Oh, jeez, here we go already. With the canny, seemingly good-natured-but-really-a-put-down jokes about a female candidate.Oh, holy fuck. It's going to be a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG two months.
The lone female is gone from the Democratic race; they can't use the old pantsuits laugher anymore. So Joe Biden trotted out the subtly dismissive, isn't-she-pretty line about you-know-who, the newbie on the Republican side. (Translation: There's really nothing else to her to comment about, but I won't say that because I'm not a sexist.) . . .
Biden was in Ohio with his Democratic ticket partner, whom he once described as "clean," and told an outdoor rally:
“There’s a gigantic difference between John McCain and Barack Obama and between me and I suspect my vice presidential opponent,” Biden said.
“She’s good-looking,” he quipped.
Yeh, really, hold your sides on that one.
I really, really hate this particular put-down. It's dismissive and belittling -- reminding you that you're valued for your ability to not clash with the decor rather than for your brains -- but when you call the smarmy bastard on it, he invariably gets offended because "It's a compliment! Why are you so sensitive?"
I dated a guy in my third year of law school who was older than I was, but who was a first-year student. He took advantage of my experience to get clarification on stuff he didn't quite get yet in his classes -- but he didn't want to admit that he knew less than I did, so when I'd lost him, he'd smile slightly lecherously and say, "You're so cute."
Jesus, I hated that. It was a verbal pat on the head, a reminder that I was getting above myself. We didn't date long.
And this is exactly the WRONG approach to take with Palin -- aside from the fact that it's sexist asshattery, she's counting on it. See, her climb up the ladder in Alaska politics was made possible in part by those who underestimated her because of her looks.
H/T to Acrimonious Astraea in comments.
[Sarah Palin Sexism Watch: Parts One, Two, Three, Four. We defend Sarah Palin against misogynist smears not because we endorse her or her politics, but because that's how feminism works.]