Jonah Goldberg to Palin: Hit the left-wing feminists

posted at 1:00 pm on August 31, 2008 by Allahpundit

I couldn’t agree more. Look: She’s not going to win over Hillaryites. She made an obligatory pitch to them at the Dayton rally because you can’t be a woman in politics today without genuflecting to our new feminist pope, but the hardcore Hillary fans are the sort of self-congratulatory “raised consciousness” liberals who’ll regard the Palin pick as something insulting, to be aggrieved about. Write them off. Go after the majority of women who fall somewhere across the rest of the spectrum. E.M. Zanotti’s a conservative feminist and her feelings about the pick are clear. Ann Althouse is a centrist feminist and she seems plenty positive about it thus far too. Quote: “As a feminist, I love that she did not leverage herself into power through her husband and consider this an important improvement over Hillary.” Wonder of wonders, women don’t vote as a monolithic group, no matter how much our down-the-middle media would have you believe that only a pant-suited pro-choice warrior can adequately represent “authentic” feminism. Goldberg:

She needs to directly attack, albeit in a deft way, the feminist pinheads who are attacking her. She will never win over that crowd and no Republican would. But, most women — including female Democrats — don’t follow the self-described leaders of womankind. She would do enormous service to her campaign and the cause if she said “these self-appointed leftwing activists who claim to speak for all women are now claiming I’m somehow not a real woman….” and then list all of the ways she has more in common with working women than the talking heads on MSNBC. She needs to create a wedge between feminists and women. Don’t concede the assumption — the way the media always does — that NOW and that crowd speak for women. She shouldn’t do it in an angry way. She should do it in a lightly contemptuous or dismissive way. The conservative base would love it, but I think that kind of gendered populism would win-over a lot of women who like feminine strength and independence but reject the feminist label (there are a lot of them).

There are indeed a lot of them and they’re listening intently. Like Jonah says, tone is key. Anything too snide or whiny, to borrow a word used by Palin herself to describe Hillary, will be off-putting and explode in her face. But if done correctly, having the woman who’s being derided as an identity politics ploy attacking the left’s own repulsive claim to be the one true arbiter of feminine “identity” would be salutary even if it didn’t earn any extra votes. Which it probably would, if for no other reason than having her threaten their monopoly on feminism would drive the left to get even filthier towards her than they’ve already been and alienate some women in the process, in total fulfillment of the prediction made by our favorite liberal yesterday morning.

Incidentally, I think any women’s votes that she does pick up are gravy. As I’ve been saying for the past two days, the real strength of Palin on the ticket is with the base, not with the center, a point that anyone who’s been around grassroots conservatives for the past three months understands instantly. It’ll be up to McCain, now that his red-state support is rock solid, to make the case to the middle. Exit quotation: “Even if McCain loses in November, the GOP’s new standard bearer will be a younger working mother from outside Washington and not a rich businessman with perfect hair from Massachusetts. McCain may have saved the GOP at the expense of the campaign.”

Update: An early rumble:

“The Democratic party has done a disservice to women by trying to hold women hostage to the issue of Roe v. Wade,” [Carly] Fiorina said on CBS’s Face the Nation. “The truth is the most important issue to women, all the polls say this, is the economy. Women are not single issue voters.”…

The McCain adviser added that Palin “is a person who can identify with the challenges they face as women in every conceivable way, as a mother, as a mother trying to balance her work life and family life, not to mention her incredible record of reform and taking on the good old boy network. So I’ve talked to many women and they are truly excited by this pick.”

Update: Not only do I emphatically agree with this sentiment from Ross Douthat, you’d have to look hard, I suspect, to find a conservative who doesn’t. I actually found myself worrying yesterday how hard it would be on her personally if she implodes on the trail — never mind what it would mean for McCain’s chances and the GOP. If you want a testament to her appeal and the ease with which commoners like me identify with her, I can’t do better than that.

Update: Inevitably, a commenter knocks me for being paternalistic and “protective” of her in the last udpate. It’s not paternalism, though; it’s identification with her as an ordinary person, a much more valuable asset to her than her gender. I’m not worried about the poor girl having her feelings hurt, I’m imagining myself in her situation and considering how awful I’d feel if the pressure got to me.


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Thankyou DOWNTOWN Well Done!

What will happen when this strong, self made woman who exploded on the Alaska scene by taking on and defeating the good old boy network in Alaska stands in front of the citizens of the United States and says she has done this all while caring for and nuturing 4 kids and a husband and draws a compassionate line in the sand by saying I chose to have a beautiful child who we knew would possibly have Downs Syndrome and that was the greatest decision I have ever made and the best gift I have ever been given a child who is the love of my life!
Thankyou and God Bless America

Think about it I think I know the answer!

dhunter on August 31, 2008 at 2:40 PM

Words to remember, 60 days from now, after the storm of Liberal vitriolic sound and fury:

She has the ability to articulate conservatism and to express genuine emotion. Plus she walks the walk. She LIVES conservatism. I feel honor bound to support someone like her. She doesn’t need to ask for my vote. She’s earned it
D0WNT0WN on August 31, 2008 at 1:58 PM

Thanks, friend~!

localmalcontent on August 31, 2008 at 3:02 PM

Our favorite Liberal (Kirsten Powers) I can’t stand Kirsten Powers, when Michelle would let her have it on O’Reilly, she couldn’t hear me but I was egging Michelle on, to let her have it. The only thing Kirsten Powers does is tow the liberal line if she had an original thought she wouldn’t know what to do with it.

Dr Evil on August 31, 2008 at 3:04 PM

I’m not worried about the poor girl having her feelings hurt, I’m imagining myself in her situation and considering how awful I’d feel if the pressure got to me.

Her advantage is that all she has to do is be herself. Obama is failing because he’s trying to figure out what to say when he himself believes none of it. Jesus said that “a student, once fully trained, becomes like his teacher.”

If you want to know what BHO believes ask his wife or J. Wright as they are his teachers. He is the padawan.

Mojave Mark on August 31, 2008 at 3:07 PM

Look: She’s not going to win over Hillaryites.

If true, McCain made one of the biggest political blunders of all time.

philnewkirk on August 31, 2008 at 3:21 PM

If true, McCain made one of the biggest political blunders of all time.

philnewkirk on August 31, 2008 at 3:21 PM

female hillary voters…

1) moderate non psycho abortion ladies

2) liberal non-abortion ladies

3) liberal psycho abortion ladies

we can make a play for 1 and part of 2….

sven10077 on August 31, 2008 at 3:23 PM

I think most Amercan woman consider Paris Palin a fringe candidate.

If she gets preachy it’s all over for ol’ spur-of-the-moment and her grandpa.

alphie on August 31, 2008 at 3:31 PM

philnewkirk on August 31, 2008 at 3:21 PM

Hillary received 18 milliion votes in their Dem. primaries, that much is both understood and accepted.

John McCain and Sarah Palin don’t need all the Hillaryites, the disenfranchised feminist Lib. voting bloc to win now.

There are a rainbow of Hillaryites, ranging from the timid to the uh, other end… whatever number of votes from that entire bloc who instead vote for McCain/Palin now, are similarily not voting for Obama/Biden.
So a mere million of them, nationwide, would be a two million vote swing in favor of a conservative ticket.

See the numbers? See their emergency?
You can bet that Obama’s handlers do.

localmalcontent on August 31, 2008 at 3:32 PM

philnewkirk on August 31, 2008 at 3:21 PM -

sven10077 on August 31, 2008 at 3:23 PM –

Policial blunder? Naw…no blunder at all.

Not all female Hillary voters are in lock-step over Roe. Many, however, are in lock-step with the Dems because of a life time of conditioning. I have a few relatives, to include a very successful sister, who thought Hillary was the perfect model of what a woman should be in our times.

Not no more…my sister, who has voted and campaigned for Dems for the past 20+ years is going to campaign locally [DC area] for Palin. Two aunts, the blue-haired ladies, as we lovingly call them, stated they are going to vote for the McCain/Palin ticket so they can see a female President in their lifetimes…hope they last longer than the next 8 years…I really do.

But, prior to Friday morning, these women were ardent supporters of Hillary….not because of Roe [they are all Catholic] but because they saw Hillary as being the top of the list of successful political women in America.

These are the voters that Palin will draw away from the other side of the aisle along with her adding strength to the GOP base and bringing along a slew of evangelicals as well.

To simply waste Palin’s time going after the Roe v. Wade crowd would also be an awesome waste of talent.

coldwarrior on August 31, 2008 at 3:33 PM

Ann Althouse is about as much a Centrist as Bill Clinton.

Neo on August 31, 2008 at 3:48 PM

I believe McCain all but locked up 90% of the conservative vote with this pick. I would have voted McCain regardless of who he picked, honestly. Palin just makes it easier to be excited about it. I don’t think there is a big enough blunder that Palin could realisticly make that would alienate the base enough to vote against McCain. I believe McCain had a better than even chance to win anyway just because Obama is so liberal and unknown. McCain/Palin is a VERY large tent that will attract alot of people.

Mord on August 31, 2008 at 3:56 PM

I don’t know how many will actually come from the other side, but there is also the, admittedly probably small number, (but every vote counts right?)of women who aren’t really politically active at all, who might tune in and be impressed with Palin enough to make the effort to vote. I’m just thinking of a friend in carpool line on Friday. She said, “I just might have to become political now!” and was very enthused. Sure, Hillary was a woman and would have caught their eye at first too, but most of these women are at home taking care of their children and at least lean towards Pro-Life. They aren’t “feminists”, but they want a strong woman to be able to point their daughters to and say, “See, you can do that if you work hard and really want it.” They don’t want an abortionist so they simply stay home if it is a Hillary. They are the ones who don’t see that a lot is being done by the Republicans (though I would argue) and so they aren’t that interested in politics enough to care, even if they really should. But now they do, and it is because they relate to Palin, though probably without the bagged elk. ;) So she might not really draw a lot of ardent Hillary feminists, but she definitely shores up the base, and will possibly pick up some otherwise apolitical female voters.

I apologize if that made no sense. I have a horrid head cold.

pannw on August 31, 2008 at 4:00 PM

Goldberg:

a lot of women who like feminine strength and independence but reject the feminist label (there are a lot of them).

I reject it because it’s been conscripted by a bunch of loonies who take equality to such ridiculous lengths that they demand women be viewed as superior, not equal. And because declaring oneself a feminist kills the humor center in your brain.

It’s the same reason that while I believe in being frugal, reusing and recycling things like boxes and plastic bags, I don’t consider myself an environmentalist. I don’t believe we are killing the planet and that my use of plastic is dooming all life on the planet. Or that it would be better for the planet if we aborted ourselves into extinction before we killed everything else.

And I don’t say I’m for animal rights. Because though I believe we have a responsibility to take care of the animals entrusted to us, slaughter humanely what we kill for food, and not kill any animal unless it’s for a good reason (food, illness), I don’t believe that animals are our equal. Nor do I believe that apes should have “rights” similar to ours. Or that we have no right to be the omnivores nature made us.

I really hate that normal, common sense positions have been hijacked and taken to idiotic extremes until I’m afraid to speak up for something in case I should be taken for one of the nuts.

To get this back to Sarah Palin, I was voting McCain because he was the lesser of two evils. Having Palin on the ticket makes me feel better about that.

NoSquids on August 31, 2008 at 4:08 PM

This is not an admonishment, but consider the concept that, perhaps, Sarah Palin knows a bit more about winning elections as a woman in a man’s world than any of us do. You won’t find a more masculine good-old-boy network than the one in Alaska.

I suspect that she will instinctively make superior tactical choices than any of us could, based purely on (get this) experience.

Immolate on August 31, 2008 at 1:19 PM

I totally agree with this. I hope they just let Palin be herself without trying to craft her “message” too much for her. She’s paid homage to Hillary and Gerry already — I don’t see the need to push it any further.

holygoat on August 31, 2008 at 4:11 PM

I wish Jonah Goldberg would shut up. He just sounds like a patronizing idiot.

Blake on August 31, 2008 at 4:17 PM

I am a Georgia conservative who was voting for McCain (who I am not fond of) because the alternative (Obama) is so much worse. After hearing the news about Palin I decided to contribute for the first time to the McCain campaign. My wife is a SoCal liberal who was ready to vote for Obama. She is now voting for McCain due to the choices that each man (McCain and Obama) made for their VP. I know that this is anecdotal but I do believe that there are many people across the country that are making these same decisions.

dawgyear on August 31, 2008 at 4:19 PM

This post is top notch. That sounds like a perfect strategy to appeal as a real champion of women irrespective of the heavy emphasis on social issues in the grass roots of the GOP party.

saus on August 31, 2008 at 4:19 PM

I am a woman and I have always resented the people at NOW assuming they speak for me. I farmed for years and had to deal with men in a man’s world and I know what it is like to have to put up with a lot of crap…but, that does not mean I am a lefist feminist.

Believe it or not, women can stand up for themselves without being militant.

I also worry about Palin imploding, but I think that has a lot to do with not really knowing her for a long time. We have not seen her up there month after month, year after year. So we wonder, can she handle the pressure? I don’t know that I could.

Terrye on August 31, 2008 at 4:20 PM

Everyone’s favorite liberal left-wing loudmouth deluxe Barbara Boxer has already said the choosing of Sarah Palin does nothing as far as change the minds of women voters to go with John McCain, and in the process once again demonstrates the delusion she has suffered for the longest time that she is the chief spokesperson for these same women voters.

But then again, Boxer hs never been in her right mind to begin with.

pilamaye on August 31, 2008 at 4:36 PM

But then again, Boxer hs never been in her right mind to begin with.

pilamaye on August 31, 2008 at 4:36 PM

Hahahaha. Indeed that. Need more be said?

localmalcontent on August 31, 2008 at 4:41 PM

I think most Amercan woman consider Paris Palin a fringe candidate. If she gets preachy it’s all over for ol’ spur-of-the-moment and her grandpa. – alphie on August 31, 2008 at 3:31 PM

Hello, sunshine! I’m surprised you are up already, ma petite garden gnome…the sun hasn’t gone down yet. I think I’m safe in saying that most of the good citizens here consider you to be a fringe human. In the Democrat party,that would qualify you for eugenic cleansing. But here at HA we treasure our “special” people…I certainly do. You may be a hideous troll, but in my loving eyes you are just…Alphie. Now here is a piece of string and a banana. Go and play.

ManlyRash on August 31, 2008 at 5:02 PM

So we wonder, can she handle the pressure? I don’t know that I could. – Terrye on August 31, 2008 at 4:20 PM

I can’t speak for SARAH’CUDA but I can speak for some of us here. We can handle the pressure…coincidentally, Johnny Walker sales will be spiking this election cycle.

ManlyRash on August 31, 2008 at 5:04 PM

Geraldine Ferraro: “I have to tell you, I got a phone call from my family too, and my daughter — the immediate thing was, ‘Wow! McCain picked a woman.’ I thought it was stunning when it happened, because it is so historic. The other thing I must say this is the first time that anybody who is in a national position, has publicly thanked me in 24 years.” (FOX’s “Fox & Friends,” 8/30/08)

An interesting and rather sad revelation from Gerry Ferraro. Apparently the feminist sisterhood isn’t that appreciative if you don’t win. I assume that “anybody in a national position” included Hillary.

Wethal on August 31, 2008 at 5:11 PM

I LOVED IT when she thanked Ferrarro and Hillary in her speech. If she likes it, she needs to keep it. Are the Hillary haters really going to not vote for her?

funky chicken on August 31, 2008 at 5:23 PM

dawgyear on August 31, 2008 at 4:19 PM

I could tell 4 of those anecdotes meself….

My Mom, two neighbor ladies, and my new girlfreind…

and enough of “those anecdotes” will swing this election.

Romeo13 on August 31, 2008 at 5:26 PM

I’m imagining myself in her situation and considering how awful I’d feel if the pressure got to me.

Exactly, AP. And it is the fact that it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine ourselves in her position, that highlights her commonality, and thereby breeds the strong desire for her to succeed. I have further thoughts along this line, but I’ll hold back until after she and McCain win in Nov. Don’t want to jinx anything, ya’know.

Weight of Glory on August 31, 2008 at 6:08 PM

Is this lady cool or what?

Spirit of 1776 on August 31, 2008 at 6:30 PM

I made this video in tribute to Sarah:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quvBbcFDPI0

She is the future.

D0WNT0WN on August 31, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Great job, DOWNTOWN! That shot of her and the soldier at 3:20 is amazing. He’s not a happy camper, and look at how that is mirrored in her face. Now THAT, Mr. Clenis, is how to “feel someone’s pain,” not with bogus lower-lip biting. Should be a campaign photo for sure.

smellthecoffee on August 31, 2008 at 6:38 PM

I made this video in tribute to Sarah:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quvBbcFDPI0

She is the future.

D0WNT0WN on August 31, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Nice flow with the music. Got a kick out of the polar bear with cubs imagery.
Her youngest daughter is just too cute for words. Especially that shot of her shaking hands and the other one of holding her little brother.

Count to 10 on August 31, 2008 at 7:14 PM

Great job, DOWNTOWN! That shot of her and the soldier at 3:20 is amazing. He’s not a happy camper, and look at how that is mirrored in her face. Now THAT, Mr. Clenis, is how to “feel someone’s pain,” not with bogus lower-lip biting. Should be a campaign photo for sure.

smellthecoffee on August 31, 2008 at 6:38 PM

Nice flow with the music. Got a kick out of the polar bear with cubs imagery.
Her youngest daughter is just too cute for words. Especially that shot of her shaking hands and the other one of holding her little brother.

Count to 10 on August 31, 2008 at 7:14 PM

Thanks. Please do what you can to share the link for this video with as many others as you think would be interested or open: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quvBbcFDPI0

D0WNT0WN on August 31, 2008 at 7:36 PM

She is the future…

DOWNTOWN on Aug 31,2008 at 1:04PM.

DOWNTOWN:Well done,and outstanding,I do love the picture of
Sarah Palin when shes holding her baby!:):):)

It also reminds me of the caring and compassionate
Nancy(It just might take a women)Pelosi who”USED”
the “Children” for her photo-op at the Capitol!

canopfor on August 31, 2008 at 8:42 PM

D0WNT0WN on August 31, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Beautiful job! I posted it to facebook and emailed it out.

Connie on August 31, 2008 at 8:45 PM

The trouble with the political purists is that they think *ordinary voters* have a long list of clear political positions that need to be checked before they’ll vote for a candidate, that they are fusspots and panty-waisted whiners like them. In real life, most people have a vague sense of “do I agree with this candidate/does he agree with me” . Palin makes people smile (not snicker, take note Biden!!). I hope she has a strong enough sense of herself, and the love of her family, and that the political pundits (of all stripes) just BUTT OUT and STFU!! You didn’t see her coming, we did!!! Now F*** off and good night.

Fortunata on August 31, 2008 at 11:53 PM

Sorry…my husband tells me that my comment above is too strong. I’m just sick of all the beard-strokers out there, however. Help me out guys, I’m really starved of conservative company here in Austin Texas….

Fortunata on September 1, 2008 at 12:07 AM

I don’t think she should initiate any kind of confrontation with the feminists at all. McCain/Palin is not running against the feminists. They are running against Obama/Biden. Don’t waste even one breath of effort to debate a group that is already marginalized with most people by their own radical nature. It is a distraction and can only serve to take attention away from pointing out the flaws in the opponent.

Stay on target, stay on message.

Hawthorne on September 1, 2008 at 12:15 AM

Allah:

Apparently you didn’t hear the same PUMA rep I did yesterday!

Frankly, I think Palin can figure out if, when, and how to shape her appeal to women without a lot of advice from the peanut gallery about what women might or might not do or want. I happen to be pro-choice myself, and I’m crazy for Palin. After being expected to applaud the advances of women I despise, like Pelosi and Clinton, it’s a relief to finally see a woman I can actually respect on a Presidential ticket. The fact that it’s a Republican ticket is not just delicious, it’s already a bigger slap in the face of faux feminists than any fantasy attack dreamed up by Goldberg et al, gratifying as he might find the idea.

JM Hanes on September 1, 2008 at 2:05 AM

Fortunata on August 31, 2008 at 11:53 PM

Whoa…this kitty’s got claws. I like it.

ManlyRash on September 1, 2008 at 6:09 AM

Even if McCain loses in November, the GOP’s new standard bearer will be a younger working mother from outside Washington and not a rich businessman with perfect hair from Massachusetts. McCain may have saved the GOP at the expense of the campaign.

Gee, that sounds familiar.

rightwingprof on September 1, 2008 at 9:47 AM

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