Remember how back in 1992, Bill Clinton ran for president and a slew of female candidates ran for seats in Congress? Remember how at the time some said that moment marked the political ascendancy of American women? Well, the girls are back, only this time it's with the sneer of a back-handed compliment.
I don't know about y'all, but I've had a blast watching the conventions and how both Republicans and Democrats come together and act like they really give a rat's ass about the status of women in this country.
I'm at a loss as to which party's ploy is more cynical: Barack Obama and his adoption of the "equal pay for equal work" mantra or John McCain and his choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.
The Democrats and the "will she or won't she" nonsense of the Denver convention was patronizing to Sen. Hillary Clinton and all the women voters in this country.
If anything was to be learned about Hillary Clinton, it is that she's the most loyal of party soldiers. She sucked it up like a team player does and performed exactly like I knew she would. Clinton then left the convention to hit the hustings for the benefit of the party and her former rival, leaving more than a few in her wake thinking they were supporting the wrong candidate.
Obama's mention of "equal pay for equal work" in his acceptance speech I fear is only a sop to the 18 million disaffected Clinton supporters and other American women who watched her absorb the punches and "keep going on." I don't think that wage discrimination will be a priority in an Obama administration given the immediate immense problems facing America.
Then there's John McCain.
I've enjoyed watching the GOP faithful use "elite" when they really mean "uppity," but I would put forth that "maverick" is doublespeak for "loose-cannon, batshit crazy."
The talking heads have made a big deal about McCain not properly vetting Gov. Palin, but I suspect he knew exactly what he was doing.
McCain has decided to replay the tactics of the last two general election victories and abdicated his integrity in the process. In his zeal to win at all costs, McCain went looking for a red-meat social conservative and happened to find one in Palin.
That she's female is two extra cherries on the strategery sundae!
Her messy family life. So what? What's more American than that, especially if your name happens to be John McCain?
However, I suspect that McCain's choice has less to do with Palin's gender than it does with the notion that she is just like him. They both like to substitute moral rectitude for statesmanship. This is no way to govern. Two wing nuts don't make a Right.
So we're left with "vote for me and I'll get you that raise" or "hey, I got a lady on my ticket!" rather than any comment at all about the nation's looming financial crisis.
The reverse sexism of both parties is appalling, but what I fear would be most pathetic is the distinct possibility that American women might fall for this nonsense. Of the myriad of demographic groups in this country, women outnumber everyone. Women have the power and don't or won't capitalize upon it.
This would be an entirely different country if they did, Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin notwithstanding.