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Can a Mom Rule?

Sarah, Todd and Trig Palin

AP Photo/Al Grillo

What do you think of this? It's from a new PAC, WomenCount, whose founder was a big Hillary supporter: "We will defend Sarah Palin against misogynist smears not because we like her or support her, but because that's how feminism works."

Here's the rest of an email from WomenCount:

It started Friday afternoon with John Roberts on CNN, and then in a slow build over the weekend it became clear what the leading sexist charge would be against Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin: Is it appropriate for her to accept the vice presidential nomination given the magnitude of her current family responsibilities?

The question came not just from members of the media but also from voters around the country who wrote in to news organizations and on blogs.

The obvious retort is whether anyone would ask the same question of the father of a four-month-old with Down Syndrome and a pregnant teenager. We think not.

Radio talk host Ed Schultz on CNN Monday night took things even further by declaring that Palin would not be able to focus on her job given her family distractions.

And Washington Post columnist Sally Quinn wrote: "Of course, women can be good mothers and have careers at the same time. I've done both. Other women in public office have children ... but ... a mother's role is different from a father's."

The message? Sarah Palin: bad mother.

On that count we have no doubt these accusations would never be made about a man. In that sense, Sally Quinn is right — and that's why things have got to change.

The very notion that Sarah Palin should not have accepted this nomination because she is a mother with demanding challenges underscores just how far we have to go.

Throughout the weekend, we have been asked about WomenCount's views on Sarah Palin as the Republican nominee. It is important to distinguish between the broader issue of sexism and the ideology of an individual. WomenCount was born of the passion its founders had for Hillary Clinton's clear view of social issues and progressive values. We cannot pretend that Governor Palin meets any standard of progressive politics or social values.

Regardless of the candidates' ideology, we will work to stamp out sexism when we see it on the campaign trail. To paraphrase the words of one blogger who said it best over the weekend: We will defend Sarah Palin against misogynist smears not because we like her or support her, but because that's how feminism works."

Do you think the attacks against Sarah Palin are sexist?What do mothers, grandmothers and moms-to-be think? Can a mom rule?

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