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Susan Estrich
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See Sarah Run

Comment

I really hate defending Sarah Palin. I mean, I don't agree with her on anything. Seeing a woman at her level saying and doing some of the things she says and does is like nails screeching against a blackboard for me. And while she ultimately helps Democrats in any partisan contest, her brand of polarizing politics and efforts to annihilate the moderate wing of the Republican Party ultimately aren't very good for her own party (not my problem) or the country (everyone's problem).

And while I'm at it, it drives me crazy when she goes around blaming the McCain campaign for her mistakes instead of taking responsibility. The list goes on.

The problem is that the media can't seem to figure out that she deserves to be treated like Dick Armey or Newt Gingrich or Dick Cheney. Disagree with her. Point out that she's wrong more often than she's right, and that she doesn't know what she's talking about on key issues. Call her a quitter, by all means, and a sore sport and a bad loser. Ask her hard questions, or even medium-hard questions, and see if she can answer. Push her on whether she's more interested in fame and glory than making change happen.

Just don't put her on the cover in running shorts.

I'm talking, of course, about the Newsweek cover, which took a picture Palin posed for as part of a spread in Runner's World magazine about how she loves running and used it to turn her into a pinup girl. She is not a girl, and she is not a pinup.

Palin criticized the cover as "sexist and oh-so-expected." She's right.

But too many liberals are being quoted praising it. How soon they forget. Calling Gov. Palin the "Caribou Barbie" and "Governor Gidget" actually pushed her numbers higher among women. It's both sexist and stupid. It was only when Palin fell on her face with Katie Couric that many women felt free to abandon her.

The irony is that the cover, far from skewering Palin, as was its clear intent, helps her. The picture overwhelms the caption — "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Sarah? She's Bad News for the GOP and Everyone Else, Too" — and reduces it to a hit piece. It makes Palin a heroine to the people who hate the liberal media, reinforcing the view that the media are biased against conservatives. It makes women like me horrendously uncomfortable, because sexism is not OK under any circumstances. And it makes non-political, moderate women (you know, the kind who decide every election) more sympathetic to a woman who, on most issues (not just abortion, but health care, for instance, and stem cell research), is on the opposite side of them.

Oh, yes, and for sure it will sell books. Magazines, too. Everybody wins except women, who are still eye candy, even if they get to the point of being their party's nominee for vice president. That's the message, and it applies to all of us. It's not a liberal versus conservative issue: I've seen just as bad and worse done to Hillary. It's about sexism and powerful women and how they can be trivialized. And this is why, once again, I have to defend Sarah Palin.

To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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Comments

21 Comments | Post Comment
Oh Susan, How nice of you to defend Sarah and where were you when the news media and the left assaulted her with their words during the election. The new talk on the street is that Hillary will step down then run against Obama again for President and Palin will run for the republican ticket. Is this why you are defending Sarah over a picture? The Obama campaign did similar to Hillary (I know not in shorts). I am a woman who will not vote for someone who for their gender. I am watching Sarah and I am not convinced yet but I will look at others on both sides as more announce that they are running. I am a independent and I do my homework. Even if you agreed with Sarah you would never write it because that is how our country has become a country of fear to write what you believe in. I watch Alan Colmes make a fool of himself on the talk shows defending the undefendable. It is ok to agree with each other. Obama has shut Hillary up and put her out of sight. LOL You know it is for a reason.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Kathaleen
Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:16 AM
Sarah Palin is a real threat to liberals, including Susan. Palin is what women used to be before the liberals took over and demonized men, telling women it was degrading to be a stay at home mom, like my grandmother and my mother.
Palin has both principles and moral values, something the liberals abhor. Free sex and government sponsored abortion are the liberals 'mo'.
If only the liberals would attempt a fair comparison between Obama and Palin would they see their flaws in putting down this gem of a person. She may well be the answer to saving the Republic if it isn't destroyed before 2012.. Time will tell.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Early
Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:15 AM
Susan... Sarah Palin is not going to go away, regardless of how many elite liberals gang up on her in a frustrated attempt to sway public opinion. In fact, they ARE swaying public opinion... in her favor! Go figure! All that venom wasted. I hate to see you walking the same paths as MSNBC's "talkers" like Maddow, Matthews and Olberman. Mercy. You are smarter than that. At least I thought you were.
I'm a conservative first, a Republican second, In Palin, she is the only person who seems to represent the conservatives in the country. Certainly not Newt who seems to be suffering from senility-lite at times.
jaq~
Comment: #3
Posted by: CadillaqJaq
Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:44 AM
Meow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Comment: #4
Posted by: Juanito Verde
Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:51 AM
What makes you think moderate women are anti-life (or pro-abortion), pro this ridiculous health care bill that no one understands and pro stem cell research that destroys the potential life of another human being and therefore on the opposite philosophical side of Sarah Palin? I don't think Democrats can even process what Palin stands for because of their blind dismissal of what they perceive are her political views. Sad.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Susan
Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:43 AM
They should put a picture of Susan on the front cover of a magazine, Canine World comes to mind, and watch most people run for the hills. Liberal strategy, no argument, call people names and lie about them. Not to worry most left wing nutcases will believe anything the rest of you crackpots say. If you people had any brains you would have had Hillary on the ticket and you wouldn't be in the s**t you are about to be in!
Comment: #6
Posted by: lou
Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:46 AM
Susan, you need a wake up call. I agree that moderate non political women help decide most elections. Guess what, most of them agree with Palin's positions far more than they agree with the positions of liberal women. A recent Gallup survey said only 21% of the respondents said they were liberal, while 42 % described themselves as conservative. I also agree that she is not the best candidate for the Republicans. However, every hit piece from the lame stream media makes her a sympathetic figure to all but her most liberal opponents. All elections are decided by independents, and one need only look to Virginia this month to see how much they can change in one year. Her 15 minutes of fame should be over, but the lame stream media's hatred of her keeps her in the limelight; it also helps sell books. They just don't get it.
Comment: #7
Posted by: red5mutual
Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:46 PM
You know what sounds like nails screeching against a blackboard ?
Your raspy Carol Channing voice.
Go Palin!!!!!!!!!!!!
P.S.
I saw your daughter on Fox. What a tool!!!!
I see the nut doesn't fall from from the tree.
Comment: #8
Posted by: Max
Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:50 PM
Ask yourself the question that the Newsweek editors asked themselves, "is Sarah Palin posing to RUN in 2012", and you will see that no offense was made.
Comment: #9
Posted by: Julian Pembroke Steptoe
Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:06 PM
Well, I admire Susan for defending integrity in regard to Sarah Palin. Although conservative, I've long enjoyed listening to her thoughts, though rarely do I agree with liberal extremes. But Susan is nevertheless a hoot, at at least she did something right this time.
Comment: #10
Posted by: Michael Matthews
Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:40 PM
Did I miss Hillary Clinton in running shorts?!? Again?!?!
Comment: #11
Posted by: scott365
Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:10 PM
Speaking of dumb, I don't think she it using a teleprompter.
Comment: #12
Posted by: Darek
Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:26 PM
Obama doesn't lie. He implies, he misdirects, he misleads -- so fluidly and incessantly that he risks transmuting eloquence into mere slickness. Slickness wasn't fatal to "Slick Willie" Clinton because he possessed a winning, nearly irresistible charm. Obama's persona is more cool, distant, imperial. The charming scoundrel can get away with endless deception; the righteous redeemer cannot. -- Charles Krauthammer - no dummy.
Comment: #13
Posted by: Darek
Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:31 PM
Sarah is the most down-to-earth politician I can see out there unlike you snobbish elitist liberals and country-club Republicans looking down your big noses thinking you are so damn smart. Sarah Palin is definitely a "We the People" kind of girl and I'd vote for her in a hearbeat. Strong, courageous, patriotic. Has a love of family, loves children unlike you femi-nazis ready to murder your unborn children. To me there is no difference between the ancient pagans tossing their babies into the fire of their pagan idols and the modern day woman who aborts her own child because the child is an inconvenience to her selfish ambitions.
Comment: #14
Posted by: Naomi
Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:43 PM
Geez I hope you never have to defend me. A couple of sentences at the end of a hit piece do not a defense make.
Re a voice that grates like nails on a chalkboard: Seriously Susan? Do you gargle with broken glass daily to maintain your lovely rasp?
Comment: #15
Posted by: ItMatters2Me
Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:22 AM
THIS IS FOR YOU SUSAN 'I THINK I KNOW IT ALL', ESTRICH...WHY CAN'T YOU LIBERAL IDIOTS LEAVE 'SARAH PALIN', ALONE? SHE REALLY MUST SCARE THE PANTS OFF OF YOU AND ALL THOSE LIBERAL KNOW-NOTHINGS...IF SHE DIDN'T THEN YOU WOULD NOT BE GOING AFTER HER IN SUCH A FEROCIOUS MANNER...DON'T WORRY MS. ESTRICH YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DEFEND SARAH, SHE CAN TAKE CARE OF HERSELF...SHE HAS MORE CLASS THAN ALL YOU LIBERAL EMPTY HEADED-WOMEN AND THAT INCLUDES THOSE FEM-NAZI'S FROM THE NOW ORGINAZATION AS WELL....YOU SAY THAT SHE IS LIKE NAILS SCREECHING ON A BLACKBOARD TO YOU? EVERYTIME I HAVE HEARD YOU OPEN YOUR STUPID TRAP THAT YOU CALL YOUR MOUTH, I HAVE HAD TO LEAVE THE ROOM BECAUSE IT IS WORSE THAN ALL THE NAILS IN AMERICA SCREECHING ACROSS A BLACKBOARD...I MEAN THAT LITERALLY, IT ISN'T SO MUCH WHAT YOU SAY BUT THE SOUND OF YOUR VOCAL CHORDS RUBBING TOGETHER AND EJECTING THAT SOUND IS ENOUGH TO MAKE A SCREECH OWL GO INTO HIBERNATION......MAYBE YOU COULD LEARN SIGN LANGUAGE AND THEN YOU WON'T HAVE TO USE THAT UGLY VOICE OF YOURS TO COMMUNICATE.....
Comment: #16
Posted by: MaryAnn
Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:00 PM
PS: THIS IS FOR YOUR BUDDY SIR BARRACK, HE SHOULD APPLY FOR CITZENSHIP IN CHINA AND STAY THERE FOR GOOD!!! I AM CERTAIN HE SURE AS HE** WON'T BE MISSED...
Comment: #17
Posted by: MaryAnn
Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:04 PM
Even though I voted Republican for the first time in 45 yrs because I could not find anything out about our current president and he struck me as a big phony, I have always read your columns because I, too, am a rape survivor and I respected you for going public, as I did in 1981 (Washington Post). But this piece of backhanded, mean tripe about your fellow woman, Sarah Palin, caused me to look up a place to comment. Come on! I even heard some Dem woman during the campaign call her a "bucket of slop." You might not want to vote for her, she might not even run for anything, but she is a woman who saw things wrong and went out to right those wrongs, she can give a speech without a teleprompter, she doesn't go um-ah all the time, she is nice looking, well groomed, and yes, reads those fast-becoming-extinct liberal rags...I used to be a liberal, so it pains me to use that word. But you are creepy on this subject, Susan. And to try to couch it as defending her--well, that is Joan Wishy-Walshy. Not your chining moment.
Comment: #18
Posted by: Star
Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:35 AM
Normally, I would agree with you about the media stereotyping of women.
However, Sarah Palin deserves to be trivialized, marginalized and ostracized. (To that end, I think she should follow the path of her former son-in-law and pose for Playboy.)
Better yet, it's time for the NEWS media to stop covering her at all. (Of course, Fox would continue its fictional reporting.)
By continuing to do so, regardless of journalistic motivation, it elevates her importance (You called her powerful? Come on. I know how you loathe to defend her, but she gives powerful women a bad name.).
(Editors take note: She does not warrant coverage. She is about as groundbreaking as a groundbreaking. Indeed, a groundbreaking is more informative.)
The coverage alone, not the content, is what, as you say, makes nonpolitical, moderate women more sympathetic toward her. That's because, like her, they don't read. They're clueless. Otherwise, she would have disappeared before her name was even placed on the ballot. (Of course, John McCain was counting on the stupidity of Republicans and they didn't let him down.)
I'm sure that her followers didn't view the Newsweek picture as sexist until she (and you) told them it was sexist. ("Yeah, that's right. It's sexy … er, sexist.” What's sexist mean?")
Like many journalists and politicians, you give too much credit to the electorate for their intelligence.
News organizations have been feeding consumers paint chips for so long, they're brain damaged. (“Which candidate would you like to have a beer with?” Which candidate would you like to sleep with?”) Attempts to force-feed them with occasional logic and reason are ludicrous.
That explains why Sarah Palin has garnered way more than her allotted 15 minutes. (It also explains why George Bush was elected and re-elected and is still beloved by these morons.)
Politics has been reduced to mindless entertainment. Kind of like a reality show.
Is is fitting, and telling, that she was a guest on "Oprah" around the same time as the mauled chimp lady and the chronic sex-addict/abuser (which didn't air).
I wonder which of the three caused Winfrey enough consternation to re-evaluate her career.
I'm guessing all three. Or, then again, maybe none of them.
Frankly, I think the network made a deal to replace Oprah with Sarah.
What do we have for our guests today, Sarah?
“A bridge to nowhere!”
You betcha.
Brian Methven
New Britain, Pa.
Comment: #19
Posted by: Brian Methven
Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:29 AM
Re: Brian Methven

Brian, can you illustrate exactly what it is you are afraid of? Have your apron strings yet been cut?

Susan: Really now, is that what passes as "Defense" these days? No wonder the Detroit Lions are where they are.
Comment: #20
Posted by: Dennis Patterson
Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:36 AM
Re: Dennis Patterson
I came across this old bookmark and your reply.
Nice job dissecting the salient points of my criticism and those of Susan.
Your honor, I rest my case.
Comment: #21
Posted by: Brian Methven
Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:29 PM
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