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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    'Offensive' dig at Clinton roils state GOP - SFGate

    California Republicans spent a good part of their three-day statewide convention last weekend celebrating efforts to invite more female candidates and activists into their "big tent" - and then a little button being sold to GOP delegates outside a VIP reception at the Anaheim Hilton drew all the attention.

    It compared potential 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton to a hen with "fat thighs, small breasts and a left wing."

    The "KFC Special" button about Clinton was sold by an independent vendor, and a picture of it was posted on Twitter by The Chronicle. It quickly solicited comments calling it offensive and insensitive and prompted the state's GOP leaders to track down the vendor and remove it.

    San Francisco attorney Harmeet Dhillon, the vice chair of the California Republican Party, who chaired a convention panel on encouraging more women in office and in party leadership, said inclusion of women was the official party message of the weekend meeting, which drew hundreds.

    "I found it personally offensive," she said of the item, but added that it was sold by an independent vendor, not the party, at the convention site.

    Party officials understand "there's the First Amendment right" to free speech, which sometimes includes offensive speech, she said.

    As a conservative, "I'm personally offended by 50 percent of the bumper stickers I see every day in San Francisco," where Sarah Palin was the target of blistering attacks and a ballot measure once suggested naming a waste facility after former President George W. Bush, she noted.

    'Political discourse'


    "It's part of the slings and arrows of political discourse ... from time to time, people will use ugly stereotypes. I certainly impose a code ... that we don't use racist, sexist and homophobic comments in our party communications," Dhillon said.

    Sacramento political strategist Kevin Spillane said "the reality of the convention was that the big events" were all about the theme of "inclusion" - and successfully underscored the growing role of women, Latinos and Asian voters in Republican activism.

    "I've been waiting for the last 20 years to see the (California) Republican Party get it - and they're getting it. And that's the reality of the last two conventions," said Spillane, who said he never saw any delegates wearing the buttons.

    San Diego mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher, a former Republican and California assemblyman, tweeted: "And people wonder why I left the GOP."

    "What a great way for the CA GOP to win over the moderates," wrote Twitter poster@sf_kevin. "Is it any wonder that they're powerless in CA?"

    Twitter poster Jennifer Seghers remarked that the same "outraged liberals" who complained about the buttons probably thought "hilarious" a raunchy "Saturday Night Live" skit in which Miley Cyrus suggestively played Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann twerking in hot pants.

    Democrats react


    That didn't stop Democrats and progressive groups from seizing on the brouhaha, which handed some a chance to reprise a potentially thorny issue of the 2012 election - the so-called Republican war on women.

    "At the California Republican Party convention this weekend, leaders in the GOP spent most of the time wondering why their party is so unpopular with women and people of color, while at the same time relying on the same tired, racist and sexist attacks to energize their base," said Paul Song, chairman of the progressive Courage Campaign, which put up an online petition to protest the items.

    Tenoch Flores, Democratic Party spokesman, said in an e-mail statement that "for all the talk of a fresh start and playing on Democrats' traditional demographic turf, it's clear old habits die hard with Republicans. How else could anyone, Republican or not, explain why these offensive campaign buttons targeting Hillary Clinton were being sold on site?"

    Spillane said "the buttons were ridiculously offensive," but added, "there weren't that many vendors there, and nobody was paying much attention to them."

    Next time, he said, "I can guarantee you (that one) won't be back."

    And no wonder: It looks like the sexist comments on the button weren't even original.

    The Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne, Australia, noted that the Clinton button wording was "sadly similar to the sexist language on the menu at a Liberal fundraising dinner" there in March - where a dish named after the former prime minister was listed as "Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail - Small Breasts, Huge Thighs & A Big Red Box."
    Do these buttons represent a larger narrative for the GOP to their attitude towards women, or was it just a one off button salesman with dumb buttons that don't represent the whole? Do you think that the GOP is more unfriendly to women than the Democratic Party, or are both sides equally unfriendly? Other thoughts?
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    Mega Poster mom3girls's Avatar
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    I dont think it is a narrative for the GOP, I think it is a narrative on how woman from both sides are treated. Powerful woman are torn down based on looks all the time
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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Sorry I don't think they have a leg to stand on after all the horrible things they came up with for Sarah Palin that were much worse. They are even still out there....

    Palin - MILF - Moron I'd Like to Forget Button from Zazzle.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by mom3girls View Post
    I dont think it is a narrative for the GOP, I think it is a narrative on how woman from both sides are treated. Powerful woman are torn down based on looks all the time
    I agree with this. Having said that, I do think that the Republicans have a bad rep on women's issues (not wanting to pass the Violence Against Women Act or the Lily Ledbetter Act, abortion issues, et cetera) so I do think it behooves them to be more careful about stuff like this. But one thing that definitely drives me nuts is that it seems like when people want to tear down a powerful woman (on either side) they talk about her looks. Like all of the 60 year old men in Congress are such hotties. LOL
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by GloriaInTX View Post
    Sorry I don't think they have a leg to stand on after all the horrible things they came up with for Sarah Palin that were much worse. They are even still out there....

    Palin - MILF - Moron I'd Like to Forget Button from Zazzle.com

    Definitely gross.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Dangit, I'm having trouble getting a good debate started...it's no fun if we all agree!!!
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    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    Mega Poster mom3girls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alissa_Sal View Post
    I agree with this. Having said that, I do think that the Republicans have a bad rep on women's issues (not wanting to pass the Violence Against Women Act or the Lily Ledbetter Act, abortion issues, et cetera) so I do think it behooves them to be more careful about stuff like this. But one thing that definitely drives me nuts is that it seems like when people want to tear down a powerful woman (on either side) they talk about her looks. Like all of the 60 year old men in Congress are such hotties. LOL
    I dont think the reputation for the war on woman is merited. I think the war on woman rep is a great by product of the democratic media relations team.
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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom3girls View Post
    I dont think the reputation for the war on woman is merited. I think the war on woman rep is a great by product of the democratic media relations team.
    They actually did do tge things they are accused of. I guess it just depends on whether you interpret that as a "War on Women" or not. "War" is a bit melodramatic, but those things weren't women friendly IMO.
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    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    I do think the GOP is waging a war on women, and I don't believe the excuse that this button doesn't represent GOP views because it was sold by an independent vendor. I'm pretty sure that all vendors and the products they sell have to be vetted to be at the GOP convention, even in the hallways outside.

    And I'm showing my age here but I totally remember seeing the same thing going around about Clinton after her husband was elected as POTUS. Back then it seemed more of a complaining about the spunky first lady kind of thing. First ladies were supposed to be demure & quiet & stay in the background, not do things like help reform education and health care. Now twenty years later it just seems like woman-hating.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alissa_Sal View Post
    They actually did do tge things they are accused of. I guess it just depends on whether you interpret that as a "War on Women" or not. "War" is a bit melodramatic, but those things weren't women friendly IMO.
    That depends on your point of view. I think Abortion is a war on unborn women and definitely not women friendly. There are MANY women that are opposed to abortion, so I don't see how that is a war on women.

    In fact according to Gallup 46% of women are pro-life vs 47% that are pro-choice. So I'm not sure why the Democrats get to claim they are more women friendly just because 1% more women agree with their platform.
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