September 29, 2008

Sarah Palin: Phyllis Schlafly with Better Make-Up?

Filed under: Uncategorized — kerry @ 10:44 am


“Under Sarah Palin’s administration, Wasilla cut funds that had previously paid for the medical exams and began charging victims or their health insurers the $500 to $1200 fees.

Although Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella wrote USA Today earlier this week that the GOP vice presidential nominee “does not believe, nor has she ever believed, that rape victims should have to pay for an evidence-gathering test…To suggest otherwise is a deliberate misrepresentation of her commitment to supporting victims and bringing violent criminals to justice,” Palin, as mayor, fired police chief Irl Stambaugh and replaced him with Charlie Fannon, who with Palin’s knowledge, slashed the budget for the exams and began charging the city’s victims of sexual assault. The city budget documents demonstrate Palin read and signed off on the new budget. A year later, alarmed Alaska lawmakers passed legislation outlawing the practice.”

One small step for McCain; one giant leap backwards for women.

Sarah Palin: Phyllis Schlafly with Better Make-Up?

A couple of weeks ago, Gloria Steinem wrote an op-ed worrying about Sarah Palin’s views on so many issues that are crucial to progressive voters — reproductive choice, the teaching of the Bible vs. science in public schools, global warming, gun control, and sex education for our kids.

And she compared Palin, rightly, I think, to Phyllis Schlafly.

It’s scary enough to think about Palin in those terms.  Not because they both share a love of outdated up-dos.  But because of their shared commitment to an extreme conservative view of what American government should look like.

But Phylis Schlafly is exactly why we can’t dismiss Palin’s candidacy casually, because Schlafly was able to stop a Constitutional amendment that most thought was a sure thing.  And Schlafly did it with a pretty small group of committed, ultra-conservative women — women not so different from Sarah Palin.

The Equal Rights Amendment, one that would guarantee equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender, was pretty much on a clear path to being ratified by the needed number of states to make it the 28th amendment.  That is, until Schlafly and her eager right-wing minions stepped in and launched the mother of all ‘Stop the ERA’ campaigns because they claimed it would take rights away from women, not bestow any protection from pay discrimination. 

In reality, the campaign was more about those on the right who feared that the ERA would grant protections to gay Americans, than it was about women’s pay.  But the larger point in terms of this year’s election is this — it didn’t really take a lot of people like Schlafly to bring down what many thought was a done deal to ensure equal pay for equal work. 

Conservative women were motivated to campaign against the ERA’s confirmation by the person they saw as their fearless leader, the woman who was willing to step up and fight the fight they were passionate about.

After reading and seeing how women of the political right are energized by Sarah Palin’s candidacy, I’m worried that we may be seeing the next Phyllis Schlafly moment.

There are plenty of us who don’t think Palin is even remotely qualified to be on a presidential ticket.  But that doesn’t mean that Palin doesn’t have a shot at being the next vice president. 

If the current generation of Phyllis Schlafly women can be rallied in the same way that they were over the ERA in the 1970s, I don’t like the odds of seeing that moving truck from Alaska parked outside Number One Observatory Circle.

Joanne, who also blogs about politics at her place PunditMom, is looking for her old ERA button to help remind her why Sarah Palin cannot be elected the next vice president.…/sarah-palin-phy.html


  1. This is before some peoples time but i remember
    rolling on the linoleum floor at my grandmothers
    after seeing this:

    Comment by Rainlander — September 29, 2008 @ 9:19 pm

  2. AHHH yes, I remember it well. ;O)

    Comment by kerry — September 30, 2008 @ 12:14 pm

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