Saturday, August 30, 2008

If She Can See Farther Than Others... Daktari on Palin

If Daktari can see farther than others, it's because she's sharp like woah.

Go read Daktari's blog. There've been a series of sharp and probing posts recently that I really haven't had the time to fully process and react to. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't go read her excellent summary post of VP Nominee and Republican Wackaloon Sarah Palin. Daktari's rounded up a good number of links and primary/secondary sources about Palin's abject horribleness by any progressive feminist standard.

Apparently Daktari will not be part of Samantha Bee's Love Pitas for Palin, the gynecologically-inclined issue* voters, those women voting not with The Big Head, but The Little Hood.

*Apparently that issue is: "Does someone on the ticket have a vagina?", not "Does the Party/Ticket/Nominee represent anything I believe in?" Substantive issues, it seems, are NOT for pussies.

Hah! I slay me.

But seriously: even J-Fave Slate's Today's Papers jumps on the pre-determined narrative bandwagon, saying that
"Choosing Palin undercuts the argument that Barack Obama is too inexperienced, raising questions about John McCain's age and judgment. But it could pay off: Palin—an NRA member and staunch pro-lifer—is energizing evangelicals and tempting Hillary Clinton voters to defect."
If one bothers to read the linked WaPo article, a paragraph worthy of note (more than halfway through the article, natch) reads
"Interviews with women who supported Clinton suggested that the fact that McCain picked someone as conservative as Palin will be reluctant to vote for McCain, even for those who have been flirting for months with the idea of defecting to the GOP ticket"
only then followed by a quote from one Clinton supporter who has decided to defect. It could be a real phenomenon, but they don't know -- Slate, and to a lesser extent, the WaPo here are making up the narrative before the facts. Not new for The News, but nonetheless, egregious. Objective media my left ass cheek.

I tend to agree with those that charge McCain with thinking Women Candidates Are Interchangeable, though of course as with any modern "identity politics" argument, somehow those who see sexism in the events of the day are themselves charged with misunderstanding feminism.


Daktari said...

Holy crap, J! You are going to quadruple my readership when all four of those people follow your link! Seriously, you flatter me with your compliments, but, like Bill Cliton (oops, Freudian slip), I love it!

Thanks for the affirmation. I feel like Stewart Smiley. :)

I am, however, interested in your reaction to some of those posts.

Oh, and I sent you a gift via Liv. Make sure you get it this weekend.


Daktari said...

Ok, maybe I should be starting a new thread to ask this question, but in your last comment(s) on my post, you said that you could see a day when the 2-party system was a thing of the past.

Question: what's wrong with a two-party system? What do you envision as being better?

I've often heard this idea knocked around, but I have to plead ignorance. People throw this idea out as though I'm supposed to understand intuitively why a poly-party system is preferable. In the end, no one has ever justified this view or given me reason to be dissatisfied with the status quo. In fact, I only see problems with a more divided electorate.

I figure you for a guy who cares enough to justify this point of view. Anyway, I'm hoping you will. If you have relevant earlier posts, just point to them and I'll read up. No sense in repeating yourself.

Yours in curiosity,


J said...

Hey Daktari,

You posed such an interesting question, I postponed going to bed to ponder it a bit.

There are definitely a goodly number of reasons I think a poly-party system is better, and though I won't go into it at length here (and haven't expanded on it in other posts,really) I'll have go through some reasons off the top of my head and owe you a more in depth response.

I think, like many poly-party-partisans, I didn't list the reason as if it's "obvious" because it's one of those points you've discussed many times within certain circles, and sort of forget that not everyone else was at those conversations.

1) Off the top of my head, there are two good reasons (for which I'll have to give back up evidence later) and one observational but in and of itself not-compelling reason. #1 reason is that a two-party system inherently limits the points of view possible within a legislature. Because of the realities of legislative votes, and of national party politics, the national party has to take certain uniform positions, and really can only afford modest variation. This is perhaps not inevitably true, but it is true in practice, for reasons I'll have to think about. But from a reasonable point of view, more specialized parties would seem like a better way to represent nuanced and numerous views than two parties that have to almost be everything to everyone. And actually, number

2) Is part of the "evidence," or at least reasoning, behind #1. I've read (and will have to find for you at another point) that a two-party system is inherently very conservative, almost regressive, because there will be little incentive for either party to take positions too far from the center, representing the status quo. If you believe, as I do, some very fundamental things need to be changed, you need people willing to be farther out -- and we may have them, like, say, Kucinich, but the way this is leveraged is by coalition party politics. Within the Democrats, K can be and is often hushed; if there were a Prog. Dem. party, their support would be conditional on actual guarantees from their coalition partners, and not just coercion.

Hmm... I'm not explaining this well, but I plead tired. The 3rd, less compelling reason is simply that almost no other country has 2 parties -- and I've never heard of any of them *wanting* 2 parties. In the "testbed" of other world democracies, 2 parties has definitely not been the "consumer choice," and shows little appeal to those who don't have it. If the world has, in effect, voted, they've voted for multi-party parliamentary systems by a majority.

So I'll get to better reasons some other time, but for the time being -- in the present context, I feel that the Democrats will keep moving center-rightward because it's the safest thing to do, and the only way to *force* them to take progressive actions is the real threat that they'll lose votes. If a progressive's only choice is Democrat, or someone opposed to their beliefs, or not voting, the Democrats have a powerful monopoly on progressives' (positive) votes, and knowing so, can ignore progressives for the center-right, who DO have an alternative. At some point, they may lose too many progressive voters, but the way they've been interpreting that recently is that they should therefore move FARTHER towards the middle to try and cherry-pick more center-righters, as more and more Leftists are left with nowhere else to go.

Extemporaneously yours -- J

J said...

Hmm... I skimmed it just now, and the Wikipedia entry on two party systems actually seems pretty good. The list of "pros" and "cons" are at the bottom, and while the wikiperson that wrote the entry may have a wild anti-two-party bias, there are nonetheless a LOT of good reasons against it in the con section. One of them being -- and this is actually also the lone "pro" provided -- is that it's inherently regressive/conservative. That is, the party that wants the least change from the status quo has an advantage because people who don't vote ultimately benefit the status quo, not parties that want change, so the pressure is almost exclusively status quo oriented. A frustrated and non-participatory electorate means the status quo is likely to stay in place, as all those with a vested interest in it have to do is maintain it, not change it. I'm not explaining it clearly, but the wiki entry is not bad. So until my mind is a little less-Jello-like...

Daktari said...

Hey, thanks for the start. I suppose I should do some legwork myself on this issue, but this evening, I'm amusing myself watching our fearless leader. My curiosity is piqued. Did you see Liv and get the button? :) What can I say. I've got a hard on for Obama. LOL

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