Saturday, October 04, 2008

One more on Palin

yes, exactly.

All the glaring defects so blatantly on display in her debate with Joe Biden -- and that make her candidacy so darkly comical -- would be the same if she were a hockey dad instead of a "hockey mom." In fact, the cynical attempt to foist Palin on the nation as a symbol of feminist progress is an insult to all women regardless of their political orientation.

...As Biden showed quite convincingly when he spoke about his modest background and his continuing connection with Main Street, perceptive, intelligent discourse is in no way identical with elitism. Palin's phony populism is as insulting to working- and middle-class Americans as it is to American women. Why are basic diction and intellectual coherence presumed to be out of reach for "real people"?

And why don't we expect more from American conservatives? Indeed, why don't they demand more from their own movement? Aren't they disgusted that their party would again nominate a person devoid of qualifications for one of the nation's highest offices? Some, like Michael Gerson and Kathleen Parker, have expressed discomfort with this farce -- and been subjected, in Parker's case, to abuse from many of the same numbskulls whom Palin undoubtedly delights.

The ultimate irony of Palin's rise is that it has occurred at a moment when Americans may finally have grown weary of pseudo-populism -- when intelligence, judgment, diligence and seriousness are once again valued, simply because we are in such deep trouble. We got into this mess because we elected a man who professed to despise elitism, which he detected in everyone whose opinions differed from his prejudices. That was George W. Bush, of course. Biden was too polite and restrained to say it, but the dumbing down is more of the same, too.


And then, too, of course: Sarah Palin, the Ultimate Right Wing Success Story

Palin likewise depended on the Religious Right in her run for governor: the “Alaska Family Council, a group that formed that year and is loosely affiliated with Focus on the Family, distributed a voter guide showing Palin's alignment with its ideology.” And when a GOP state representative prematurely left office last year, Palin used the opportunity to shore up her base:

Sarah Palin appointed Wes Keller, an elder in her church, to replace him. He introduced a bill to make the performance of intact dilation and extraction abortions – so-called “partial-birth abortions” – a felony, and…plans to introduce legislation mandating the teaching of intelligent design in public schools.

Palin’s rise from a small right-wing church in Alaska to a slot on a major party ticket gives lie to the notion that the Religious Right is fading away. Or as Goldberg puts it, “the Christian right often has its greatest triumphs just after it's been pronounced moribund.”

13 comments:

GallingGalla said...

Palin’s rise from a small right-wing church in Alaska to a slot on a major party ticket gives lie to the notion that the Religious Right is fading away. Or as Goldberg puts it, “the Christian right often has its greatest triumphs just after it's been pronounced moribund.”

Exactly. The tendency among mainstream liberals and middle-of-the-roaders to declare USian xtian fundamentalism dead, is one of my frustrations with USian politics. The fundies are, sadly, an integral part of USian culture and politics, and we let our guard down at our peril.

Sorry if this is a bit of a sidetrack, but I still need to say it:

Why are basic diction and intellectual coherence presumed to be out of reach for "real people"?

I do have to say that this grates a bit, as this comes close to the way white people marginalize people of color because their manner of speaking / grammer / "diction" don't match European ideals. I've done it too; after I discovered black amazon's blog, i did not read her regularly for several months; it took me that long to stop trying to wedge her writing style into my European notions of "basic diction and intellectual coherence".

belledame222 said...

Yeah, but I think there's a clear difference between people who speak with dialectical differences and people who just aren't making any goddam sense because they just aren't even thinking. Palin would be the latter.

also a difference between having different vocabularies, especially in the colloquial, and not having much of a vocabulary because, like Palin, one is simply too incurious to learn anything new

belledame222 said...

anyway for me BA's always made better sense than many people, and her vocabulary puts anyone's to shame. The only reason I ever might find her somewhat difficult to read (which is never true hearing her in person) probably has more to do with her having dyslexia than her diction "not matching European ideals."

which, too, can certainly be a catalyst for discrimination, but it's still not the same thing as what I think the author is talking about here, the anti-intellectualism and smug ignorance disguised as populism. about the opposite of anything BA stands for.

Comrade PhysioProf said...

And why don't we expect more from American conservatives?

Because they are racist, misogynist, theocratic, neofuedal scumbags, and there is nothing more to expect. Expecting "more" from conservatives is like expecting a Big Mac to be a filet mignon. It's supposed to be a distingusting greasy poisonous pile of offal.

Indeed, why don't they demand more from their own movement?

See above. They are getting exactly what they want: fear, hate, and submission.

Aren't they disgusted that their party would again nominate a person devoid of qualifications for one of the nation's highest offices?

Of course not. Palin is supremely qualified to give these people exactly what they want.

Chuckie K said...

Palin's presence on the ticket at the indicates the strength and the weakness of the evagelical Republicans at the same time. She's there because they are more important than ever to the Republicans. More important because the neocon part of the Republican alliance has driven so much of the ruling class to despair. Wekness because without that fundamental ruling class support, the religious base can't swing a national election.

Liz said...

Tired of all the talk? Read "what a feminist looks like"


http://vodpod.com/watch/1059775-los-angeles-now-president-a-democrat-endorses-sarah-palin

Alon Levy said...

Yeah, but I think there's a clear difference between people who speak with dialectical differences and people who just aren't making any goddam sense because they just aren't even thinking.

Yeah, and the mainstream left isn't making it. Remember all the jokes about how Bush pronounces nuclear wrong? That's an accent difference - not even a dialectical one. The same is true for various Bush dyslexicon items, like misunderestimate; if you want to make fun of Bush for making up words, you have to make fun of Shakespeare, too.

As for making sense, people rarely speak the way they write. McCain and Obama's debating styles lend themselves well to transcription. Biden and Palin's don't. In the debate, Biden used repetition in a way that would look juvenile in writing; Palin used sentences with many clauses, which looks rambling in writing.

belledame222 said...

"nukular" is an accent thing? Which accent is that? I mean I'm really asking.


...Bush's malapropisms likened unto Shakespeare...hoo, Alon, you're in contrarian mode today ain'tcha?

baby221 said...

At this point, I seriously think that a Survivor-style reality TV show would be able to produce a more fit candidate. Sigh.

belledame222 said...

Hey you! Long time no see, how goes it?

belledame222 said...

-waves at chuckie k also-

belledame222 said...

physioprof, others: please read this.

Alon Levy said...

Alon, you're in contrarian mode today ain'tcha?

First, I've never been into Shakespeare in the first place. And second, what I say here is what pretty much every linguist will tell you. David Crystal has used the Shakespeare analogy to put in their place the turds who think SMS shorthand is the downfall of the English language. I'm just applying the same principle to politics.