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Sarah Palin Brigade: The Mini-Palins

Posted by Dr. Fay on March 2, 2010

Liberal writer Linda Hirshman made some interesting observations on The Daily Beast today (h/tp Josh Painter):

Sarah Palin may not be on the ballot this fall, but four candidates cast from her mold are mounting serious campaigns. They’re youngish, attractive—and seriously pro-life.


With Hutchison’s retirement from the Senate, the Republicans are down to three female members. Will Congress’ Republican caucus now go overwhelmingly male, just as it has already gone all white?

Maybe not: Enter the Sarah Palin Brigade. When Palin surfaced on the national scene in 2008, conservatives who had never shown the slightest interest in women immediately began touting her as the new face of female politics. Before her campaign went south, even liberals like MSNBC commentator Donny Deutsch called Palin the new “feminist ideal.” Effusing about her gorgeous appearance in her signature tight skirts, he opined, “Women want to be her, men want to mate with her. It’s as simple as that… If women live up to that feminist ideal, “men can take in” and “women can celebrate” a “woman in power.”

Feminist commentators went ballistic. As the great essayist Rebecca Traister put it, if a woman finally climbs the heights of power “plying feminine wiles, and conforming to every outdated notion of what it means to be a woman … stop the election; I want to get off.” Feminists like Traister might have thought they got a reprieve from the new female brand when Palin lost. But Republicans are popping out Palin variations all over the place. Women are making impressive showings in at least four Republican primaries where the GOP stands a reasonable chance of taking the Senate seat in the general.

And these aren’t your mother’s Hutchison Republicans: the 60-plus, first-women-in-their-law-school class types who have few or no children, are mildly pro-choice and fiscally conservative—ladies who came into politics, whether they admit it or not, in the wake of the feminist movement. Like their precursor, the mini-Palins—Jane Norton (Colorado), Sue Lowden (Nevada), Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire), and Cherilyn Eagar (Utah)—are all under (most well under) 60, beautiful, impressively fecund, unreservedly conservative, and stonily pro-life.


The Palin Four will put the new model of female politician—modestly educated, electorally inexperienced, traditionally religious, beauty-queen types who oppose abortion for all other women unless the woman was raped or will die—to the ultimate test, the voting booth. If even some of them win, it opens a whole new vision for female political life—the polar opposite of what the women who started modern feminism were thinking of.

One Response to “Sarah Palin Brigade: The Mini-Palins”

  1. Joy said

    These women are all part of the new phenomenon – the Feminist Hawk!! And more are warming up in the bull pen for 2012 and beyond! What fun to see and hear women with strong Conservative values with whom I can agree and cheer on in whatever race they choose to run! This is AWESOME!!

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