Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Conservative Women Should Support Caroline Kennedy for the Senate.

One of the reasons that I started Smart Girl Politics was the treatment that Sarah Palin received during her run for Vice-President. Many conservative women felt that women's groups and feminist organizations no longer represented all women.

Organizations like N.O.W. made it more than clear to those women on the right that they would no longer pretend to tolerate their beliefs. Conservative Women were abandoned and left to fight their own battles.

Now Conservative Women's organizations are springing up all over the internet to finally take a stand for women's issues. I am proud to have Smart Girl Politics, SGP, as one of the sites that is taking that stand. What I am not proud of, however, is my initial response to Caroline Kennedy's decision to fight for the Senate seat in New York.

There are many arguments being made on both sides of the aisle as to why she is not "qualified" to run for office. Sound familiar? Most of the arguments that were made against Sarah Palin are now being made against Caroline Kennedy.

Since when does staying at home to raise your children, volunteering your time with charitable organizations, and surrounding yourself with politics qualify as negatives on a political resume. Yes, she has the Kennedy name, but that should be an asset to her qualifications not a deterrent. It seems to me that she has many of the qualifications that Hillary Clinton had when she ran for that office.

Have our career politicians really served either party well in the last several years?  We continue to say that we need to bring talent from outside of Washington.  I suppose it sounds better to most on paper than in reality.

I do not believe in anything that Caroline Kennedy stands for in politics. However, the fact of the matter is that a Democrat is going to be appointed to the position. Why shouldn't that person be Caroline Kennedy?

If Conservative women are going to speak out against sexist treatment of women on the right, it is in our best interests not to be hypocrites and to speak out for those on the left as well. Therefore, for as much as Caroline Kennedy can get my vote, she has it.


1950 Democrat said...

As a PUMA (Hillary fan for Palin, who will always oppose CK for backstabbing Hillary in the primaries) I think you've made some good points here. (Leaving aside the fact that there are more qualified people for the NY Senate seat ((Carolyn Maloney D-NY and Kristin Gilliwhatsis D-NY and Andrew Cuomo and Harriet Christian :-)).

Yes, for a 51 year old woman, being new to elected office should not necessarily be a disqualification. In CK's generation, staying home till the children were grown was the norm, a difficult standard to defy (especially when her own mother had said "In our family we leave the politics to the men.") Middleaged people can now get 'life experience' credits in lieu of college courses, so imo a stay home mother might also apply. And a 2-year Senate appointment is not as important as the VP post.

But Palin was much more qualified than CK and was attacked much more viciously. Palin did nothing to draw such attacks, except running while female and being too nice to Gibson and Couric. Palin had an excellent record in Alaska of real accomplishment, and fighting her own party.

Imo we should be careful of any comparisons that equate Palin with CK. The anti-Palin men will certainly be trying hard to do that so as to handicap Palin in future.

Stacy said...

1950 Democrat- I absolutely agree with your comments. Palin was attacked more viciously and for lessor reasons.

My point was just that I refuse to be hypocritical. I hope that other conservative women will follow my lead and support her or at least have respect for her efforts.

1950 Democrat said...

Thanks, Stacy. I applaud any woman who steps out of her party line to stand up for other women. We Pumas stepped out (stalked out really :-) to support Sarah, and it's nice to see a GOP woman supporting a Democrat who is being attacked unfairly (as many GOP women supported Hillary last spring).

Chris Short said...

Caroline Kennedy has NO experience in politics. Sarah Palin is a governor. There cannot be a comparison here.

However, I think your argument is somewhat valid from a feminist stance. However, from a liberal versus Conservative stance it certainly isn't.

Dana said...

Chris is correct: "Caroline Kennedy has NO experience in politics. Sarah Palin is a governor. There cannot be a comparison here."

However, this is not a debate that can be won on the premise of qualifications. Using an arbitrary set of qualifications goes against the ideology of our founding fathers that such government positions are and should be available to everyone. Who, if not the common man, is best equipped to serve the common man?

This being said, I strongly disagree with this statement: "However, the fact of the matter is that a Democrat is going to be appointed to the position. Why shouldn't that person be Caroline Kennedy?"

We should vote for the best candidate and not fall into the Democratic game of identity politics. A woman shouldn't win just because she's a woman; the best candidate should win, period.

Nice post!

Jimmie said...

Stacy, my only quibble here is that what was said about Palin's experience was largely untrue. Though her experience wasn't vast, it did exist. Caroline Kennedy hasn't done anything more than write a couple books. And it's not like she labored long and hard at home taking care of kids and "keeping house". She's a Kennedy, for goodness' sake. She's had a life of relative leisure where she could have gained experience at any number of things. She never bothered.

I understand where you're coming from, though. I just don't see the two as comparable at this point.

CoolerHead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen said...

I don't think Caroline is not qualified, my problem with her is the blatant House of Lords flavor to it all. If she was not Caroline Kennedy - if she was Caroline Jones - she would not be considered.

I see nothing lacking in her resume - I, too, stayed home to raise our son, and like her, volunteered in the community and raised monies for charities. She has co-authored books, too, on various subjects.

It is the act of coming out now for a political appointment on the face value of her name. I keep thinking of the other women who have served and I'm sure are lobbying for the position, too.

Sarah Palin was already a political person, elected in office. She, unlike Caroline, was unknown to most people and wasn't handled properly by the campaign, so she looked unprepared. Palin supporters knew she was plenty qualified and capable for the job. I think it is kind of apples and oranges of these two women.

An American Liberal said...

Well this is an awkward post for me, and I have thought about my response to this for far entirely too long.

The truth of the matter is I like CK, and find myself drawn to her corner from an ideological standpoint. She seems to embody that mixture of liberal ideals and conservative family values that I personally treasure.

But here is the rub, the United States is in for some rough times ahead, and with all due respect to CK, there are far better candidates (in the context of this time and place) out there as 1950 pointed out. But I would encourage her to remain active in politics and run in 2010 for the seat.

As to the comparison between Palin and Kennedy, I think you have all missed the mark a bit. The reason Palin was much maligned has more to do with her ideology than her ovaries, and the same can be said of Kennedy. List off their basic answers to those elements that you hold dear (both women are to the far side of their respective political slants), and you can quickly understand the venom.

I do not say this to justify or support the hateful rhetoric, but rather to reassure you all that this has nothing to do with their gender.

Warmest Regards.
An American Liberal

Grace Explosion said...

Good post. I think that a left liberal candidate will be chosen... and I personally like Caroline Kennedy. I think she's done charity work, she's been a mom, she's well known and much liked by many Americans (including me), and I'd like to see her get the seat. I like that she is shy and reserved and to me it has a dignity in it. So, while I will continue to vote pro-life conservative... I really would like to see Caroline treated well in the press, etc. A person doesn't need tons of experience to be a US Senator. They just have to be able to do the job. I believe she can do a very good job, personally. Also, I cannot see Caroline Kennedy being "corrupt". I think she will serve out of a sense of duty to America... although I will personally believe her misguided in her positions (because she's to the left). Since a left person is going to get the appointment, I just really think it would be good if Caroline got the seat. Furthermore, it should really be positive for Governor Palin in the future. It should also "lessen the criticisms" regarding experience, etc... and Gov. Palin can bring up the Caroline Kennedy issue and compare her qualifications to be seen in a positive light, I'm praying.


An American Liberal said...

Reading Grace's comments I have to knowingly chuckle at the fact that all of us are sick to death of our corrupt politicians. I am also tired of them just getting a slap on the wrist, and a chuckle, but that is for another rant.

Oh and I forgot this comment earlier, congratulations Grandma Palin! I may not agree with all of your politics, but I wish you, and your family my most sincere and warmest prayers for the latest addition to your family!

Yeah, yeah, I know like she reads this stuff, but allow this liberal his sense of kindness even if its steeped in a delusion. :-)

An American Liberal

1950 Democrat said...

It's easy to focus on CK and lose sight of the fact that there are others unquestionably more qualified than she is. For example, Carolyn Maloney, D-NY; see http://rumorsofourprogress.com/

SWAC Girl said...

Sorry, Stacy ... I have to disagree with you on this one. Caroline Kennedy has no political experience holding public office while many others have worked hard throughout the years and should be in line ahead of her for that senate seat. Raising a family is a great thing but it is not the sole qualification for political office.

Sarah Palin has held public office for years, working hard and campaigning while raising a family. She was unmercifully attacked by liberals and, while I see conservatives asking questions about Ms. Kennedy's experience, I do not see them tearing her apart.

I go for the person most qualified for office ... it is not hypocritical to feel that way. It has nothing to do with gender. I wrote about this issue at SWAC Girl.

Stacy said...

I want to reiterate that I do not support Caroline Kennedy. I support her right to go for the position without complete condemnation.

While there are other more qualified male and female candidates, they are not the ones being maligned by the media and others right now.

If she had been a male would her qualifications, be under the scrutiny that she is now being placed under. I doubt it.

Finally, my title was probably a little too provocative, but I just don't want to be someone who bashes for the sake of bashing. The end.

Roland Foster-Balloun said...

Stacy, you write well and make a couple of good points however, I believe you have ignored (conveniently?) or missed a couple of key points. First, your logic that CK has a similar background to HC is incorrect. As far as that goes, I could make a sound strong argument that HC was not qualified. In any event, HC was the First Lady for 8 years and prior to that was the Governor's wife. Moreover, Hillary actually practiced law. During the her years as First Lady, she actually was close to many issues and had an active role in serious decision making. Moreover, she became experienced in Washington and with working with Congressional leadership. None of these things can be said for CK. She's just trying to take advantage of the moment without the underlying foundation of smarts, experience, or qualifications. See my post, and give me your thoughts on my arguments. I agree a democrat will be in the seat, and I think it would be fine if it were a woman. However, there has to be some qualified woman in New York that have likely earned the opportunity through hard work, not just using their family name.


roland Foster-Balloun said...

Stacy, I forgot to mention this. I think your blog is good and I have bookmarked your website. I didn't notice if you have a RSS feed but I will look after this comment is finished. Also, I look forward to see what your next post is. I forgot to give you my URL.

Even though we disagree, I say, good job.

1950 Democrat said...

It would be really interesting to contrast two different ways of being a conservative, family-oriented mother. CK's is to stay home till the children are grown; Palin's is to take the children to work, or leave them with her house-husband. CK's way would break a few ceilings but Palin's way would break more.

An American Liberal said...

1950 Democrat,

Women who juggle careers and children are nothing new, so I am not sure what you mean with regards to Governor Palin. While she WAS a stay at home for a period, that was a long time ago. She now pursues her career and works hard to mesh her family into that process, just like every other parent I know.

As for Todd being a stay at home father, I am not sure that this is the case. From what little I know he works for the local oil company and has his own business (charter fishing I believe). While there is certainly down time from those efforts, I am not sure that would or could be considered House Daddy.

Also, not to infuriate the readers here, but I think the Palins have a Nanny? I don't know where the perception came from that she is a stay at home mother is beyond me. Governor Palin is just another (cough, extraordinary perhaps) woman juggling her career and her family. If I have this wrong, please feel free to correct me.

As for CK, no idea to be honest outside the brief bio I read.

Warmest Regards,
An American Liberal

american girl in italy said...

"I support her right to go for the position without complete condemnation."

If this were an election, I would agree 100%. However, as an appointee, I don't agree that she should be handed the position. And I agree with some here who said Palin is qualified, and CK is not.

Now, if CK decides to RUN for an office, the voters can decide on whether they accept her on her experience, but the idea that she is handed this job, with her limited resume bothers me.

I agree that we need to support women, but I don't agree that we have to support a woman solely because she is a woman.

I support Hillary and Palin because they are two women who have worked hard and won elections and have inspired. And they are polar opposites! But I voted for both of them.

Caroline...not so much.

Happy new year! :OD

1950 Democrat said...

Fascinating topic, so many, you know, facets. Before real life closes in today, just one more comment.

American Liberal, some of your information about Todd Palin is out of date, and some of it is iirc incorrect. Of course Todd's has been a gradual and uneven transistion.

I don't know that Sarah was ever a stay-home mom; the Palins started their own business so probably the children were as much a part of their work life then as the children are now. As Governor, Sarah fired the chef and now they do their own cooking, and if they ever had a nannie I'm sure we would have heard about it. :-)

Better check a lot of these claims before repeating them. TeamSarah.org might have better info.

An American Liberal said...

1950 Democrat,

Thank you for your response, and I readily admit my information on Todd may be outdated. A lot of things certainly have changed for the Palin's.

Not that it really matters, but several sources state that the Palin's do indeed have a Nanny (I knew about the cook, thanks!). One of them even claims that her name is Christy. But honestly, it really isn't germane to the conversation.

The point I was trying to make is that she is just like everyone else, trying to juggle her family and a career. Yet I continue to read where there is this belief that she and/or Todd are stay at home parents. Which was and for Sarah's part still is simply not the case.

So why point this out (a liberal plot?!)? Well, I keep running into stay at home Moms who empathize with Sarah claiming her as one of their own. I think a woman, or man who stays at home raising their children should be nominated for sainthood (next to teachers). So, why would this bother me you ask?

I still remember Dan Quayle (Ronald Reagan's VP) having a feud with Murphy Brown (yep, she is fictional) about her choice to keep her baby, and continue her career. There is no need to rehash that stupidity other than to mark that it happened.

Fast forward a few years and here we are with Sarah. She is the embodiment of cultural growth, acceptance and tolerance within our conservative ranks, and that should be acknowledged and celebrated.

In your post, I read (for some strange reason - sleep deprivation maybe) that same revisionist thinking, hence my questions to you.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

Warmest Regards.
An American Liberal

An American Liberal said...

I was in the shower getting ready for bed when I realized that I had mislabeled Dan Quayle as Ronald Reagan's VP?! Sorry peeps, he was George the First's VP.

Now, time for bed!

Happy New Year!
An American Liberal

1950 Democrat said...

American Liberal,

Of course Sarah is not a stay-home mom. I've never seen such a claim.
She's a 'bring the kids to work mom', which imo breaks an important ceiling. Todd now seems to be doing a lot of the stuff that stay-home parents do, keeping the household running smoothly whether the kids are home or not. That's certainly the direction their marriage seems to be going, as Sarah's responsibility (and income) keep growing.

AL: Not that it really matters, but several sources state that the Palin's do indeed have a Nanny.

I Googled for 'Palin's nanny' and the only sources that came up were comments at blogs like Huffington Post. This claim isn't even listed at palinrumors.com
The media was so eager to print derogatory things about Palin, that if there were any support for the 'nanny' story, it would have been in their headlines.

AL: [Sarah] is the embodiment of cultural growth, acceptance and tolerance within our conservative ranks, and that should be acknowledged and celebrated.

I certainly admire Sarah! HIllary was my first choice, Sarah second.

If this doesn't clear things up, I'd be happy to continue by email.

kate said...

actually i prefer to vote on qualifications and shared values. caroline kennedy, in her support of barack obama, clearly does not share my belief system. i would not vote for her.

yes sarah received horrible treatment. but sexism is not the reason to put someone in office. we live with the decisions of our lawmakers for an awful long time; our choices must be prudent and wise not emotional.

Anonymous said...

Based on what I know about Caroline Kennedy, the only reason she isn't qualified to be in the U.S. Senate is because she's a Democrat and, probably, a liberal.

As I wrote in my own blog last wee, I don't believe that political experience is necessary or even desirable to hold a political office. We have way too many professional politicians in the country--too many of them lawyers.

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