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Are The Attacks On Palin Sexist?

As criticism around the Sarah Palin pick grows, Republicans and their allies have launched a concerted counter-offensive designed to delegitimize attacks against her.

What's fair?

Carly Fiorina's attack on the Obama campaign for raising questions about Governor Palin's experience was off-base. The McCain campaign has been criticizing Senator Obama's experience for months; shouldn't the Obama campaign be able to raise similiar questions about Gov. Palin?  Experience was a major issue in this race long before Gov. Palin was selected.  Surely it's legitimate for the Obama campaign -- or anyone else -- to raise questions about her lack of foreign policy credentials. Similarly, questions about Gov. Palin's policy positions or about the official government investigation into her actions as Governor are totally appropriate.

On the other hand, questions about how or whether Sarah Palin could raise her five children while serving as Vice-President are outrageous.  Senator Obama, to his credit, has made clear that such enquiries are out of bounds.  Unfortunately some in the media have raised this issue and injected it into the public discussion.  Let's be clear -- there is no chance that a man in Sarah Palin's position would be asked how he could possibly raise his children while running for high office.  Democrats would be wise to continue to reject this line of attack.

Similarly obnoxious and inappropriate are the numerous photographs floating around the internet that superimpose Gov, Palin's face on the cover of a fashion magazine or on the body of a woman in a bikini.  Objectifying Gov. Palin isn't going to win Barack Obama any votes.   

Over time, many women voters rallied to Senator Clinton's side to stand with her against sexist criticism.  Republicans are attempting to use the attacks against Gov. Palin to create the same dynamic.

There are many good reasons to oppose the McCain-Palin ticket.  Issues related to Gov. Palin's gender are not among them.

--Howard Wolfson