Issues & Ideas, Wednesday, September 10, 2008, p. A20
'I Am Sarah, Watch Me Act'
Barbara Kay National Post
How I wish I'd been the proverbial fly on the wall watching the changing expressions on Barack Obama's face as Sarah Palin delivered her already-legendary speech at the Republican convention last Wednesday.
I imagine his pre-speech expression as alert, but relaxed paternalism, like a chief surgeon set to supervise a lowly resident's clumsy initial attempt at an appendectomy. Then puzzlement as the surgeon realizes that he's to be the patient, and finally horror as, strapped to the table and, before a nation of fascinated onlookers, he is subjected to ... a palinoscopy!
Oh, she got through to him all right. For eight months critics haven't really laid more than glancing blows on Obama, because they were jabbing away at his exterior. Sarah got him right in the gut.
Humour is permitted entry to dark cavities closed to straight criticism, so Palin used steady-handed wit as her probe. As every comedian and experienced public speaker knows, failed on-stage humour is first cousin to death. Factor in the supreme importance of the occasion, an audience of 39 million voters, the greedy gaze of slavering media hyenas and the enormous additional risk of "dissing" an African-American saint: What we witnessed on that Minnesota stage, my friends, was an awesome demonstration of raw courage.
Palin's mockery tickled Obama's worrisome polyps of swollen self-regard (the "styrofoam pillars"), his history of words over action ("two memoirs, but no major bills"), his curious pattern of risk avoidance (unlike community organizers, mayors have "actual responsibilities") and his tendency to solipsism(presidential journeys are not "voyages of personal discovery").
Peggy Noonan, doyenne of American political-trends commentary, was galvanized by Palin's performance: "It is starting to look to me like a nation-defining election ... This campaign is about to become: epic," she wrote in the weekend Wall Street Journal.
I agree. But win or lose the election, Sarah Palin has already altered the cultural landscape of America, possibly of the Western world. In years to come, social archeologists will mark her speech as the official beginning of an end to the gender wars, and, one hopes, a return to trust and collaboration between the sexes.
Because Palin proved you don't need the Sisterhood to pierce the glass ceiling. In her single calculated comment about women, she said, "This is America, and every woman can walk through every door of opportunity."
Got that? It wasn't Gloria Steinem that put me on this podium. It was my made-in-small-town-America traditional social values combined with old-fashioned patriotism and Alaska-instilled pioneerism.
Palin isn't "redefin[ing] the feminist ideal," as Jonathan Kay put it yesterday in his column's misguided paean to Palin as a kind of multi-function iFeminist for the postmodern woman. Ideologybased behaviour of any kind is irrelevant to Palin, and millions of other small-town women -- and always was. Love of family, community, country -- not conspiracy theories -- is what guides their political compass.
The ultimate American individual, Palin wasn't ever committed to any collectivity but America itself. She was never "I am Woman, hear me roar." She was always, "I am Sarah, watch me act." Palin represents what would have happened to American women without a feminist revolution. For legal and social equity for women was bound to arise organically through political and cultural reform, as more and more women entered university and the work force, a process well underway before feminism became an organized movement.
In a free society a cat may look at a king. Feminists thundering disdain at Palin's lack of experience (as a surrogate for their panic over her indifference to feminism) would do well to remember the trajectory of their own movement's cat that looked at the patriarchy.
Betty Friedan, author of The Feminist Mystique, the 1963 book that kicked off the modern feminist movement, was no Adam Smith or Karl Marx. She was a political nobody, a bored, disgruntled housewife who mistook her own tiny world of white, urban, middle-class, university-educated peers as representative of all American women.
In fact, Friedan's true acolytes always were, and remain, "dormitory feminists," a small, but noisily aggrieved iceberg calved from the real female masses Palin so brilliantly champions.
What were Friedan's credentials for changing the world? Friedan studied psychology at Smith College, dabbled in journalism, flirted with communism(it shows in feminism's Marxist stripes), mothered three children and gave domestically violent tit for tat to her husband in a failed marriage before writing her famous book. Some resume.
The "methodology" behind her "research" consists of her interpretation of a 1957 questionnaire she sent to former Smith College classmates. Friedan claimed that 60% of her respondents "could not honestly say" they found homemaking "totally fulfilling." From this she concluded that the home was a "comfortable concentration camp" for mothers, all of whom (even if they mightn't admit it) suffered from "the problem that has no name."
And yet she emerged from her utter political obscurity and academic amateurism as the matriarch of an enormously consequential movement. Following the book's landslide success -- one of its direct offshoots was the disruption of the Miss America pageant Mr. Kay details in his column-- Friedan became the guiding force for the National Women's Political Caucus and the National Abortion Rights Action Council (NARAL). Her reign had more impact on American life than the work of any 50 vice-presidents combined.
So feminists, enough with the hypocrisy. Show some respect for Sarah Palin, who is far more credentialed to advance America's interests than Friedan was for yours. (Note to Jonathan: There was no need even to think of waking up your daughters and "dragging them to the TV" for inspiration from Sarah Palin, as she'd probably be the first to tell you. Their own mother's achievements, and, more important, the reliable presence and loving encouragement of a strong father are the best predictors for women's self-confidence and worldly success. So relax.)
It may cause some "discomfort," the medical parlance for pain, but if, as I believe, we have just seen the curtain begin to fall on the sexually adversarial, anti-family wing of the feminist movement, Sarah Palin's -- er-- rear-guard invasion of Obama and, by extension, the feminism-marinated liberal establishment, will already have performed wonders for America's cultural health.
2008 National Post
Palin a 'Natural Choice for Catholics'
CHICAGO, Aug. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- John McCain's decision to pick a pro-family and pro-life running mate will make the McCain-Palin ticket a 'natural' for Catholic voters, said Brian Burch, President of Fidelis Political Action.
"A presidential candidate's first major executive decision is selecting a running mate and John McCain's unexpected choice of Sarah Palin inspires real confidence that a McCain Administration will be a strong ally in the pro-life and pro-family cause," said Burch. "Governor Palin is the most pro-life vice presidential candidate ever to run. We are thrilled with this choice."
"John McCain and Sarah Palin have matched their public defense of life with their own personal commitment to life," said Burch.
Burch noted that earlier this year Palin made news with the birth of her fifth child, whom she welcomed into life despite a pre-natal diagnosis that revealed the child had Down Syndrome. The governor made national headlines when she proclaimed: "I'm looking at him right now, and I see perfection. Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?"
John McCain also matched his 20-year pro-life voting record with his family's own commitment to life. John and Cindy McCain brought two orphaned girls from Bangladesh to receive medical treatment in the United States. The McCain family adopted one of them, Bridget. McCain's friend adopted the other girl.
"In both cases, we see true pro-family leaders. They stand up strong for life in the halls of power but also live the message of life in their families," said Burch.
"The inspired choice of Sarah Palin highlights the radical views of Obama- Biden on life and marriage. Catholic voters couldn't have a starker contrast this November," said Burch."Catholics, like most Americans, are cautiously optimistic that the troop surge has calmed Iraq. Catholics will naturally turn their attention to which candidate will stand strong on behalf of families," said Burch.
"Barack Obama is not that candidate. Barack Obama wants to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. His first act as President has nothing to do with energy or Iraq. He wants to enshrine the right to abortion in federal law by signing the Freedom of Choice Act," said Burch.
"Barack Obama is so extreme on abortion that he thinks that babies who survive an abortion and are miraculously born alive should be refused food and water and be left to die," said Burch."John McCain, together with Sarah Palin, is a natural choice for Catholics. McCain has a strong pro-life record and he has made a commitment to selecting judges who will respect the Constitution. McCain has even bucked his own party on immigration and torture. We think these positions align John McCain closer to Catholic teaching and we are proud to stand with him as he prepares for a very difficult election ahead," said Burch.
"The stakes of this election are too large to ignore. Abortion supporters are awaiting the opportunity to eliminate years of progress on pro-life legislation by electing a President who supports abortion. There are six justices on the Supreme Court over the age of 68, and granting President Obama the opportunity to fill possible vacancies would be disastrous.
2008 U.S. Newswire
U.S. Newswire Friday, August 29, 2008, p. n/a
Thursday, September 4, 2008, p. n/a
Knights Sponsor Chicago Conference on Abortion's Effects on Men
Panel of experts to address more than 150 participants on this important issue
CHICAGO, Sept. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Knights of Columbus and the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office for Evangelization are co-sponsoring a national conference to focus on the effects of abortion on men whose children have been aborted in Chicago on Sept. 8 and 9.Featuring an international panel of speakers and participants, the "Reclaiming Fatherhood" conference will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Oak Brook, IL.The Milwaukee-based National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation, headed by Vicki Thorn, is organizing the conference, which seeks to bring to light what Thorn describes as the "invisible" issue in our society and even in the Church: the profound effect that abortion has on fathers whose children are aborted."As an organization of lay men that has a strong history and commitment to life, we think it is very important to highlight the issues faced by those fathers whose children are aborted," said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. "There are three victims of every abortion, the child and both of his or her parents, and it is our hope that this conference will be the beginning of a ministry within the Church to these fathers, who grieve the death of their unborn child in isolation and silence."Thorn has been working nationally and internationally -- primarily with women -- who have had abortions since 1984 through the Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Project Rachel, the Catholic Church's post-abortion healing ministry.
Experts, including several therapists -- as well as several fathers who have lost children to abortion -- will cover topics including men's healing process after abortion; abortion's effects on men's spirituality and mental health; fatherhood and abortion; and why men who have been involved in abortion come for help.More than 150 attendees have already registered from as far away as Nigeria and Poland.
The conference has been heavily advertised in print and on television in the Chicago area. The commercial can be viewed at www.kofc.org/abortionAnderson and Thorn believe the "Reclaiming Fatherhood" conference could help men deal with their difficult post-abortion reality the way Project Rachel -- the Catholic post-abortion healing ministry Thorn founded -- has helped women who have undergone abortions deal with their emotional and spiritual scars.In 2007, the Knights and the Archdiocese of San Francisco co- sponsored a similar conference -- also organized by the National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing. That conference was the first of its kind in the United States to deal with effects of abortion on men. More than 175 people from nine countries attended the San Francisco Reclaiming Fatherhood conference.
Details of the conference and speakers are available at www.kofc.org/abortion
SOURCE Knights of Columbus
2008 U.S. Newswire
Zondervan Announces New Biography of Sarah Palin
10:10 EDT Friday, September 05, 2008
Most Talked-About Woman in America is the Model for the 21st Century Leader
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Sept. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's nomination as vice presidential candidate by John McCain not only changed the landscape of the current election, but also marks a shift in leadership style across our country. Her acceptance speech during the Republican National Convention showcased her personal brand of intelligence, passion, vigor and hope, and explained why she is the most talked-about woman in America.A new biography, titled "Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader" by Joe Hilley (Zondervan 2008), will explore themes from her career in politics, her life as a hockey mom, and her strongly held Christian faith, explaining how they influence her new style of leadership and align with our changing economy in the information age. The book is scheduled for release nationwide on October 10, 2008.
"Regardless of your political persuasion, it is clear that Sarah Palin has quickly electrified the 2008 election and sparked a nationwide dialogue and debate," said Moe Girkins, president and CEO of Zondervan. "We are honored to publish this book that will provide readers with a comprehensive look into the life and rising political career of Sarah Palin."
In "Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader", Hilley explores traits from Palin's background and experience, including her maverick integrity, electrifying communication style, career agility, and perpetual education, to establish his argument for Palin as an exemplary leader in our rapidly changing cultural landscape. By exploring the leadership principles that have catapulted Palin into the national spotlight, Hilley explains how she models a fresh paradigm of leadership that will guide the United States through the 21st century.
"We live in an age that values relationship over authority and instant information over accuracy, so breadth of knowledge and depth of conviction are the most prized commodities for our leaders," said Hilley. "Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin brings both of these qualities and more to her new role as John McCain's running mate and I'm eager for readers to have the opportunity to know her and her brand of leadership more thoroughly."
About Joe Hilley
Author Joe Hilley holds a Bachelor of Arts from Asbury College, a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Cumberland School of Law, Samford University. In 1999, he quit the practice of law to write. A lifelong observer of politics and social issues, Joe is the author of five critically-acclaimed novels. He has used those novels as a vehicle for addressing such topics as judicial and political corruption, trafficking in women, and the scourge of meth labs on rural America. His novels include Sober Justice, Double Take, Electric Beach, Night Rain, and The Deposition. He lives in Alabama where he writes full time.
Zondervan is the world's leading Christian publisher of books, whose authors are noted for their excellence in the craft of writing as well as their worthy contribution to the ongoing global evangelical conversation. The works published by Zondervan not only confirm readers' faith and understanding, they also challenge and stretch readers' thinking. For more than 75 years, Zondervan has delivered transformational Christian experiences through general, ministry, and academic resources by influential leaders and emerging voices, and been honored with more Christian Book Awards than any other publisher. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., Zondervan publishes bestselling books, audio, video, curriculum, software, and digital products in such categories as biblical languages and studies, biography, business, contemporary issues, counseling, cultural, devotional, evangelism, family, fiction, history, inspiration, leadership, ministry, pastoral, personal development, prayer, philosophy, reference, relationships, textbooks, theology, youth and more. Zondervan resources are sold worldwide through retail stores, online, and by Zondervan ChurchSource, and are translated into nearly 200 languages in more than 60 countries.
Visit Zondervan Books on the Internet at www.zondervan.com/books .
For further information: Karen Campbell of Zondervan, +1-616-698-3246, firstname.lastname@example.org
2008 PR Newswire
Report on business
Friday, September 5, 2008, p. n/a
Richard Viguerie: 'Cranky conservatives' are Responsible for Sarah Palin Pick
703-396-6971, or After 6 PM Eastern time & weekends, Vi Shields, +1-703-906-6542, or Cynthia Chambliss, +1-703- 930-5148, all for ConservativeHQ.com
MANASSAS, Va., Sept. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Conservatives who refused to fall in line behind the Republican Party -- who maintained their independence, at the price of being ridiculed as "cranky" or "impossible to please" -- are the ones responsible for John McCain's brilliant, game-changing selection of Sarah Palin, Richard A. Viguerie said.
"Those who backed John McCain as the 'lesser of two evils' did no favors to themselves, their movement, or to Senator McCain," said Viguerie, chairman of ConservativeHQ.com. "He needed to know what conservatives really thought, and he needed to know what had to be done to get conservatives enthusiastically on board his campaign.
"As we know now, what he had to do was pick Sarah Palin," he said.
Viguerie said credit for the Palin selection belongs, "of course, to Senator McCain, but also to those who made it clear that, without a strong, principled conservative on the ticket, they would vote for it -- but do little else."
Specifically, Viguerie listed, as the heroes of the campaign for a conservative running mate:-- Those conservatives who withheld their support and refused to endorse Senator McCain until after he announced his vice presidential selection.
-- Conservatives, especially religious conservatives, who "went nuclear" in their criticism in the past couple of weeks before the announcement upon hearing that the pick might be Joe Lieberman, Tom Ridge, or someone nearly as disastrous for the McCain campaign and the Republican Party. ("Those of us who spoke up strongly were roundly criticized by some conservatives," Viguerie noted.) It was our firestorm that stopped that catastrophe from coming to pass.
-- The bloggers and radio talk show hosts who spent day after day detailing conservatives' problems with John McCain, and who kept the focus on the most important question: Who are the people who would make and carry out policy in a McCain administration?
-- Those who chose to stay home rather than vote in Republican primaries when there was no real top-tier conservative contender.
-- Those who threw Republican fundraising letters in the trash, and who gave Republican telemarketers a piece of their mind instead of their money.
"Some folks raise questions about John McCain's health," Viguerie said, "but we know one thing about his health: His hearing works just fine.
"Across this country, conservatives and Republicans at every level let John McCain know what he needed to do to get them fired up and excited and ready to go door-to-door and make phone calls and do all the things that have to be done. They told him, and he listened, and his selection of Sarah Palin has completely turned his campaign around.
"Contrast the principled conservatives with those conservatives who lacked the courage to speak up. As much as anyone, conservatives who remained silent bear responsibility for the Republican Party's drift away from conservative principles, and into disaster, over the past eight, ten, twelve years."
One of Senator McCain's idols is Teddy Roosevelt, Viguerie noted, "and Teddy Roosevelt spoke of how the credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by sweat and blood, who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. The go-along-to-get- along crowd are 'cold and timid souls,' while those conservatives who held to their principles are the men and women 'in the arena' who can claim their own share of John McCain and Sarah Palin's triumph last night."
Richard A. Viguerie Contact: Cynthia Chambliss, (703) 396-6971ConservativeHQ.com After 6 PM Eastern time & weekends, contact9625 Surveyor Court, Vi Shields (703) 906-6542 orSuite 400 Cynthia Chambliss, (703) 930-5148Manassas, Virginia 20110mailto:email@example.com
2008 U.S. Newswire