March 5, 2009 / Uncategorized

Why some women owe Gov Palin an apology!


Judge Morgan Christen

While drinking my morning coffee today I was greeted by the most delightful example of women helping women courtesy of Stray Yellar Dawg. Hats off to Gov Palin for her leadership and courage.

Yesterday, Gov Palin picked Anchorage Superior Court Judge Morgan Christen to become only the second female Supreme Court Judge in the history of the State of Alaska. But Judge Christen isn’t just any woman. She is a pro-choice and was even on the board of Planned Parenthood in the 1990s. The other finalist for the job was a more conservative male.

Now I want to be clear here. I am not taking a view on reproductive rights. I am commending Gov Palin for standing up to groups that would normally be her most ardent supporters in order to promote a woman. As the article cites:

The head of the Alaska Family Council — a Christian pro-family, anti-abortion group — on Wednesday sent an e-mail to thousands of people asking them to urge Palin to pick Smith, not Christen.

The family council plea, from group president Jim Minnery, said Smith was “more conservative” and that Christen would be “another activist on the Court.” In an interview, Minnery said that was the “general consensus” but he had no specifics.

What a bold move by Gov Palin. If the governor of Alaska were a man, would he, in this type of scenario have chosen a woman over a man? Especially if there was political fallout for doing so? You bet your sweet a*s NO WAY! This is why we must get women into positions of power. It is women that will promote women in politics, academia and corporate America.

But my basking in the glory did not last long. The next thing I did was to read Violet’s wonderful blog piece this morning on what the antifeminists at Slate were up to and seeing the mock poster that was put together by Samantha Henig (if you have the stomach, keep scrolling down to Violet’s piece).

Now I thought the misogyny and sexism aimed at SOS Clinton by the MSM during the primary was appalling. And, as many of you may recall, I spoke out about the fact that Howard Dean was totally silent on this sh*t show until May 31, 2008 – at which point it was a little too little, a little too late!

But what happened to Gov Palin in the presidential election was equally appalling. Thing is, it wasn’t just the MSM. Many of the allegedly progressive women, like Samantha Henig, were front and center in this assault. Remember the proud Democratic woman wearing the t-shirt: “Palin a C-word”? Need I go on?

I think back on how SOS Clinton handled herself. Once again, Hillary was the model we should all aspire to as a true feminist. Hillary was pushed, chided, cajoled and every other form in imagination “encouraged” to attack Sarah. She refused. Hillary’s MO was that she would happily point out differences in issues, but she would NOT, I repeat NOT, attack Sarah Palin personally.

Now with the benefit of time, I hope that women who had so maliciously attacked Gov Palin will do a bit of self reflection. Was it appropriate to sexualize her and attack her in a misogynistic way? Who was the audience you were trying to please? I mean, c’mon – speak out against her on the issues – THAT is fair play. As our first female Secretary of State famously stated: “There is a special place in hell for women don’t support other women.” Well, there is even a more special place for women who are degrade other women and try to make them into sexual objects – and I bet it’s hot down there!

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  • Cynthia Ruccia

    Well put Amy!!!

    I’m also reminded of how many “Democratic feminists” insisted that Palin was going to govern from an extreme Christian conservative way. Now I am, NOT PUTTING DOWN CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVES!!!!! Please read my post on hyperpartisanship from yesterday. I’m on my own 5-step recovery program.

    It’s just that as I continued to do my due diligence on Palin’s candidacy, she never once governed from a Christian conservative vantage point. If she held those convictions, she never showed any indication that she felt it was necessary to govern that way. It was so easy to try to paint her as a ditzy, small-state governor from the extreme right-wing. In reality, IF ANYONE BOTHERED TO DO A LITTLE RESEARCH, Palin’s been the following:

    1) a moderate governor in every conceivable way
    2) a woman who took on her party establishment in the most courageous way and WON. Find me other women who’ve had that kind of courage lately
    3) and now with this appointment, a woman who not only will support other women’s advancement, she’s shown once again that she is a very shrewd practitioner of the political arts

    We must stop stereotyping women. Stereotyping is just sheer laziness. Each person needs to be taken on their own merits——especially women.

    Today is a proud day for all women. And BTW—-what Palin did today is just the kind of thing she needs to do to position herself for a presidential run in the future.

  • goesh

    -excellant Post – the 2cd only woman SC Justice in Alaska – says alot right there for Palin and Judge Christen

  • bruce nahin

    During the campaign, it was no secret that I was a Palin supporter…The qualities discussed above is why. Check out and for more information about this totally awesome woman

  • Cynthia,

    I agree with your comment about Palin’s record in Alaska. Here’s a very good article giving more detail:

    “Palin governed from the center.”

  • As to Palin’s reason for choosing Christen over Smith, has Palin STATED that she chose Christen just because Christen is a woman? What if, in spite of ideology, Palin just considered Christen more qualified?

  • Here, here!! … Amy and Cynthia!

    When I found that little tidbit this morning, I nearly jumped for joy! It is just the kind of governing I want to see from Sarah. And I believe it inches her closer to the national stage, for a shot at POTUS.

    Sarah Palin is a gem. Of this I am sure. Her record in no way indicates that she is some kind of bimbo throwback to the June Cleaver era.

    We soooooo need Sarah Palin, and others like her…. to get this country back on track.

  • Thia Lawson

    Thanks for bringing it to our attention Stray Yellar Dawg!

    This reminds me once again why I respect Sarah Palin and breaks my heart all over again when I remember how she was treated. I’m glad The New Agenda will be here for future women candidates of all parties, so that disgrace will never be allowed to be repeated unchecked. Next time we’ll be ready 😉

  • Thia Lawson

    Congratulations to Judge Morgan Christen! Go get em!

  • Karen

    I really enjoyed reading this piece. Sarah Palin has been one of the most influencial women for me… She is such an inspirational figure. I love her so much, and I am to hear how she’s doing. I hope she will become the president of our country. ^_^

  • yttik

    That’s the Sarah Palin I know! Good job.

  • Sis

    This morning I listened to an interview with a human rights watch worker from Zimbabwe. She talked about how women there who are part of the ‘opposition’ democratic party, or even related to a man who is, have been targeted, hunted down and gang raped, sometimes for days, as punishment for their political stance. The interview was pretty grim. I thought about Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton and their supporters, and how they were treated, here in the civilized west. It was the same in kind, just differing in degree. And all sexual, and punishment for going against the perceived boy’s club, in both countries.

    Scroll down to Part 3: Betty Apple. At the end of the intro, there’s a podcast. It will be the second last segment. Warning, very disturbing.

    I guess some will say Sarah is just being politically savvy. Well isn’t that what won millions of votes and a deluge of admiration for Obama?

  • I finally got around to blogging about it:

    It took me all day to process. And, I am still in somewhat of a state of shock from the good news!

  • Anne-Marie

    Sis, when I hear about that kind of story you described, it makes me think of war. In those situations, men are one side and the women on the other. And in a war you need to arm yourself and have plans for defense or attack. Men may have more muscle, but in today’s world, women don’t need to match a man physically. We need to have access to tools to defend ourselves.

    I think the reason those men in Zimbabwe can do what they do is because they are acting in groups (group think can make people act like animals), and they have access to weapons.

    So women and the men who love them need to get together in groups and get weapons to defend themselves.

    Where is the international community when these atrocities happen? This vile behavior when left unchecked leads to people thinking it’s okay to do even worse, like dropping bombs on civilians.

  • bruce nahin

    After reading this, I sent the news to several feminist blogs including one consisting of female law professors( whom you’d assume would be particularly interested in a female state supreme court nominee) but not one as said a word…hm

  • Thia Lawson

    bruce nahin– They are too busy chewing all that crow and washing it down with a flagon of guilt. 😉

  • bruce nahin


  • kitkat

    Thank you for the article. Its great to see some good news for a change. This really makes me proud to be a supporter of Governor Palin.

  • Sis

    The men here who razed Palin and Clinton did the same thing the men in Zimbabwe did Anne-Marie; just a less harsh version. They have the same value system.

  • Lisa

    Gov. Palin is governing in exactly the same manner she always has- and yet so many people had a “knee jerk” reaction that she would be too pro life, and too conservative.

    I see her as strong (and a strong feminist), as not easily intimidated, as more concerned with doing a good job then with being a slave to the party line… good for her.

    You betcha, that woman is going places!

  • marille

    I think we all can agree on the second goal of the pro Palin facebook group. FYI

    ‘We are pleased to announce the formation of We are calling all supporters of Sarah Palin who want to see her run for president. Sarah was very close to shattering the glass ceiling in 2008, and with our support she can break through it in 2012. We are now inviting people to join us in creating a massive grassroots movement.

    Our group has two main goals.
    1. To enroll a massive volunteer team in the next two years before the primaries begin.
    2. To educate people about the real Sarah Palin in order to
    clear up the doubts in which the media has created.

    We welcome Republicans, Democrats for Sarah, and Independents who share the common objective of seeing Sarah Palin in the White House in 2012.

    Please join us at, as we work together to make a difference.”

  • marille

    I am still amazed that both parties had each such an inspiring female candidate. being independent and not seeing the world through the glasses of the democrat / republican devision is a gift from the 2008 campaign.
    i joined the facebooks groups we need sarah and another group Hillary for 2016 and don’t feel like having a split peronality.

  • The only thing I disagree with here is the headline — LOTS of women owe Palin an apology. Thanks for blogging about this.

  • Val Rappa

    I would have somewhat agreed with what you said in this articule had you not said that women must support women. No, we must stand on principles not gender, color or religion.

    Governor Palin compromised her principles and left behind all the “women” who have been killed in the womb, which is I might add the most dangerous place to be in this day and age.

  • bruce nahin

    Good to hear of the group we need sarah, there is another also” team, and sarah’s pac

  • steve at high ridge

    We wouldn’t be in the condition we’re in today if Palin was in the capital instead of Obama. She’s the real deal. She believes more in the resourcefulness of people than big bloated government, which chooses to solve your problems while it tries to enslave you. Sarah has a great blend of toughness and compassion. She’s the real deal and I’ve never been more proud of a leader and I’m a Lincoln scholar. From the moment she came on the national stage I’ve praised her and defended her from the marxist zealots who slobbered over Obama, their false phony prophet.

    Get real, go with Sarah.

  • Anna from AK

    Val Rappa summed it up for me. Unforchantly, though I really like Gov. Palin, this is the second thing that she has done/supported in the past week or so that I disagree with (I’m aganist capatal punishment as well). However, I have read that Christen is fair minded.

  • Marille,

    I also support both Hillary and Palin, and I don’t think it’s a split personality thing, as they are unlikely to be running against each other (unfortunately :-).

    They were offering different good things. Hillary offered policies I agree with, but Palin offered cleaning up the government, lowering taxes, taming the oil companies, etc.

  • Here is Heidi Li’s take on the appointment.

    It has a link to an Anchorage Daily News story and this quote from Palin’s written statement.

    “Alaska’s Supreme Court bears the awesome responsibility of ensuring that our court system administers justice in firm accordance with the principles laid down in our state Constitution. I have every confidence that Judge Christen has the experience, intellect, wisdom and character to be an outstanding Supreme Court justice.”

  • Val and Anna,

    TNA does not take a view on reproductive rights so while that might be your personal beliefs, this group is not the place to express it. I say that on both sides (every side) or the argument.

  • Madeline

    I hated the sexualized insults directed at Palin, and I admire her decision with regards to Judge Christen. However, there were many reasons to consider her unqualified for the presidency that had nothing to do with her looks (but rather had to do with policies, intelligence, etc.), and those reasons remain.

  • Madeline,

    If you have a bad impression of Palin’s intelligence, then I request you to look at her actual record, rather than just the media’s … Palinizing.

    As to her performance and policies, there’s a good USA Today article, “Palin governed from the center.”

    These policies (regarding energy etc) are not on topic here, but I’m urging everyone who forms an opinion of Palin, to avoid the shallow, misogynnistic media for their data.

  • Madeline

    I have looked at her record, Flora–I am not basing my opinion of her solely on what I saw on TV. I do not think she is stupid by any means. She seems to me to be intelligent. But my impression of her based on my research into her and on everything I have seen of her is that while she is intelligent, she is also firmly non-intellectual in a way that reminds me of Bush and in a way that I think could be disastrous in a president. That’s not to say that being intellectual or at least interested in ideas, etc., automatically means someone will be a good president. It doesn’t. But I’ve yet to see a good president who wasn’t.

    And frankly, the media did not force Palin to say all of the numerous ridiculous things that she said during interviews, during the debate, during the countless hours of rallies and town hall meetings, etc., and I do not think that you can realistically blame everything she said on the media.

  • Madeline,

    From her record in Alaska, it seems clear that she is brilliant in dealing with the details of these huge complicated projects, and in negotiating agreement among mega-parties. To go from the PTA to defeating her own party incumbents and governing with a high approval rating argues some sort of unusual abilitiy/s; either sound instincts or a brilliance to fake sound instinct.

    I don’t think we can just average this evidence together with the bad performances in the interviews and come out with a verdict of ‘mediocre intelligence.’ For a very capable person to occasionally make a bad performance (especially in an area marginal to their expertise) is a common occurence. For an idiot to manage the accomplishments she has in Alaska, is not even possible.

    As to just how much of the interview problem was hers and how much was hostile interviewers, see a Mark Levin page with a less edited transcript of the Gibson interview. I could also find cites showing hostile maneuvers by Couric (newsbusters or media matters or some such site, plus some of it was visible to the naked viewer). Even in those, we are still getting transcripts that came through the Gibson and Couric agencies; we don’t have the full raw data. (Greta at Fox may have published raw data from her interviews after the Nov election; certainly it is very different.)

    As to ‘non-intellectual’ — how would you rate Hillary on that? Hillary’s brilliance also seems practical, how to rather than why to.

  • Madeline

    Flora: Palin is not an idiot, and I do think that she has a number of impressive qualities, but I do not believe that great intelligence is one of them, and I do not think that what she has accomplished in Alaska (which is impressive, no doubt) indicates otherwise. I do in some ways dislike dragging Bush back into the conversation, but she truly does remind me of Bush–not unintelligent, but simply not very analytical. I can agree that Palin has or may have good instincts–but we’ve seen what happens with a president who runs solely on instinct.

    What little editing was done on her interviews (editing is done on all interviews) does not make up for her ridiculous and often completely incoherent answers, and Gibson’s glowering does not seem to me to be a good excuse for incoherence. As for Couric–hostile? I am sure that right-wing websites and commentators like the ones you named did find her hostile, but really, she simply asked questions and asked them again if she did not get an answer. Are journalists not supposed to do that? The fact that Palin often couldn’t answer her questions can’t be put down to any imagined hostility on Couric’s part. As for the debate, it was not edited, and what it showed did not reflect well on her.

    I don’t think less of Palin than I do of any number of GOP candidates. I did not start having negative feelings about her as a person until she starting going on about how Obama was “palling around with terrorists” and how only some of us live in “real America.” She is in many ways impressive. But I simply do not understand how anyone with liberal, progressive values could want Palin or anyone with her stated views, male or female, as president.

    One other thing: Palin does not seem to be a culture warrior as governor, which I thought was already clear during the campaign (I remember one of the first things I heard about her was her vetoing the bill that would have discriminated against gay couples). But Bush was also considered by many to be a moderately conservative governor. Past performance does not always indicate future performance, so I would be wary of voting for a conservative if you are banking on that conservative remaining relatively moderate. They might–they might not.

    As for Hillary: She is completely brilliant. I think she is very practical, as you say, but she also has a great ability to master complex and esoteric subjects. She and Obama are both gifted in that area, and I felt proud throughout the primary to have the choice between two such intelligent candidates.

    Flora, may I ask (and I mean this as a sincere question, not any form of attack): do you really believe that women such as Sebelius who supported Obama are backstabbers?

  • Sis

    So much of what you don’t like about Palin is north. Seriously, I can’t line it up for you, but what I see in her is what it takes up north. It’s not rural, it’s not “country”, it’s north. I think if she was native, you’d be forgiving her a lot more. I think because she’s white and north, she’s not given the room a native leader from the north would get from the urban socially aware south. You.

  • Sis

    And Hillary would have conked in Alaska. She is totally urban in her perspective, to everything, as far as I can see. Just my feeling.

  • Sis,

    Wow, interesting perspective — “north”. That seems very credible to me, and I’d love to hear more details.

    As to Hillary, how did she actually do in the Alaska primary (and other US states you’d call ‘north’, if there are any)? She did very well in most non-urban areas of the US. There were many county-by-county or even precinct-by-precinct studies showing the rural areas were her strength, the urban areas were Obama’s.

  • Madeline,

    Liberal/conservative policies are off-topic for me here. I’m interested in the issue of Palin’s intelligence, the media treatment, etc — and people judging Palin’s intelligence by factors like her speech patterns, hairstyle, and mannerisms (I had such negative reactions myself and am re-examining my own prejudices).

    My comment about ‘good instincts’ was clumsy and I’d like to withdraw it.

    As for the Gibson intervinew, it was not his glowering but the extreme editing of content. Have you seen the fuller transcript at Mark Levin? It’s too long to copy here, but I can find links for you. Whole chunks were dropped out, her answer to one question was presented as though it were the answer to a previous question.
    In the Couric interview, the minor editing given to most interview subjects, cleaning up their grammar, etc, was not done; her words were spelled phonetically to make her sound uneducated: “get back to ya.” Couric went after questions about McCain that had nothing to do with Palin’s own experience or expertise. She put words in Palin’s mouth and then asked McCain to comment on them, as though Palin had initiated those words (“depression”). Palin said later that she had told McCain’s staff that the Couric interview (spanning several days) was not going well and she wanted to end it, but the staff insisted she go on. (Maybe I should start a blog “Puma for Palin” to put all this material in one place. :-), if that hasn’t been done already.)
    In the debate and elsewhere Palin was speaking for McCain as instructed by his staff.

    In a national campaign she was out of her element, performing on short notice, and following orders from the McCain staff. Her poor appearance there is not a reflection on her intelligence in general, or on her fitness for the Presidency in future.

  • Madeline,

    I’d like to pursue the issue of a possible difference in kind of intelligence between Hillary and Palin. I haven’t seen either of them discussing “complex and esoteric subjects” in a complex way. Can you give some examples?

  • Madeline,

    Your very interesting comments have inspired me to get off the dime and create PUMA for Palin at Blogspot.

    I’ve copied my recent posts to

  • CNN (Wolf Blitzer) hosted a discussion on this appointment. It was positive. I just blogged on it and posted the video:

  • This long piece is very supportive of Palin’s appointing Christen to the AK Supreme Court.
    Christen is highly qualified and was clearly the best candidate on the short list. She dominated every critical category in the Judicial Selection Survey scores and was reviewed by a higher percentage of respondents than any other candidate.