Thursday, September 04, 2008

The early results are in from UU bloggers on Sarah Palin's speech

And it's unanimous. The verdict is: She's mean. Mean, mean, mean, mean, mean. She dared to oppose the man she's running in opposition to! The meanie. One said her campaign was racist. I didn't get it. It must be one of those code-word things I don't get.

But there are code words I do get. Mean. Famous UU Keith Olbermann said it a little more plainly- he likened Gov. Palin to Dolore Umbridge. If you missed that literary reference, Dolores Umbridge is a witch.

If someone had told me a few months ago that some people were calling the female candidate a witch, and saying that a woman's place is in the home, I'd have assumed they were talking about Republicans referring to Hilary... I'd have laughed at the idea they were speaking about Unitarians!

24 comments:

uumomma said...

I did say it was racist. I stand by that. And yes, it is coded.

But must correct you about Dolores Umbridge. Having just finished book 5 of the Potter series while driving to and from work, I laughed heartily at the reference, taking no offence to the "witchness" of it. It's not the witch-ness that is being referred to, but cruelty and the love of power and the use of that power to be cruel.

Must say I agree, though, that she shouldn't be criticized for working and having kids and I am astounded that other UU moms are doing so.

Chalicechick said...

Gotta say, dude, all the making fun of community organizing got to me, too, particularly in a campaign that has made such fuss about service above self. (OK, OK, there's only one way to serve your country, and that's in a uniform killing the people the president told you to kill.)

I didn't plan to add to the chorus, but wow.

Particularly when you compare it to Hill's speach, which had a little bit of McCain smackage, but
nothing like this.

CC

Joel Monka said...

uumomma- I figured it must be a code thing, but I really didn't get it. I didn't get it when Biden was accused of racist code language when he called Obama articulte, either.

CC- considering that the last Democratic candidate accepted the nomination by saying "Reporting for duty", complete with salute, I can't fault the Republicans for srtessing military service.

Yes, she layed a much bigger smack down than Hilary did- but isn't that the VP's job? Didn't everyone say that Joe Biden was selected to be an attack dog?

Chalicechick said...

I'd say there's a big difference between stressing military service and mocking community organizing, though.

The stress on military service is fine, and of course, expected in McCain. I don't recall anybody begrudging him that.

But at the same time, Obama made other kinds of sacrifices and served his country other ways and I thought she did come off as mean-spirited and petty making fun of it.

CC

Joel Monka said...

I thought that the mocking of the community service job was a direct answer to her mayor experience being mocked. I didn't get the impression that she was saying there was anything wrong with community service, merely that it was less a qualification for president than mayor was.

uumomma said...

Her speech and tone mocked the value of work done by and for poor people, especially people of color. I don't think I'm reading anything into that. She mocked him, she mocked his work, she mocked standing up for others as a value. She probably would have mocked Jesus 2008 years ago. Talk about your community organizers!

ogre said...

Um, Joel? In the Harry Potter books, all the good guys who are female are witches. Referring to Ms. Palin as Dolores Umbridge isn't calling her a witch; it's referring to the character of that character--mean, spiteful, vindictive, nasty and adulatory of her superior, but dipped in sugar.
Perhaps you should be sure you're up on the literary elements of literary references you're explaining to the common folk. Umbridge is the one who makes Potter write something over and over using a quill that gets its ink by gouging the back of his hand as he writes. That kind of mean.

McNasty/Umbridge -- it's not a pretty picture.

Yeah, I think you're right. She came off as mean.

I don't think that's mischaracterizing her, either. She has a trail behind her of people who she's fired (or sought to) because they didn't do as she wished--even when the wishes were patently unethical, like banning books in the village library (sorry, I've live in more than one town the size of Wasilla during her time in office and calling it a city is hysterical), or conducting a campaign of personal destruction against her ex-brother-in-law, or simply not having been an avid enough political supporter of hers.

Mean. Vindictive. Umbridge-like.

So who among the UUs is calling for her to be returned to Todd's home, barefoot? Names, links, please.

I think that the fact that the people of Alaska decided to elect her is grand--speaking as someone who stayed home to raise kids, myself. But the idea that having been the mayor of a tiny town for a few years, racking up debt like crazy, the idea that being in favor of earmarks (on a grand scale) for her town and state (the Bridge to Nowhere she keeps lying about opposing), the misuse of office egregious enough that Wasilla imposed a city administrator to leash (for a burg of about 5,000 people, a mayor and an administrator?), the misuse of office that even the GOP legislature has sicced an investigation on... are somehow suggestions that Ma Palin doesn't have the time? That's spin.

She's displayed that she has the time--she's found it or made it (at a cost to her kids or not...). But look what she's done with that time--that's the issue.

Not ready to serve? Nope, I think the analysis is not fit to serve. Moral and ethical failings like that before getting even closer to something approximating the corruptive effects of absolute power? I don't think that's wise.

Chalicechick said...

Ummm... Wasilla is only slightly larger than the town where I was a reporter and has a similar Mayor and Town Manager system of governance.

In the town where I worked, the mayor was also the town optometrist. He didn't even have an office in city hall left the management entirely to the town manager.

(Indeed, CC's first day of work her dickless editor sent her to "the Mayor's office" knowing full well CC would go to city hall and get laughed at.)

Maybe Palin did slightly more administratively, though if she had time to run around bothering librarians, maybe not, but I certainly don't think that being the Mayor even approaches a qualification for president.

CC
who didn't say being a community organizer did either, and Obama hasn't said so either, though I think it says some nice things about Obama's character.

Bill Baar said...

Community Organizing in Chicago is often about shaking people down.

Obama and Ayers sent $160 million down the drain to who knows who as part of the Chicago Annenberg Challange on School Reform.... the key word is accountablitiy. Palin had it in local gov... Obama didn't with the CAC.

Michael said...

I 100% agree. She is the kind of slick, attractive person who can pass off dangerous views and have everyone applaud. She simply scares me.

Anonymous said...

Mean wasn't the first thing to cross my mind. I thought the way she exploited her children for her political gain was downright creepy. It was way over the line compared to how Obama and others try to shield their kids. And now,
as soon as anyone says anything about her kids, she will trot out the right wing victim mentality and shriek about the liberal media. This is blatant Rovian exploitation of innocent kids.

Joel Monka said...

Ogre- I'm a Harry Potter fan, and I know that all female magic users are witches. But Olbermann could have compared Palin to any pitbull in history- and he chose a witch. Don't be naive. Had a Republican said it about Hilary, nobody would be making fine distinctions, they'd say "You called her a witch!"

(So who among the UUs is calling for her to be returned to Todd's home, barefoot? Names, links, please.) Nobody said barefoot, but evidently you haven't been reading UUpdates or DiscoverUU. How about "And, I can NOT understand how the mother of a FOUR month-old could run for Vice President and care for her infant... I guess this is where I part company with feminism, as it has come to be understood. I really believe that babies need mothers. That's because only mothers can breastfeed, and for me, there is almost no excuse for not breastfeeding..." (Isten Aldjon, Y'll) or "If you are a REAL family values woman you would stay home with your family. Your family needs you now more then ever. Special needs children and pregnant teenagers need thier mothers. As a mom who was a teen mom I'll tell you that the time and care that my own mother spent with me was invaluable. I couldn't have done it with anyone else by my side and if she had put her own limelight or career first I would have drifted out alone. Abandoning family isn't my values." (moxie life) or "I'm not saying this well, I fear - I have opposing feelings- I support her right to choose to work, but I don't support her taking on such a vocation - as running the country is - it's not just a job - with a small baby. There are ways to balance work and a young family - but I don't think that being VP is a good one." (seeking divinity)

Sexuality and Religion just made it a timing issue: "Gov. Palin is the mother of a newborn with a disorder and of a 17-year-old who is about to have a baby while she's in high school. I have only the greatest compassion for what these past five months must have been like in her family. I've sat with enough families with children with disabilities and pregnant teens to know how heartbreaking these situations are -- and how much they demand of parents.

How is it, then, that she decided THIS was the time to run for national office? My family values -- and the decisions I've made throughout my career -- have always put challenging times in my family first." But Joe Biden took office immediately after his wife and infant daughter were killed in a traffic accident, and the other two kids hospitalised. He took the oath in their hospital room. I'm not criticizing him for that decision, I'm just asking how one can criticize Palin for running when her kids need her after praising Biden.

Chalicechick said...

But Joe Biden took office immediately after his wife and infant daughter were killed in a traffic accident, and the other two kids hospitalised. He took the oath in their hospital room. I'm not criticizing him for that decision, I'm just asking how one can criticize Palin for running when her kids need her after praising Biden.

Is an excellent point.


CC

Chalicechick said...

Such an awesome point, in fact, that I stole it.

CC

Joel Monka said...

Lol- feel free. You've no idea how many times I've quoted you to friends.

Chalicechick said...

*Blush*

CC

Steve Caldwell said...

Joel wrote:
-snip-
"I'm a Harry Potter fan, and I know that all female magic users are witches. But Olbermann could have compared Palin to any pitbull in history- and he chose a witch. Don't be naive. Had a Republican said it about Hilary, nobody would be making fine distinctions, they'd say 'You called her a witch!'

So if she weighs as much as a duck she is made of wood and then we know she is a witch?

That's one way to find out.

:^)

Joel Monka said...

I have a friend who has a bumpersticker that says "I weigh the same as a duck". But that would be a difficult test to apply to Gov. Palin- before the scales settled, she'd have shot it and eaten it.

ogre said...

Joel, you're asserting as a fact something that can't be tested or proven--as a smokescreen. What people would have said if someone called Hillary "Umbridge" is indeterminable--and irrelevant.

It was Palin who was. And she acted in a way that brought the comparison to mind.

I'm surrounded by Harry Potter fans, and "Umbridge" (or for that matter, "Hermione" or "Weasley") doesn't scream witch. It screams nasty. Had someone compared Palin to McGonagall, would you be howling that someone called her a witch?

Palin got compared to someone odious, and that's what's rubbed your fur the wrong way. Personally, I found it rather apt.

CC, what I read was that the town imposed the manager in response to Palin's taking heads and going after the librarian who refused to start banning books.

Reading the comments you chose in response don't appear to be what you've read into them--at least not the way you've represented them. I've raised kids--been the at-home parent. I know what a strain it was for my wife to breastfeed and pump while remaining active in her career. And our choices were being made in the early 1990s, based on the information we had then. Palin's making them now... with information that makes it even more important to do so, if possible.

Biden's something of a red herring here that you're throwing in. His kids needed him, sure. But it was 1972, and he's not part of a vastly wealthy family. He couldn't have jsut stayed at home. And it was... 1972 (certainly you have some idea of how much the culture and society have changed in over 35 years). A man who had ALREADY been elected to the Senate, not a man who chose to run for the office AFTER he'd been dealt that situation.

And from reports, he apparently decided not to take office, initially, and had to be persuaded to do so.

He had to be a working single parent--and he chose to make arrangements and he traveled back and forth from their home in DE to D.C. every day to be at home as much as he could. By the standards of today, that's still pretty ok. By the standards of 1972?

Go back and note that there are not a bunch of critiques of her being governor and a mother. But her situation changed since she was elected to that office. She waved the special needs banner in her speech (having cut funds 62% in the AK budget for those services directed to special needs kids). If special needs kids need special attention and care (and my family was close to a family with a Down's child when I was a kid; I have some idea of that that can mean...), then just how the hell is she going that if she goes to D.C.? Her situation changed BEFORE she decided to pursue the vice presidency (an office she didn't have clue one about earlier this summer).

Her political career in AK is one of eagerly embracing those she needed... and climbing over them when it was beneficial. Offered the VP slot (on what basis? There's NO WAY she's "the best qualified" person out there), she grabbed it. Merely on the basis of the actuarial tables and McCain's medical history (malnutrition, serious injury, repeated serious cancers), the opportunity to end up stepping into the Oval Office looks large.

And Sarah Palin appears to want it, as far as I can tell. And I've yet to see anything that persuades me that she's got any significant or special experience that qualifies her.

Wave the "executive experience" flag and I'm going to point out that her state's population is small, that she's been in office under two years, and that the state budget floats on oil revenues--she's done little or nothing that would really begin to prepare her for being president, and nothing that would prepare her for sitting as president of the Senate.

Chalicechick said...

Ogre, did you miss the post where the minister from Kentucky made the "But how will she BREASTFEED?" point?

I'm not exaggerating.

CC

Joel Monka said...

ogre- you seem to think I support Gov. Palin. I do not. I have stated publically and repeatedly that I do not support McCain, and she hasn't changed that. She's not a conservative in any way my heroes would understand the word.

My interest is fairness and double standards. Yes, if you compared her to McGonnagall, I'd call you out for comparing her to a witch. Just as Joe Biden was called out for calling Obama "clean and articulate". Witch is a loaded word in our society. And besides, I know witches. I am a witch. Sarah Palin is no witch.

I was not criticizing Joe Biden. I was asking how one can admire his choice and criticize Gov. Palin's, especially when she has a far greater support structure than he had, and will be given government housing she could move the kids to if she chose!

Yes, she wants it. I wouldn't be surprised if her whole family wants it. It's amazing how all these people who say that Republicans and evangelicals demand subserviant women are all assuming that she never discussed this with her family. In fact, I'm amazed at all the assumptions being made... everyone just knows what she taught her kids about sex... whether Bristol used birth control (that frequently fails) or not... whether Bristol made her own decision to keep or was forced... what McCain's motives were in picking her... the psychic powers suddenly being displayed are astounding!

I was waving the "executive experience" flag at Senator Obama six months before Gov. Palin was selected- that's also on record. There hasn't been a President in the last 100 years who hasn't been one or more of the following: Governor. Vice President. Military commander. Obama's experience has been compared to JFK's. Ahem. Does "PT109" ring a bell?

ogre said...

It's amazing how all these people who say that Republicans and evangelicals demand subserviant women are all assuming that she never discussed this with her family.

Presumably she discussed it with Todd--but the reports are that the kids were all told that they were going to some reunion.

Hard to get informed consent when you're not even aware....

And you seriously think that "military commander" (of a PT boat, or other tiny command) is experience for being president?

Joel Monka said...

Do you think 3 1/2 years as a Senator- two of which have been spent campaigning- is experience for being President? If JFK were running against Obama, he might just say "When the German submarine was bearing down on us, I didn't have the option of voting "present"".

Robin Edgar said...

I could be mistaken Joel*, but in the case of John Fitzgerald Kennedy aka JFK it would have been a "Jap" destroyer bearing down on his PT boat. . . I am pretty sure he fought in the Pacific theatre. OTOH His brother Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. *might* have been able to say,

"When the German fighter was bearing down on us, I didn't have the option of voting "present"."

But it didn't quite work out that way. . .


* That was before checking my facts. ;-)