I don’t like Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann as potential 2012 presidential candidates. No big surprise there. But I like Charles Krauthammer as a pundit even less, especially when he takes the easy way out on an argument. So when he jumps on the Karl Rove bandwagon of bad-mouthing women candidates because they’re not “serious” or because they’re “silly,” then I have to step up to that feminist plate again and say, “Step off, boys!”
Silly, unserious balloon heads. Talking like the shrewish ex-wife outside divorce court. Hillary Clinton was only in the running for the White House in 2008 because her husband cheated on her and Kirsten Gillibrand was Tracy Flick with a bad temper.
That’s what women candidates still are in 2011 to the fellas who think they have a corner on the market of telling America who should and should not throw their hats (or scarves) into the ring for political office. Sure, Bachmann needs a primer on American history and Palin could use a little time with a dictionary, but what about George W. Bush who was euphemism-challenged and the uber-forgetful Ronald Reagan?
Many perpetrators of these slams have been political commentators for what seems like decades, so I’m pretty sure they’re capable of some factually-based critiques of women candidates — because they do it ALL THE TIME WITH MEN!
Pretty much any woman who runs for national elective office gets cut-down by the beltway boys for things unrelated to their brain-power or their political positions, so I can only conclude that they’ve got a little problem with any woman — no matter her political philosophy — in a position of power.
Don’t get me wrong — I do NOT subscribe to the political positions of Bachmann or Palin. I don’t want them anywhere near the White House or serious political influencers. I like what few reproductive rights I have left and don’t subscribe to the idea that women only have themselves to blame for discrimination or low pay because of the choices they make or that cutting taxes on the wealthy will have a beneficial trickle-down effect for the rest of us.
Maybe all those talking heads and opinion page columnists who use that broad brush to paint women as not having the gravitas of someone like, say, Newt “I”m telling my wife I want a divorce while she’s in the hospital with cancer” Gingrich or Haley “Slavery? What Slavery?” Barbour are just lazy. If they don’t like women candidates, they certainly have the mental heft to make arguments of substance about their policies or experience or political positions.
They just don’t see women as worthy of that time and effort.
I’m sure these men started mocking women when they were just boys and just never stopped. Tossing women off because of their cleavage or their hairstyles, or dismissing their efforts with adolescent jibes, is just shorthand for saying that women will never have what it takes to be in charge. Whatever they say about about Bachmann, Palin and others, I just want to remind them of this — women also have really long memories, and one of these days one of the the gals you mocked for being a silly balloon head will be in a position where she can make you eat those words, and she probably won’t be in the mood for them to be sugar coated.
Image via Fox News