Attacking Palin

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By Jeff Fecke, August 29, 2008 • People are already handwringing about how the Democrats can attack Sarah Palin. That’s stupid. There’s plenty to attack Palin on. She’s radically anti-choice, she’s a social reactionary, she’s got no foreign policy experience to speak of, and her pick by McCain bespeaks a sort of belief that women are interchangable and that any vagina will do — Palin and Hillary Clinton are as similar as James Dobson and Dennis Kucinich, and only someone who thinks women are too dumb to know the difference between the two would think that Palin’s very presence on the ticket would win over Clinton Democrats.

But let’s state this flatly, right here, right now — where you don’t attack Palin is based on her looks. Based on her femininity. Based on her being a mother. Based on her XX genotype. Sarah Palin is a former Miss Alaska, and conventionally attractive. But that doesn’t mean her mind is irrelevant to the discussion, that her experience as a Mayor or Governor is somehow worthless.

Contrawise, Palin is not immune to being attacked because she’s a woman. Joe Biden is more experienced on national security; he should make that a point of attack. Sarah Palin isn’t particularly experienced; that should be an issue. Palin is extraoridnarily pro-life, way out of the mainstream on the issue; that should be brought to light. Those issues don’t go away because she’s a woman. Those issues don’t go away, period.

Palin should be judged in the same way any other candidate for the vice presidency should be judged — on her merit as a candidate and a leader. Period. Attack her record and attack her experience — those must be on the table. But her gender — that should be off the table, period.