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In Trying To Figure Out Why Americans Don’t Love Palin, Charles Krauthammer Smears Those Americans

Reported by Priscilla - October 24, 2008 -

Wednesday night’s (October 22nd) Special Report Panel spent some time trying to figure out why Americans don’t, by golly, love Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber. This discussion took place after a clip was played of Sarah saying, in her cutesy, folksy, mangled syntax way, “they're like, geez, where did she come from? Surely it should be our job, I think they assume, is to pick and be negative and find things to mock.” (Comment: the same folks who bray about the state of American education don’t seem to care that their VP candidate can’t put a coherent sentence together). A quote from Sam the Plumber was then played in which he complained about the press scrutiny that he was receiving. At any rate, this provided a platform from which Fred Barnes (surprise, surprise) criticized the “liberal press” and Charles Krauthammer smeared liberal women.

Krauthammer ranted that “what's remarkable about the reaction to Palin is not only the unfavorable. It's the loathing, the absolute hatred that you hear, especially from intellectuals, feminists, sort of east coast, west coast, pointy headed” at which point Nina Easton interjected that some conservative women shared this view. Krauthammer then claimed that conservative women, Margaret Thatcher and Jeanne Kirkpatrick, were subject to the same kind of criticism about not being “real women” but “patriarchal thugs.” Once again, Easton provided a voice of reason when she said that these women were respected. (Comment: Does Krauthammer know that Thatcher was instrumental in decriminalizing homosexuality and abortion in Britain?) But the worse was yet to come. Krauthammer claimed that the hatred stems from Palin’s decision to have a Down’s child and quoted Joseph Epstein (??) who said that “in feminist circles if abortion is not about this, what's it about?” statement. Krauthammer provided us with a “virtual diagnosis” when he asserted that feminists “look at her as sort of a back room — a backwater hick, who, for religious reasons, went ahead and had a child that they would never have.
Underneath it, I think, deep underneath it, I think it's a self-loathing on the part of these feminists, knowing that what she did is virtuous and a generous act that they would have never have undertaken. And her having undertaken it is an affront to them, a silent rebuke.”

Barnes worked in a diatribe about the liberal press, liberal elites, and Gwen Ifill’s ‘horrible conflict of interest” which, according to Barnes is based on the notion that the success of her book depends on Obama’s victory. (Comment: He hasn’t read about the book because it sets the Obama candidacy against the broader backdrop of African American political history. It might actually be a college text as opposed to Barnes bargain barrel “Rebel in Chief" biography of George W. Bush). Before Easton had a chance to respond, the panel ended.

Comment: To say that feminists hate Sarah Palin because she chose to have a Down ’s syndrome baby is despicable and offensive as it betrays a hatred of liberal women and a total lack of understanding about the dynamics behind their dislike of Sarah Palin. Having a Down’s child or any child with developmental disabilities is very difficult – especially for those families with limited resources/income – especially in a time when many families don’t have health care and when programs for disabled children are being cut back. As a feminist, I can safely say that Sarah’s decision to have this child is her business. And while the anti choice folks applaud her choice, this is a choice that neither they nor Sarah Palin would give to the rest of American women. Palin’s views on reproductive issues fly in the face of feminism which advocates giving women the education and choices necessary for their particular circumstances. And for those women who do make the choice, feminists advocate for fully funded programs and health care for the child. Beyond the abortion issue, there are so many other questions regarding competence and policy positions that feminists are questioning – especially those issues that pertain to women. Equal pay for equal work is something that is important to women and Palin’s partner certainly doesn’t have a stellar record there. Krauthammer’s comments are sure to alienate moderate pro-choice, Republican women who aren’t too thrilled about Palin. It’s not just about abortion. But Krauthammer’s job is to present the right wing talking point and Fox News gives him that forum.

The phrase “have you no shame, sir," comes to mind.