Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

On C-Span 2’s post election Presidential Election Analysis Panel by the Smithsonian Associates. That’s how Howard Dean put it. See below.

Some key quotes from the video:

“Washington doesn’t get it. They always get it last. This is the most underwritten story of this campaign… by the press… by the media.”

“Women my age, in my generation felt this really acutely. Because they were the ones that suffered all of the indignities that you suffer when you fight to win the battle for equality. As they did.”

“Nobody understood the agony that women, particularly of my generation, were undergoing about this…issue…and to this day, it has been swept under the rug and been forgotten because she didn’t win.”

“We thought we were past all this stuff and we weren’t. We weren’t surprised about the degree of racism or lack of it or whatever, that was endlessly examined. We did not examine the fact that we didn’t get, we haven’t gotten nearly as far ahead as we thought we were about equality between the sexes. And that ought to be revisited as a result of what happened.”

“and it happened to Sarah Palin too. All the stuff that happened to Sarah Palin, and I know God knows I don’t have a lot of sympathy for her political points of view, but a lot of the stuff that happened to her, as she pointed out, would not have happened had she been a man.”

Do you think an honest discussion of this topic is possible yet?


  1. psychodrew

    Barack’s election is a big achievement, but that doesn’t mean that bigotry and discrimination are behind us.  This campaign showed that while we have made great progress in some areas, we need to keep working hard.

  2. I think it is – as threads on this site and elsewhere have made apparent.

    Whether this discussion is entirely to anyone’s satisfaction, I hesitate to say.

    Certainly, I don’t think it wasn’t discussed. In fact I’ve become much more aware of sexism in the US media over the last year.

    However, as you know, I disagree entirely about Palin. I think for several weeks she was given a pass because of guilt over the treatment of Hillary. It’s also patently evident McCain was hoping her selection would split elements of the democratic base. It didn’t, and it was a cynical play to identity politics.

    The more I understand of US politics, the more I realise it is dominated by the kind of bullying man who disparages women, girlie boys, people of colour, and in fact ANYONE who doesn’t fit in with their narrowed bigoted view of the world.

    Personally, I’d prefer to see feminism allied with anti racism, anti homophobia, rampant inequality and environmental protection as a joint popular front on progressive causes. Though everyone has their special area of interest and advocacy, there seems to be a historic trend on the American Left for all these interests to fight each other for prominence.

    Together we are strong. We are many. They are few. And the interests of feminism ally with the interests in justice and equality of opportunity wherever we find them.

  3. alyssa chaos

    there can ever be a fully honest discussion on this topic.

    It’s so multi-faceted that one can only assume what other people thought at the time, what their motives were, and other things that really will never present themselves clearly.

    Would Palin have been treated differently as a man? Who can say for sure.

    She, as other unprepared politicians, deserve much of the criticism aimed at them, but where did that cross the line into a pile on where cheap shots were taken? Where should that line be defined, if any line exists?

    Plain and simple though, she was unprepared/unqualified.

    And the reality is that if you are a woman, a person of color, or some other disadvantaged group, you have to be better than prepared just to be on par with the person to the left and right of you. Thats my take on it from my prior experiences, that you cant give them any reason to doubt your qualifications; Palin gave them doubt, and they ripped at her exposed seems.

    She gave them reason to mock her with her winks,folksy bs, and her inability to think on her feet. She was a hot mess, and they tore her apart. I dont know whether thats sexism or not, im totally biased. Im sure they would have still torn her male counterpart to pieces, but with the same delight and fervor?

    its like the argument that never ends.

    I didnt like her, but there were times towards the end when I just had to shut off the tv, I couldn’t stand to watch;

  4. GrassrootsOrganizer

    any comparison at all between Clinton and Palin because the only valid one that could possibly be made is they are the same gender.

    Clinton is well-educated, well-versed, genuinely accomplished and understands politics better than anyone BUT Obama.  She has the making of a competent if not great president and spent a lifetime accumulating that acumen.  No one could ever accuse Clinton of exploiting her looks, running on gender or avoiding the opportunity to state a well-crafted opinion.  

    Palin, on the other hand, is poorly educated, superficially informed, her accomplishments are questionable and she only understands the politics of the far right and Smallville, Alaska.  She presented nothing that would engender confidence in her ability to lead — not one damn scrap of evidence or one single moment of genuine strength.  She came out of nowhere (literally) and set about winking, blinking, dodging and posing her way through the campaign while never missing an opportunity to remind us in rhetoric, story and visuals that she was yes, indeedy, all female with a capital F.

    Beyond the chromosome and body parts, someone is going to have to explain to me how critique of one can be compared to critique of the other.  If you can find the commonality you must only be looking at gender.

    Yes, I believe Clinton took a misogynist sexist shellacking from the media early on expressly because she was so competitive in the race.  Not all the criticism of her was sexist but very much of it was.  There may have been sexist remarks and questions asked about Palin, but nowhere to the same degree because it her greatest burden to overcome wasn’t imagining a woman as CiC (Clinton had just gotten done overcoming that nicely for her) it was imagining Palin herself in any position of power where insight and depth was required.  

    No one is ever going to convince me that woman wasn’t a grasping under-qualified dope who had no business on the international stage.  The media didn’t craft that reality — they unveiled it and none too soon.

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