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Letters week of Sept. 25, 2008
A Woman for President, Yes; but Not This Woman
Jonathan Tobin extol's Sara Palin's Republican Convention speech and makes a strong comparison between it and the historic "Cross of Gold" speech by William Jennings Bryan, ending his piece by saying "it is possible that we have just been introduced to the woman who may become our first female president" (A Matter of Opinion: "There's Something About Sarah," Sept. 11).
While Bryan no doubt composed his own speech, Palin reportedly said, in the days before her convention appearance, that she'd been "rehearsing the speech they gave me."
I would very much like to see a woman president, but not this woman.
Can Anyone Seriously Visualize President Palin?
I admit to being both a liberal and a feminist, but it is not these identities that make me shudder at the possibility of a Sarah Palin presidency.
Jonathan Tobin believes that opposition to Palin from women such as myself would stem from the fact that "she's the embodiment of [a] small-town American" and not my "kind of woman." He also assumes that I would be upset about "the idea that a conservative woman may be the one to break the glass ceiling."
But what chills me isn't that she's a conservative woman, but that she's the person she is.
Is Tobin comfortable with the prospect of a president who wants creationism taught on an equal basis with evolution, who has explored the idea of having books banned in a local library, who sees no need for separation of church and state, and who has so very little knowledge of foreign affairs?
He's Opposed Because of Palin's Inexperience
Jonathan Tobin's column (A Matter of Opinion: "There's Something About Sarah," Sept. 11) uses the terms "patronizing contempt," "snobbish distaste" and "small-town American" to mischaracterize the "liberal" opposition to Sarah Palin. Actually, the opposition is very fact-based, such as the following:
She has a conservative, evangelical ideology that has been disastrous for our country under President Bush.
Her major political experience has been as the mayor and a city council member of a small town and a brief, current stint as governor, with minimal involvement in national and international affairs.
In addition, by now, everyone should be aware that she supported the "Bridge to Nowhere" until the earmark was going nowhere, though she still kept the money. Claiming to be a reformer, she's been a champion of earmarks at the state and local level, hiring a lobbyist for just that purpose.
She even claims foreign policy experience based on the closeness of Alaska to the desolate eastern region of Russia, a country she has never visited.
Accordingly, it is only a conservative bias that finds her qualified for a position she couldn't get if the measure used were her merits.
Palin: A Fundamentalist and a Threat to the Law
Jonathan Tobin misses the point by repeating the conservative line that Democrats are worried about the effect of Sarah Palin's entry into the election (A Matter of Opinion: "There's Something About Sarah," Sept. 11).
Liberal Jews do not see the Palin phenomenon as a nightmare. Rather, we consider Palin an ideologue at odds with what we see as a healthy course for our country.
Her convention speech was mean-spirited, with derisive misrepresentations of Obama's record; half-truths and misrepresentations of her record as a mayor and governor; an absence of substance on the issues; and a lock-step agreement with the social values that fundamentalist Christians are trying to make the law of the land.
Palin believes her opinions are the only correct ones, wishes to legislate accordingly -- and believes God supports her efforts! That should give all Jews pause, regardless of their political leaning.
The fact that John McCain chose such a person as his running mate speaks volumes about him as well.
Steven J. Barrer
Jewish Working Mom and Wife Likes Sarah Palin
Jonathan Tobin caught the essence of Sarah Palin in his recent column (A Matter of Opinion: "There's Something About Sarah," Sept. 11), while still allowing readers to view it all with an open mind -- if they could allow themselves such a luxury.
I'm a successful Jewish working mom and wife who definitely identifies with Palin -- not the non-juggling, unmarried, childless Gloria Steinems of the world. It's just so sad that women have never learned to rally around one another.
Don't Believe the Left's Disinformation on Palin
We're all entitled to our opinions, but what we're not entitled to is making up facts to suit our political preferences. There were several mistaken "facts" in Jill Zippin's letter to the editor (Letters: "No Mistaking Candidate's Stand on Abortion Rights," Sept. 11).
Gov. Sarah Palin has never tried to ban any books in any library in our country. She does not oppose abortion in the case of rape or incest, and never made any attempt to raise this issue during her tenure as Wasilla mayor or during her two years as governor of Alaska.
Finally, regarding the teaching of creationism in public schools, she questioned whether it could be introduced concurrently with evolution as a critical thinking exercise. When there was no enthusiasm for this suggestion, she never again raised the issue.
The smear campaign emanating from the left-wing blogosphere is the source of all this disinformation.
Robert A. Wachter