Sunday, August 31, 2008

The horrors of tokenism

James Fallows on Palin:

Always and only the comparison should be with Clarence Thomas -- with this one interesting difference. Thomas was a shrewd choice not simply because his race made it more complicated for Democrats to oppose him . . .
More complicated? Thomas experienced the most vicious attacks on a Supreme Court nominee that has never been seen in this country before or since (led, incidentally, by Joe Biden). At least Bork was never asked about his genitals. Democrats see any Republican use of identity politics as dirty pool - hey, that's OUR gimmick - and so feel compelled to respond by tearing down the individual with the most disgusting racist and sexist tropes they can imagine. Invoke the spectre of the sexually rampaging black man! Send the woman back to the kitchen to take care of her disabled baby! But since the Democrats are protecting blacks and women from 'tokenism,' it's all fine, really. It's not as if they are actually racist or sexist - after all, look how well the Obama/Clinton war was on that front!
but also because, once confirmed, all evidence suggested to conservatives that he'd be the kind of Justice they were looking for. In Palin's case, this seems to be a choice that looks forward to Election Day, and not one day beyond that.
This I don't understand. Conservatives aren't looking beyond election day for Palin? She's more conservative than McCain is. She's perfect on guns and life. She's an expert in energy policy. She's also pretty solid on the division of power between the state and the feds. She has more executive experience than the other candidates.

The only thing she's weak on is foreign policy. But even there, she's made trips to the Middle East and her son is on his way there, so it's not like she's going to take it seriously. Chances are, she's going to have some time to learn on the job. McCain is unlikely to die in the next few months. And what's the alternative? If experience is your primary concern, then your choice is to take it at the top of the ticket or at the bottom.

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