So, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin won't headline the Iowa Family Policy Center's fundraiser on November 21, but she will headline an event for the group some other time. Contrary to what you may have read in this shoddy piece by Jonathan Martin, Palin apparently didn't demand her usual speaking fee from the Iowa Family Policy Center and won't charge the group for her future appearance. Consider this another lesson on the need to take Politico reporting with a grain of salt.
In any event, Palin will come back to Iowa sometime. I've always believed that having her in the spotlight would be good for Democrats, and quitting her job has further lowered her favorability ratings.
All the same, I have one request for her Iowa detractors: please avoid sexist nicknames for Palin.
I'm not saying don't ridicule this conservative icon. She's ill-informed and considers herself an expert on strong leadership despite failing to complete a single term as governor. But calling her names like "Caribou Barbie" or "Bible Spice" is demeaning and detracts from whatever case you want to make against her. Most of us Democrats didn't like the sexist insults thrown at Hillary Clinton, and we shouldn't bash Palin that way either. Read this comment thread at The Iowa Republican blog, in which conservatives jumped on a Democrat who called Palin "talibimbo." All of a sudden, she's the victim.
Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge showed last year how you can make fun of Palin without demeaning women:
"Sarah and I are both girls. We both wear glasses. We both have families that we're very proud of. But Sarah does not believe in a woman's right to reproductive choice and I do. Sarah doesn't believe in a woman's right to equal pay for equal work and I do. Sarah doesn't believe in a solid science-based education as the foundation of truth and learning and I do," Judge said. "Sarah is taking a job that will put her within a heartbeat of the presidency of my country, and that scares me to death."
Judge also poked fun at the details that have become widely noted and reported about the array of outdoor activities Palin enjoys in rural Alaska.
"Sarah knows how to field-dress a moose. I know how to castrate a calf. Neither of those things has anything at all to do with this election. But since we know so much about Sarah's special skills, I wanted to make sure you knew about mine too," she said.
Speaking of Palin, she was one of the first nationally-known Republicans to endorse third-party candidate Doug Hoffman in the special election to represent New York's 23rd Congressional district. The official GOP candidate, pro-choice Republican Dede Scozzafava, dropped out of the race yesterday after the string of endorsements for Hoffman dried up her money and sent her way down in opinion polls. Hoffman will in all likelihood win the Congressional seat on Tuesday, but this victory for right-wingers will hurt future Republican efforts to recruit moderate candidates. Good going, Palin!