Sarah Palin: are the democrats worried?

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That’s Iain Dale’s rather improbable analysis, over a series of increasingly aerated posts this weekend, based on the fact that, erm, a lot of people on the left are talking about her surprise nomination in its immediate aftermath. Who’dathunkit? The most surprising political event in months has happened and people are actually talking about it? They must be pooing themselves!

More hilarious is Iain’s transformation into a feminist, citing Peter Hitchens as a fellow traveller. According to Iain and Peter, the left hates women because the left like anti-women policies such as abortion. Genius analysis there. Suddenly, the brains behind “it’s DD for me!” has become super-concerned about how sexist the coverage of Sarah Palin is in the sunday papers. Funny that I don’t recall him having similar concerns about the media’s portrayal of Harriet Harman, Jacqui Smith and Hillary Clinton.

As for the claim that “[the left] cannot stand it when a black person becomes famous as a Conservative – remember Ray Lewis?” – it wasn’t the left that took down Ray Lewis but the Church of England. And despite having defended him here in the past, what I’ve heard since suggests that they were right to do so. Can’t Iain think of a better example of the left’s alleged racism? And you simply can’t imply that Ray Lewis must be innocent on the basis of his skin colour (and political views), and expect to be taken seriously, whilst simultaneously writing this.

Speaking personally, I think appointing Sarah Palin was a mistake which smacks of panic. I think Iain thinks that too, given that a week ago he was citing Mitt Romney as a dead cert. Iain’s subsequent attempts to tar Obama with the Palin inexperience brush simply doesn’t wash: she has been governor of one of the US’s smallest (population-wise – Alaska has roughly the same population as Glasgow) and certainly most isolated states for two years.

Her appointment comes across as too calculated – to be blunt, she ticks far too many boxes. It is too ‘cute’. And many of these boxes are mutually exclusive – how many disaffected Hillary supporters are likely to be wooed by a shootin’, fishin’ and anti-abortion candidate? How many sanctity of marriage obsessives are likely to be convinced that a woman with five children is fit for the job? They certainly have the anti-corruption line in common, but if I were running McCain’s campaign I’d be worried that she reminds voters about what McCain is not, and not in a good way. Do the democrats really need to do more than show the screen of a heartbeat monitor superimposed with her face to get their point across?

I didn’t read any of the allegedly sexist stuff out there about Sarah Palin this weekend, but I did read a perceptive piece by Michael Crowley in the Observer. However much they might try to keep open the rapidly healing Clinton-Obama wound, it is the Republicans who are divided in this election, not the Democrats. Sarah Palin’s appointment on Friday very briefly looked like a masterstroke, but the shock of the new is already diminishing and she has just been dropped in at the deep end. Things like the Daily Kos’ allegations over the maternity of her fifth child may be unfair (the picture of her daughter Bristol does look incriminating but I’m not so sure that the pictures of Palin herself are that convincing – Alaskans tend not to walk around in bikinis in spring), but surely in this post-Rove era no McCain supporter can really convincingly put on the ingenue act? After eight years of humiliation, the Democrats are in to win this thing and at the moment Palin looks like a pretty big target. They might cross the line occassionally, but going for the kill is not a sign of desperation, but rather indicate that the gloves have come off at last. And based on Iain’s rather hysterical reaction, the right just won’t be able to take it.

9 thoughts on “Sarah Palin: are the democrats worried?

  1. You wrote: “More hilarious is Iain’s transformation into a feminist, citing Peter Hitchens as a fellow traveller. According to Iain and Peter, the left hates women because the left like anti-women policies such as abortion. Genius analysis there. Suddenly, the brains behind “it’s DD for me!” has become super-concerned about how sexist the coverage of Sarah Palin is in the sunday papers. ”

    That is a complete misrepresentation of what I said. But as you have also got the DD thing completely wrong too, why should I have expected anything different? Just as a point of fact, I was not the brains behind that, but I can see it suits your narrative to say that I was. Never let the facts get in the way of a good piece of misrepresentation, eh? 🙂

  2. Come on Iain, you endorsed a Peter Hitchens article in which he wrote:

    Which just goes to show that ultra-feminists are not actually interested in promoting women because they’re women. They pretend they are, but really their agenda is a campaign against marriage, in favour of abortion and for every other disastrous liberal and socialist cause that ever existed. In which case, they really can’t go on pretending that their opponents are women-hating bigots.

    Not least because they are the bigots – merciless when it comes to a choice between their own convenience and the life of an unborn baby.

    I know you wrote that you “don’t want to get sidetracked by the abortion debate” but no-one forced you to bring up abortion. You state that “Hitchens’ point is valid.”

    And as for those t-shirts, you were running the campaign, were you not? How can you deny any responsibility for them? In any case, weren’t you claiming that it was all a fuss about nothing three years ago (to quote: “I’m sure it is tacky to anyone who hasn’t got a sense of humour.”)? Why the change of tune?

  3. I asked you a question, I didn’t get my facts wrong. The fact remains that you were in an extremely senior position on that campaign team and stated that you believed that anyone who thought they were tacky didn’t have a sense of humour.

    The fact that you are using this evasive technique suggests you don’t really have much of a leg to stand on, but by all means keep it up!

  4. You stated I was the brains behind the DD for Me T Shirts as a fact. Wrong.

    You stated “You were running the campaign, were you not” which is both a statement and a question. I was not. Nothing evasive. Just educating you.

    And yes, people did have a sense of humour failure over something which was completely harmless.

    Perhaps we should commission some Palin for Me Panties. Joke. 🙂

  5. And yes, people did have a sense of humour failure over something which was completely harmless.

    I’m sure they did, but your association with them and your dismissal of anyone who was offended by them does rather disqualify you from commenting on other people’s alleged “sexism” – especially when you don’t supply us with an example. Sense of humour failure maybe?

  6. Sarah Palin’s appointment on Friday very briefly looked like a masterstroke, but the shock of the new is already diminishing and she has just been dropped in at the deep end.

    You’re right. And I think Palin will demonstrate that she’s out of her depth. She may even end up as another Thomas Eagleton.

    Things like the Daily Kos’ allegations over the maternity of her fifth child may be unfair

    I disagree; also, whatever the reality of the siuation, it reflects badly on Palin — either she’s an incompetent liar, or she’s reckless and stupid with her and her baby’s health.

  7. I’d say there’s less savoury elements on the left who dislike right-wing women because they view feminism as a creature exclusively of the left so any woman who is right wing is betraying ‘the cause’.
    Its the same sort of idiotic thinking which leads to similar things about black Republicans, they’re somehow betraying the ‘black cause’ by being a Republican…

    Its idiotic though, generally the view of a minority, and doesn’t really chime with Iain’s criticism.

    There’s plenty to attack Palin on from the left in terms of policy.

    Quite frankly, her appointment makes McCain look even more barking than he already did…

  8. Based on Joe Biden’s recent performance, staged or otherwise, I feel we could see Clinton taking his place to “win back” those devoted Clintonites that were lost when Obama chose Biden as his VP…
    This would be a bold and winning move, but as a leader how could one tolerate/control both Clintons in the same town with their influence and opinions?

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