Saturday, December 18, 2010

And now...

...for something completely different. I'm about to agree with Sarah Palin on something.
Sarah Palin says there's a double standard when it comes to politicians who cry in public.

The former Alaska governor and possible 2012 Republican presidential candidate says she would be "knocked a little bit" if she cried while giving a speech. But Palin tells ABC's "Good Morning America" that House speaker-in-waiting John Boehner gets a "pass" when he cries in public.
Of course there's a double standard. A male politician who tears up at certain things is just "an emotional guy" who is "in touch with his feelings." A woman politician who did the same would be "a weepy sob sister" and quite possibly "hysterical."

However, there is an addendum to that, something that makes the comparison more accurate: A right-wing male politician who tears up is "an emotional guy." Any male on the left side of the political spectrum that did that would be immediately and forever branded "weak." It's kind of a double double standard, one in which most of the media is complicit.

Footnote: Rachel Maddow recently claimed that public policies, not public tears, are what's relevant about a politician (true) and that public tears are not politically damaging (false if you're not a right-winger).

One example she used in making her case was Edmund Muskie's (in)famous tears during the New Hampshire primary in 1972, shed while defending his wife against a scurrilous personal attack by the screwily right-wing Manchester Union Leader. But he won the primary! she declared. That's true - but it was by a plurality, not a majority, and by a smaller margin than expected, and his campaign collapsed shortly thereafter.

Maddow is obviously too young to remember the events, but she is notorious for referring to using "the Google." If she had done so in this case she could have learned about how in the wake of the event Muskie was excoriated in the press and how it supposedly proved he was "too temperamental" to be president.

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