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The Good Old Girl South Carolina Political Double Standard

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If South Carolina gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley were “Nick” Haley he would be political toast. Instead, because she is a Republican woman, in the post-Palin world she is the victim. She is to be treated with kid gloves by the men. They are to be gentlemen when it comes to Haley.

As a Republican woman I find this latest development with women, propelled by the Tea Party “patriots" (of which I am proud to say I am not among their ranks) troubling. Sarah Palin was treated like dirt. Because she was treated like dirt, other Republican women, who may deserve closer scrutiny, are not getting it.

Gresham Barrett, Third District Congressman, is being asked to be a “gentleman” and let Nikki have the victory. If we were dealing with “Nick” Haley, you would hear none of this. There would be conversations about finances, practicality, and numbers, but you would not hear the world “gentleman.” I’ve been involved in politics all of my life and have never heard the requirement that a male candidate act like a gentleman and give in to the demands of the female candidate in order to be a … gentleman.

Thanks to Sarah Palin there is now a double standard with women in the GOP. It is a very disturbing double standard that bodes ill for the future of women within the GOP. If our male candidates cannot go at it on an equal footing, how long do you think they are going to put up with it?

It is possible that only women who are part of the Tea Party “movement” are sacred and those who are not part of the Tea Party “patriots” are just regular Republicans. Case in point is Susan McDonald Gaddy. She was certainly not treated with kid gloves, when she was treated with anything at all. Instead, she was ignored. Then again, she was running against a Tea Party darling. Yeah, she was ignored. Do you even know who she was running against? Try Jim DeMint.

It was a bit frustrating, She did not have the money. They said she was not a “real” conservative, even though she ran to the right of Jim DeMint, if that is possible. She should have been embraced by the Tea Party crowd, but she was ignored completely. She was not “serious.”

If Nikki Haley were “Nick” Haley and there were two (count ‘em – two) allegations of infidelity, even though they were allegations, “his” career as a Republican in South Carolina would be history. Instead, the wagons were circled around Nikki Haley. She was the woman wronged to the point where her opposition could not even run against her on the issues.

This leads us to another problem with the select women of the GOP. Issues do not matter. Standards don’t matter. Neither do votes, voting history, or where she stands. All that matters is SHE knows the right words, apes the right phrases, and spews back the clichés the Tea Party “patriots” and FOX anchors so delight in hearing. Did you hear anyone question Haley over the fact that she voted twice to accept “stimulus” funds for South Carolina? This is a kiss of death for a man. Oh, we’re talking one of those dear Tea Party women. We must never, ever hold them to the same standards we hold normal Republicans and normal Republican women.

Speaking of double standards, you will not hear Tea Party “patriots” question Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s very strange remarks about her father’s military service. Her father did not die in Germany, did not fight in World War II, and was not killed by the Nazis. Contrast her reception by the right (no one is mentioning her big lie) with that of Richard Blumenthal.

If the Tea Party “patriots” cannot accept that the women of their ranks are the same as men they are going to seriously damage the role of women in the GOP. Perhaps this is the plan all along. Women within the GOP have fought long and hard to be treated as equals with the men.

Having spent most of my political life in South Carolina, I can honestly say I was in the trenches, fighting when we were relegated to punch and cookie servers. This most recent development with Nikki Haley and Jan Brewer is very disturbing. We Republican women have fought against the pat on the head, and the 'good little woman' brush-off for years. We have fought to be equals, not better and not worse. To see a Republican woman treated like she is better than the men is a dangerous turn of events.

As an aside, when Gresham Barrett first started in politics, I was his GOP county chair. I was and am cheering for him. I find it absolutely disgusting that he is being asked to be the good little man and let the little lady have her victory lap. If women want to play with the big dogs, they’d better learn how to play with them and not demand special favors.

It's too bad some of the women of the GOP who are running can't take a page from the down and dirty governor's race here in New Mexico. It is a down and dirty slug-fest between Susana Martinez (R) and Diane Denish (D). During the primaries, when one of the GOP candidates did something that wasn't quite ethical, New Mexico's GOP Chair, Harvey Yates, stepped in and put a stop to it. There was none of this "be a gentleman, poor little lady" thing. Susana Martinez did not require it. She played hardball with the guys on their terms and won.

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About SJ Reidhead

  • Uffda

    Oh, please. So nobody would be offended if someone like Huckabee attacked Romney’s Mormonism or anything, right?

    Nobody is asking your boy to do anything. Nikki’s gonna wipe the floor with his butt regardless.

  • James

    so poor old Hucky with his pure Republican scum ball sleazy guy Barrett is who you like? to save the great Republican Party that spent its way into oblivion during the last years of Bush and is just as corrupt and sleazy as the Democrats? You are attacking Sarah Palin? the one person who SAVED the party while the girlie men running it were hiding and crying and whimpering in the shadows. If Mitt or Hucky end up being the Republican nominee, you can kiss “YOUR BELOVED REPUBLICAN PARTY” goodbye because I guarantee a third party for the next election cycle and disappointed Republicans, Independents and Conservative Democrats will join it in huge numbers.

  • :)

    Perhaps Barret is asking to let Haley have the victory, becuase she got 49%, 1% short of that needed, wheras all other votes were between the 3 men, none of which was close to her numbers. Perhaps the SC GOP wanted to move past this, with it so close. Has there been a double standard in some senses, sure, but to look to sexism as the cuase for Barret being asked to let her take the nomination is stretching it.

  • Ric Brown

    Not really sure what your point is. It is obvious your definition of Republican is more along the lines of the old Gerald Ford, HW Bush, “let’s just get along with the Dems” version that served us so well. Yeah, sure. Nikki, Sarah, Jan and the others are showing what true conservative women are all about. Strong, in your face and tough. By the way, Jan Brewer is my governor and that BS about her pulling a Blumenthal re: her dad is straight from the DNC.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    My understanding was that Nikki Haley had won the nomination rather resoundingly, so I was a bit surprised to read this. So what happens if Barrett doesn’t stand aside? Do they have to have a run-off vote?

    If so, at 49% for Haley the math is looking a bit grim for her opponent. Barrett would have to hope that just about every single voter who voted for him or for one of the other male candidates sticks with him and doesn’t go over to Haley. If just a few of them defect, it’s curtains.

    I’d say throwing in the towel would be a pretty pragmatic thing for Barrett to do right now.

    Or, they could have a pointless, taxpayer-money-wasting runoff election.

  • http://www.thepinkflamingoblog.com/ SJ Reidhead

    Dear Dr. Dreadful;

    From what I gather, according to SC law, Gresham cannot withdraw from the run-off without getting everyone to sign off on it. It isn’t going to happen. I am wondering if there isn’t also a finance rule that is advantageous for all parties not to withdraw.

    Also, run-offs are going on all over the state. It isn’t like we’re dealing with the only run-off. If it were I could see the financial advantage of not having one.

    I need to do another piece about SC’s idiotic open primaries. If only Republicans were allowed to vote in the primary, Haley would have received fewer votes.

    My complaint is that Republican women now want to be treated “special”. Sorry, but that will put the cause of women in the GOP back to what it was ages ago. If Haley had been held to the same standards as a man, she would be political toast.

    That simple. You run with the big dogs and you play hard-ball, or else stay out of the game. (Mixing cliches). Watching the race here in NM, it is a hard-ball, bare-knuckles cat-fight between two women, Susanna Martinez and Diane Denish. They are playing by big boy rules, not having to be treated “special”.

    It is so bad with her, she can’t even be “touched” on her record, which is hardly conservative. Sorry, but no one is sacred, not even Nikki Haley. If she can’t deal with the fact that she voted twice to force Mark Sanford to take the much hated Stimulus money, then she should be forced to live with the vote. Plain and simple. The problem is, she can’t even be approached on that without the screams of ungentlemanly behavior!

    SJR
    The Pink Flamingo

  • http://www.thepinkflamingoblog.com/ SJ Reidhead

    Re #2 – James;

    If you check my previous articles, you will find I was one of the first writers in the country to promote Sarah Palin as a potential VP choice. Sorry, but I was there before day one, so don’t lecture me.

    I have never been so disappointed with a politician as I am Sarah Palin. For one thing, I do not believe politicians should endorse primary candidates – not at all. It is wrong, like violating the Prime Directive. I find her choice of endorsements all over the place.

    The way it stands now, there is no way I could possibly support her if she runs for POTUS in 2 years. You don’t know how it breaks my heart to say it. I don’t approve of her leadership skills when it comes to judging character.

    SJR
    The Pink Flamingo

  • http://www.thepinkflamingoblog.com/ SJ Reidhead

    More about that nasty little run-off between Gresham and Nikki. I think the far right is crying crocodile tears.

    “…In 2004, she ran for the South Carolina House of Representatives against incumbent Republican representative Larry Koon. Koon, who had served since 1975, was the longest-serving member of the House. In the primary election, Haley won 40% of the vote (2,247 votes) to Koon’s 42% (2,354 votes), thus forcing a runoff…” (Which she won)

    Ummm…. she forced a run-off against a candidate who had 107 more votes that she did – basically near the same percentage as Gresham.

    Karma….?

    SJR
    The Pink Flamingo

  • lookatthedetails

    Perhaps if the left biased MEDIA treated women better in general it’d even make for a better example by their peons; like instead of a gang of hateful men attacking a young couple leaving a republican event and having the young woman’s leg stomped upon so badly the bones were crushed in many places, while screaming that she was a ‘privileged blond bitch’ and because the couple had on Sara Palin pins. The media bashes republican women and their mindless peons blindly follow along.
    Never hear that kind of ignorance poured on Pelosi or Boxer as vile as it comes from the left on this matter about Sara Palin.

    IF not so then why is newsweek always commenting about ‘looks’ when it comes to political republican woman – it’s nasty and glad it’s going down. But heh to be fair they do adore commie lovin rosey o’donnell and etc.

    Sara Palin will never run for presidency at this point – she’s way more effective just doing what she’s doing, being supportive of the working class of America and getting the fools elected out!
    Now that’s “fair and square” and the left hates it.

    How’s that never ending oil leak coming along?