Jimmy Guterman's blog

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Who’s qualified?

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Now that Caroline Kennedy is on her way to being appointed to her uncle’s old Senate seat, the analysts and bloggers and bloggers who think they’re analysts are arguing whether she is qualified for the gig. It’s early, but there are signs that Kennedy might be subjected to the full Palin treatment.

I’m not here to argue whether Kennedy is Senator-ready; to be honest, I have no idea (although I do think that starting one’s career as an elected official at such a high level is presumptuous and possible only to celebrities, including the current governor of California, who is related to Kennedy in a way too complicated for me to figure out).

I am, however, here to argue that these questions about qualification tend to be directed far more at women than men. If I lived in Minnesota, chances are I would have voted for Al Franken for Senator. But I’m under no illusion that anything in the guy’s history of ad hominem jokes about Republicans makes him qualified for the office. Harry Reid ran for Senate leader on a platform to end the war in Iraq and then was completely ineffective at that (and plenty of other things). No one talks about whether Harry Reid is qualified for his job. Why? Because he’s a man.

I’m a committed lefty. I’m relieved Sarah Palin is back in Alaska, where she can do far less damage than she could in Washington, D.C. But I have no doubt that plenty of the attacks on her were because she was a woman. Let’s not do it again, guys. Considering the moronic men who roam the Senate chambers, it’s just stupid.

Written by guterman

December 19, 2008 at 2:34 pm

Posted in politics

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