There are two kinds of Americans: people with principles and liberals. Nothing illuminates the difference between them better than John McCain’s selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate.
People with principles see the ascension of another women to the vice-presidential slot of a major political party as another “crack in the glass ceiling.” Liberals see it that way too–when the woman is a Democrat. Since Mrs. Palin is not, she is the benefactor of “identity politics.” Ironically, liberals believe Barack Obama’s nomination has absolutely nothing to do with identity politics–as long as he wins. If he loses, Americans are a bunch of bigots.
People with principles worry about any political candidate with “inexperience.” So do liberals–as long as the “rookie” in question is a Republican. When he’s a Democrat, inexperience becomes “change you can believe in.” One could surmise that many Americans, faced with a choice between inexperience and inexperience, might prefer political “apprenticeship” to occur at the vice-presidential level rather than in the Oval Office. Vice-presidential gaffes are relatively innocuous. Presidential ones are historic.
People of principle believe women are more than capable of handling a career and a household simultaneously. I thought liberals did too–until I read a column by Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter suggesting that “many voters will nonetheless wonder whether Palin should undertake the rigors of the vice presidency (and perhaps the presidency) while caring for a disabled infant.” Apparently running the state of Alaska and a commercial fishing business with her husband while raising five kids–making her the only person on either ticket with genuine work experience, as opposed to making a living off the government–is unconvincing.
Is Sarah Palin a great choice for vice president? Only time will tell. But it is amusing to see liberals’ initial reaction to her selection. When such “open-minded” and “enlightened” people trot out all their doubts about Mrs. Palin, it’s easy to forget their former unquestioning admiration for Hillary Clinton. Apparently feminism–one of liberalism’s cherished ideologies regarding the empowerment of the fairer sex–means nothing if the woman in question strays from the reservation of liberal orthodoxy. Apparently the only women truly capable of holding high office are those whose “identity,” “experience,” and “ability” leads them to approve of abortion-on-demand. Absent such a critical belief, Mrs. Palin, and other women like her, are little more than “misguided” June Cleavers who can’t really be trusted in positions of power.
So much for principle.
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