Getting to Know Her

The skeptics among us — like me — have assumed that the Republican Party would not dare to put Sarah Palin out where she could be interviewed by the working press. And now Time Magazine reports that we were right. Palin is going to do a TV interview, but will not be allowed to enter the danger zone, where she might be asked a significant question. No, she will sit down with the affable and inoffensive Charlie Gibson some time next week

Palin was oiled onto the GOP ticket in hopes that she would strengthen the party ticket among those many disaffected constituencies who litter the countryside. One such group — ostensibly — would be women in general, and those angry at Hillary Clinton’s loss in particular. And she may make some headway among women, more at any rate than McCain is likely to.

But Gloria Steinem sees it differently in a Los Angeles Times Op-Ed. She doesn’t beat up on Palin, not too severely. She saves her venom for McCain and what she sees as the real, the underlying group for whom Palin was chosen.

So let’s be clear: The culprit is John McCain. He may have chosen Palin out of change-envy, or a belief that women can’t tell the difference between form and content, but the main motive was to please right-wing ideologues; the same ones who nixed anyone who is now or ever has been a supporter of reproductive freedom….

Palin’s value to those patriarchs is clear: She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women’s wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves “abstinence-only” programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions…. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.


So far, the major new McCain supporter that Palin has attracted is James Dobson of Focus on the Family. Of course, for Dobson, “women are merely waiting for their husbands to assume leadership,” so he may be voting for Palin’s husband.

There isn’t a chance in hell that Steinem will get a chance to interview Palin in public, but I can still get a chuckle just imagining what would happen.

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