“[T]his place would be in court for a hostile workplace ... Because it actually fit all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace to women," Anita Dunn, former Obama communications director, is quoted saying.
I think the real story here may be that supposedly feminist men often don’t treat women well. Jean Paul Sartre was famous for (figuratively) walking all over feminist icon Simone de Beauvoir, while Dashiell Hammett also treated Lillian Hellman like a human doormat. It’s enough to make you yearn for an old-fashioned male chauvinist pig who’ll stand when you enter the room and refrain from sleeping with your friends!
In the case of Obama & Co., the guys probably felt they had good feminist creds because they were advancing policies designed to curry favor with female voters. These are always big government policies that assume that women are victims of discrimination, even if most of the discrimination we see these days hurts men more. Sarah Palin's offense, the thing that made her so infuriating to liberal women, was that she didn’t buy into this. She believes in small government and personal responsibility. This made her a target. You aren’t supposed to believe these things, Ms. Palin.
It should be said that Palin made the mistake of playing into the media's hands. She appeared on Saturday Night Live, dignifying Tina Fey’s imitations of her. On the other hand, she engaged in an ongoing feud with what she called the “lamestream media.” A little aloofness would not have come amiss (though I can't help feeling that that's just not our Sarah). She became a celebrity rather than a governor, giving up her day job on flimsy pretexts (though it may truly be that she had to leave the governor’s office because the number of ethics inquiries filed against her spelled financial ruin if she didn't start making big money).
Some have suggested that Palin take courses and learn more about history and policy (I am picturing her as Meg Ryan in I.Q.). I don’t see that happening. She is a gut politician. But she could bone up some and learn not to get down on the media’s level. She was probably plucked prematurely from Alaska, but that can’t be remedied.
What is undeniable is that, because she was smart enough not to run, she has a great future. Her analysis of what is at stake in 2012 is on target (oops! Is it okay to say that?):
We cannot afford this fundamental transformation of America, turning it into something that we don't even recognize. Instead, we need to restore this country. We need to restore all that is good, and right and free about America. Our republic is worth defending. We do not need a transformation, we need a renewal. We need a restoration of America.
Could anybody have said it better?
Sarah Palin is one smart gal.
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