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Joan McCain?
Old 03-02-2008, 08:21 PM   #1
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Joan McCain?

I'm a bit stunned by this comment. I got nothing else to say.

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Steinem raised McCain’s Vietnam imprisonment as she sought to highlight an alleged gender-based media bias against Clinton.
“Suppose John McCain had been Joan McCain and Joan McCain had got captured, shot down and been a POW for eight years. [The media would ask], ‘What did you do wrong to get captured? What terrible things did you do while you were there as a captive for eight years?’” Steinem said, to laughter from the audience.
McCain was, in fact, a prisoner of war for around five-and-a-half years, during which time he was tortured repeatedly. Referring to his time in captivity, Steinem said with bewilderment, “I mean, hello? This is supposed to be a qualification to be president? I don’t think so.”
Stumping for Clinton, Steinem Says McCain's P.O.W. Cred Is Overrated | The New York Observer
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Old 03-02-2008, 08:28 PM   #2
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Can't get the link to work. In any event, being held held as a POW in Hanoi for 5 years is nothing to laugh about. Those people should be ashamed of themselves.
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Old 03-02-2008, 08:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
... being held held as a POW in Hanoi for 5 years is nothing to laugh about.
This may be the biggest understatement I've seen on the forum in years.
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Old 03-02-2008, 08:36 PM   #4
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To the Observer, Steinem insisted that “from George Washington to Jack Kennedy and PT-109 we have behaved as if killing people is a qualification for ruling people.”
I don't know about that, but I'd imagine that, oh I dunno, some people might value military experience when electing someone who will serve as commander-in-chief.
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Old 03-02-2008, 08:40 PM   #5
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Steinem is a moron for making that statement. But again how old is she? Another old fart. Kinda like what George carlin called himself last night on his HBO special. He turned 70 and he said he is a old fart.

My only problem with McCain is he is 71. I have been with so many 71 YOs like myfather in law 73 his friends 71 75 72 all nice old guys but tire so quickly sleep late cannot drink like they use to and quite frankly scare the begezus out of me when they drive. McCain a true american hero. As I said before I never have voted for a republican in 30 years for president. I will in November.
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Old 03-03-2008, 12:01 AM   #6
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My only problem with McCain is he is 71. I have been with so many 71 YOs like myfather in law 73 his friends 71 75 72 all nice old guys but <...> cannot drink like they use to ...As I said before I never have voted for a republican in 30 years for president. I will in November.
Well, aren't you worried that he can't drink like he used to?

But hey, we Repubs will take any and all converts, no matter what the reason. Welcome to the Big Tent, Baby!

Ha
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Old 03-03-2008, 09:48 AM   #7
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No, it isn't a qualification to be President, BUT it does show the tenacity, persistence, strength and will of McCain. What an insulting comment for Steinem to make. She should be ashamed of herself...BOOOOOOO!
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:33 AM   #8
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No, it isn't a qualification to be President, BUT it does show the tenacity, persistence, strength and will of McCain. What an insulting comment for Steinem to make. She should be ashamed of herself...BOOOOOOO!
Agreed. But then you have to consider the speaker. She has never been shy about making the over-the-top observation to garner attention to any cause she backs. This is just the latest example.

Brought up a magazine dedicated to her cause, as a matter of fact (and earned significant $ with it).

So, I've discounted the comment entirely. Still don't know who I'm voting for. . .

--Rita
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Old 03-03-2008, 11:32 AM   #9
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This was a terrible statement to make on its face.. when you look at it from the McCain perspective. But I think she is trying to reveal a larger truth, albeit in an awkward and unpalatable way.

I believe she was making a non-obvious reference to the MSM/right-wing treatment of, for example, Jill Carroll, who was captured and held hostage in Iraq. Another female hostage (an Italian journalist, so this got a lot of play in Italy) got similar skeptical treatment. So while their experiences come nowhere near to McCain's.. there're still a lot of angry men out there who do hold double standards when it comes to female victims, as in rape cases. Then there was the whole "Jessica Lynch is a fake" crowd. She was the female soldier towards the beginning of the war who was rescued after being captured by Iraqi soldiers. She got it from every which way: left, right, and Ron Paul supporters included. Now we have the Blackwater/KBR rape cases and likely coverups.

These things get taken up and then dropped. If they ever appeared on males' radar screens, they vanish. But most women take note, and remember.

Females get extra, negative scrutiny all around. That is the point, which is correct, though it was made in an unfortunate way. Perhaps there is no better way, though. How would you phrase it, to express this? It's not clear it was delivered as a joke, and the laughter is likely tension release and acknowledgment of a bitter truth, rather than finding McCain's imprisonment somehow hilarious.
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:25 PM   #10
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there're still a lot of angry men out there who do hold double standards when it comes to female victims, as in rape cases.
I take offense at this statement. That's a pretty broad brush that you are using ladelfina.
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:04 PM   #11
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Politics often brings out the worst in people. Candidates must cringe when one of their 'supporters' says something stupid like this.

It's also one of the reasons so many of us are turned off by politics.
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:31 PM   #12
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Mickeyd, did I name you or anyone here? Did I enumerate 'a lot'? 'A lot' could be 1% of US males, say.. that's still millions of men, some of whom wield their own "brushes" in a very public way.

The events and negative reactions I mentioned are recent and real. Thankfully, they are greatly reduced in number compared to the era that formed Steinem's politics; they are reduced, in fact, because of Steinem's politics. But different standards still exist, even if not through any personal fault of yours.

Anita Hill was "a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty", right? Because guys NEVER put women under sexual pressure in the workplace, right? Only a slut would insinuate such a thing. It's common to hear 'news' people on an HRC "b*tch"/"rhymes with witch" riff.. would they dare call GWB or Rudy a pr*ck/d*ck/"rhymes with tick" on national TV? Ask yourself sincerely.
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Old 03-03-2008, 06:25 PM   #13
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This was a terrible statement to make on its face.. when you look at it from the McCain perspective. But I think she is trying to reveal a larger truth, albeit in an awkward and unpalatable way.

I believe she was making a non-obvious reference to the MSM/right-wing treatment of, for example, Jill Carroll, who was captured and held hostage in Iraq. Another female hostage (an Italian journalist, so this got a lot of play in Italy) got similar skeptical treatment. So while their experiences come nowhere near to McCain's.. there're still a lot of angry men out there who do hold double standards when it comes to female victims, as in rape cases. Then there was the whole "Jessica Lynch is a fake" crowd. She was the female soldier towards the beginning of the war who was rescued after being captured by Iraqi soldiers. She got it from every which way: left, right, and Ron Paul supporters included. Now we have the Blackwater/KBR rape cases and likely coverups.

These things get taken up and then dropped. If they ever appeared on males' radar screens, they vanish. But most women take note, and remember.

Females get extra, negative scrutiny all around. That is the point, which is correct, though it was made in an unfortunate way. Perhaps there is no better way, though. How would you phrase it, to express this? It's not clear it was delivered as a joke, and the laughter is likely tension release and acknowledgment of a bitter truth, rather than finding McCain's imprisonment somehow hilarious.
Actually, the media and the army wanted to make Jessica a hero, fighting fiercely and resisting capturing. The reality is she and her fellow soldiers performed like most support personal who find themselves unexpectedly
in combat. The fought for a while found the situation hopeless and surrendered. I think most Americans were ready for a GI Jane, but Jessica was just an average soldier, much to everybody's disappointment.

As for Jill Caroll she had choices. She could have refused to make a video denouncing President Bush and praising her captives, because doing so encourages terrorist to capture more journalist. Some 30+ journalist have been kidnapped in Iraq just for this reason. She could have continued to refuse to cooperate despite being beaten, tortured and raped. According to Wikipedia she lasted a couple of weeks before making a video pleading for her life and within a couple of months she gave into her captives propaganda demands and made a video. If she had managed to survive for many months before escaping/being rescued, I'd be the first on the board praising her heroism. If she ran for public office, I'd give her credit for have a remarkable courage and the strength of her convictions.



Every POW I've ever heard speak (and I just heard a WWII Tuskegee airman speak a few weeks ) says that being shot down is no great accomplishment, far from it means you screwed up big time.

Being a POW doesn't qualify anybody for anything except sympathy.
It is the behavior while being a POW that matters. Folks like Winston Churchill, and Chuck Yeager who manage to escape capitive are properly lauded for their ingenuity and bravery. Traits that both men exhibited for the rest of their lives. What Senator McCain did is more extraordinary
since he consciously for a period of 5 1/2 year placed the needs of his fellow POWs and country above his own self-interest by refusing early release or coperating with his enemy (except for one time).

I think ability to sacrifice your needs for others, especially an abstract concept like ones country is an important trait for a President.

Actually Ladelfina, I think there are a lot of heroic woman out there, in particular single moms who work 2+ jobs so they can ensure that their kids get a good education. These are ordinary heros in my book. However, Gloria and her ilk don't talk about them much prefering to praise upper middle class with Ivy League education, who's sacrifice consists of staying late at the office instead of baking cookies for the PTA function.
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Old 03-03-2008, 07:23 PM   #14
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Bravo, CliffP, well said! (applauding)
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Old 03-03-2008, 07:52 PM   #15
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Gloria made two mistakes:
1. the way in which she spoke of McCain's service
2. linking 1 with the women's rights issues

If she would have opened discussed it with trying to answer the question "What experience is relevant to the office of the USA?" She could then asked how being a POW/senator or first lady/senator fulfills what is needed.

She didn't accomplish anything for Hillary, feminism or her repetition.

In the USA it has made strides and and backslid (e.g.the objectification of women). It has also lost its leadership and moral center (where were the leaders during the Clinton/Monica incident - a classic abuse scenario). Gloria passed up a great opportunity to outline where and how feminism should get going again.
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Old 03-03-2008, 07:52 PM   #16
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(except for one time).
I think I agreed it's bad form (esp. for us idlers and the Keyboard Kommandos) to bandy about what people should or shouldn't have done in X or Y extreme circumstance, especially to score political points on the backs of those who have suffered and sacrificed. BUT I think it's unfair of you to hold a civilian journalist (male or female) to the same extenuating standards as a highly-trained and sworn soldier. Don't armed forces pilots undergo interrogation resistance training and preparation for capture? Survival training in case the plane goes down? Civilian reporters don't, so the venomous reaction to Carroll's coerced promo tape in particular disconcerted me. Daniel Pearl made coerced statements in a video yet no one faulted him for doing that, as he paid the ultimate price anyway, sadly, immediately thereafter.

clifp, you indicate that holding out for "weeks" is no biggie, but "months" would be laudatory. Not knowing the conditions.. care to put a number on it? Where's the "hero" threshold? Six weeks? Eight? Twelve?

If you want to continue nit-picking.. why are escapees more courageous than 'regular' non-escapees? Perhaps (as you indicate about being shot down) it's just a matter of good/bad timing, or of luck and what the circumstances permit. As you say.. McCain, who stayed when he might have left, might be braver (but not necessarily more 'ingenious') than Churchill or Yeager... but maybe the same set of choices wasn't offered them. Looking at Churchill's escape.. he was not in the military, so it was not a question of staying behind for the sake of "his men". As a white man in Pretoria, who is going to challenge him once he gets out (compared to a white woman walking the streets of Iraq)? The level of personal surveillance was undoubtedly different. The reward for Churchill's subsequent capture was "less than the price of a bottle of scotch" (27 shilllings).. so.. not exactly a "prize" hostage as far as his ex-captors were concerned. I guess we should be asking ourselves, given his mobility, why he didn't take down some sensitive/valuable enemy asset.. (mild sarcasm).

The point is not to drag down anyone's military accomplishments or sacrifices. The point is completely another: that women often find their actions second-guessed more often than men, from my experience. Women themselves are definitely not immune from perpetuating the cattiness and second-guessing, BTW!!! Sometimes they can be worse!

I think it's great that you recognize women's contributions. I personally enjoy making cookies, but have had the luxury of being able to make other contributions and to tax more than my cookie-making muscles, a luxury of choice that Steinem and many before her allowed me to have. I'd instead dream of the day when a single mom could work ONE job, instead of two. As with captivity, serfdom does not necessarily equal heroism.

Don't forget, too, that more egalitarianism allows men greater possibility to be stay-at-home dads. I know there are some here on the forum. They can be 'heroes', too. And while we're at it with the "hero" inflation.. so are men who bust their asses to bring home the bacon. We ARE all in this together. Including Jill Carroll along with other, countless, un-named men and women. Steinem threw a stone, but it was by no means the first stone in the gender conflict, and I doubt it will be the last.

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Gloria passed up a great opportunity to outline where and how feminism should get going again.
Agreed.

But it's not like every line she utters is the responsibility of all feminists, just like it's not the job of Obama to be responsible for everything any black person does or says (as he is constantly called to "repudiate").
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Old 03-04-2008, 03:07 AM   #17
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I think I agreed it's bad form (esp. for us idlers and the Keyboard Kommandos) to bandy about what people should or shouldn't have done in X or Y extreme circumstance, especially to score political points on the backs of those who have suffered and sacrificed. BUT I think it's unfair of you to hold a civilian journalist (male or female) to the same extenuating standards as a highly-trained and sworn soldier.
Agreed. But some journalist do escape, just like some kidnapped little girls figure out ways of escaping from their captors.

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clifp, you indicate that holding out for "weeks" is no biggie, but "months" would be laudatory. Not knowing the conditions.. care to put a number on it? Where's the "hero" threshold? Six weeks? Eight? Twelve?

If you want to continue nit-picking.. why are escapees more courageous than 'regular' non-escapees? Perhaps (as you indicate about being shot down) it's just a matter of good/bad timing, or of luck and what the circumstances permit. As you say.. McCain, who stayed when he might have left, might be braver (but not necessarily more 'ingenious') than Churchill or Yeager...
To be clear anybody who survives any off these situations without ratting out his friends ,or turning into a catatonic zombie after they are freed has my respect. That certainly includes Ms. Carroll and Ms. Lynch.
As for myself I am reasonably sure that I am cocky enough that I'd tell my captors to go screw themselves, and also know my pain threshold is low enough that after 10 minutes of beating, I'd say where is the camera, can I help you distribute the video etc.

My point is that heroism/bravery/self-sacrifice like most human attributes is on a bell curve. Kidnap victims, POWs, concentration camp victims, and political prisoners around the world have the misfortune of having their bravery tested. On one end you have the Jews who collaborated with the Nazi in the concentration camps, the Vichy French, East Germans who helped out the Stasis (state secret police), the Korean war POW who stayed in China and the American POW, who collaborated with the North Vietnamese. Now I am very glad I wasn't in any of these situations, cause truthfully I don't what I would do, but I like to think I do better.

In the middle are the vast majority of people, who resist when the can,help others even at some risk to there own safety. We give these people medals if they are soldiers, or TV appearances/book deals if they are journalist or their stories extraordinary. In the case of Vietnam POW the length of captive and level of torture makes them special. In WWII, Germans treated American POWs well, and Japanese simply shot or beheaded POWs who resisted.

At the other end of the bell curve, is the courage of men like Admiral Stockdale and John McCain and handful of other POWs. The Vietnamese nickname for McCain was Crown Prince and they treated him especially viciously. There isn't a Vietnam POW for truth organization because there isn't another side to McCain's behavior.

The simple fact is Senator McCain is extraordinarily brave. I have yet to met a man (or woman) who given the choice between door #1 which features daily torture sessions, with Frankenstein, the Bug, and Slopehead, and Door #2 which is freedom, thinks they'd choose door #1. Now considering one of the men who told me this received a Congressional Medal of Honor in Vietnam.... Gloria statement is insulting in the extreme.

I also completely reject her premise: courage isn't restricted just to one gender, yes men because of their military service get tested more often. But, if Joan McCain did what John McCain did, I won't care if she was Satan worshiping, communist, who thinks men should be replaced with sperm banks, I'd still respect her courage. In the same way that fair mind Democrats say I don't agree with McCain's politics but I respect the man.

A recent example is courage Benazir Bhutto, she went to Pakistan knowing that people including soldiers in the Army want to see her dead. She went it anyway. It seems to me she was correctly praised for her courage to return to Pakistan and run for president, both before and after death. If there was a backlash because she was a woman I missed it. Say what you want about the Pakistan leaders and their government, but courage is a requirement to run for president of that place, since they virtually all get assassinated

Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma is another brave woman, and she's never tried to hurt anybody in her life. If anything I think her heroism is more respected and honored because she is a woman.

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The point is not to drag down anyone's military accomplishments or sacrifices. The point is completely another: that women often find their actions second-guessed more often than men, from my experience. Women themselves are definitely not immune from perpetuating the cattiness and second-guessing, BTW!!! Sometimes they can be worse!
I mostly agree, but I fail to see how Gloria nasty comments help make that point. I understand that Hillary behavior which would be called toughness by a man means she is called a bitch cause she is woman.

On the other hand physical courage is not expected of woman, so when they do exhibit it they earn even more praise. More importantly, the courage of ones convictions is extremely important trait in a political leader. I think that this mental toughness isn't gender specific. Maggie Thatcher earned her title Iron Lady by sticking to her guns despite intense criticism and opposition by the public. The knock on Hillary is exactly the opposite, she doesn't seem to have any conviction other than that she should be the first woman president. (I had the same trouble with Mitt on the Republican side). So sure she is tough fighter/"a bitch" but to what end?

At the end of the day reasonable people can disagree about how much character and courage matter in a President. But to claim as Gloria does that McCain's extraordinary decision to place his country's best interest over his own, is irrelevant to being a President is absurd.
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Old 03-04-2008, 03:17 AM   #18
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Ok I found this one liner about the Gloria's comments priceless.

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I will give Gloria Steinem her just due, and concede the fact that being a POW is not a qualification to be President, if she will concede the fact that neither, is squatting to pee
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:46 AM   #19
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...... Because guys NEVER put women under sexual pressure in the workplace, right? ....
Especially in the Bill Clinton White House.
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Old 03-04-2008, 03:08 PM   #20
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I don't know about that, but I'd imagine that, oh I dunno, some people might value military experience when electing someone who will serve as commander-in-chief.
Be careful there, Marquette, you're starting to make sense. That doesn't usually go well with politics....
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