Thursday, September 04, 2008

Standard Republican Fare

In Sarah Earmark's speech at the Republican Convention accepting her nomination for vice-president, she described John McCain as

A leader who's not looking for a fight, but is not afraid of one either.

She went on to criticize Harry Reid and the Senate he leads (to strengthen her credentials as a partisan and outside-of-the-Beltway figure), then contended

Clearly what the majority leader was driving at is that he can't stand up to John McCain. That is only one more reason to take the maverick of the Senate and put him in the White House. My fellow citizens, the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of "personal discovery." This world of threats and dangers is not just a community, and it doesn't just need an organizer.

Palin claims, in a somewhat disjointed manner: 1) McCain is not "afraid" of "a fight"; 2) McCain is "the maverick"; 3) Obama is on "a journey of 'personal discovery'; 4) she herself is a "pit bull."

What is the message? The Democratic candidate is not quite manly.

This concept was explored this concept on June 15, 2008 in an opinion piece published by The New York Times and written by Susan Faludi, who noted

The attacks are already under way, as is evident if one enters the words “Obama” and “effeminate” into a search engine. The effeminacy canard lurks in Mike Huckabee’s imaginings of Mr. Obama tripping off a chair and diving for the floor when confronted by a gunman, and in the words of Tucker Bounds, Mr. McCain’s campaign spokesman, who depicted Mr. Obama as “hysterical.”

News media blatherers and bloggers are taking up the theme. On MSNBC, Tucker Carlson called Mr. Obama “kind of a wuss”; Joe Scarborough, the morning TV talk show host, dubbed Mr. Obama’s bowling style “prissy” and declared, “Americans want their president, if it’s a man, to be a real man”; and Don Imus, the radio host, never one to be outdone in the sexual slur department, dubbed Mr. Obama a “sissy boy.”

Obama is only one in a long line of Democratic presidential candidates to be characterized as effeminate. Glenn Greenwald wrote on July 17, 2007

For some time now, it has been commonplace for Democratic candidates to be depicted as gender-confused freaks -- Al Gore, emasculated with earth colors at the hands of the controlling Naomi Wolf; John Kerry, the wife-dominated, French windsurfer; Hillary Clinton, the domineering, emasculating, pants-wearing dyke; and John Edwards, the pretty, womanly faggot obsessed with his hair. One can make a strong argument, as some have, that those personality-attack themes have played a far larger role in the outcome of the last two presidential election than any substantive issues, and liberals simply have nothing close to the potency of the right-wing filth machine in advancing these gender themes.

I could whine about this being the real "sexism," as compared to the other, mythical, sexism claimed by the Repub Party and legitimized by the mainstream media. But the GOP has cornered the market on victimhood.

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