Saturday, August 30, 2008

Republicans Resort to Identity Politics with Palin Pick

Newscoma spanks the identity politics behind John McCain's pick of Sarah Palin:
It’s about her being a woman and that being the home run out of the park. Not her experience or belief system but the fact that “Hey, look, it’s a girl.” That’s the selling point that McCain banked on but when did it become a gender race and not a presidential race about issues facing this nation? A weakening economy, a war, a global uncertainty about the United States intentions, the rights of individuals … are these not important things to be discussing?

I resent that a woman is, once again, being used as a gimmick. I don’t like that. Palin, however, knew what she was getting into so there’s that.

For my conservative friends, I know this is inspiring. For me, it’s just another objectification at this point of a female but I also know you dig her politics and that’s cool.

But for those left-leaning people who are just voting for McCain because he’s got a woman on the ticket, I can only say, look at her track record and tell me, is this what you want one heartbeat away from the White House?
If "identity politics" is one of the most heinous mortal sins exclusive to liberalism as conservatives are prone to argue, then why is John McCain banking on gender and genitalia to get him elected in November? And why are so many conservatives infatuated with picking a woman simply because she is a woman?

While I voted for Obama in the primary, I have consistently been critical of gushing on the "historic" implications of electing an African American, arguing instead that fitness for office should trump identity. When Branch Rickey broke the color barrier in baseball by picking Jackie Robinson, it was only after Rickey had gone out and worked hard to find that player who combined great (though probably not the greatest) skill with restraint, wisdom, and mental toughness. It would not have served the cause of civil rights or pro sports if Rickey had simply exercised identity politics and signed any great African American player. And Jackie completed the historic pivot. Likewise, Democrats should focus less on Obama's African American identity and more on his fitness for the office.

And I'm no less critical of the sudden gush of passion that the GOP has for playing identity politics or of the desperate-housewifed or soccer-momed Hillary Clinton supporters who are willing to be seduced by the latest Republican gimmick. If McCain wins and Sarah Palin is faced with the prospect of assuming the Presidency under duress and the threat of dire consequences, it won't be her vagina that saves us. It will be her experience and skill, both of which are currently unproven.


  1. Your prospect of a president McCain having to step down and Sarah Palin taking command of the country is exactly why I will vote Republican. She has much more command experience Senator Obama.

  2. Well I can certainly understand why you would want to remain anonymous. It saves you the embarrassment of having to live that argument down.