Opinion: In today’s pages: Sarah Palin, feminism, immigration and Los Angeles


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Looks like ‘pick-a-fight-with-Republicans day’ lasts more than 24 hours at the Times’ Opinion Manufacturing Division. Today’s OpEd page offers two, umm, less than flattering takes on John McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, despite her star turn at the podium last night. (Can I just pause to remark, as someone who enjoys the theater of big political events, that Palin deserves the same accolades that Hillary Clinton received for doing exactly what her party needed her to do at that moment? If you missed it, read the transcript aloud in a strong, assured voice while keeping a determined look on your face. For the sake of verisimilitude, make sure to pause frequently for applause. Of course, it might be easier to peruse this take by the Times’ veteran DC bureau chief, Doyle McManus, or this one by Top of the Ticket blogger Andy Malcolm. But I digress.)

Feminist author Gloria Steinem, who calls the speech ‘down-home, divisive and deceptive,’ shreds Sarah Palin’s record as governor and all but declares her unfit to serve as vice president. Yet Steinem doesn’t fault Palin as much as she does the man who picked her:

The culprit is John McCain. He may have chosen Palin out of change-envy, or a belief that women can’t tell the difference between form and content, but the main motive was to please right-wing ideologues; the same ones who nixed anyone who is now or ever has been a supporter of reproductive freedom.


Columnist Rosa Brooks takes a different tack in her critique of Palin (and, by extension, McCain), delving into reports of Palin’s entanglement with a secessionist political party in Alaska. Rounding out the distaff trio of scribes, columnist Patt Morrison looks not at Palin (make that ‘looks not again’) but at California’s GOP delegation, which convention organizers held in low esteem despite the outsized number of votes the state casts in the Electoral College:

Our delegates have just about the worst possible seats at the convention, at the back and so far left that they can only see the speaker in profile. The only way they could be any more distant is if they were working the concession stands.

Over on the editorial page, the Times’ board wades into less controversial fare, like, oh, union membership for illegal immigrants. In particular, it bemoans the effort by Agriprocessors not to recognize the organization created by its meatpacking employees on the grounds that the illegal immigrants on its payroll didn’t have the right to unionize. Can’t wait to see the comments on that one. The board also wishes the city of Los Angeles a happy 227th birthday, and urges Congress to bar federal investigators from pressuring corporate and white-collar targets to reveal what they discussed with their lawyers.

The photo of Sarah Palin speaking to the Republican National Convention last night is from Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.