Obama “Disappoints” on Iraq Withdrawal

From Marc Lynch at Foreign Policy:

Iraq’s Parliamentary elections have not yet been scheduled and don’t even have an electoral law, and according to a number of senior Iraqi politicians probably will not be held until March 2010 (not December 2009).  That would then give the U.S. about five months to withdraw the bulk of the dozen combat brigades which would reportedly remain.  And then, keep in mind that U.S. officials generally agree (correctly) that the most dangerous period of elections is actually in their aftermath, when disgruntled losers might turn to violence or other destabilizing measures.  So the following month will likely not seem a good time either.  So that would leave four months to move, what — 9 brigades?  Did someone say precipitous?   Good luck with that. And that’s assuming, of course, that nothing else risky or destabilizing comes up in April or May 2010 (Kirkuk?) which would make a drawdown at that moment appear risky.  [more]

From Robert Dreyfuss at The Nation:

… it’s sad indeed to see the antiwar wing of the Democratic party disheartened by Obama’s Iraq policy, while the McCains of the world are cheering. This, truly, is change I can’t believe in.

From Anthony DiMaggio at counterpunch:

Despite the public’s long-standing opposition to the war and support for a short timetable for withdrawal, Obama and his generals continue to defy public wishes as they debate whether the occupation will continue for another three years, six years, or indefinitely into the future.  Much of the justification for this obstinacy is based on manipulation of available intelligence and from deceptively simplistic arguments that the 2007 troop surge “worked.”  Detailed analysis reveals that this deception is wide-ranging, as support for the surge spans across liberal and conservative mainstream media outlets. 

Oops, Palin

For all those who thought that the electorate mopped the floor with Sarah Palin, to all those who believe she doesn’t appeal to a single f’ing American soul:

One day before the runoff election between Georgia Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss and Democratic challenger Jim Martin, the GOP will be pulling out its biggest gun yet — the party’s newest star, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Palin will be at four Chambliss rallies this coming Monday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The runoff is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 2. Today, another of the Republican Party’s big draws, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, was in Georgia campaigning for Chambliss.

Here ya go

And of course, there’s what John McCain says:

Former GOP presidential candidate John McCain denied Tuesday that political considerations — a desire to appeal to Clinton supporters — played a role in his selection of running mate Sarah Palin, calling her “an energizing factor” and telling reporters the Alaska governor has a “very bright future in a leadership position in the Republican Party.”

“She did a great job of energizing our base. I’m very proud of her,” he said at a press conference in Phoenix, his first since losing to Barack Obama three weeks ago. “It’s one of the great pleasures I’ve had to get to know her and her family, and I think she has a very bright future in a leadership position in the Republican Party.

“….I knew that she would be an energizing factor, because she energized me,” he added. “Our base, and most Americans, viewed Governor Palin as a breath of fresh air.”

So folks, when ya call Sarah Palin an airhead and a ditz, what are ya sayin’ ’bout the peeps who love her?

Bill Ayers

Part of William Ayers’ response to his villification by just about everybody:

McCain and Palin demanded to “know the full extent” of the Obama-Ayers “relationship” so that they can know if Obama, as Palin put it, “is telling the truth to the American people or not.”

This is just plain stupid.

Obama has continually been asked to defend something that ought to be at democracy’s heart: the importance of talking to as many people as possible in this complicated and wildly diverse society, of listening with the possibility of learning something new, and of speaking with the possibility of persuading or influencing others.

The McCain-Palin attacks not only involved guilt by association, they also assumed that one must apply a political litmus test to begin a conversation.

On Oct. 4, Palin described her supporters as those who “see America as the greatest force for good in this world” and as a “beacon of light and hope for others who seek freedom and democracy.” But Obama, she said, “Is not a man who sees America as you see it and how I see America.” In other words, there are “real” Americans — and then there are the rest of us.

In a robust and sophisticated democracy, political leaders—and all of us—ought to seek ways to talk with many people who hold dissenting, or even radical, ideas. Lacking that simple and yet essential capacity to question authority, we might still be burning witches and enslaving our fellow human beings today.

Maybe we could welcome our current situation—torn by another illegal war, as it was in the ’60s—as an opportunity to search for the new.

Perhaps we might think of ourselves not as passive consumers of politics but as fully mobilized political actors. Perhaps we might think of our various efforts now, as we did then, as more than a single campaign, but rather as our movement-in-the-making.

We might find hope in the growth of opposition to war and occupation worldwide. Or we might be inspired by the growing movements for reparations and prison abolition, or the rising immigrant rights movement and the stirrings of working people everywhere, or by gay and lesbian and transgender people courageously pressing for full recognition.

Yet hope—my hope, our hope—resides in a simple self-evident truth: the future is unknown, and it is also entirely unknowable.

History is always in the making. It’s up to us. It is up to me and to you. Nothing is predetermined. That makes our moment on this earth both hopeful and all the more urgent—we must find ways to become real actors, to become authentic subjects in our own history.

We may not be able to will a movement into being, but neither can we sit idly for a movement to spring full-grown, as from the head of Zeus.

We have to agitate for democracy and egalitarianism, press harder for human rights, learn to build a new society through our self-transformations and our limited everyday struggles.

At the turn of the last century, Eugene Debs, the great Socialist Party leader from Terre Haute, Ind., told a group of workers in Chicago, “If I could lead you into the Promised Land, I would not do it, because someone else would come along and lead you out.”

In this time of new beginnings and rising expectations, it is even more urgent that we figure out how to become the people we have been waiting to be.

I don’t know what Bill Ayers did or didn’t do forty years ago, but I’m hearing him now.  I am frankly sick of people judging “the ’60s” and “the boomer generation” and finding it and them entirely wanting.  There were contradictions in what people were doing and in the results; but a lot of people tried.  Sometimes, I wonder why people aren’t doing now what they did then.  I try not to come up with “answers” that would blame another whole generation.  It’s worth looking at some of that history with a clear and critical, but fair, eye.  Someone might learn something helpful.  The ’60s was by no means a dead loss.  If the election of Barack Obama is recognized, at least in part, as the result of the struggle for civil rights undertaken by white and African Americans of that time, perhaps there was also something of merit in the struggles for civil liberties, peace, justice and economic equality both within America and beyond it.  Not that those struggles can be separated.

Bill Ayers’ full statement is here

UPDATE:  One day I’ll change my smelly socks and sandals, dye my grey hair another colour, pick up my saggy ideals and uncool slogans and respond to this piece of sloppy, ahistorical misunderstanding.

My Last Words On US Election: Ambivalence

I feel such a mixture of happy and sad in the face of what I’m convinced will be the result of tomorrow’s election in the US.

I’m happy that a man whose skin is not white will be the President of the United States of America.  I wish that he was more willing to claim the disaster of racism as his own and it makes me sad that he doesn’t seem to really “get it”.  Scared too.  For instance, scared for the black American men who represent 65% of America’s prison population and scared for the fastest growing part of that population: African American women.  And for lots of other African Americans, for lots of other reasons.

I’m happy that a man who voted against the Iraq War will be President of the United States of America.  I wish I was sure that he wouldn’t take the world into further disasters in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Gaza and it makes me sad that he doesn’t seem to really “get it”.  Scared too.  For instance, scared for the American soldiers and Afghan, Pakistani, and Gazan women and children who will grow up in poverty or die senselessly because he doesn’t.

I’m happy that a man who is a member of a racialized minority will be the President of the United States and I share in the joy of African Americans.  I wish that he and his campaign and his party hadn’t found it necessary to flagellate Hillary Clinton, the women of America and the women of the world to gain the prize and it makes me sad that he doesn’t “get it”.  Scared too.  For instance, scared for the women who will continue to be the butts of sexist and misogynist jokes, for the women who will be the subjects of  pornography, the forced prostitution and death at the hands of rapists or the men who are supposed to love them; for all of us who wait for a woman leader who is respected as much as Obama is respected – even taking account of the racism the campaign has generated, or exposed.

I’m happy that a man who has some respect for the US Constitution will be President of the United States of America.  I’m sad that he thought that the FISA compromise was ok.  Scared too.  For instance, scared of the United States of America and the weakening of democracy in the country that still stands for the best blossoming of that principle in the world, and that we will lose it – that is, lose the USA and lose democracy.

I’m just plain sad that the next President of the United States of America will not stand up, unequivocally, for same-sex marriage and for the obvious principle that women, and women alone, not women, their families and their pastors, are responsible for their own bodies.

I’ll be just plain happy to see the end of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.  But I wish Obama would go after them for their crimes. 

I’ll be just plain happy to hear the words “I,  Barack Hussein Obama …”

I’m neither sad nor scared, but damned angry, that the Republican are going to paint Obama’s election as the unhappy result of media bias and voter fraud:

… the Republican base already seems to be gearing up to regard defeat not as a verdict on conservative policies, but as the result of an evil conspiracy. A recent Democracy Corps poll found that Republicans, by a margin of more than two to one, believe that Mr. McCain is losing “because the mainstream media is biased” rather than “because Americans are tired of George Bush.”

And Mr. McCain has laid the groundwork for feverish claims that the election was stolen, declaring that the community activist group Acorn — which, as Factcheck.org points out, has never “been found guilty of, or even charged with” causing fraudulent votes to be cast — “is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.”

These far right nutbars are a danger to everywhere.  I’ll be happy if they all fall into the sea.  And have a nice relaxing swim.

Wherein Barack Makes Hysperia Cheer

“[John McCain] is a man who has looked in the face of evil and not flinched…he’s earned our support and confidence and the time is now for him to be our next president.”—Vice President and Dark Overlord Dick Cheney, endorsing GOP nominee John McCain in Wyoming, today.

“I’d like to congratulate Sen. McCain on this endorsement, because he really earned it. That endorsement didn’t come easy. George Bush may be in an undisclosed location now, but Dick Cheney’s out there on the campaign trail because he’d be delighted to pass the baton to John McCain. He knows that with John McCain, you get a twofer: George Bush’s economic policy and Dick Cheney’s foreign policy.”—Senator and Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, on the campaign trail this afternoon in Colorado.

Yeah baby!  More of this please.  Dick Cheney is well-qualified to speak about evil.  Embodying it as he does.

via Shakesville

The ’60s Were GOOD!

Gary Leupp at Counterpunch:

Three years after McCain was shot down over Hanoi while on that bombing mission, [Bill] Ayers by his own admission participated in a bombing of a New York City police station, and went on to bomb the Capitol and Pentagon in the next two years. Each action came in response to a specific escalation of the Vietnam War. There were no casualties, and Ayers was never convicted of a crime. He denies that the bombings were acts of terrorism and points out instead that the war in Vietnam was a war of terror. (During this time, by the way, the 11 to 13 year old Obama was living in Indonesia and Hawai’i.)

Bill Ayers like many of his generation was a follower of Martin Luther King before joining the SDS then some of its spin-offs which (like many in the New Left) parted company with the doctrinaire non-violence they perceived as ineffectual. But consider his background. While studying at the University of Michigan in 1965, he joined a picket line protesting an Ann Arbor pizzeria’s policy of refusing service to African-Americans. (18 years later, when I studied at UM, such racist exclusion was unimaginable. How the world had changed because of people like Ayers!) He participated in a draft board sit-in, punished by 10 days in jail. He worked in progressive childhood education. These are the kind of rebellious activities that enraged the white supremicists (then far more respectable and mainstream than now), the kneejerk anticommunists, the reactionaries terrified by rock ‘n roll and the youth counterculture. But what’s there to damn here, for those who aren’t misled by a washed-up generation of racist uptight bigots?

People over 50 remember that period very well, and many much younger people view it with envy and fascination. After all, today’s youth listen to the Beatles, Stones, Doors, Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead, considering them their own. (We in the ’60s rarely listened to the music of the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s.) College students flock to courses on the ’60s, viewing that decade as one of turmoil, excitement, and progressive change. The verdict’s in: the war was wrong, segregation and all racism was wrong, sexism and homophobia were wrong—and the limited social progress as we’ve seen since the ’60s is largely rooted in the tireless efforts of the activists of that decade.  The ’60s were good!

Read the whole thing here

h/t wood s lot

Blowing the “Sexism” Whistle

I’ve stayed away from the Ashley Todd “hoax” and I’m not changing my mind on that.  But I sigh and feel tired and depressed and like I wanna move to Antarctica when I see things like this, in response:

The blogger’s post contains a response to the exploitation of this woman and her complaint that I sympathize with.  I can’t sympathize with the way he ends the post –  this picture of Sarah Palin.  The picture of Ashley Todd that he posts at the beginning of his rant makes me very sad.  She has problems and her attempt to make that clear has turned her into an international story, thanks to John McCain, and yes, I do blame John McCain.  I strongly suspect that Sarah Palin doesn’t have much to do with running the campaign.  So I must ask, why is it she who gets pictured branded and with blackened eye?  Because Todd is a woman and Palin is a woman?  If so, the blogger is operating at a pretty elemental level of logic that doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of his blog.

I suggest that the blogger’s ire has been raised and that when he’s angry, the nearest woman is, in this case, the easiest target for his anger, the one that feels most “natural”.  To think that a representation of a woman victim of violence is funny – well, to put it mildly, I just can’t identify with that kind of sense of humour.  Humourless old feminist that I am.  Certainly deeply, profoundly sick sick sick and tired of this kind of crap.

This photograph of Palin makes me cringe.  It makes me angry.  It doesn’t make me laugh.  It doesn’t change my view of Palin (or McCain) one iota.  Many have argued, as I have argued, that the Ashley Todd story says much more about the people who exploited it and her than it does about the young woman herself.  The posting of this photograph, photoshopped by the blogger, says more about him and his appreciative audience than it does about anything else.  I don’t like what it says.

I’m not gonna visit a blog where there’s any chance I’ll be subjected to images like this posted as jokes.  There are just too many places where I can get good stuff, and funny stuff, that isn’t offensively and overtly misogynist.  He’s coming off my blogroll because I can’t ask you to visit him either.

I don’t feel as though I’ve expressed myself very well here – I’m suffering through some major tooth pain that’s blurring my thoughts and yes, I’m tired of this campaign and tired of having the misogyny slapped in my face and shoved down my throat.  I’m tired of taking people off my blogroll and censoring myself – defining more and more places where I won’t go, though there are many things I enjoy there.  I want to live where I live, and not in Antarctica.

UPDATE N.B.  Some fuckwit in LA hung an effigy of Sarah Palin on his door in “celebration” of Halloween.  So the L.A. County Sheriff’s Office investigated and decided it didn’t rise to the level of a “hate crime”.  Although, if it had been an effigy of Barack Obama, it likely would have.  Because, you know, racism “adds a whole other social, historical hate aspect to the display, and that is embedded in the consciousness of the country”.  Unlike sexism.  WTF?  See the post at Shakesville 

McCain & Obama, Hawks & Doves

From the NYT:

… as the campaign has unfolded, both men [McCain and Obama] have been forced into surprising detours. They may have formed their worldviews in Hanoi and Jakarta, but they forged specific positions amid the realities of an election in post-Iraq, post-crash America — where judgment sometimes collides with political expediency.

The result has included contradictions that do not fit the neat hawk-and-dove images promoted by each campaign. As spelled out in presidential debates, in written answers provided by their campaigns, and in an interview with Mr. McCain in January, some of their views appear as messy and unpredictable as the troubles one of them will inherit.

For example, it is Mr. McCain — the man who amended the words of a Beach Boys song last year to joke about bombing Iran’s nuclear sites — who says he could imagine a situation in which Iran’s behavior changes so much that he would be willing “to consider” allowing Iran to enrich its own uranium, producing a fuel that could be used for nuclear power — but only under highly restrictive conditions that ensure it could never be used for weapons.

Mr. Obama, the candidate who has expressed far more willingness to sit down and negotiate with the Iranians, said in an e-mail message passed on by an aide that in any final deal he would not allow Iran to produce uranium on Iranian soil, the same hard-line view enunciated by the Bush administration.

Consider the delicate issue of Pakistan, where it is Mr. Obama who has been far more willing than Mr. McCain to threaten sending in American troops on ground raids. Mr. McCain, by contrast, argues that Pakistan must control its territory. “I don’t think the American people today are ready to commit troops to Waziristan,” he said, months before Mr. Bush signed secret orders this summer authorizing ground raids in Pakistan, including the violent sanctuaries of North and South Waziristan.

Read the whole thing here

Sex? Gender? McCain & Palin

Is this interesting or just seriously fucked up?

Here was McCain, the angry old warrior, deploying sex as a central political weapon to recharge his potency, his party’s fortunes and the cultural oomph of the right. Not gender. The Republicans didn’t need just any woman to compete with Obama for the Wow factor, the Mmm factor, the stable, loving family factor. It is a calculated bonus that adherents can now speak loftily of making history, but for different reasons, drawing deep from the well of their identities, and not for the first time, both McCain and the right needed a sexual icon.

Hmmmm.  One way or another, this is going to go down as the weirdest election in American history.  Here ya go

Sarah Palin, Annie Oakley and “Liberal Values”

I’ve been having conversations with friends, and in the blogosphere, about the meaning of Sarah Palin’s candidacy in terms of feminism and “gender equality” if that is taken to mean equality as between men and women.  One of my friends, who has done decades of thinking about politics and feminism and sexism, said this:

 … note how the Republicans are using liberal values of gender equality to promote Sarah Palin.  Yes, it’s mixed in with conservative values about abortion and family, but second wave feminism did make some headway into sexist ideology.

I don’t think I agree that the Reprobates are using liberal values of gender equality to promote Sarah Palin.  I should put it this way:  the Reprobates are using liberal values insofar as that appeals in some twisted way to liberals.  It’s not necessary to use liberal values to situate Sarah Palin for conservatives.

There have always been exceptions to the rules of gender roles, even in more completely patriarchal societies than the one in which we live.  You could see those women as embodying proof that there is nothing about women, per se, that makes them more fit for one role rather than another.  Or you can simply see it as proof of the norm.  I’m inclined to think that women like Elizabeth I, Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher, for instance, don’t signify a true challenge to patriarchal norms, at least in part because they do such an excellent job of adopting personnae that fit fairly easily into those norms. 

Elizabeth I became the “virgin queen” for many reasons, no doubt.  But I suspect that a few of those reasons were to take herself out of the category of gender altogether in some way, like becoming a eunich for a male.  Gender is off the table and “the body” is enabled to enter arenas of power without threat.  Marriage signified a loss of power and Elizabeth may simply have been too politically smart to fall for it.  There’s also evidence that she was well aware of the loss of personal power that marriage entailed:

“If I am to disclose to you what I should prefer if I follow the inclination of my nature, it is this: beggar-woman and single, far rather than queen and married!”

The virgin role also played powerfully into Christian madonna symbology, the virgin being human but not like any other woman, and this at a time when the status of the Virgin Mary in the Roman Catholic tradition was being wiped out by the Church of England.  The “cult of the virgin” played a powerful role in the lives of the simple people who formed the basis of the economy, going back to pagan times, and a credible alternative to the cult in the form of a ruler had significant results in terms of pacifying the people.

Golda Meir got to be Prime Minister of Israel by “playing” very strongly to the myth of the Jewish mother, who is allowed to protect her children fiercely and by any means when they are threatened [whether she did this consciously is another matter], although she may otherwise be not much more than a terrible nag.  

It’s difficult to imagine any man making this statement made by Meir after the Yom Kippur War:

When peace comes, we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons. But it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons.

Meir’s personal warmth and “motherliness” allowed her to be a woman with nerves of steel in the political arena without threatening traditional gender roles:

Golda Meir was a poster woman for the feminist cause in the 1970’s. Her picture as Prime Minister appeared with the caption: “But can she type?” However, many feminists felt that she could have done more to help other women. Golda overcame many personal hardships because she was a woman: as a child she fought with her parents to continue her education and as a married woman she made a difficult choice between her family and her career. However, she failed to recognize that many of her personal struggles were universal problems faced by most other women of her time. Golda did not use her position of power to address women’s needs (such as child care or equality in the workplace), to promote other women to aspire to public office, or to advance women’s status in Israel. Thus she was an inspiration and source of pride to women, yet, simultaneously, a disappointment and source of frustration to twentieth century women who were fighting for social change.



If Golda Meir was a “poster child” for liberal values of sexual equality, it certainly wasn’t because she actually embodied them.

As for Margaret Thatcher, she was seen as being asexual and so, once again, a very different kind of woman.  Perhaps in some ways she harkens back to Elizabeth I, the “Iron Lady” appellation so often attached to her name is reminiscent of strength, but also of a chastity belt.  Thatcher adopted the term herself to indicate a strength and resolve not traditionally associated with women.  It’s clear that many powerful woman have had to “de-sexualize” themselves in order to maintain that power.  The “iron” qualifier is often applied to women with political power, to distinguish them as extraordinary: Wikipedia:

Many male politicians have to define themselves as “ordinary” in order to appeal to “ordinary” voters in order to be successful.  In America, it’s the “regular guys” who have risen by virtue of their work ethic who appeal to voters and, though many powerful men may be far from ordinary, they nevertheless attempt to establish personal narratives that appeal to “everyday” Americans in order to achieve success – witness the attempts of Barack Obama to fit himself and his wife into that story, whether successful or not.  Chris Matthews loves the fact that Joe Biden is “just a regular guy”. 

As a “Jewish mother”, Golda Meir was able to exploit an abundance of emotion.  Thatcher, on the other hand, was not known for displays of emotion at all, which is very “un-womanly”, but fits with an alternate narrative of “the woman who is ‘really’ a man”.  These are no ordinary women, nor are they allowed to be if they are successful.  They are “irregular” women and that allows them to circumvent their status as women.
As for Hillary Clinton, she got absolutely murdered by sexism, not only in the media, but also among Democrats!  Mostly Democratic men, of course.  Unlike Sarah Palin, she got hammered for not being a “real woman”.  She was too old and baggy and wrinkly and shrieky and “post-sexual”, postmenopausal and too much a ballbreaker who had nevertheless made herself a doormat for her husband who cheated on her and she then capitalized on her “victim” status to get elected to the Senate.  She was critisized if she showed her cleavage (expoiting her sexuality?  behaving like an ‘unchaste’ woman?) and critisized for wearing pants (too much like a man?  not ladylike?) and critisized if she complained, because that was whining.  And ain’t all that just like a woman?  Not even liberals have liberal values!  They’re certainly confused and contradictory expressions of attitudes toward women, which shouldn’t surprise us and, indeed, does not surprise many feminists.
Sarah Palin breaks the Clinton mold AND the Thatcher mold so it is true that she is a new version of a woman with at least potential political power.  Time will tell whether there is a need to construct her place in as complex a way as in the cases I’ve been talking about.

Thus far, Palin has described herself as “a pit bull with lipstick“.  Her audience has seemed not just willing, but delighted to accept that definition.  She is far from de-sexualized.  Chris Matthews wants to wake up in bed next to her and that seems to be a good part of the appeal – they’ve accepted a total stranger, those Reprobates, because somehow, they can see her as a version of Annie Oakley.  Sarah Palin hunts and rides a snowmobile and shoots – she’s a modern day American cowgirl.  Not many people can sling guns the way those broads can!  I bet Annie Oakley voted Republican.  She didn’t align herself with the feminists of her day either. 

I came up with the comparison to Oakley all by myself but I’m not alone.  Here’s what Joan Walsh said about Palin:

By the time Palin took the stage, she no longer seemed like an Alaskan Annie Oakley, a gun-toting, hockey mom biker-gal; she’d become pioneer victim girl, Pauline tied to the train tracks by mean Democrats and the liberal media. But Palin shook off the victim mantle by coming out swinging, first blasting “the pollsters and the pundits” for writing off McCain last year, then tearing into Barack Obama with glee, teeth bared like a Rudy Giuliani in heels.

See?  Palin isn’t a woman.  She’s McCain, Obama and Giuliani in drag!  Not even Joan Walsh can resist describing Palin in terms “other”.

The fact that Palin was momentarily “tied to the railroad tracks” by sexism, visions of that “Alaskan Annie Oakley” still apply – Palin came back swinging and untied those knots, just as our girl Oakley would.

I’m trying hard to find male commentators who don’t refer to Palin’ssex while at the same time bending the gender narrative to take her outside the realm of ordinary women.  Some comments from an article by Rick Moran:

There’s steel behind that beautiful smile that Democrats belittle at their peril

… a huge smile creased John McCain’s face as he gave her an affectionate peck on the cheek and looked at her as a father might see a daughter on her wedding day …

… There also appears to be a high level of confidence that the six-term senator from Delaware will make mincemeat of the little lady from Alaska when they debate in a few weeks.

If I were a Democrat, I would not be so sanguine iIf Joe Biden is seen as being condescending in the slightest toward Palin during that debate, he is likely to get clipped.

… in my appraisal of the relative strengths of Mr. Biden vs. Mrs. Palin. This is one tough lady …

… they grow them “Tough in Alaska.”

“Them” being women.

In addition to the Oakley qualities, Palin is a Mom of a great big family, she’s “pro-life”, rabidly anti-abortion, pro-marriage, anti-gay, blah blah blah.  She’s no threat at all the the status quo and I just can’t see how she’s in the position she’s in because of liberal values.  American males want to screw her for gawd sakes.

 Golda Meir once said “There is a type of woman who does not let her husband narrow her horizons.”   [Neither Meir nor Palin let their children narrow their horizons either].  Such women have always existed.  They have little to do with liberal values.  In the case of those values, the Reprobates may find it convenient to appeal to such them when it’s convenient.  Or perhaps they are just “read in” to the narrative by others.  But those are not values that are likely to hit the mark for those who will vote McCain/Palin.  And they are far removed from feminist values, of any wave.  As Bart Motes said at The Huffington Post, “Women may love Sarah Palin, but she doesn’t love them back.”

Multiple narratives are used to explain the success of a small number of women who have achieved political power.  Powerful women themselves have been savvy enough to appeal to whatever narrative helps them achieve and maintain that power.  Sometimes, no amount of savvy works, as with Hillary Clinton, who found herself in the unenviable position of believing that an appeal to her gender would lose voters while at the same time finding herself unable to defeat the sexism of which she was the target.

While the fact of competing narratives may be an indication of competing values and material interests, it’s also proof of the lack of success of “liberal” equality narratives in terms of achieving dominance.

Remember Boadicea.