Palin Makes a Mockery of the Election

Here in Washington we have a female governor who is a policy wonk and rated by Pew as the among the very best governors in the land; we have two very capable women serving as Senators. Our newest Supreme Court Justice is a capable jurist, who also happens to be female.

From this perspective it is strange to see a female politician being treated as if her gender were an infirmity. She is handled as if she is supposed to look good and be quiet. Criticism, even just lack of deference, is treated as it were an assault on the fair sex and extremely inappropriate. She is not expected to answer questions from the media as her delicate sensibilities are given more weight than the needs of the democratic process for candidates who are known to the electorate. She is being presented as nothing more than a pretty face with slogans favored by her party.

Her treatment by her party does I think ring of sexism. It’s as if girls should not be expected to have substance if they are pretty. This is a mockery of what Hillary Clinton represented, regardless of whether your views coincided with hers.

Elections are sometimes derisively called beauty contests. Now we are presented with a beauty queen who is being treated as if this election were a beauty contest. She has no sense of duty to the people to inform them of where she stands on issues and to defend her qualifications for office. Instead of talking to journalists she gives photo opportunities.

She is being presented as nothing more than image and slogans and that we are told is enough. After all she is just a small town girl. Forty seconds of viewing her idly chatting with foreign leaders is enough to get her picture in the news and that is enough for the American version of democracy.

Where did the deep cynicism about our form of government come from?

Men from McCain’s campaign have taken over her role in Alaska and rescinded her statement that she would cooperate with the investigation of her there. She dutifully smiles for cameras and submits to McCain’s mandate that she keep quiet when not reading a script. In her two unrehearsed interviews she agrees with everything McCain has said but does not seem to know what it means.

From what we know about her she and Jesse Ventura would make a good third party ticket, although Jesse clearly has more experience.

How can one of these statements not be true: (1) McCain has bad judgment; (2) McCain has a low opinion of women; (3) McCain has a low opinion of the electorate; (3) McCain does not subscribe to the Jeffersonian ideals about democracy that he talks about; (4) McCain thinks that running the White House is such an easy job that it does not matter who is there; (5) McCain will do or say anything to get elected.

George F. Will said yesterday that about the only legitimate reason to elect McCain that was being offered was that he would pick conservative Supreme Court justices. Will found that McCain’s judgment was so impaired that there is no basis to imagine that he could pick good people to join the Court. Can anybody dispute that?

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