Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"No Wilting Flower"

Salon has a piece today highlighting why the author, Rebecca Traister, will not participate in the Sarah Palin Pity Party. Traister gets into it on the second page, after documenting well how a variety of correspondents and "media elites" have declared their pity for Palin's position, for the difficult spot she finds herself in, etc. Traister will not have it:
"Sarah Palin is no wilting flower. She is a politician who took the national stage and sneered at the work of community activists. She boldly tries to pass off incuriosity and lassitude as regular-people qualities, thereby doing a disservice to all those Americans who also work two jobs and do not come from
families that hand out passports and backpacking trips, yet still manage to pick up a paper and read about their government and seek out experience and knowledge.

When you stage a train wreck of this magnitude -- trying to pass one underqualified chick off as another highly qualified chick with the lame hope that no one will notice -- well, then, I don't feel bad for you.
But Traister's piece is not simply harsh without reason, not simply aimed at saying to her colleagues, "come on, give her a hard time!" Nope, the piece is motivated by outrage. Traister explains it best herself:
"I don't want to be played by the girl-strings anymore. Shaking our heads and wringing our hands in sympathy with Sarah Palin is a disservice to every woman who has ever been unfairly dismissed based on her gender, because this is an utterly fair dismissal, based on an utter lack of ability and readiness. It's a disservice to minority populations of every stripe whose place in the political spectrum has been unfairly spotlighted as mere tokenism..."
In a week where conservatives are contemplating whether Palin should step down ("Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons"), and others are calling for the McCain campaign to provide an actual real world press conference with Palin ("Until Sarah Palin agrees to a full and open press conference, she should not even be considered as a possible vice-president"), the Salon piece hits a big chunk of what I have been wishing someone would say. Check it out.

(stock wilted flower photo above from istockphoto.com)

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