication, Wilson continued, “Sarah Palin and her virtual burqa have me and my friends retching into our handbags. She’s such a power-mad, backwater beauty-pageant casualty, it’s easy to write her off and make fun of her. But in reality I feel as horrified as a ghetto Jew watching the rise of National Socialism.”

And that’s one of the nicer things she had to say. Really.

So much for what is happening.  But why is it happening?

The academic feminist left has scared the dickens out of mainstream men and women for so long, the liberal establishment is terrified to contradict feminists’ nigh-upon-theological conviction that female authenticity is measured by one’s blind loyalty to left-wing talking points. This is a version of the Marxist doctrine of “false consciousness,” which holds that you aren’t an authentic member of the proletariat unless you agree with Marxism.

I disagree with that.  Speaking as a mainstream man, at any rate for these purposes, I am not scared of mad feminists and I never have been.  Nor, as far as I am concerned, has mad feminism ever been a “con job”.  It never convinced me of anything.  I never wanted to believe it, and I never did.  But, as a mainstream man, I have been raised to tolerate the madness of mad women and not call such mad women mad, at any rate not to their mad faces.  It’s not polite.  It’s not chivalrous.  It’s cruel.  Women have babies and period pains, and they’re weaker than us.  They must be allowed their tantrums.  That’s the line I’ve been fed since infancy, and I have not dissented.  And that goes for most other mainstream men, I surmise.

What has happened with Sarah Palin is not that the mad feminists have suddenly gone mad.  They have been mad for a quarter of a century and more, and we have all known it.  No, what is now different is that now there is a woman being very publicly screamed at, by other women who are, to an embarrassingly obvious degree, less womanly than she is.  So, we mainstream men are now impelled by the very same conditioning that caused us to suffer mad feminists in silent pity, decade after decade, to defend the wronged woman against creatures who are, compared to her, not so much women as monsters.  The same chivalry that protected the mad feminists for so long now turns against them.  Back off bitches!!!  I have never before in my life said anything like that, or written anything like that, about women, but I say it and write it now.  It wasn’t fear.  It was self-restraint.  But now, duty of a different sort calls.  A damsel is in distress and must be protected.

If the mad feminists continue their mad attacks on Sarah Palin to the point where these absurdities sets the tone of the entire presidential campaign, that twenty per cent swing among women to Palin-McCain will be followed by another huge swing among men to Palin-McCain.  These men know at the merely conscious level, as I know, that Sarah Palin is not in any real distress.  She can swat aside a few dozen tenured harpies and silence their thousands of idiot devotees with a few smiling put-downs.  But this is not about logic.  This is about What Men Do.  Men Take Care of Women.  Even women who can perfectly well take take of themselves.

Since you’re probably asking, I think Margaret Thatcher was something else.  She came across as the kind of woman who would actually be insulted by chivalry.  I don’t need you to defend me, you foolish little man. So when the mad feminists attacked her, in the same stupid way that they are now attacking Sarah Palin, we mainstream men left her to look after herself, which, like Palin, she was well able to do.  The difference was that when you protect someone like Thatcher - the very idea is laughable, which is exactly my point - she is liable to hit you with her handbag.  Palin, you just know it, would smile sweetly and thank you.  It’s the difference between protecting your favourite sister, and not needing to protect your scariest aunt.

None of which is to say that Palin, up close, is not made of tempered steel, or that Thatcher, up close, was not sweet and sexy.  Not having met either, I wouldn’t know.  By all accounts, Thatcher was tempered steel and sexy, to a certain sort of man.

You and me both, matey.  Join the club, or rather another bloke that has behaved properly to ladies all his life.  And, Thatcher was sexy. God save strong women!

Posted by Lola on 13 September 2008

It’s good entertainment though to watch the old harpies and their craven male supporters frothing at the mouth.

Posted by Robin on 13 September 2008

Brian,
I think you are too far away to have any real sense of what is happening here in the USA and what is being said, though I am surprised that even from Britain it isn’t clear that McCain was irresponsible to appoint Palin as the VP.

Posted by David Sucher on 13 September 2008

Oh, look who’s here.

I just wanted to say - on the contrary, Brian, you have a very clear understanding not only of what’s going on in US politics, but that I admire your chivalrous impulse.  Not many men, irrelevant of their politics, still retain it.

Posted by Tatyana on 13 September 2008

I used to rather like Salon. It was a creation of a journalists strike in a rather left wing paper in San Francisco, yes, but it covered culture well in the 1990s, including tech culture and nerd culture. It also covered Silicon Valley very well at one point. It was a very early web publication from a time when the web was a nerd thing, and it showed. (Plus it had several good film critics). However, on September 12, 2001, I discovered I was unable to read it. Either it changed, or I did. (A bit of both, I think. Salon was funded through tech bubble sources prior to the popping of that boom. Since then it has been funded by rich left wing friends).

Tatyana: I think that more men retain it than you think do, even if they sometimes walk too fast. It is not expected of you, and men are expected to be grosser and crasser, and this is expected by women as much (or sometimes more) than by other men. It is often easier to just go along with such expectations.

As for the “Palin is an irresponsible choice for VP” line, although the American left and much of the American media seems to believe this, I am yet to see actual reasons thrown at her that have stuck. She is relatively young, and a governor of a relatively small state (in population terms, anyway) and has held the job for a relatively short time, but the short time may only mean that she is a smart and capable politician who is rising fast. In comparison to many other presidential and vice-presidential candidates, she looks unremarkable. Presidential candidates seem to previously be either senators, state governors, or vice-presidents (usually preceded by one of the other two). Governors have executive experience, and senators have national experience, possibly including some foreign policy experience. Despite the parties seemingly endlessly nominating senators, the voters seem to prefer to elect relatively less experienced governors rather than multi-term senators. Some of these governors have come from large states, and some from small. The disadvantage is that they have had to have learned foreign policy on the job, but most seem to have managed it. The advantage Palin would have is that she would get properly briefed on such matters as VP, without having to make the actual decisions, so she might end up being better prepared than many if she ever becomes president.

It is simply not true, by the way, that she was plucked from complete obscurity and nobody had heard about her until the day McCain announced her after ten minutes vetting. For people who were watching, she was on the radar all year. I don’t think I read a single piece of “Who will McCain pick as VP?”
analysis in which she was not mentioned. She was usually mentioned in an “outside possibilities” context, but she was there. People in the McCain camp were clearly thinking about her all year. I don’t know whether I will like her policy positions if she actually is elected - she is a politician and that is something fundamentally not honourable to be - but that it once again no worse than everyone else who is standing. The Democratic party has been hijacked by the angry left in recent times, and Obama appears to me to be the first candidate who has adopted the angry left’s platform wholesale to get nominated. I have heard whispers that he doesn’t really mean it and that he is really “sensible” and “moderate”, but should I believe this? No idea. And in my eyes, “moderate” in this context only means “more of the same much too large government” rather than “completely round the bend”. (It certainly includes a massive attempt to nationalise healthcare, too).

The thing which does seem apparent to me is that Palin has been treated by the media and her opponents quite differently than she would have been treated if she were a man. I think there is considerable anger about this, and I think this will be a factor in the election. Possibly not a big enough factor to get McCain and Palin elected, but a factor.

Posted by Michael Jennings on 13 September 2008

Michael, I haven’t thought of this angle: you’re saying women expect men to be crass and unchivalrous, so instead of proving these expectations wrong, men prefer to flow with the tide and just BE crass and gross? Hmmm. You might be right, but I don’t think this method speaks well of men. I don’t consider briskly-walking men unchivalrous, as long as in the midst of all that brisk walking they occasionally pay attention to my chattering.  Which might prove your point that my expectations are lowered too much.

Watching the infamous now interview on ABC (Palin interviewed by Gibson), and the crude propaganda tricks of montage/repetitious interrogative questions I realised what it reminded me of: Michael Moore so called documentaries. Looks like the TV people and Mr. Moore graduated same school of Soviet-style agitfilm. Sarah Palin during that interview didn’t appear to be especially brilliant and perceptive (probably because she doesn’t have much experience dealing with liberal media), but at the same time they couldn’t hide the fact that she didn’t appear to be scared or intimidated by interrogation. Which is, actually, what one would expect from someone who won a beauty contest - I hear they are real snake pits, full of double-tongued serpents with an earnest smiles on their made-up faces.

I want Sarah Palin to win this election. Not because I’m swept away by her energy policies or dexterity with a handgun. But because she’s a real person, with real unsheltered life experience behind her. With a husband who has his own mind, not a mere puppet in political games (see, for opposite examples, Edwards and his wife. Or Clintons. Or even Bushes). And because she’s a smart real person. Who can figure out, when it is necessary, the gist of all confusedly-formulated topics. That’s something I can identify with.

Posted by Tatyana on 14 September 2008

’For people who were watching, she was on the radar all year. I don’t think I read a single piece of “Who will McCain pick as VP?” analysis in which she was not mentioned.’

News to me but taking you at your word, Michael, could you offer a few links?

I was watching, at least casually. And I’m pretty close to Alaska here (news that the Alaska governor was even remotely on the VP list would have been big news in Seattle as weso many people have strong business, recreational and family connections there) so I’m curious to see a story or two (more than ten days before McCain’s announcement) in which Palin’s name is even mentioned.

Posted by David Sucher on 15 September 2008

Around a year ago Instapundit pointed out a “Palin for VP” blog. At that time he said he liked her, but didn’t see her being picked for VP as likely.

Make of that what you will.

Posted by Natalie Solent on 15 September 2008

Here is an Associated Press article from February. Finding the others is a little harder, because Googling for “Sarah Palin” now gets a huge amount of recent stuff which rather overwhelms anything harder. I can no doubt find a few more if I try harder though, because I certainly remember reading them.

Posted by Michael jennings on 15 September 2008

"older”, not “harder”.

Posted by Michael jennings on 15 September 2008

Not the first time I hear liberals crying “but nobody talked about her! she wasn’t on a radar! where did she came from?” - like 5 yo in a sandbox temper tantrum.
As if
1) somebody has to always inform them first. You are not our bosses, David, we are not obligated to ask your approval before deciding on a candidate.

2) somebody has to do their job for them. You wanted to analyse the other side - do the work: read the conservative blogs, papers, listen to the radio. Just like conservatives do - open NYT, or watching CNN, or even - heroic people, really - reading Kossaks, as disgusting stinkhole as that is.

So what if you and other socialists didn’t hear about her, David? That’s the definition of “fresh blood” in politics, isn’t it? “New” inevitably means the “old” didn’t hear about it. Revolution. Change. Hope. Recognize any of it?
You’re old, David. Take it as a man.

Posted by Tatyana on 15 September 2008

David Sucher

For the life of me I cannot see why nominating Sarah Palin for VP is irresponsible.  That is to say, any more irresponsible than nominating Obama, Biden or McCain.  Or any of the other people who were trying to get elected President.  Whoever you pick, it’s pretty much hope for the best fear the worst, isn’t it?

The mainstream print media story here is much more varied than the American media seem to be.  Our print media are much more diverse, and that might be why they seem to be doing so much better as businesses than the big American newspapers.

But the TV broadcasters here all take their cue from the BBC, and their line is she’s a mad ignorant Christian bimbo from nowhere, and all the stupid fat Americans love her and she’s rescuing McCain and it’s not fair and what the hell can “we” do about it?  And, I daresay, although I’ve not actually heard the word yet, picking here was “irresponsible”.

But why?  I mean, yes, it was politics.  But this is politics, and it seems to have worked a treat for McCain.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 15 September 2008

T.

I wasn’t complaining just curious about michakel’s remark.

B.

Irresponible because she has no demonstrated ability to run a large complete endeavor. Obama does.

No time now for lengthy response now but when I get back to a desktop next week I will be happy to share the businessman’s perspective on Mc/Pa.

Posted by David Sucher on 15 September 2008

Irresponible because she has no demonstrated ability to run a large complete endeavor. Obama does.

Obama does

Indeed? When did he democtrated such admirable quality? When he was a community organizer (read: red agitator, a provocateur)? When he dispersed, along with his buddy Ayers, millions of $ w/o anything to show for the waste? When he claimed he manages his campaign? What LARGE CORPORATE ENDEAVOR Obama ever managed? Enlighten us.

Posted by Tatyana on 15 September 2008

T.
Obama us by all accounts a fine manger: look at his campaign. A presidential campaign is a massive undertaking and Obama has proven that he is capable as most accounts of the campaign will verify.

Michael.
You can restrict dates in Google searches (e.g. “McCain Palin” prior to August 20(?) 2008")—that should solve your problem of finding links to prove your point.

Posted by David Sucher on 17 September 2008

David, let me break some news to you: Senator Obama has a campaign manager, David Axelrod. Here’s an ABC article about him:
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/Story?id=5629051&page=1
I’m sure if you google the name, you’ll find more.

The only thing Obama run in his his life, as Mark Steyn said, paraphrasing that special person, pastor Wright, is his mouth.

Posted by Tatyana on 17 September 2008

"For the life of me I cannot see why nominating Sarah Palin for VP is irresponsible.”

Brian, you wrote that Sept 15. Do you still hew to the same opinion?

It is obvious to me that the harsh criticisms of Palin such as your “mad ignorant Christian bimbo from nowhere” seems fairly accurate, though my own take emphasizes her lying and inability to even understand that there is something such as an objective reality.

There is plenty of room ion life for people with other opinions. You and Michale Jennings often say things with which I disagree but your opinions are usually based on some coherent reasoning. So my concern about Palin is not so much her opinions but her manner of presenting herself and her obvious ability ("I read them all.") to lie when cornered.

It was irresponsible for McCain. unpatriotic if you like, to have brought such a poorly-prepared and emotionally-weak person into a heartbeat of the Presidency. 

•••

Tatanya.
Executives are know by the quality of the people they hire and the tenor of their organization, and by all accounts Obama’s is fairly drama-free. So yes I think it’s fair to attribute management ability to Obama.

Posted by David Sucher on 07 October 2008

Vave: my name is not Tatanya.

If you ever being hired for a job, or acted as a hiring party, you know that to prove yourself qualified for a position a person needs to demonstrate past achievement in this capacity.

Your candidate proved the opposite - contrary to Sarah Palin.

Posted by Tatyana on 07 October 2008
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