The republicans have decided that identity politics is a game they can play too. Its abundantly clear that any criticism of Palin's record or experience will almost immediately be branded as a sexist attack. Its interesting, since the Right's rap on Obama is that any criticism of him is regarded as racism, but this is now their tactic. I'm listening to cable now and thats the way many critiques are being handled. So this candidate is going to use the charge of sexism as a shield to push her narrative out and beat back competing viewpoints.
Another interesting point here is this idea that Palin's family matters is off limits. Let me be clear, I certainly support the decision of the family not to abort the child. I don't disagree with that, I'm pro-life. However, while it may be bad form for the pundits and press to opine on it, when you selectively highlight your children and parade the young man who knocked up your underage daughter on nationwide television, us voters out here are perfectly entitled to an opinion on how the Palin household is being run and the message the Republicans are sending with her pick.
From around the web, some relevant opinion points:
This is a strange time to be a Republican. Am I just supposed to be cool with all this? Should I now recalibrate my family values to adjust for this unfortunate mess? Is teen pregnancy now just a sign of 'An American Family?' Is the desire to secede from the United States now a sign of patriotism? What the hell is going on here? First of all, I don’t want to hear from anyone that 'Sarah Palin’s family should be off limits'. This isn’t about Bristol Palin or Trig Palin or Earwax Palin or Mack Truck or whatever the hell the other ones are called. This is about the judgment, the beliefs and the managerial style of the woman who could be President of the United States. I see no reason to be polite. I think Palin’s decision to drag her daughter’s teen pregnancy into the international spotlight is not just ill-considered, it is morally bankrupt." Black Men For McCain
...an eighteen year old unwed pregnant girl was paraded in front of the entire world in order to buttress her mother's image as a premier spokesperson for the party of family values. It is not misogyny to call that into question.
Mirrror On America
You don't get to ram, shove and cram, 'Family Values' down the throat of America, as if you're on a different moral plain. If you put yourself out as some sort of moral barometer, then you better make sure that you can live up to the front you place before the American people. And, let's make this finally clear. The leftward blogosphere didn't put Bristol Palin out front and center. Her mother did - to divert questions that had been raised - BY REPUBLICAN BLOGGERS IN ALASKA - about her last pregnancy. They came 'clean' because the National Enquirer was onto them.