Opinion Brief

Do Democrats need their own Sarah Palin?

The best answer to Palin's assault on feminism and women's rights, argue two progressive women, would be grooming a similar politician on the left

"The left's failure to nurture and celebrate female politicians" in recent years has left Sarah Palin free to hijack feminism and "redefine what it means to be a groundbreaking political woman," say Anna Holmes and Rebecca Traister in The New York Times. Democrats, for their sake and that of women's rights, need to take "twisted inspiration" from Palin, and groom their own "progressive Palin." Is that even possible?

A lefty Palin's just a pipe dream: I'd love to see the type of smart, feisty, take-no-prisoner Democratic woman Holmes and Traister envision, says Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog, but it's not going to happen. First, unlike Republicans, "Democrats are generally lousy at grooming and putting forth future stars, of either gender." And if a progressive Palin did emerge, the GOP media machine would drown her in a "tsunami of grotesque half-truths and sleazy scuttlebutt.""Please, not this again"

The Left has Palin envy: This is just more proof that "Palin is inside the mind of the liberals," says Don Surber in the Charleston, WV, Daily Mail. And typically, liberals miss her appeal. Republicans didn't groom Palin, or give her permission to make waves. Palin just says, "I am a woman and I am going to do this." There is no "our" in Palin, just an "individual... crying out from the Alaskan wilderness with a message that resonates.""A Palin of their own"

Why would Democrats want a conservative icon?: Holmes and Traister are "startlingly off-base," says Big Tent Democrat at TalkLeft, but only because they use Palin as a "takeoff point" for their argument. What Democrats need is "a strong political female figure fighting for women's rights," and envisioning Palin in that role is "silly." She's "no symbol of women in politics," just a "run-of-the-mill extreme right-wing Republican Know Nothing, who happens to be a woman.""Is Sarah Palin the '21st century symbol of American women in politics?'"

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