2016 election

I, Virginia Bergman, pledge not to vote for a male presidential candidate in 2016 just because he's male.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Nancy Pelosi Equivocates on Sexist Treatment of Clinton and Palin

Photo credits: Getty Images

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi became hypnotized by Barack Obama early in the Democratic primary and did her part to undermine the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. Until recently she declined to speak out against the sexism from Democratic Party leaders and their misogynistic allies in the media.

I suppose it’s progress that Pelosi is now supporting Clinton as Obama’s pick for secretary of state, but she still refuses to take an unequivocal stand against sexism, regardless of the victim. Sam Stein reports at the Huffington Post:

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered effusive praise for the appointment of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State on Monday, saying the New York Democrat was an ideal fit for the post, would faithfully carry out Barack Obama's policies and serve as an inspiration to woman, much like Pelosi herself.

‘“I got a call this morning from Hillary Clinton, saying the announcement will be made,’ Pelosi recalled. ‘What an exciting moment. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State. Thomas Jefferson [and now] Hillary Clinton.’

“Speaking at a Hunter College forum on the role of gender in politics, the Speaker downplayed the suggestion -- put forth in the form of a question -- that Clinton might face misogynistic obstacles on the world stage.

‘“None at all," she replied, when asked if this would be the case. ‘I have traveled the world as Speaker of the House... and I have seen the treatment I have received in these places. And I know the respect that they will have for soon to be Secretary of State Hillary Clinton... What is important to world leaders is, ‘Does the president listen to you?’... She is a force in her own right and anybody that might have that thought that you mildly suggested does so at his peril.”’

Stein contines:

“But the most interesting topic of debate centered around whether Clinton and Sarah Palin were hindered by their sex while on the campaign trail. Both Pelosi and Rep. Carolyn Maloney were put in a tricky position, arguing that their Democratic colleague had been disadvantaged by her gender while Alaska's governor was not. But they made the case astutely, noting that the policies pursued by the McCain-Palin ticket were antithetical to women's interests, even if Palin's candidacy was a symbolic victory.”

What Pelosi, Maloney, et al overlook is that regardless of her positions on the issues, there is no justification for heaping sexist abuse on Sarah Palin or holding her to a double standard compared to male candidates, e.g., criticizing her for running for public office instead of staying home and caring for her children.

Pelosi’s waffling on these important issues is just one more reason I continue to be glad I left the Democratic Party and registered as non-affiliated in 2008.

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