Constructive Feminism and the Third Wave

Remember the 1990s and the Clinton scandals? Remember how, after a while, all the media attention was like so much white noise and it became a chore to pay attention? Remember how most people you knew wished those spittle-flecked Republicans would just STFU already? Maybe you don’t. Maybe you recall those as the Bush years and you and your friends just wished all those spittle-flecked Democrats would blow it out their ears for once? The point is that a constant barrage of hyperbolic negativity often has the opposite effect from what was intended. It doesn’t breed agreement; it breeds apathy and discontent.

So it is with the subject of Sarah Palin. She is constantly under attack and disrespected by feminists on the left, who often don’t know much about her other than what they hear in the echo chamber that is the left-blogosphere. The noise level has ratcheted way up since she started describing herself and her conservative sisters as feminists and “Mamma Grizzlies.”

As a writer who teaches people how to write, I can tell you that you’ll lose your audience if constant negativity is your opening strategy, which is why I almost didn’t finish reading the NYT op-ed by Anna Holmes and Rebecca Traister, A Palin of Our Own. It droned on and on for nine solid paragraphs (out of 15 total) of negativity and bad logic, using few, if any, examples or citations to back up questionable partisan speculation about Sarah Palin.

I’m glad I did finish it though, because it is the most promising sign yet that feminists on the left are finally willing to address their #1 problem: internal issues regarding women and the Democratic Party. For a while now feminists on the left have been engaged in a profoundly destructive focus, clearly seen in the various campaigns to tear down Sarah Palin, the vitriol directed at her and other Republican women, and the impulse to, ironically, defend feminism against expansion. It’s a weird dynamic akin to xenophobia, and it has cost them the ears, hearts, and minds of many women of every generation, but especially those of us who didn’t get to go to the best colleges or didn’t go to college at all, and who don’t live in fabulous urban areas. In other words, most of America. The kind of internal focus promoted by Holmes and Traister in their article will be a necessary step in creating a constructively focused feminism that can attract these women back. Continue reading

Hot Damn, a Reading Roundup

Is anyone else tired of reading about the mosque? I don’t live in New York, and I don’t visit enough to care, and honestly, it stinks of the cat and mouse media game political operatives play in August.

That game is working, of course, as the left ratchets up a shiny new racism charge, and desperately tries to get the nation to believe that 70% of Americans are both stupid and crazy. In other words, typical leftists alienation tropes that will result in political losses for them. They never freakin’ learn. They make the same mistakes they’ve been making since the 1960s, which is to shout people down instead of talking to them. The continue to sorely miscalculate the electorate.

The electorate is composed of individuals like me, and we can think for ourselves. I’ve followed the story and I don’t buy that opposition to the mosque is racist. Maybe Rush is screeching his usual crap about Islamofascism, but then I don’t waste my time listening to him. Most of what I’ve been reading from the opposition has been respectful and persuasive for the most part. Take this editorial by the Muslim daughter of a 9/11 victim. She made a point I hadn’t considered:

Yet, I worry that the construction of the Cordoba House Islamic cultural center near the World Trade Center site would not promote tolerance or understanding; I fear it would become a symbol of victory for militant Muslims around the world.

It’s not like the peaceful Muslims who want to build this could (or would) stop radical militant Muslims from using the site as a war memorial if they wanted to. And that’s exactly something that radical militant Muslims would do.

Anyway, in the end I don’t care. Build it or don’t build it, build it somewhere else, but for fuck’s sake, stop lying about it and vilifying your countrymen-and-women over it. And Obama should stay out of it. His statements in support of it were a first class blunder from a completely unqualified neophyte. Continue reading

Which Would You Rather Read?

Story of the Day: Gibbs Edition

It has been hilarious watching the Story of the Day and the reaction of those who got snookered by the most famous Chicago Democrat (!) evah. A few things worth pointing out about the whole thing.

First, everyone seems to have adopted the term “professional left” without thinking about it. That’s the slog-headedness of August for you. I would bet $50 that the term was born of a strategy session within the White House, and now a term that did not exist yesterday will be the favored punching bag of Republicans and Democrats going forward.

Second: wtf is this about, Mr. Aravosis?

Then there’s all that work we did for the campaign, all the dirty work they asked us to do – and we did it, gladly, and quietly – none of that counted either, apparently.

There’s apparently more to the story than just Journolist. Care to tell us more about this “dirty work” you did so “quietly,” John? Because you know, the White House hates you and you haven’t got a damn thing to lose by going public. If you’ve got the balls, which I doubt.

Third, Rep. Ellison has got it right. Continue reading

The Mandate Mantra

I’ve been wondering for a long time why progressives and captive liberals keep saying Obama had a mandate. The chorus that creates the mandate-meme has been gearing up again lately. I saw the election up close and I did not see a mandate in the numbers. What I saw, and what has still not been reported, was that Sarah Palin took an election that should have been a landslide for any Democrat running and made it competitive. This despite the media’s relentless attacks on her, including the now outed Katie Couric.

So what was up with the “mandate mantra,” which progs and their administrative overlords keep trying to push? It must be the electoral college, right? There is a sizable difference in those numbers. But those numbers are misleading, and I knew it. Anybody not trying to manufacture reality knows it. Jay Cost knows there is no a mandate, and though he articulates an apologists argument, he has the map to prove it.

To appreciate what I’m talking about, consider the following picture. It compares Obama’s election in 2008 (by county) to previous landslides – Roosevelt in 1932 and 1936, Eisenhower in 1952, Johnson in 1964, and Reagan in 1980. These maps come from an excellent French cartographer named Frédéric Salmon, whose work can be accessed here. They follow a different color scheme than the red-blue divide we are used to. In the following maps, Republican counties are in blue – and they become darker blue as the county votes more heavily Republican. Meanwhile, Democratic counties are in yellow – and they move to brown as the county votes more heavily Democratic.

Interesting. They carried enough urban areas to produce a win, but that’s all they had.  This bodes well for 2012, folks.

Our job in the meantime is to use the map to refute the mandate mantra. This manufacturing of reality is exactly what so many of us hated about the Bush43 regime, and it’s equally troubling coming from Democrats. Nobody gets a pass on duping the American people. Nobody.