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First, there was the predictable assertion that the only reason John McCain picked Sarah Palin as his running mate was to lure women voters to the GOP, especially those legions of disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters.

As some of my commentators have remarked, to think that a woman would vote for a woman simply because they both have vaginas is to insult all women. Are we to assume that all African-Americans are supporting Obama just because he is black? I would hope not.

The assertion also suggests that McCain is an idiot. He might be testy, “old as dirt,” and not the most inspiring speaker in this campaign, but McCain did not get the nomination by being dumb. Like most choices of this magnitude, there were multiple considerations that favored Palin — being a political maverick in her own right, her social conservatism, her integrity in letting her behavior affirm her words.

Another strong point in her favor: geography. The Obama campaign believes that some of the Western states could be lured from their traditional allegiance to all things GOP. They might need to rethink that strategy now. Palin’s strong Western lifestyle and political views will be very reassuring to those who might be tempted to support a Democrat.

Finally, and what I think was the main reason McCain chose Palin, is that it restores his image as the real agent of change in this campaign. What he gave back to Obama on the experience issue, he took ten-fold by showing that he, McCain, is the one who has the real outsider status. Obama gave McCain that gift when he chose lifetime government employee, Joe Biden, as his running mate.

But now we have had at least three unflattering stories emerge about Palin. There is the story of an on-going investigation into her possible misuse of authority as governor in firing a state trooper. Second, we read that her husband, Todd, had a DUI 22 years ago. Most of the caterwauling among the Obama people and their media henchmen concerns the revelation that Palin’s 17 year old daughter is pregnant and unmarried.

I find it strange that people who generally believe that “anything goes” morally, who want women to have the right to choose what they do with their bodies, are condemning this pregnancy as if it were a sign from the devil that Sarah Palin and anyone associated with her are evil, immoral hicks from “that state” up north where they practice ritual moose killings and despoil the environment with their greedy oil deals.

What happened to a woman’s right to choose? When certain liberals use that term, do they mean only the right to choose abortion? 

Then we have character assassination of Sarah Palin herself. Publicly she has reacted bravely to this unwanted focus on her child and her family. But what I find remarkable is the salivating eagerness with which liberal bloggers and others in the media are blaming the mother for the purported sins of the daughter.

Anyone who has raised a teenager and had to deal in their own families with unwanted pregnancies, drug and alcohol issues, associations with questionable “friends” and various antisocial groups, and the myriad other ways that modern teens express their unique place in this mad world — those parents know full well that most of that behavior is totally out of their control. They can counsel, model good behaviors, threaten, cajole, bribe, do all the things we parents do, and the end result is still a crap shoot — you don’t know how it will end until it ends. You don’t control the outcome.

I suspect most of the self-righteousness comes from people who are either not parents or not yet parents of a teenager. Otherwise, they would know better and not condemn Palin for being an “unfit mother.”

Finally, if Sarah Palin were a man, would we be hearing the same damning remarks about her parenting skills? If she were a man, would a pregnant teen daughter still be the issue it is, or would most people — as we typically do — say that it is not really his business, it’s his wife’s job to tend to the nest and keep the kids in line?

Over at Convergence, in a  Misogyny: It’s Not Just For Hillary Anymore, they make a credible argument that the same anti-woman sentiment that kept Hillary Clinton from the Democratic nomination is now working to cut Sarah Palin down to size.

I know it’s painful to think about now, but remember when you tried to fight back against the raging misogyny at these so-called “progressive” media outlets? What was their excuse again?

“I’m ready to vote for a woman President. Just not THAT woman. This hatred is brought on by Hillary herself. If she were a man she would have gotten the same reaction from me.” Well, fellow PUMAs, looks like that excuse has gone bye-bye.

Over at the Cheeto (Daily Kos), they are in meltdown mode. (Won’t link to that place.) From “real moms” disputing Governor Palin’s tale of her pregnancy to a “reasoned” analysis of how Alaska is OMG like really small and so that means she OMG like has no experience at all despite her years of being Governor and OMG she is not qualified to be President despite the fact that she is not running for President and OMG McCain is going to die like tomorrow and that means this woman will be President OMG OMG!!!111!!!

A few blogs have been gushing about Palin possibly leaving the campaign. I hope they are wrong. Aside from signaling the end of the McCain campaign — and Barack Obama needs a few more lessons from McCain before BO is ready for the White House — it would raise that glass ceiling for women even higher. Hillary worked too hard, and many women and men worked hard beside her, to make gender irrelevant in American politics.

If Sarah Palin goes back to Alaska, that cause will be lost for at least another four years.