sarah palin and tall (or, talking about politics in cars)

I was driving to Salome’s place in the Bakery Lofts when I heard Barack Obama’s 2004 DNC speech on NPR. I had to pull over and cry. It was a bad time, then, to be a progressive in America, and of course things have gotten much worse since. But I read and very much liked Obama’s book a couple of years later, and had the feeling I usually have about candidates I like; if I like them that much, they must be unelectable.

I had the same feeling about Hillary. Around the same time I read Obama’s book, the end of ’06, I shared a taxi from Manhattan to JFK with a very nice man, a fellow Democrat. We chatted about the candidates; I said I loved Hillary and thought she would make a great president, but I didn’t think the country was ready for a woman president. He said (and he really was very nice, so I feel guilty relaying this piece of thoughtlessness on his part): “Oh! I didn’t even think about the fact that she was a woman. I guess I’m a better feminist than you are!”

And that’s been kind of the theme of the last few weeks; lots and lots of advice, much of it from very nice and well-meaning men, on how to be a better feminist. I watched Michelle Obama’s and Hillary’s speeches avidly, and I kinda skipped the others. I’m pretty sure none of them would have passed the Bechdel test. It turns out I really do want to see women in positions of power. I’m not the only one, either. Driving to Santa Cruz:

C: Who is the mayor?

R: Gavin Newsom.

C: Is Gavin a boy’s name?

R: Yes.

C (sigh): Girls can never be mayor.

So to be perfectly honest with you, McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as running mate this morning felt like a knife in the gut. I know he’s pandering. I know she’s pro-gun, anti-choice, inexperienced and corrupt. She stands for the opposite of everything I hold dear, and I wouldn’t vote with my poontang even if I could vote. But I do want to see a woman president of the United States. Not Sarah Palin. But someone.

In fact, how about we get the next 43, and you guys sit out a couple of centuries? Wouldn’t that be cool? No? Why?

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