Exploding Heads on the Left

Conservative women should stay home with the kids?

One of the more amusing hallmarks of Barack Obama's candidacy has been the abruptness and alacrity with which he reverses positions.  From school vouchers, to the virtues of a trip to Iraq, through the purpose and appropriate level of taxation, and even including his signature issue of immediate (in a couple of years or even longer) withdrawal from Iraq, there is hardly an issue on which Obama hasn't made a clear pronouncement, then come back a couple days later to "clarify" not only that he really meant the exact opposite but that he has been saying the opposite all along.  In terms of adherence to principle, Obama makes that world champion flip-flopper John Kerry look like Sir Winston Churchill.

In psychology, one finds the concept of "cognitive dissonance."  This phenomenon occurs when someone's heartfelt belief is in such transparently obvious conflict with observed reality that the two simply cannot be reconciled regardless of oratorical gymnastics.

A sane person feels ill at ease in such a situation, until a path appears to hide one or the other of the sources of conflict.  While trapped in the throes of cognitive dissonance, subjects may make deeply irrational decisions and nonsensical statements.  Up is down!  Left is right!  Freedom is slavery!  Change is the Same!

It's a measure of the tremendous power of Obama's rhetoric that, rather than abandon him as they discover the ordinary, venal, Chicago machine politician that he clearly is, his followers cling to the idea of his transcendence and overwhelming virtue - even while they're hastily trying to keep up with Obama's Position of the Day.

This bond, potent though it be, must be under tremendous strain these days thanks to John McCain's inspired selection of Gov. Sarah Palin as his VP.

Aren't Republicans supposed to be knuckle-dragging Neanderthals who believe in keeping their wives, barefoot and pregnant, firmly imprisoned in the kitchen?  We see before our disbelieving eyes the jaw-dropping and hysterical results of the shock.

The Left was caught so completely flat-footed that their carefully-prepared arguments against every possible Republican veep, highlighted in their "The Next Dick Cheney" website section, didn't include an entry for Gov. Palin.  Think of her what you may, a choice less like Dick Cheney would be difficult to find.

Without any prepared talking points to grab hold of, the Left grabbed whatever happened to come to hand to throw at her.  By looking at what they're saying about McCain and Palin without thinking about it, you can see where their heads and their hearts really are - and it's not pleasant.

Conservative Kids are Fair Game

Politics has never been a gentle sport like beanbag or patty-cake, but the political arena of today is as vicious and underhanded as it's ever been in this country.  Even so, there are certain things that are generally considered off-limits, chief among them the minor children of the candidates.

Criticism of even the candidate's grown children is usually handled with fire-tongs; the college drinking of George W. Bush's daughters was briefly mentioned in the news, but it had nothing like the spotlight shone on it as his own alcoholic past.  Al Gore's son's high-speed drunken police pursuit - in a Prius, no less - got a few chuckles, but the son's peccadilloes were rightly considered not to be really relevant to Mr. Gore's qualifications as a leader.  Despite the liberals' hatred of Mr. Cheney and Mr. Bush, their opponents know that they'll do themselves no favors by petty attacks on minor children.

The very first mud thrown against Sarah Palin - the news that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant by her teenage boyfriend - reveals the liberal state of mind.  They clearly don't know what to think; cognitive dissonance has locked up their ability to sustain cognition.

If they'd stopped for even 30 seconds to think this through, they would realize that the overwhelming majority of Americans have 17-year-olds who may be near and dear to them but by whose behavior they really do not want to be judged; this sort of unprincipled attack only makes the attacker look foul, not the target.

What's more, even though the young Bristol Palin and her equally young gentleman friend have made a moral mistake, they are responding to it in a decidedly adult and conservative fashion - they are doing what once was called "the honorable thing."  They are planning on getting married, having the baby, and raising the child as a family.

Compare this with Barack Obama's recommendations for dealing with a similar situation:

I've got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby.

Most of America does not consider having a baby to be a punishment.  It may be inconvenient; it may be troublesome; but babies are a widely regarded as sources of joy and love, at least in conservative circles, and as a "badge of honor" in certain welfare neighborhoods.

What does Mr. Obama's statement about not wanting his daughters "punished with a baby" say about his attitude towards the natural process of reproduction?  How could he be so chauvinistic as to punish his very own wife with not one, but two babies?

Obama himself has caught on to the peril of his situation, and has publicly decried the attacks against Bristol, declaring candidate's families "off limits."  It's far too late for that; the Left and their abettors in the media stand revealed as the hypocritical Pharisees that they are.

Why else would the New York Times have to be dragged kicking and screaming to discuss the adulterous love affair and  associated love-child of John Edwards, a Presidential candidate whose wife is fighting a deadly cancer, but chose to publish not one, not two, but three front-page articles about Bristol Palin's pregnancy, on a day when New Orleans was hit by a hurricane and the Republican National Convention began?

Bristol's pregnancy was more "fit to print" than the hurricane?  More newsworthy than the Republican convention?  We stand agog.

Abandoning Their Own Principles

The most stunning development has been the speed with which the feminist, anti-glass-ceiling left has abandoned their hard-fought beliefs regarding women's right to work when forced to apply that right to a woman who does not share their political views.

For half a century, the shrieking sisterhood has proclaimed that a woman is the equal of any man, and better than most.  According to feminists, women have been oppressed for centuries by the patriarchal, misogynist, sexist, racist oligarchy, and it's only because of men's physical strength that we aren't ruled by smarter, more caring, compassionate women instead.

They've agitated for women to be admitted equally everywhere, from college to boardrooms steel mills to Congress to, yes, even the Oval Office.  It was no surprise when feminists wholeheartedly supported Hillary, so much so that they're reluctant even now to get behind Obama.

One wouldn't expect such people to actually support Sarah Palin, who as a fervent right-to-lifer stands in opposition to the feminists' holy sacrament of abortion.  One would, however, at least think the feminists would have respect for Gov. Palin's accomplishments and in the abstract endorse her right to pursue whatever high political office she pleases.

One would be wrong - and, indeed, one would be utterly, fundamentally, and profoundly wrong.  According to the feminists, Gov. Palin does not have the right to pursue the Vice Presidency.  She really shouldn't even be Governor of a state.

No, as mother of five children, she should stay home with the kids.  Only liberal women have the right to pursue careers just as only liberal blacks have any right to sit on the Supreme Court.

The New York Times (who else?) reports:

With five children, including an infant with Down syndrome and, as the country learned Monday, a pregnant 17-year-old, Ms. Palin has set off a fierce argument among women about whether there are enough hours in the day for her to take on the vice presidency, and whether she is right to try.  It's the Mommy Wars: Special Campaign Edition. But this time the battle lines are drawn inside out, with social conservatives, usually staunch advocates for stay-at-home motherhood, mostly defending her, while some others, including plenty of working mothers, worry that she is taking on too much.  [emphasis added]

Wow.  Could it be that, after all these years, feminists have finally realized the truth of what Gloria Steinem said on Sixty Minutes in 1992: that she never meant that women could "have it all" at the same time, it was "enemies of feminism" who said that?  Ms. Steinem herself, while having a famous career in activism, writing, and lecturing, had no children and had only a brief marriage very late in life.

That wasn't what her followers gleaned from her teaching; for many years, feminism has been about "demanding it all."  As a woman, you can have a great, successful career; and be a fantastic mom; and be a great, loving and loved wife; and be "true to yourself" with plenty of "me time" doing whatever else interests you.  If you don't get it all, it's because all those evil, chauvinistic men won't let you have it, let's take 'em to court!

Rubbish!  There are only so many hours in the day.  An hour spent at the office is an hour not spent at the PTA; a day spent at an industry conference is a day not spent playing with your children; a week spent at your company's Frankfurt regional headquarters is a week not spent with your spouse, and we all know where that usually leads.  Life is nothing but tradeoffs - you show what means the most to you by what you choose to do, every moment of every day.

All that is beside the point.  You can't have it all; everybody knows that, even if they won't admit it in public.  Gov. Palin certainly knows it, but it's nobody's business except the members of the Palin family to determine what they, as a family, are capable of, and what their family priorities ought to be.

How dare the Left question the Palins' right to decide what they want to do?  Isn't that exactly what feminists have accused the evil "establishment patriarchy" of doing to women for centuries?  We now see them, for their own transient political ends, betraying their supposedly-cherished principles.  Disgusting.

This comes as no surprise - compare the unwavering support of the feminists for serially unfaithful sexual-harasser Bill Clinton - but their actions are just as reprehensible today as they were ten years ago.  The only difference is, more people are watching.

The eyes of America have been opened.  This has not just been the greatest election of our lifetimes; it's also been the most enlightening.

Let us conclude with a quote from Madeline Albright, the liberal Democrat who was Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, and the first lady to occupy that office:

There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women.

The Devil had better start making more room.

Read other Scragged.com articles by Hobbes or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments
Right on!
September 7, 2008 4:26 PM
I'm rather happier with Palin after her speech at the convention, although not 100% satisfied.

But I have to say that as a strategic move, I am more and more amazed at the brilliance. Adding her to the race has completely turned everything upside down - and the Democrats and the liberal media can't win with her - whatever they do.

It's definitely going to be interesting to watch this one play out.
September 12, 2008 7:23 PM
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