Sarah Palin Was The Only Woman In 2008 To Endure Sexist Treatment, You Betcha

Matt Lewis is at it again. The Daily Beast's most reliable ragebait generator wants to rain on the parade of whoever winds up Joe Biden's running mate.

Joe Biden's campaign, in conjunction with influential women's groups, is preparing to blunt "sexist" attacks aimed at his prospective running mate. That's all well and good, but where does Sarah Palin go to recover her career?

Doubtless the same place Ron DeSantis goes for his apology. That first sentence makes it sound like Biden is producing a new series for HBO Max: Marilyn Jones, Lady VP, in conjunction with influential women's groups. Sweet Christ, why is Lewis making us think about Palin right now? The woman sang “Baby Got Back" in a bear costume on national TV just before the world ended, but OK, fine, that's somehow liberals' fault. We reduced her to this.

Sarah Palin performs baby got back on the masked singer

If I didn't know any better, I'd think the Democrats (and women's groups, and liberal elites in the media) are a bunch of hypocrites. After all, their sexist attacks helped batter a young female rising star deemed as an existential threat, and now they're warning that the same thing might actually happen (gasp!) to them?

I feel like I'm in an episode of Jordan Peele's new Twilight Zone where I'm the only one who remembers Hillary Clinton exists. Lewis doesn't mention Clinton once in his ode to Palin. An editor should've sent that shit to the rewrite showers because how you gonna talk about sexism in the 2008 campaign without mentioning Hillary Rodham Clinton?

Lewis complains that Harry Reid's press secretary called Palin “shrill"? Hillary's been there. New York magazine called Clinton "terrifyingly shrill," and Megan Garber noted in her piece “Shrill-ary," for the Columbia Journalism Review, how Joe Scarborough explicated the depths of Clinton's shrillness during an appearance on "Hardball."

[T]here is a shrillness in Hillary that comes out on TV whenever she gets excited about something …. Every time her voice goes up, she gets very shrill, very un-Clinton-like, if you're talking about Bill Clinton.

Lewis calls out sexist comments about Palin's appearance: "Then-CNBC host Donny Deutsch spent lots of time talking about her 'sex appeal.' And Martin Peretz of The New Republic said, '…she is pretty like a cosmetics saleswoman at Macy's.'

That is terrible. I've dipped into Wonkette's vast research budget to Google some similar statements about Clinton.

From the New York Times.

Chris Matthews, a host on MSNBC, called Mrs. Clinton a "she-devil" and said she had gotten as far as she had only because her husband had "messed around."

Mike Barnicle, a panelist on MSNBC, said that Mrs. Clinton was "looking like everyone's first wife standing outside a probate court." Tucker Carlson, also on MSNBC, said, "When she comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs."

Men are garbage. We should all be better. However, the core point of Lewis's argument falls apart: Democrats aren't asking that we avoid sexist rhetoric about Biden's VP out of “self-interest." It's a collective negative that's hurt women regardless of their political party, and all men regardless of political party have helped perpetuate it.

Matt Lewis: Marco Rubio provides "the stark contrast" with Hillary Clinton

Just to let you know the quality of argument Lewis is offering: When citing examples of how Democrats have "been less than chivalrous to women who got in the way of their liberal agenda," he included the so-called "Trig Trutherism" conspiracy theory led by Andrew Sullivan, who is neither a liberal nor a Democrat (your editrix however is both, and she believes the hell out of that conspiracy theory, which also has nothing to do with sexism). In fairness to the Daily Beast, Wonkette has an army of fact checkers available to help me check stuff like this on Wikipedia. Lewis also calls it "sexist" (and the actions of a "stalker"!) to write a book about Palin, the research of which includes moving to Palin's town and annoying her.

This is where the rest of Lewis's argument falls apart. Palin's political career didn't end because liberals considered her an “existential threat." The Republican establishment quickly turned on Palin because she was a growing embarrassment. There's a reason Palin will die mad at Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace, who both worked on John McCain's 2008 campaign. She wasn't much of a threat to Democrats when she quit in the middle of her first term as governor of Alaska. Liberals also aren't responsible for whatever allegedly happened to Palin after 2009 that resulted in her turning up at speaking engagements barely coherent.

Full video: Sarah Palin endorses Donald Trump

Yes, Democrats and liberals thought Palin was an idiot, but we felt the same about George W. Bush and Donald Trump. They still won Republican primaries and the presidency. Conservatives don't listen to us. How else do you explain Ted Cruz? If Palin's "rising star" fizzled, the fault lies within Republicans themselves.

But the lady in the bear suit isn't important. The media and political establishment's sexist treatment of Hillary Clinton is arguably why we're living through this nightmare Trump presidency. We need to make damn sure that sexism doesn't give Trump a second term. We don't have time for Lewis's revisionist history.

[The Daily Beast]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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