Sunday, March 16, 2008

She's On a Roll

Gee, I hadn't heard anything about Geraldine Ferraro in years and now you can't shut her up! At least this time, she's off the Lucky To Be Black routine.

Of course, she's still Outspoken and unapologetic as the Providence Journal notes:

While refusing to talk about her controversial comment about Obama, she made the audience pause when she took a shot at how Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas — a Republican and the second black judge to sit on the court — gained admittance to Yale University’s law school.

“Take a look and think about Justice Thurgood Marshall,” said Ferraro, referring to the first black judge to sit on the high court, “who drew on his life experiences as an African-American and as a civil-rights activist to write some of the greatest civil-rights decisions of the sixties and of the entire century.”

Then she said that she did not think Thomas showed the same “sensitivity” as Marshall.

Thomas, Ferraro said, acts as a rubber stamp for conservative Justice Antonin Scalia and “votes against affirmative action, which got him into Yale.”

I do believe that there is disagreement over whether Thomas is a "rubber stamp" or stands on his own as an ultra-conservative, but there is no doubt that he is a bitter old man, resentful of the fact that he advanced through his career with assistance of affirmative action. See Jeffrey Toobin's New Yorker review, Unforgiven. He reminds me of the 1st and 2nd generation descendants of immigrants who are against open immigration policies, not wanting others to receive the same benefits. Ever Onward.

As for Ferraro, now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for outspoken and feisty. Nor am I necessarily an advocate for political correctness, so long as being non-pc isn't an excuse for bigotry, which it all too often is. Unfortunately, some people just don't know the difference. I'm just not sure where I'd place Ferraro on that scale. On the other hand, I can't disagree with the problems regarding sexism that she raises. As the article observes:
At the beginning of her speech, Ferraro said her candor and “frank” tongue sometimes caused her difficulties with the media and more politically correct politicians.

* * * *

She also said that women had come a long way since her years in the U.S. House, to which she was elected in 1978 and where she served until 1985. Ferraro said that during her years in Congress, she thought she would see a woman elected president before a woman became speaker of the House, which happened last year when California Rep. Nancy Pelosi won the post.

The reason? The House, Ferraro said, was “such a male-dominated” institution when she was there that she never believed it would change much.

There was only one woman in the Senate — Nancy Landon Kassebaum, of Kansas — when she served in the House, Ferraro noted. Now there are 16. “We have made progress, but not enough … considering that we are 51 percent of the population,” said Ferraro.

While Ferraro is considered a pioneer in the history of women in American politics, her stint as a vice presidential running mate was something of a disaster. The Mondale-Ferraro ticket went down to one of the most crushing defeats in American presidential electoral history. The Democrats won only Minnesota, Mondale’s home state, that year while Republican Ronald Reagan won a 49-state sweep to reelection.

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