Sarah Palin fancies herself a modern conservative advocate for women. She frequently postures on issues that impact the role of women in public life and demands apologies from perpetrators of perceived sexism. Despite opposing equal pay, Planned Parenthood, insurance coverage for contraceptives, affirmative action, and other matters generally found in the pro-woman agenda, the Mamma Grizzly steadfastly maintains that she is the future of feminism.
That makes it all the more curious that in the past 24 hours, as Todd Akin’s revolting remarks about “legitimate rape” have stirred rock-solid Republicans to unite in calling for his withdrawal, the only thing Sarah Palin has had to say on the matter is…
That’s right. Palin has courageously stepped out of the shadows to say absolutely nothing about Todd Akin. She has not condemned his remarks, She has not called for his withdrawal. She has not stood up for the thousands of women who are victims of rape, many of whom became pregnant as a result. Palin has left them all in the lurch as Akin continues to insist that his campaign will proceed.
It’s not as if Palin has to hold back because she was a supporter of Akin and it would be embarrassing to turn on him now. During the Missouri GOP primary Palin endorsed Akin’s opponent, Sarah Steelman. Palin did reference Steelman in the post-Akin affair with a self-serving Tweet that was more of an I-told-you-so than a statement of principle:
Sometimes we’re actually right when we go with our gut and stand on principle in supporting underdog candidates.
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) August 20, 2012
So Palin found the time to praise herself and her political foresight, but she’s been unable to bring herself to criticize Akin or defend the women he insulted. It seems to be a pattern with Palin. She also never spoke out after Fox News commentator Liz Trotta asserted that women in the military should expect to be raped.
Perhaps Palin just has a problem with issues of sexual assault that prevent her from supporting the victims. But her silence on the Akin affair is particularly disturbing for someone who pretends to be concerned about the welfare of women.
[Update:] Leading from behind, Palin finally spoke up about Akin and called for him to “take one for the team,” which is ironic coming from Palin who was never exactly a team player and has repeatedly harmed her party’s electoral prospects. And as if to illustrate that point, she suggested that Steelman mount a third party run for the senate seat against the GOP nominee.