Criticism of O’Donnell from conservatives was not akin to the treatment Palin got and deploying the same type of attack on longtime conservative allies as one would on the New York Times or Nancy Pelosi is not productive. It’s the Meghan McCain strategy for winning friends and influencing people. We hate it when she paints conservatives and Republicans with a broad brush, reinforces our adversaries’ stereotypes of us, marshals little proof in defense of either, and then asks us to merrily join hands with her as she fights for our cause. Why are we pulling a Meggie Mac on each other?
Sadly, the unseemly Meggie Mac strategy of yelling “sexist hater!!!” at anyone who disagrees makes for a convenient political bludgeon, one Thompson uses throughout her column:
While they may not be intending to be sexist, the message, the attitude and whining sure make many in the GOP look eerily like the elites we are trying so hard to usurp. The sexism issues aside, it’s time for the Washington GOP establishment to man up and stop sulking over losing — no, getting walloped — by a woman they continue to insist is unqualified despite the fact that she has a pretty big win under her belt under pretty difficult circumstances.
Leaving aside the absurdity of going after so-called sexism with a gender-based barb (“man up”), what Thompson is doing is setting it up so that “the Beltway Boys” are no longer free to weigh in on women’s qualifications. By taking her arguments directly from the leftist victimhood arsenal, she’s unintentionally depriving Christine O’Donnell and other women of the chance to compete as equals. At the same time, these unfounded accusations diminish the seriousness of actual sexism, the kind that often slithered out of the scuzziest recesses of the feminist blogosphere during the 2008 presidential campaign. Matt Lewis calls Thompson’s approach “patently unconservative“:
Conservatives are rugged individuals who pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Crying sexism certainly isn’t conservative, especially when the criticism is fair. Sadly, it appears some “conservative” ladies have learned from the left that if you cry discrimination, you can change the subject, and undermine even legitimate questions and concerns.
It’s fine for Jeri Thompson to use her platform to ensure female candidates receive equal treatment, but agitating for special treatment is just the sort of identity politics pitfall that ought to send conservatives screaming in the opposite direction. When we start to see a pair of X chromosomes as the functional equivalent of a Get Out of Jail Free card in politics, all we’re doing is mimicking the worst the Left has to offer.
Radical feminist Andrea Dworkin once said that “feminism is hated because women are hated.” No, what people hate about feminism is the steady stream of fabricated outrage, holier-than-thou finger wagging, and the stomach-turning hypocrisy. Conservative women have every right to don the feminist mantle, but let’s make sure it’s free from the stench of faux victimhood, grievance mongering, and ginned up oppression.