Cheap And Tawdry Political Trick

by digby

Following up on dday's post below about the impending Pig 'n Lipstick hissy fit, I thought this was an interesting column about the newfound Republican commitment to feminism. They are obviously sleazy, dishonest hypocrites who have no principles whatsoever. But we knew that. Double standards are the only standards they have.

I can't help but be reminded of this gambit from 2004. John Kerry was asked this question at the debate:

Both of you are opposed to gay marriage. But to understand how you have come to that conclusion, I want to ask you a more basic question. Do you believe homosexuality is a choice?

Kerry answered this way:

"We're all God's children, Bob. And I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as."

Now, Mary Cheney was an out lesbian in a long term relationship, which Dick had acknowledged in the debate in 2000. It was not a secret. But a royal hissy fit ensued, led by Lynn Cheney the next day on the campaign trail:

“The only thing I could conclude is that this is not a good man. This is not a good man. And, of course, I’m speaking as a mom. And a pretty indignant one. This is not a good man. What a cheap and tawdry political trick.”

Recipe for a hissy: You have an openly gay daughter who, by all accounts, you love and have accepted without judgment. But when someone asks your political opponent if he believes people like her are born the way they are and he mentions her as someone who would back up his contention that they are, you rend your garments and shriek that he is "not a good man!" Your hypocritical followers, most of whom ostensibly believe homosexuality is a sin and want to force people like your daughter to live a lie, cheer wildly, not even questioning why you aren't denying what he said. And that is because they know the truth, or if they don't, they prefer to stay in the dark so they can keep their tribal solidarity undisturbed. Talk about a cheap and tawdry political trick.

This is how these things go and they are very difficult to counter once they get going. (The General Betrayus ad was a more recent example.)They're tough to counter, even though they make no sense and are often just purely silly. The press loves them and they end up becoming such a distraction that the Dems finally conclude that it's not worth it to fight them. So they concede. And then they look like weenies.

via Julia, here's some of that principled GOP feminism in action:

As the culture war surrounding Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin escalates, a group of leading Republican women accused the media Wednesday of sexist “smears” against John McCain’s running mate.

"The Republican Party will not stand by while Gov. Palin is subjected to sexist attacks," said Carly Fiorina, a McCain aide who formerly headed Hewlett-Packard. "I don't believe American women are going to stand for it either."

Asked why they didn't stand up in defense of Clinton during the primary campaign, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), turned the question back on the media. "Had we been more vocal, you all would have chosen not to report it," she said.

A few months ago:

As a trailblazer in her own right, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) was not impressed with Hillary Clinton's crybaby performance following the most recent Democratic presidential debates.

Blackburn, the first woman to represent Tennessee's 23rd Senate district -- and since
2002 holder of Tennessee's Seventh Congressional District seat -- knows well the self-restraint and stamina required for a woman to run a successful campaign amidst a male-dominated profession.

Blackburn said she was surprised by Clinton's negative response to heavy criticism from opponents and noted that "part of the discretion of serving in leadership is knowing when to bite your tongue."


Blackburn, communications chairman for the Republican Study Committee, recognizes that, while gender is a factor due to public perception, it's not something to focus on.

"For women to achieve as men achieve, we have to realize we have to be smarter, think faster, work harder," said Blackburn. "A term that I use a lot is -- leadership is not as it appears, but as it performs."

She said that while leadership can be assigned, the action required to lead is earned -- and when it comes to "piling on" -- she said, "sometimes you have to hold your tongue and work your way through it."