Football vs. Politics


I was ruminating on some of the comments we typically get when we don’t join in the latest Palinpalooza Wankfestivus. Then a football analogy occurred to me.

Both football and politics are popular spectator sports. The actual players make lots of money and have little in common with their loyal fans. They both use violent imagery, but football has far more actual violence.

Both football and politics are team sports, but football fans are allowed to be objective without having their loyalty questioned. If you say that the other team’s quarterback is a first-ballot lock for the Hall of Fame nobody accuses you of wanting the other team to win.

Now let’s say the other team has a great quarterback and two great wide receivers but no running game. But your team decides to commit to stopping the run, daring their quarterback to throw the ball. So you scream at your team’s coach, “Are you insane? You’re playing to their strength!

Do you think the other fans would consider you a traitor? Not likely.

Not only that, but if the instant replay clearly shows that the other team’s wide receiver caught the ball with both feet in bounds, nobody expects you to insist otherwise. When your team’s players screw up you’re allowed to curse and boo them.

Politics is different. You are expected to insist that your team’s players and strategies are better than the other team’s, whether they really are or not. You are required to claim the other team’s players are all talentless losers. You’re also obligated to protest every call that goes against your team, no matter what really happened. And you never, ever admit that your team deserved to lose.

Worst of all, you’re supposed to keep buying season tickets even if your team keeps losing, year after year.


Do you think Steve Benen might be a tad biased?


Seriously:

HALF-TERM GOVERNOR BREAKS HER SILENCE…. As tempted as I am to simply ignore former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R) latest statement, I suppose there’s no point in pretending it’s not of some interest to the political world this morning.

Palin has been unusually quiet since Saturday’s massacre in Tucson, and as interest in the toxicity of political rhetoric has grown more intense, her role in cheapening and dragging down our discourse has generated a fair amount of attention.

Today, Palin broke her silence issuing a video, which is nearly eight minutes long. It’s a standard tactic — the right-wing media personality can’t subject herself to questions or muster the confidence to deal with cross-examinations, so to communicate, Palin’s forced to hide behind statements others write for her, and then upload them. It’s not exactly the stuff Profiles in Courage are made of.

In any case, the statement/video is about what one might expect. Palin, speaking from Alaska with an American flag over her right shoulder, has no regrets and no apologies to offer. Instead, she’s concerned about “blood libel.”

“If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate that vision. If you don’t like their ideas, you’re free to propose better ideas. But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”

I don’t imagine Palin actually knows what “blood libel” means, but historically, it’s referred to the ridiculous notion of Jews engaging in ritual killings of Christian children. More commonly, it’s a phrase intended to convey the suffering of an oppressed minority.

In other words, Palin is apparently feeling sorry for herself, again, using a needlessly provocative metaphor that casts her as something of a martyr.

Benen uses the phrase “half-term governor” at least three times in his post. That right there indicates that maybe he’s not being entirely neutral and objective.

I like the “breaks her silence” jab too. On Saturday, soon after the news of the shootings broke, Sarah Palin posted this statement on Facebook:

My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shooting in Arizona.

On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.

She then went about her business. Various people have been criticizing her for not saying more, specifically for not admitting it was all her fault, apologizing and promising to never show her face in public again.

Of course if she had been giving interviews she would have been criticized for trying to steal the spotlight for herself.

Apparently Benen hasn’t got the memo that Sarah was dogwhistling to her fundiegelical supporters when she used the words “blood-libel.” He thinks she’s just a stupid girl who was using words she didn’t understand.

As for the flag reference, I wonder what Benen thought when candidate Obama gave his Greatestest Speech on Race EVAH with about 10 American flags behind him?

That’s it for another episode of “Look over there! It’s Sarah Palin!


Who do we blame for THIS nut?


HuffPoop:

Shawn Christie, Alleged Sarah Palin Stalker, Reportedly Causing New Concern In Alaska

Shawn Christy, a 19-year-old Pennsylvania teenager who has had a restraining order issued against him by the former Alaska governor, is causing anxiety in the Frontier State with reports that he has planned a visit to Wasilla.

TMZ reports:

19-year-old Shawn Christy has told family members he plans to travel to Wasilla in the hopes of removing the restraining order issued against him last year after Sarah and her close friend Kristan Cole proved he sent them threatening emails and letters.

According to TMZ, Cole has mounted a legal effort to ensure that Christy won’t be able to combat the restraining order.

AOL News reported last year on the case:

Judge Colleen Ray issued a 20-day protective order against the 18-year-old McAdoo, Penn., man after Christy sent Palin an e-mail informing her that his plane had landed in Alaska. A hearing on Oct. 13 will decide if a longer-term restraining order is necessary.Palin testified by phone during the inquiry, The Associated Press reported. “Bottom line, he is crazy and could kill me,” Palin said, according to the court transcript.

The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reports that Christie claims to have had an affair with Palin, and that he had made reference to a purchase of a weapon and a future visit.

“When someone sends you proof that they’ve purchased weapons. Proof that they know where you live. And said that they are looking into purchasing a one-way plane ticket to Alaska and then calls from a cell phone with a 907 number, it’s over the line and we need protecting,” Kristan Cole said at the time, according to the Frontiersman.

If Sarah Palin is responsible for Jared Loughner, who is to blame for Shawn Christy?

Barack Obama? Andy Sullivan? Who should be apologizing for something they said about Sarah?

Jezebel:

Sarah Palin emailed Glenn Beck to refudiate her possible responsibility for inciting the Tucson shooting. Meanwhile, did you know she has her own stalker, news of which just conveniently resurfaced? Poor, map-surveying Sarah.



About those “death panels”


I was reading an article at Conservatives4Palin that points out (correctly) that when the former Alaskan governor made her infamous “death panels” post on Facebook she wasn’t referring to end of life counseling.

This is what Sarah Palin said:

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Health care by definition involves life and death decisions. Human rights and human dignity must be at the center of any health care discussion.

I know this will surprise those people who are convinced (or pretend to be convinced) that because I refuse to demonize Ms. Palin that I am infatuated with her but I disagree with the former Vice Presidential candidate.

Before I explain my disagreement I want to clarify what Sarah Palin actually said. Contrary to the assertions of Ezra Klein and others, Palin never claimed that Obamacare would euthanize anyone. She claimed that Obamacare would result in rationed health care and that bureaucrats would decide whether or not to pay for treatment based on subjective criteria like the patient’s “level of productivity in society.”

While there is a nugget or two of truth in what Palin said we’re hardly talking about exterminating “useless mouths.” What we’re talking about is the kind of cost-benefit analysis that people already have to make every day.

Despite what some people think none of us has a “right to life.” On a long enough timeline the mortality rate is 100%. As Clint Eastwood said, “We all got it coming.”

As we saw during the Terri Schiavo case, the general consensus in this country is that at some point it is acceptable to terminate life-support. The real question in cases like that is who (other than the patient) can make those decisions and when they should be made.

But “death panels” cases aren’t about whether or not to pull the plug on someone, they are about the limits, if any, on the payment for health care services.

Forget the specifics of Obamacare for the moment and assume we adopted some version of single-payer like all the other industrialized nations have done. Call it Medicare For All. As the cost goes up and the prognosis grows more grim, is there some point at which we should say “enough is enough?”

Let’s say we have a patient in his eighties who is diagnosed with cancer. Treatment will cost approximately $1 million, the chances of success are less than 10% and he has already exceeded his life expectancy so even if the cancer doesn’t kill him he isn’t gonna celebrate many more birthdays anyway.

Should we pay for his treatment? What if he had diabetes and tuberculosis too? What if he’s already in a persistent vegetative state? Is there any point at which we should draw the line?

The fact is those decisions are already being made, but the decision-makers are health insurance company bean-counters and profit-minded executives.

I think that if we are going to control health care costs one thing we need to do is set limits on how much health care we will pay for. The factors considered in setting those limits should include cost but also a number of other factors, including prognosis and quality of life.

But those limits need to be determined in an open manner by people answerable to the public. There needs to be an open process and a way to appeal the decisions that are made.

What do you think?



Never doubt the Clown


Salon reports what I predicted a year and one-half ago:

Doubting Sarah
A chorus of criticism and doubt about Sarah Palin is emerging from an unlikely and telling source: Republicans

Sarah Palin is widely considered to be a leading candidate for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. And while an October story in Politico made a splash (and drew Palin’s wrath) by quoting anonymous Republican “insiders” attacking Palin, we’ve noticed a different, striking pattern in recent weeks: More and more prominent Republicans are publicly voicing doubts about Palin.


June 18, 2009:

Secondly, I didn’t say that everything being thrown at Sarah comes from the left side of the political fence. Before Sarah will have a chance to face a Democrat in a national election again she will have to win the GOP nomination, and there are several men also vying for that prize. Although they have to be more circumspect because of her popularity with the GOPer base, the Republicans invented the bitch-slap theory – Josh Marshall just gave it a name.

So you’re gonna see Sarah get attacked from every direction, often unfairly and sometimes outrageously. But how she should respond is problematic. The conventional wisdom of the Village Idiots is that such attacks should be ignored. Ask Michael Dukakis how well that strategy works.


Now the conventional wisdom on the left is that the GOP establishment is attacking Palin because they are afraid that if she is the 2012 nominee she will lose in the general election. That’s wrong.

They are scared shitless that she’ll win.



Wrong Emphasis


Sarah Palin Uses Info Gleaned From ‘Treasonous’ WikiLeaks To Pen Op-Ed On Dangers Of Iran

Sarah Palin sought to build her foreign policy credentials on Tuesday, with a new op-ed arguing that the Obama administration needs to “toughen up” on Iran based on information from leaked diplomatic cables that she had earlier denounced.

Their point:

Sarah Palin hypocritically uses WikiLeaks information to gin up war with Iran.

The important point:

Sarah Palin hypocritically uses WikiLeaks information to gin up war with Iran.

When are progressives gonna figure this shit out?


What's the matter? Don't you like clowns?


In re Sarah Palin


Anytime I post ANYTHING having to do with Sarah Palin or one of her progeny I always seem to see two typical responses along with whatever other comments are made.

The first one is some version of “Zomg! Sarah Palin is a conservative Republican and I would never vote for her.” Sometimes the commenter leaves the impression that they thought we were unaware of this fact.

The second one is based on wishful thinking and asserts that Sarah Palin is more moderate than her rhetoric, or would govern that way. While it is true she governed Alaska in a somewhat bi-partisan fashion that is not a basis for thinking she would do the same if she reached the White House.

Some people question why I write so many posts about Sarah Palin. There have even been a few who claimed to be offended by my choice of subject matter and worried that they would become permanently tainted by association with these toxic Palin posts.

Some people need to get a grip.

Sarah Palin is a political celebrity. Everything she says and does is news. Well, not really but the media act as if it’s news. I don’t see any sign that the situation will change anytime soon.

Ignoring her might have worked two years ago but that’s not possible now. She’s got a hit show (by cable standards) and she’s a commentator for FOX News, she does talk radio and gives speeches around the country, and she’s currently on tour promoting her new book, which looks to be another best seller.

Her postings on Facebook and Twitter get more attention than White House press briefings and even her children’s Facebook posts make the evening news occasionally.

A few people have made comments to the effect that if I’m gonna write about Sarah Palin I should focus on issues and write some really boring policy analysis demonstrating that her ideas would be bad for our country.

What would be the point? OF COURSE her ideas are bad for the country.

She’s a CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN.

Blogging is not my occupation, it’s my hobby. Nobody is paying me to do tedious policy analysis. I doubt if anybody would pay me to do that crap anyway. Riverdaughter only keeps me around because I work cheap.

I write about stuff that interests me. Sarah Palin interests me.

First and foremost Sarah and the reactions she causes are entertaining as hell. I’ve never seen anything like this before. It’s some kind of mass insanity. The people that hate her the most are the ones that are obsessed with her. And she has a whole bunch of people that hate her, including the media, the GOP establishment and the Obamacrats.

That right there is a big plus in my book.

Sarah Palin is something this country hasn’t seen in a long time – a bona fide populist. Unfortunately she’s a right-wing populist.

Ever since the day that John McCain announced that he had selected Sarah Palin as his running mate there has been a lot of effort directed at destroying her personally and politically.

That effort has not only failed but backfired. She has grown stronger politically and manged to get rich too. The harder her enemies try to destroy her, the stronger she gets.

I’m a liberal Democrat but I don’t feel any particular obligation to say bad things about Sarah Palin. I disagree with the notion that if you can’t say something bad about her then don’t say nothing at all. I’m not going to hate her just because I disagree with her.

Her life story is an inspiring American success story. She didn’t come from a wealthy background, she didn’t go to Ivy League schools and she didn’t get where she is by sucking up to the rich and powerful. While Barack Obama was ingratiating himself with the Daley Machine Sarah Palin was taking on the “good old boy” network and making her bones as a reformer.

As far as her resume I find it hilarious that supporters of Barack Obama have the temerity to point out her lack of experience. Hey guys, she gave a great speech and wrote two books! Okay, maybe she didn’t write them herself but Obama didn’t write his either.

She is not stupid nor ignorant, nor is she “anti-intellectual.” She won the governor job by kicking ass in debates (and she pimp-slapped Biden in the VP debate too.) Unfortunately she’s a conservative Republican. She supports conservative Republican candidates and says conservative Republican things. From everything I’ve seen she really believes what she says.

But if Sarah Palin was a pro-choice liberal Democrat the media, the GOP establishment and the Obamacrats would hate her just as much or more than they do now because she would still be just as much a threat to them. If you don’t believe me just ask Hillary Clinton.

I don’t know how this tale will end, but I am certain of a couple things.

The GOP presidential nominee in 2012 will be a conservative Republican. That person will be pro-life, anti-tax and will advocate smaller government. They will be hawkish on foreign policy, xenophobic on the issue of immigration, skeptical about global warming and generally opposed to government regulation.

The GOP nominee will pay his or her respects to all the “right” people and groups, including the religious right, the neocons, the nut-job billionaires and the Tea Party. How sincere those respects are will be debatable.

Regardless of who the GOP nominates the Democrats will attempt to portray them as crazy and stupid. That strategy worked so well in the midterms they will surely use it again, probably with the same results.

Unless the economy improves dramatically in the near future the GOP nominee will probably be our 45th President. He or she will almost certainly have a friendly majority in Congress.

I will not be voting for Sarah Palin or any other Republican. If Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee (and he almost certainly will be) I will not be voting for him either.

I saw most of this coming two years ago. That’s when I was running around with my hair on fire trying to warn people. But they didn’t listen.

Here’s the hard truth: Things are going to have to get worse in this country before they get better. That’s just the way it is.

Things got worse for eight years under George W. Bush and the country was ready for a change. 2008 should have been the biggest political sea change since 1932. All the pieces were in place.

But not everybody wanted change. There is a small but very powerful group of people who like things they way they are. You can call them Corporatists, Robber Barons or Malefactors of Great Wealth.

They went to a lot of trouble and expense to make sure change didn’t happen. They spent hundreds of millions of dollars to put Barack Obama in office. They told their employees in the media to help him. They won, and the American people lost,

The window of opportunity is now past. It will be at least six more years before we get another chance. Even if Hillary were to run and win in 2012 she would be facing a GOP majority in the House and Senate. She would spend her time playing defense, not advancing new policy initiatives.

We won’t get another opportunity to make real change until 2016 or 2020.

As for me I plan to keep doing what I’ve been doing since the Big Dawg left office. Hang in there, keep my sense of humor and be a voice crying in the wilderness, hoping it doesn’t get any worse than it has to.

I’m willing to be proven wrong, but I’m not gonna waste my time and energy hating the wrong people for the wrong reasons.

As far as Republicans go Sarah Palin is better than most. She’s a populist (which is good) and she’s not beholden to the establishment (which is better.) She’s not crazy, at least not compared to some of the other contenders. She’s got a fan base that is already angry and semi-organized. If the GOP establishment tries to pull what the Democrats did to Hillary her supporters will go from Tea Party to lynch mob in half a nanosecond. Some of them are almost there already.

Win or lose, her candidacy will be entertaining.

Since I can’t do nothing about it anyway I’m gonna enjoy the show.

So until somebody starts paying me to write something different I’m gonna keep writing about whatever I feel like writing about. If you have a topic you are interested in my fees are reasonable. (No checks, small, unmarked bills only)

I am, or course, speaking solely for myself. Riverdaughter and my co-bloggers are opinionated and outspoken types (it’s a job requirement) and they are stubborn and hard-headed just like me. If you want to know what they think you’ll have to ask them.

Monday Morning Palinpalooza

I am almost as sick of hearing about and seeing Sarah Palin as I am hearing about and seeing Barack Obama, but the news is awful, the weather is boo boo, and as a liberal fem I am apparently supposed to go into a screaming emotional PMS induced rant every time her name is even brought up. Why fight it?

I don’t plan on reading or buying her new book. Do any of you? I didn’t think so. But Historiann has the scoop.

Don’t miss Michelle Goldberg’s analysis of the feminist history in Sarah Palin’s new bookAmerica by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag. Apparently, it gets worse after the diabetes-inducing title.  I agree with Goldberg that “[i]n some ways, it’s a good thing that Sarah Palin calls herself a feminist. It means that, even among conservatives, women’s equality has become a normative position, the starting point for debate. It means that feminism has gone from something that the right wants to destroy to something it wants to appropriate. That’s progress, of a sort.”  This is indeed a new development–Phyllis Schlafly’s days are over, for now, and it would be even too intellectually dishonest for Palin to pretend that feminism had nothing to do with shaping the possibilities of her political career.

As an optimist I am also pleased that a woman politician at least has to call herself a feminist to get anywhere, much less conservative woman. But this step forward is not to Bible Spice’s credit. A woman in politics has to call herself a feminist now because of the treatment a certain plucky Secretary of State received not just in 2008 but throughout her entire life in public service. Just sayin’. Let’s continue.

However, Palin is all wet when it comes to American history in general, and as Goldberg explains, feminist history in particular:  she claims Elizabeth Cady Stanton as a devout Christian–a woman who once said that “[y]ou may go over the world and you will find that every form of religion which has breathed upon this earth has degraded women,” and who wrote her own version of the Bible.  (Truly, this is more laughable than the people who try to re-claim Thomas Jefferson as a godbag.)  Palin repeats the flimsy lie that Susan B. Anthony was anti-abortion, and she repeats the distortions of Margaret Sanger’s work and career by claiming that she advocated “Nazi-style eugenics.”  (She cites the esteemed historian Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism on Sanger.)

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and another fun fem, Amelia Earheart, also rejected the usefulness of remaining faithful to their husbands. Amelia even passed a petition about it around. Hillary wasn’t the first classy lady to question standing by her man. So far that’s Hillary: 2 Sarah: 0.

Sarah Palin is a huge disappointment.  She could have countered her detractors the right way and continued working for the people of her beloved Alaska, but instead she has allowed herself and her family to be turned into celebrity jokes. Marketing yourself as a pundit on Fox News and giving yourself a reality show on TLC is not the way to prove you’re Presidential material. So much for all that maverick talk about Middle America. She should have taken a leaf out of that crazy bra burning feminist Hillary Clinton’s book instead of Barack Obama’s. Now she and him are like the American Idol clones of Presidential Politics. If they are both running in 2012 we won’t even be able to take a break and watch an episode of House or Dexter without one of them guest starring. They and their brands will be EVERYWHERE. God help us all!

I still don’t believe you have to be liberal or pro choice to be a feminist, but Caribou Barbie stopped caring about standing up to the good old boys a long time ago. It was probably some time in between the grand finale of Dancing with the Stars or a deep philosophical connection with Dick Morris while he was ghostwriting her new book. At least now she is caught up to the President and has managed to write two autobiographies without actually accomplishing much of anything.

Either way, from now on she’s on her own.

Funky Friday Fugue State


Matt Yglesias thinks we need a Reality Check:

Something I find incredibly puzzling is the strange determination many progressive have to diagnose what the “problem” is with Democrats that makes them so “bad” at electoral politics. They actually seem to me to be fine. Look at the 30 year span from 1980 to 2010. The Democratic candidate won the popular vote in 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2008 (4 times) whereas the Republican candidate won in 1980, 1984, 1988, and 2004. It’s true that in the real world the poor ballot design in Palm Beach County, the Supreme Court, and the Electoral College put George W Bush in the White House but none of that is the fault of Democratic Party messaging tactics.

Democrats controlled the House for 18 out of those 30 years, and controlled the Senate for 14 out of 30 years. In the new year, they’ll control two out of the three branches of government. None of that sounds to me like a political party that’s having trouble persuading people to vote for it.

Check it out, Bill Clinton is a Democrat again! Okay, to be fair I’ve never seen MattY accuse the Big Dawg of being a DINOcrat Republican but plenty of his Creative Class pals do it all the time. I wish they would be consistent with their memes.

MattY’s numbers are kinda tricky though, since Bill won in 1992 and 1996 with pluralities and Gore “lost” electorally in 2000 with a popular vote majority thanks to Jeb Bush and 5 SCOTUS (in)justices. His definition of “winning” is fairly narrow, confining it to the outcome of elections and not having anything to do with accomplishments in terms of policy and legislation.

Kevin Drum:

True! But here’s another lens to look through, one that I’ve mentioned before. It’s liberal-centric rather than Democrat-centric.

Over the past century, American liberalism has mostly progressed in three very short, sharp spurts.

[...]

But the last one of these spurts ended 40 years ago, and the Obama Era, such as it was, lasted a mere 18 months. That’s despite the fact that Democrats had big majorities in both the House and Senate, George Bush had seemingly degraded the Republican brand almost beyond salvaging, and conservative policies had produced an epic financial collapse that should have provided a tremendous tailwind for substantial progressive reform. And yet: 18 months. That was it.

So yes: Democrats have done OK over the past few decades. And it’s fair to say that conservatism has made only modest strides during that period. Triumphalist right-wing rhetoric to the contrary, America obviously doesn’t have any burning desire to turn back the clock to the 1950s. But actual, substantial liberal progress? We haven’t seen so much of that, and after 18 months of modest achievements we’re obviously not going to get any more for quite a while.

So what happened?

Awww, so close but no cigar.

Does Kevin really not know what happened or is he just not allowed to say it? At least he isn’t trying to convince us that Obama had the most awesomest first two years of any POTUS ever.


You-know-who did another Facebook fireside chat in response to the latest ginned-up PDS fauxrage:

A Thanksgiving Message to All 57 States

My fellow Americans in all 57 states, the time has changed for come. With our country founded more than 20 centuries ago, we have much to celebrate – from the FBI’s 100 days to the reforms that bring greater inefficiencies to our health care system. We know that countries like Europe are willing to stand with us in our fight to halt the rise of privacy, and Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s. And let’s face it, everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma and they end up taking up a hospital bed. It costs, when, if you, they just gave, you gave them treatment early, and they got some treatment, and ah, a breathalyzer, or an inhalator. I mean, not a breathalyzer, ah, I don’t know what the term is in Austrian for that…

Of course, the paragraph above is based on a series of misstatements and verbal gaffes made by Barack Obama (I didn’t have enough time to do one for Joe Biden). YouTube links are provided just in case you doubt the accuracy of these all too human slips-of-the-tongue. If you can’t remember hearing about them, that’s because for the most part the media didn’t consider them newsworthy. I have no complaint about that. Everybody makes the occasional verbal gaffe – even news anchors.


That’s it for now, yesterday was a quiet news day but I’m sure there will be more stuff to talk about later so keep checking back.

My big project for today is putting up my Festivus lights outside. What will you be doing?

Have a great Friday!

ONLY 27 MORE SHOPPING DAYS LEFT UNTIL FESTIVUS!




PDS – Is there a cure?


Elizabeth Wurzel at Atlantic:

Sarah Palin, Riot Grrrl

To paraphrase Lillian Hellman, I don’t agree with a word that Sarah Palin says, including “and” and “the.” And as a liberal feminist, it drives me absolutely bonkers that Palin is the most visible working mother and female politician in America, that she is the best exemplar of a woman with an equal marriage, that she has put up with less crap from fewer men than those of us who have read The Second Sex and marched in pro-abortion rallies and pretty much been on the right side of all the issues that Palin is wrong about.

So I suppose I should confess: I like Sarah Palin. I like her because she is such a problem for all these political men, Republicans and Democrats alike, with their polls, and their Walter Dean Burnham theories of transformative elections, and their economy this and their values that–and here comes Palin, and logic just doesn’t apply. She speaks in spoonerisms, she raises wretched children, she’s a quitter, she’s a refudiater, she shoots moose and beats halibut, she has a dumb accent that doesn’t have the charm of Charleston or the Brahmin of Boston–really, she is just a lot of quirks.

But it doesn’t matter. It will never matter and I bet it never has mattered, because Sarah Palin is hot. She has sex appeal. That’s why people like her. That’s the whole story. Everyone has to stop trying to deconstruct and decode it, because there is no accounting for chemistry, and Sarah Palin has lots of it going on with her public. I don’t think anyone knows or cares what in particular she stands for, other than some general conservative cache of principles, because they are in love with her.

The Democrats are total morons for not finding their own hot mama before the Republicans did so first, or maybe I should have left off the qualifiers and called it straight: the Democrats are just plain morons, at least where women are concerned. The right wing, for whatever weird reason, has been much more receptive to outrageous and attractive female commentators who are varying degrees of insane or inane, but in any case are given a platform on Fox News and at their conservative confabs. Look at how great life has been for Megyn Kelly and Laura Ingraham and the assorted lesser lights. But there are no Democratic blondes, no riot grrrls on the progressive side of politics, no fun and fabulous women in the liberal scene who could pave the way for a Palin. Yes, there are women who are successful in the Democratic party, but none of them are successful because of their feminine wiles, none of them have played up their sex appeal the way Palin has. MSNBC’s female host is Rachel Maddow, who is completely good in all manner of ways that good can be good–but still I must ask: Where are the policy babes?

I know, I know: all of you are saying that it’s a good thing it’s like that, it’s a sign that liberals have integrity and blah blah blah. But I think you are kidding yourselves. It’s a sign of another thing: that liberal men are wimps who can’t handle the hot potato that is a combination of feminine sexuality and female political brilliance.

Anyone with a sense of humor, a sense of fun, and a sense that women should be taken on their own terms really ought to like Palin. I mean, of course, you should hate her at the same time, but you should hope she is the beginning of revolution, grrrl style.

At least she’s herself. Every damn day, if you tune in to any of the 24-hour news outlets, the same pundits retread through the same stuff–they all say the same thing. I spend a great deal of time trying to figure out how the whole DC opinion apparatus remains employed. If there were any justice, their ranks would swell the unemployment rate beyond 10 percent. And still, some moron known as a news executive who hasn’t registered a thought beyond mediocre in my lifetime approves of this, and Americans, educated to believe 2+2=5, will put up with anything.

Into this horror walks Sarah Palin, who is kind of a sexy librarian, kind of a MILF, kind of just crazy, and altogether does what she wants to do. This, actually, is normal behavior. But we are so used to watching other female politicians compromise in so many ways that there is not enough Vaseline in all of CVS to make the situation comfortable–so Sarah Palin seems completely strange.

Unfortunately, Sarah Palin is not very bright, not very thoughtful and not very qualified to run a country. Or a state. But really, are any of the other idiots who want the job so much better?

WTF? Is she snarking or schizophrenic?

The first couple paragraphs are okay, but then she takes a hard left turn into Crazytown.

“I love her! I hate her! She’s a hottie! She’s a naughty librarian! She’s a dummy! Our side needs hot dumb librarians too!”

Seriously, WTF?




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