From Angela McGowan on Fox News today, to Sarah Palin on Sean Hannity, conservative women have seized on the dust-up between Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen and Ann Romney to make a failed attempt to illustrate how Democrats — and, in particular, President Obama — are the “dividers” who don’t allow women choice, and Republicans are the “uniters” who allow choice for all women. This spin may be the greatest defier of logic and facts on the political planet, but it certainly doesn’t stop some, like crazier-than-bat-doodoo, Sarah Palin, from trying to make the case.
Palin had the temerity to tell Sean Hannity that the fact that she didn’t receive an apologetic phone call from President Obama because of comedian Bill Maher’s attacks on her and her family is “more of the same, of the inconsistencies, the double standards, the divisiveness that is kind of represented by President Obama and the people that he surrounds himself with . . . So, we don’t look for our president to speak for us . . . Here’s the hypocrisy: They are not for women’s choices and equality and respecting a woman’s personal values or choices she wants to make unless it has to do with that woman embracing their radical left agenda.”
We’ll get to what Palin terms the “radical left agenda” in a moment, but as an aside, it’s doubtful that President Obama believes that Bill Maher is representative of the Democratic Party in the way that, say, Rush Limbaugh is representative of the Republican Party. (And, incidentally, Palin defended Rush Limbaugh’s First Amendment rights to call Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute”, and yet she feels somehow victimized by Bill Maher?) Calling out Maher for ugly attacks on conservatives isn’t his responsibility; and, in fact, another reason why Palin will never, ever get a phone call from the President is that President Obama has been the target of some pointed, ugly, divisive attacks at the hands of Sarah Palin. The fact that she expects a phone call from a man she has maligned for over three years is telling of the enormous ego and delusions of this “Game Change” startlet.
But the gist of Palin’s — and conservative women’s — attacks on Rosen for her comment is that this one strategist so defines the party that the policies and wish list of the Republicans in terms of halting women’s rights somehow is gone in a puff of smoke because of it, leaving in its place a Democratic Party that places a low premium on women, and women’s choices.
Let’s see what “Mama Grizzlies” consider the “radical left agenda,” and what they really stand for in terms of womens’ rights and equality.
Palin (and most Republican women) on abortion: A resounding no, across the board. In fact, even when a pregnancy might jeopardize the health or life of a woman, or is the result of rape or incest, Palin and many conservative women believe there should be no exemption. In a gubernatorial debate, Palin said that even if her teenage daughter were impregnated by a rapist (whew, it was Levi Johnston instead — I’m sure she’s sooooo grateful) she would choose “life.” Abortions are out in the world of “Mama Grizzlies.”
On sexual harassment, well, Palin and others believe women should just change jobs instead of holding employers’ feet to the fire on the issue. As governor, Palin had to withdraw her appointment of a top public safety commissioner who had been accused of sexual harassment; despite the fact that Palin had been warned about his background, she attempted to appoint him anyway. In the wake of the Herman Cain sexual harassment scandal, Palin told Sean Hannity, “If he did do it, though, Sean, if he did it, if he engaged in this recent affair and is misleading the public, then, you know, like they say, boys will be boys . . . And it’s going to be refreshing when the facts come out on this so that people can make up their mind . . . and then we can move on and start talking about the issues that really matter.” In a nutshell — sexual harassment doesn’t matter.
Palin (and most Republican women) don’t believe in federal funding for healthcare, which harshly impacts women.
Palin, the “Mama Grizzly” who calls herself a feminist and believes in equality for women, pooh-poohed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that President Obama signed as his first act in office, saying, “The Ledbetter Pay Act — it was gonna turn into a boon for trial lawyers . . . there are laws on the books, there have been since 1963, that no woman could be discriminated against in the workplace in terms of anything, but especially in terms of pay.” Sure, that’s why women still make 77 cents to a man’s dollar, because of all those laws on the books since 1963 that have been strictly enforced.
Let’s not forget that Palin – that “Mama Grizzly” – cut funding for a transitional home for teenage mothers while Governor in Alaska and forced women to pay for their own rape kits to the tune of $1,200, in a state that boasts the highest rape rate per capita in the country.
We can thank Sarah Palin and her cast of extreme right-wing teabagger followers for amendments in several states that prevent in vitro fertilization as being anti-life, for over 900 anti-choice bills, for trying to deny access to birth control under standard health coverage, and for criminilizing a woman’s right to choose – even going so far as to push a bill that would allow a physician to misinform or outright lie to female patients — and protect him or her from malpractice lawsuits if the woman’s health or that of the fetus goes bad — if he or she believes the information might lead to an abortion.
To Palin and all the other “Mama Grizzlies” who are gleefully embracing the label of “feminist,” and who have decided that a random comment from a Democrat justifies all of the anti-women legislation Republicans have been pushing: Just because you say it with conviction doesn’t make it so. As feminist writer Rebecca Traister noted, “Palin’s femininity is one that is recognisable to most women: she’s the kind of broad who speaks on behalf of other broads but appears not to like them very much . . . it’s like some dystopian future . . . feminism without any feminists.”