Eve Ensler wrings her hands about how to deal with Sarah Palin, the feminist, in today's Huffington Post. I invite you to read her column (click on the title above), then read my response to it below and then if you agree with me post a response on this blog and share it with everybody you know including the Obama campaign. We have no time to lose.
Eve, I'm an unapologetic, unreconstructed modern feminist who spent the 70s and 80s in the streets and political organizing. My feminist credentials are unquestioned and here's what I think about this situation.
There are feminists and there are feminists. Not all feminists are good people and we make a BIG mistake if we assume that they are.
We're fighting to save the planet, to preserve women's reproductive rights, to save public education, to establish a rational energy policy and to engender a mature foreign policy that isn't just a robust military, (although that is important), but one in which the United States employs both soft and hard power; that leads by example.
If we make the mistake of giving Sarah Palin a pass because she identifies as a feminist we give up the fight. On the other hand if we permit her to dominate this campaign we do the same. We have to take her on without permitting her to appear as the presidential candidate. Treat her for what she is: a demagogue who wouldn't know the truth if it hit her in the face. Treat her just as though she were Karl Rove while remembering that John McCain is the candidate.
Call him out for hiding behind her skirts. Take him on for putting a woman out there to lie on his behalf and name the lies: that she told congress no thanks to the Bridge to Nowhere etc. Put it back on McCain. Don't give him a pass on this. Name her for what she is and place the responsibility for her candidacy squarely where it belongs: with John McCain, a candidate who was losing the battle on experience and who threw a hail Mary pass at the 11th hour (putting Palin on his ticket) because he had nowhere else to go.
And finally, remember: McCain-Palen: a Bridge to Nowhere!