Thursday, May 29, 2008

Jim Webb as Veep?

Thanks to a link from Maria at 2 Political Junkies, I stumbled across this commentary from Melissa at Shakesville.

I resent the idea that sticking any old pair of boobs in the veep slot is
going to mollify the women who are rightfully angry with the way Clinton has
been treated by her own party during this primary (yeah, I'm looking at you,
just for a start), but I resent even more the notion that it doesn't matter at
all. Handing the veep slot to Webb on an Obama ticket would be a huge slap in
the face to feminists. I can think of almost nothing that would prevent me from
voting for the Democratic ticket this November, but putting Webb's name on it
would send me screaming Green without reservation—because it wouldn't just be
about Webb; it would be about the Democrats signaling that they just don't give
a shit about my vote.

Go read Melissa for a better description of why Webb represents a big step backward for the Ds. Are you shocked?

What about locally? Are the D's in touch with women's issues? Are we making progress and inroads as a constituency? I personally find it troubling that the first target of the anti-drink-tax folks (HosPAC) was a woman of color who was defeated by a white male member of an established political family. I find it troubling that our (gay people) champions are mostly white straight men. And I find the nasty old lady jokes about Catherine Baker Knoll troubling.

Is it trickle down anti-woman sentiment or trickle up?


  1. Damn I hate being the first commenter on a PWBS post, but when a post is this good you have to react to it.

    I think "anti-woman" sentiment is common enough among Democrats and Republicans, among men and many women. On a gut level. But if you look up and down across many issues, you should still probably be pretty pleased with the Democratic party.

    I relate to the idea that "any old pair of boobs" as vice president is a pretty silly, and even insulting, idea. I am now also now rather anti-Webb for VP, thank you. From what I understand, Joe Biden is good on women, so to speak.

  2. i like webb. i know of his anti-woman/military sataements back in the 70's. i also know he said he has since changed his mind on that issue. i would hope so. i know i have matured since those days. if we haven't grown in 30 years we should be ashamed.

    i like biden, i like a lot of people as vp.

    what i don't like is being labeled anti-feminist because, tho i have been a feminist for ages and raised my daughter to be independent and equal, because i am not radical about it, because i am old enough to want to pick and choose my battles on this issue i am some how not good enough.

    on one hand i hear about "our feminist fore mothers" and then i hear that i am some how out of date and "had to walk to feminism bothways, uphill" or some such nonsense.

    who do they think paved the way? millions of us in the 60's that took crap and inched forward in jobs and societies ideals of marraige and attitudes etc??

    i did my little bit, a lot of us did a little bit, others did grander things but it took all of us.

    therefore i reserve my right to my vote and if i happen to like a male running more that a female or vice versa, that's my choice.

    i will vote for who ever id the democrat in the race when that time comes, but i refuse to vote on 1 issue like a fundamentalist anything.

    i think we could disagree in friendship and not anger.

    is there sexisim? you betcha. i've been there. i have a daughter and a 4 year old granddaughter. of course they are equal!

  3. it has become like the "mommy wars"years again. that's sad. we as women seem to always find ways to divide ourselfs.

    there is more strength in unity and learning from each other than division.

  4. selves, typo queen strikes again ; )

  5. The Democratic Party locally has no vision re electing women. My theory is that when all the jobs left the region, these political jobs became "good jobs" and therefore attracted the guys. So we're at least a generation behind.

    I will start another one of my favorite rants after June 7 when we see who the PA Democratic Party puts on its add on list of delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Look for wives names, and don't forget to look for wives with different last names. The rules require that the delegation be half women, and there just arent't that many female power brokers in PA (or at least there aren't when the guys ask only each other).

    As for Brenda Frazier's loss -start looking now for someone good to run for that State House seat in two years - someone who like Lisa Bennington is willing to do the hard work it takes to run in that district. Dom will surely be vulnerable to a challenge.

  6. pgh has always been at least a decade behind.

    but i expect that to change soon.
    just have a feeling.

    things are changing sooner than i thought round here.

  7. I'm a guy but I think we need to make as many elected offices part-time as possible to help us draw qualified candidates from the other half (plus) of the population. That's how these positions started out -- part-time. There is no reason, for example, City Council is full-time. This likely would draw more women into the process.

  8. Gloria, You're the election guru - how many signatures and by when - I'm assuming there is still time to get an Independent female on the ballot to run against Dom Costa????

  9. Bram - are you now "anti-Webb" for VP because of stupid statements he made back in 1979? Webb's statements back then represented the views of pretty much every military officer. Times have clearly changed in the military, and Webb recognizes that.

    Look, all candidates will have baggage. I don't think Webb's views from back then make his selection for VP "a big step back for the D's." In fact, I think his election to the Senate has been a huge step forward for the Democratic party. For once we have a tough Democrat that is able to stand toe to toe with the Republicans on the issues of miliary and foreign policy.

    The only "big step back" would be if we lose again in November, and I think Obama needs a running mate with credentials similar to Webb's so he can take McCain on in some areas that are major weaknesses for him.

    Notice the bolded section from a comment on this story about Webb the VP selection.

    "I think there are any number of viable choices in this election but Jim Webb's name continues to head the list. I am a fifty year old woman and I think that as long as Obama and Company safeguard feminist issues there are bigger fish to fry that will have a direct impact on a host of feminist issues since these are related to women's concerns."

    Now, read this excerpt from another article that compares Jim Webb as VP and Kathleen Sebelius as VP:

    Kathleen Sebelius, for instance, is a more plausible pick than Clinton and, in fact, features prominently on most pundits’ tip sheets. The theory is that snubbing Clinton for a different female candidate would mollify the women who have been so loyal to Clinton. And, unlike with Clinton, Obama would have confidence that Sebelius, one of his early supporters, would be a team player in the fall campaign and in his administration. Because of his strong relationship with Sebelius, it is plausible that Obama would be interested in making her his running mate.

    But Sebelius, the daughter of a former Ohio governor who previously served in the Kansas legislature and as the state’s insurance commissioner, falls short in the value category, because she would only exacerbate Obama’s vulnerability to one of the Republicans’ main lines of attack: that he is dangerously inexperienced on international affairs and national security—or that he hasn’t, as Clinton herself memorably put it, passed “the commander in chief test.”

    All of this explains why Virginia’s Jim Webb has been getting so much press lately. Of all of Obama’s possible choices, Webb may represent the strongest mix of value and plausibility.