It’s the Republicans Who Are Cynical?

At least that’s been the charge against the McCain campaign for picking Sarah Palin for VP. And it stood there basically unchallenged until she personally destroyed that argument Wednesday night with her speech.

Suddenly, women who weren’t really necessary or important to the ticket (see Dem VP pick and the dissing of 18 million votes) are vital:

Senator Barack Obama will increasingly lean on prominent Democratic women to undercut Gov. Sarah Palin and Senator John McCain, dispatching Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to Florida on Monday and bolstering his plan to deploy female surrogates to battleground states, Obama advisers said Thursday.

Now who is cynical? It is clear Palin was a hit. TV numbers have been revised up with the addition of PBS and it is estimated 40 million watched the Palin speech. Why the cynical deployment of women surrogates? Because that number is very close to the number who viewed Obama’s speech.

Obviously a good number of people watched the speech because they had no idea who Sarah Palin was. And, given the pernicious and vicious press she and her family had received over the week, they wanted to see if she had three eyes and horns. My guess is what they saw and heard blew away all the negativity the press had heaped on her over the preceding days. They heard a strong and poised young woman, who has real accomplishments, lay them out in front of the nation with authenticity, conviction and humor.

And that has panicked the Dems. The harridans have emerged. Gloria Steinam has written a piece you could spend a week fisking, but it is the female version of calling a black person an “Uncle Tom” (remember the Clarence Thomas hearings?). Steinam’s criticism of Palin is a blatant indulgence in hypocrisy where Steinam declares that a successful woman cannot really emerge on the right because they are slaves of the patriarchy.

Thinking people realize that’s nonsense:

“Obviously,” said Charlotte Allen, a contributing editor at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, “there’s a double standard. Conservative women are given no quarter. They’re considered an outrage to their sex.”

Yet there she is, 40 million saw her, and other than hardcore fems of Steinem’s persuasion, middle America is very unlikely to buy into the tortured logic Steinem uses to push her point.

But they persist:

A spokeswoman for the National Organization for Women, noting Palin’s opposition to abortion rights and support of other parts of the social conservative agenda, told Politico, “She’s more a conservative man than she is a woman on women’s issues. Very disappointing.”

Of course this is the same organization that marginalized itself when it stood mute while Bill Clinton ran roughshod over a series of women he was accused of approaching, seducing or raping.

So the cynical deployment of women surrogates, none of whom was obviously good enough to make the Dem ticket, but are now vital to neutralizing the Republican ticket, will be interesting to watch. And unless I miss my guess, such a deployment is going to be largely ineffective.

I can’t tell you how much I’d enjoy the irony of that so-called “glass ceiling” being shattered by the female version of an “Uncle Tom”. Seeing the resulting paroxysms among the “politically acceptable” women on the left would most enjoyable.

[Crossposted on QandO]

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