Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the soft bigotry of low expectations


This is just plain sad
:

“I think she has pretty thoroughly — and probably irretrievably — proven that she is not up to the job of being president of the United States,” David Frum, a former speechwriter for President Bush who is now a conservative columnist, said in an interview. “If she doesn’t perform well, then people see it.

“And this is a moment of real high anxiety, a little bit like 9/11, when people look to Washington for comfort and leadership and want to know that people in charge know what they are doing.”

Her halting interview with Katie Couric on CBS News alarmed many Republicans and gave fodder for a devastating parody on Saturday Night Live.

“I think the Katie Couric interview shows that she needs to be briefed more on certain aspects,” said Jim Greer, the Republican chairman in Florida. “She continues to be viewed very positively by the base of the party, but she needs to demonstrate that she’s got the knowledge and ability to be president should the need arise.”

Polling suggests that the number of Americans who think she is not fit to be president has increased since her introduction to the country last month. A number of conservative columnists and thinkers have publicly turned against her, or criticized Mr. McCain for choosing her, including George Will, David Brooks and Kathleen Parker, who wrote a column entitled “She’s Out of Her League” for the National Review Online.

Mr. Frum noted the difficulty that Dan Quayle, who was elected vice president in 1988, had in recovering from an early set of mistakes that led him to be ridiculed as an intellectual lightweight. “The story of Dan Quayle is he did probably 1,000 smart things as vice president, but his image was locked in and it was very difficult to turn around,” he said. “And Dan Quayle never in his life has performed as badly as Sarah Palin in the last month.”

Several Republicans said that all of this could ultimately play to Ms. Palin’s benefit, lowering expectations for her so much that a mediocre performance in the debate could be hailed as a success.

“Thanks to the mainstream media, quite a low expectation has been created for her performance,” said Ron Carey, chairman of Minnesota’s Republican Party. “The style of Sarah Palin is going to amaze people. She is going to be able to amaze people with the substance she is going to deliver.”

And Mr. McCain’s aides disputed the expressions of concern and said that if anything, the barrage of criticism and the performance in the few television interviews she has done gave her a low bar to clear in the debate. “I seriously hope that people continue to underestimate the most popular governor in America and a woman who speaks to the heart of America’s economic angst,” said Nicolle Wallace, a senior adviser to Mr. McCain.


Tell me again how this woman is a symbol of feminism? Tell me again how calling her stupid, unqualifed, and a token diversity pick that harms the interests of women and equal treatment feminism is being sexist? Tell me again that this is not merely hypocrisy by the Republicans?


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