It's with a heavy heart that we here at TAP say goodbye to Ann Friedman (quick, before you start crying, bookmark her new blog). Let me let you in on a little secret: Ann has hired every. single. person. you. read. on. this. site. That includes our boss, Mark Schmitt. She's a formidable editor, an insightful writer, and a true friend.
So, we're sending her off the best way we can: with a rundown of her greatest hits:
The 2008 election eliminated "white male" as the default political identity:
But just because our front-running candidates are a woman and a black man, it does not mean that this is the first election to hinge on candidates' identities. All those other election years, when only white guys were vying for the nomination, well, those were "identity politics" races, too. Why weren't they framed that way? Because most of the framers shared the identity of the candidates: white and male.
Democrats can't blame their losses on identity politics:
But what if Chait is right, and some tough conversations about race, gender, and privilege are enough to kill the current coalition? Well, then it was never very strong to begin with, and we don't have to mourn very much. A healthy Democratic coalition is not one in which women and queers and people of color are told to sit down and shut up.
McCain's pick of Palin as VP was sexist:
It's clear that Republicans believe that what made Hillary Clinton such a good candidate was her gender, not her political experience or positions on the issues. And McCain's decision to pick Palin shows he took this message to heart and chose to add her to the ticket primarily because of her gender. In so doing, McCain has turned the idea of the first woman in the White House from a true moment of change to an empty pander.
Lady blogs are the new women's pages. And that's a bad thing:
The decision to devote micro-sites to groups that aren't white men -- The Root for black readers, Double X for women readers -- implies that Slate recognizes the need for more coverage that caters to women and people of color. But it doesn't want that coverage mucking up its main product.
Straight people making "It Gets Better" videos need to take action:
While I'm sure it helps gay teens to know there are straight Americans who care about them, those of us who don't experience discrimination based on whom we love are in no position to assure kids that their lives will get better without pledging to make equality a reality. When straight people focus solely on schoolyard bullying without acknowledging that anti-gay bigotry is pervasive in the adult world, they're essentially making the "just wait it out" argument about gay rights.
We'll miss you, Ann.
-- Phoebe Connelly