Hat tip to Moe Lane at Redstate for pointing me to Michelle Cottle’s convoluted reasoning at The New Republic concerning Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton.

Titled ‘Shattered’, it starts out asking the big question for everyone on the Left, “Can someone please tell me what the hell happened?” Obama supporters want the answer to offer substance to go with the stuff they’ve been shoveling. They know they won but haven’t yet figured out how. An answer would point them in the right direction as the diss Hillary strategy is no longer available. Cottle and the rest of Hillary’s supporters want answers to ward off the next pretender to Hillary’s throne.

I like Cottle’s assessment of the Hillary campaign.

… This presidential election was supposed to be a high-water mark for feminism. Hillary Clinton … wasn’t running as a Woman [or] to prove herself tough enough to hang with the Big Boys: [Her] strategy was to prove that she was tougher than the Big Boys. … Hillary’s candidacy was expected to showcase what it means to be a broad-shouldered, ass-kicking modern woman.

Iowa was where Hillary’s inevitability narrative unraveled, but New Hampshire was where she got the idea that redemption lay in the legions of gals who rallied ’round when the (mostly male) political establishment and punditocracy began salivating at the thought of her imminent demise. … Hillary’s now famous moment of teary-eyed vulnerability fueled their fury. …

And, just like that, the strong, proud, fearless, gender-transcendent Hillary morphed into a disrespected, mistreated victim. Grievance feminism came roaring back with a vengeance. …

… the Democratic National Committee was compelled to insert into its platform this statement: “We believe that standing up for our country means standing up against sexism and all intolerance. Demeaning portrayals of women cheapen our debates, dampen the dreams of our daughters, and deny us the contributions of too many. Responsibility lies with us all.”

Not even the primary’s resolution could end the drama. … the true dead-enders–an overwhelmingly female cohort–grew ever more marginalized and belligerent. … they were increasingly derided as overly emotional and downright nutty. … the extremism of Hillary dead-enders has played into all those tired stereotypes about women being fuzzy-headed and irrational.

The short version is Hillary talked tough but folded under pressure playing the gender card. Her supposed legendary leadership skills fizzled revealing a woman who couldn’t run a campaign, let alone a nation. The “If you don’t choose Hillary, you’re sexist!” group did garner her a loyal core group but it was unable to deliver the nomination. Democratic “girlie-fication” was so complete, PUMAs forced anti-sexist language into the formal platform. That was the extent of real Democratic support for women. Hillary was the feminist heroine struck down while on her holy quest.

Enter Sarah Palin. Determined to stick to her non-sexist guns, Cottle goes after Palin, not on the issue of gender, but on the issue of issues. Well, maybe not so much.

The Palin pick is disheartening on so many levels. For starters, even what little we know about the Alaska governor’s policy views is enough to make a traditional feminist weep. The staunchly conservative Palin not only opposes abortion rights (even in cases of rape or incest), she also supports abstinence-only sex education and takes a strict free-market approach toward health care. …

… Palin is abjectly unqualified to sit one heartbeat away from the presidency. She is less than two years into her first term as governor of a state with a population roughly equivalent to that of Baltimore or Fort Worth. Her minimal experience with national domestic issues is overshadowed only by her total lack of experience, or even apparent interest, in foreign affairs. This … makes the cynical tokenism of Palin’s selection all the more vivid.

Having analyzed Hillary well, Cottle fails to bring the same objectivity to Palin’s evaluation. She seems unable to conceive that choosing a woman of “intelligence, politcal savvy, [and] judgement”; a “smart, ambitious” woman; a “ballsy” woman who also happens to be a “staunchly conservative” woman could be anything other than “cynical tokenism”. Yes, she really did say all those nice things about Sarah Palin before dismissing her just because she’s a woman.

Strong, accomplished women are acceptable only if they’re Democrats. Drooling GOP neandrathals wouldn’t nominate one until the Left showed them the political value in it. Palin isn’t the nominee because she’s all the good things Cottle says about her. She’s the nominee because her vagina might attract votes. Palin is just a political whore being pimped by McCain.

At some point, Cottle and the Left must give up the unqualified token woman meme. It’s a non-starter and a bad-ender, too. Go back to championing the right to kill unborn babies, to tax the country into economic oblivion, to enshrine destructive energy policies into environmental utopian fantasies, to cling to 20th century solutions for 21st century problems and the rest of the bunk passing for serious issue debate on the Left. They’ll fare better with traditional losing arguments than with talking down the gender they’d love to praise but can’t just because of ideology.

But, perhaps Cottle is a faux feminist willing to put Party before private parts. Or maybe, deep down, she’s not a real feminist at all. Seeing Hillary implode at the first sign of trouble, perhaps she’s convinced if Hillary couldn’t weather the storm, no woman can. If the Left brings their own storm – going after Sarah with smears, lies and distortions starting with her family and moving to her person, her positions and Party, then doing it all again; belittle her, shame her, wound her enough and she’ll fold. If Hillary couldn’t take it, who is this upstart from the outside to think she can? At the end of the day, she’s just a woman, after all.

Who knows? Cottle may even be right. I don’t believe it, but she sure seems to. What to do, and what to say, however, if she turns out to be wrong? So who is the one advancing the feminist cause? And who is fighting a principled fight for the rights and opportunities of women? It would appear to be John McCain. It sure isn’t Barack Obama. And it’s not Michelle Cottle, either.

Thinking Cottle gets the nod for President of Hillary dead-enders – but what do I know – I only have a penis …

Blue Collar Muse