Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Around the bend on PalinMaureen Dowd provides an example of why Sarah Palin is not only a star within the Republican Party. She also has the potential for a wider appeal.
MoDo's Palin piece is Rogue American Woman New York Times 11/17/09. There are two basic problems with MoDo's article. It treats Palin as a pop-culture celebrity, not as a politician with a potentially huge effect on public policy.
And in treating Palin's ghost-written memoir as something to be ridiculed, MoDo neglects to mention that the ghost-writer, Lynn Vincent, is a white supremacist - at a minimum she co-authored a book with one (Robert Stacy McCain) - a fact which might have alerted her readers to the genuinely ugly side of Palin's appeal. Vincent also ghost-wrote the memoir of Lt. Gen. William G. "Jerry" Boykin, the theocrat who assured his Christian Right finds that he knew his God was bigger than the Muslims' God. She's also known for her hostility to gays and argues that Franklin Roosevelt during the Second World War (and by extension the US) was "a hapless puppet" of Joe Stalin. (Palin - or one of her speechwriters - has also shown questionable judgment in choosing a source for a cutesy quote.)
MoDo actually spends more of her column looking for cutesy commonalities with Palin. Her column comes off like a Republican parody of a sneering poo-bah of the Liberal Press Conspiracy. MoDo apparently intended the following to be obvious mockery of Palin/Vincent:
Here is what the former Alaska governor censoriously writes about “shenanigans” in two capital cities: “Politically, Juneau always had a reputation for being a lot like Animal House: drinking and bowling, drunken brawls, countless affairs, and garden variety lunchtime trysts. It’s been known at times to be like a frat house filled with freshmen away from their parents for the very first time. At other times, the capital city’s underside was even darker: clandestine political liaisons and secret meetings, unethical deeds and downright illegal acts.”Sure, it's a stereotypical rube's description of the sinful Big City. But that's the Republicans' general posture, not just Palin's: they aren't the servants of greedy CEOs, they're the champions of the regular folks against the swells and scary minorities in the big cities and dirty ghettoes.
Is Washington "like a frat house filled with freshmen away from their parents for the very first time"? I don't have that particular impression myself. But that is the kind of impression I get of MoDo and her fellow celebrity pundits when I watch them on the Sunday morining talk shows, or on the 24/7 cable channels. MoDo has so little self-reflection on own conduct and her pundit cohort's that she seems unaware of how credible a description that might seem to a lot of people. And because of that, she provides a half-plausible illustration of Palin's far-right posturing against the dreaded Liberal Elite.
Here's more information on Lynn Vincent you won't get from MoDo's column:
Palin co-author Lynn Vincent's inflammatory record Media Matters 11/13/09
Charles Johnson (a recovering Islamophobe), Sarah Palin's Book Ghostwritten by Associate of White Supremacist [Robert Stacy] McCain Little Green Footballs 09/29/09
John Cook, Sarah Palin's Ghostwriter Pals Around With Racists and Wackos Gawker 09/30/09
David Weigel, Robert Stacy McCain Responds to Gawker, Defends Palin Collaborator Lynn Vincent Washington Independent 9/30/09
Tags: maureen dowd, radical right,sarah palin
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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