Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Let's be careful

For those of us who think that in picking Sara Palin, John McCain, (a) made a serious, perhaps fatal, error; (b) toadied to the right wing of his party; (c) showed cynicism and contempt for the voters;(d) lost his ever-loving mind; or (e) all of the above, it's all too easy to take cheap shots at Gov. Palin.

This is a bad thing. It is bad, because it is unfair, intellectually dishonest and because it will actually motivate some people to vote for the McCain-Palin ticket. Not only that, but it calls into question the idea--to which I subscribe, and I hope you do, too--that a woman should be permitted to make the kind of choices that Sarah Palin has, without being judged unworthy because she has children. (Let me hasten to add that she is also free to decide to devote her life to her children, or to take some middle ground.)

If you are saying that this page has taken some cheap shots, all we can say is that you may be right. And if we did, we were wrong.

Yesterday, I mentioned that a woman I know was outraged that Gov. Palin had put her daughter in the national spotlight by accepting the vice-presidential slot. Another woman friend was outraged that the governor would accept a place on the ticket while caring for a special needs infant.

When these kinds of assertions come up, the question we should ask, it seems to me, is whether we would say the same thing if Gov. Palin's husband were the candidate. Would we say that he should not put his daughter in the limelight? Maybe we would. Would we suggest that he could not be vice-president (or perhaps even governor) once he found out that he would have a Downs' syndrome child? I don't think so.

From now on, here at TONE we'll try to avoid cheap shots at Gov. Palin and Sen. McCain, no matter how tempting they are as targets.

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove remain fair game, however.

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