President Bill Clinton set feminism back by at least 25 years.
He put women’s movement activists in the self-discrediting position of having to defend him despite his many sexual predations. And his wife Hillary Clinton and Clinton apparatchiks became the president’s accomplices, trashing his female victims.
Now Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama is setting the women’s movement back by at least another 25 years by unleashing his surrogates to smear first his rival Sen. Hillary Clinton and now Republican vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin.
A kangaroo court run by Democratic lawmakers in Alaska has accelerated its hearings into her removal of a state official — a power indisputably hers — so these admitted Obama partisan legislators can stage a Sarah-in-wonderland Stalinist show trial condemning her days before the November election.
The implicit message of these sexist attacks by Obama’s operatives in and out of the media is that Sarah Palin, the governor and de facto “president” of America’s largest state, can be called incompetent merely because she’s a woman.
The line of media attack against Palin has mostly avoided issues where her credentials are beyond dispute, and where Obama’s are weak, such as energy policy. She governs one of America’s biggest energy-producing states and has been a strong leader in energy development.
Instead, the media continues to hammer Palin where they think she is vulnerable: on foreign policy experience and expertise that state governors almost never possess.
In her first unrestricted interview with ABC News anchor Charles Gibson, for example, Gov. Palin appeared to be uncertain what Gibson’s “gottcha” question about the “Bush Doctrine” meant. When she asked him to clarify what he was asking, Gibson sneered (from his looking-down position ABC’s camera crew had dishonestly framed) that he was referring to President George W. Bush’s 2002 policy of preemption against threatening nations.
But since that interview, even liberal journalists at The Washington Post’s webzine Slate.com have admitted that Palin was right. In truth, there is no one “Bush Doctrine”; rather, five or six Bush policies have been called “the Bush Doctrine.”
Gibson’s question, and his snide treatment of Palin, are evidence that Gibson is either a knave or a fool. He himself did not understand the “Bush Doctrine,” but he has yet to make any public apology to Palin for his incompetence and high-handed behavior.
Ironically, Palin’s response to Gibson was far more accurate, intelligent, and diplomatic than Gibson’s wrongheaded question.
How should Palin respond the next time an inquisitor asks about her competence in foreign policy?
“I’m at least as competent in foreign affairs as Democratic Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton was in 1992,” Palin could lash back, “unless you count the time he spent as a draft dodger during the Vietnam War leading anti-American demonstrations in Europe. But you in the press never asked about his foreign policy qualifications.
“I’m at least as competent in foreign policy as Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter was in 1976,” Palin could ripost. “But, then, as President Jimmy Carter helped topple America’s ally the Shah of Iran, which led to the present nuclear weapon-seeking theocratic regime in Tehran.
“And that begat the Iran-Iraq war that led to Saddam Hussein having the world’s fourth biggest army,” Palin could continue. “And Mr. Carter’s incompetence begat the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which spawned a terrorist group called al-Qaida led by Osama bin Laden, which used what it learned on 9/11 to attack our World Trade Center and Pentagon — 3,000 American deaths on the bloody hands of Jimmy Carter.
“But you in the press never asked about this Democratic Georgia peanut farmer’s foreign policy qualifications.”
Or consider another approach Palin could take, inspired by the Bible’s recounting of how some inquisitors from the ruling establishment tried to trap Jesus with a question.
“Are you a man or a prophet from God?” they asked, smugly knowing that to answer would either discredit Jesus as a prophet if he denied this status, or get in him trouble with the religious authorities if he claimed to be a prophet.
Jesus replied that he would answer their question if they first answered his: Was John the Baptist a mere man or a prophet of God?
This was a trap for them, the inquisitors instantly recognized. If they said the Baptist was a mere man, they would outrage this martyr’s many followers. But if they said the Baptist was a prophet, Jesus would say, “Then why didn’t you follow him?”
“We cannot tell,” the inquisitors evasively replied. (This was as honest as Barack Obama, when asked by the Rev. Rick Warren if human life begins at conception, answering that this question was “above my pay grade.” Obama’s was the cowardly answer of someone who, like a typical member of any legislature, has never had to take individual executive responsibility for any tough decision.)
“Then neither will I tell you by whose authority I do these things,” replied Jesus, walking out of the inquisitors’ trap.
Palin could do likewise. The next time a left-liberal journalist tries to demean her with such a question, her reply could be, “You know, during the two years you journalists have given him a free ride, you’ve never directly asked Senator Barack Obama why he is qualified to be president. But he’s never run a business, met a payroll, been a mayor or a military commander like John McCain or a state governor.
“This is on its face sexist, comparable to constantly questioning the qualifications of a black job applicant but never asking such questions of white applicants.
“After you have required Mr. Obama to explain in detail what executive experience qualifies him to be president and commander in chief of the United States, then come back to me with your questions.
“But until you put such questions to Senator Obama, it is discriminatory for you to insist that only I, the first Republican female vice presidential candidate, must answer questions that for two years you have refused to ask of this embarrassingly unqualified Democratic presidential candidate.”
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