I’m not going to make a substantive comment on Sarah Palin’s hatchet job of an op-ed in the Post. Instead, I’m going to do what good East Coast elites are supposed to do: make fun of her.
The ironic beauty in this plan? Soon, even the most ardent liberal will understand supply-side economics.
The Americans hit hardest will be those already struggling to make ends meet. As the president eloquently puts it, their electricity bills will “necessarily skyrocket.” So much for not raising taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year.
Even Warren Buffett, an ardent Obama supporter, admitted that under the cap-and-tax scheme, “poor people are going to pay a lot more for electricity.” [emphasis mine]
Heh. At least she didn’t pull out any Michael Gerson-esque similes.
I meant to publish this on Monday, the day after I read gagged on the following article on the front page of The Washington Post, announcing Sarah Palin’s resignation:
Sarah Palin, the Republican Alaska governor who captivated the nation with a combative brand of folksy politics, announced her resignation yesterday in characteristic fashion: She stood on her back lawn in Wasilla, speaking into a single microphone, accompanied by friends and neighbors in baseball hats and polo shirts.
Palin offered few clues about her ambitions but said she arrived at her decision in part to protect her family, which has faced withering criticism and occasional mockery, and to escape ethics probes that have drained her family’s finances and hampered her ability to govern. She said leaving office is in the best interest of the state and will allow her to more effectively advocate for issues of importance to her, including energy independence and national security. [emphasis mine, in case you, dear reader, somehow missed the obsequiousness that is dripping out of this article]
I don’t think this depiction of events could be portrayed more favorably if it were written by Sarah Palin her-egomanical-self. Some facts omitted and distorted: Palin, a polarizing figure, cannot be said to have “captivated the nation” by any objective stretch of the imagination; her account of the “frivolous ethics probes” is here taken at unquestioned face value; her family has been scorned much less than she has shoved it in the public spotlight of her own volition; and, hilariously, the notion that proximity to Russia “national security” is an “issue of importance to her” is a crassly political seed-laying.
Beyond this, though, is my continued perplexedness over how Sarah Palin and her defenders can continue to harp on “media elites,” and blame them for her downfall, when even the supposedly liberal Washington Post bends over backwards to make her look good — is a “back lawn” with “friends and neighbors in baseball hats and polo shirts” anything short of an ideal for a politician? — in its coverage of an embarassing resignation.
In case we missed the message, the Post published this “news analysis” by Dan Balz alongside the above-quoted article:
Sarah Palin demonstrated once again yesterday that she is one of America’s most unconventional politicians, following an unpredictable path to an uncertain future.
That Alaska’s Republican governor has a flair for the theatrical — and plays by her own rules — was underscored anew by her stunning announcement that not only will she not seek reelection in 2010, she will resign her office this month.
But are Palin’s rules those of someone with the capacity to seek and win her party’s presidential nomination in 2012, as many believe is her ultimate goal, or of someone who has flashed like a meteor across the political skies but with limited impact? [emphasis, need you be reminded, mine]
When the the only other option than winning a presidential nomination is flying through the sky like a glowing meteor, I think it’s safe to say that we have an objectivity problem here.
I just read on Mike Tomasky’s blog that the Web site for Sarah Palin’s political action committee, “SarahPAC,” doesn’t “offer anything that resembles, you know, an idea or proposal.” That couldn’t be true, I thought. This is the woman who is…you know, from Alaska. And…something about a pitbull. And all those other substantive ideas and proposals that she brought to the GOP ticket last fall!
Turns out, I was right! The SarahPAC Web site features a “news update” on the latest “frivolous” ethics “complaints” against her to have been dismissed. That’s it. There’s nothing that says Palin 2012 than “I’m not just another corrupt Alaska politician…despite what everyone else says about me!”
(image from flickr user billypalooza under a Creative Commons license)
There is a long, digressive, and intellectually flimsy article in The Wall Street Journal called “The Roots of Liberal Condescension” (byline: “Snobbery is the last refuge of the liberal-arts major.”). Lest I suspect that the piece contain any more than tired Republican tropes railing against America-hating and effete elites, though, the author quickly disabuses me of this fanciful notion by beginning with a victimization of, who else?, Sarah Palin, that martyr of down-at-home populist conservatism (except for, um, Kathleen Parker, Peggy Noonan, David Brooks, George Will…). The piece ends with a mention, naturally, of Jeremiah Wright and…Sarah Palin, then reminds me why it was written in the first place: Barack Obama went to Columbia and Harvard!
And even when these elitist liberals try to appear patriotic, they can’t even wave the flag right.
In case the polling preceding Mark Begich’s overwhelming victory sqeak-out over Ted Stevens did not affirm this truism, a current — albeit absurd — poll pitting incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski against a pitbull Sarah Palin proves once and for all that Alaska polling is, well, extremely fucked up.
Lisa Murkowski had better hope that Sarah Palin doesn’t elect to run for the Senate in 2010. That’s because a Research 2000 poll conducted two weeks ago for Daily Kos has Murkowski trailing Palin 55-31 among Republican primary voters.
Sarah Palin had better not be so foolish as to challenge Lisa Murkowski. That’s because a Dittman Research poll for the local blog The Alaska Standard shows her losing to Murkowski 58-31 in a prospective primary matchup.
It doesn’t take a guru like Nate Silver to explain this one though; turns out the poll was conducted by a committed Murkowski-phile who makes a habit of posting anti-Palin screeds. The maxim that anything goes in Alaska politics, however, is clearly as robust as ever.
(image from flickr user Alaska Youth for Environmental Action under a Creative Commons license)
When I wrote that “Sarah Palin’s coattails of corruption” were helping incumbent Senator lawbreaker Ted Stevens in Alaska, I was, naturally, expressing disappointment. The Wall Street Journal, though, finds an even better reason to lament celebrate Palin’s notoriously expensive coattails: Congressman Don Young, earmarker extraordinaire and the original architect of the infamous Bridge to Nowhere.
While the actual counting of ballots in Alaska appears to have Stevens headed out the door — and hopefully straight to jail without passing “Go” — Young’s malfeasance will be rewarded with another two years of hauling pork to his waiting constituents. Palin’s presence on the ballot did probably help bring out more Republican voters in Alaska, but the implication that the 18-term Young is better equipped to funnel money into the state also assuredly played a large role in his re-election.
The WSJ editorial focuses on the wonders that Palin’s popularity as governor did for the other two GOP candidates, but really, these two factors — Palin’s popularity and the promise of pork — are inextricably linked. Palin is popular in Alaska precisely because she was able to send checks to every citizen; Young’s continued run in Congress is premised on his ability to do an only slightly less literal version of exactly the same thing.
(photo from flickr user smiteme under a Creative Commons license)
In an op-ed in last Sunday’s Los Angeles Times, Vivian Gornick recaps the sexism that helped bring about Hillary Clinton’s defeat and Sarah Palin’s rise. On Clinton, Gornick writes that “she was routinely characterized as strident and aggressive; criticized on her hair, her clothing, her figure.” Palin, she laments, “was chosen, with an ugly wink at the country, because she was a sexy, cheerleading fundamentalist.”
Gornick need not have turned to political celebrities to point out the extent to which sexism still reigns supreme in this country; she need only have looked to the bona fide celebs plastered on an advertisement adorning the right hand side of her own column.
Angelina Jolie, Courtney Cox and more: Did they get their lips done?
Kudos, I suppose, to National Review editor Rich Lowry for giving a (mostly) honest critique of the repudiation of the right in Tuesday’s elections. However, leaning heavily on the immortal fallacy that America is indisputably “a center-right country,” Lowry has a rather interesting take on the history of Republican electoral defeats.
They’ve had bad election nights before. Barry Goldwater won all of six states in 1964. But that election marked a new conservative ascendancy within the GOP that was a harbinger of victories to come. Democrats swept congressional races in 1974 and elected Jimmy Carter in 1976. But that was a reaction to the malfeasance of Richard Nixon, a president whom conservatives never truly considered one of their own. Bill Clinton won in 1992, but with only 43 percent of the vote and over an incumbent Republican, George H.W. Bush, whom conservatives had already repudiated.
So, basically, those conservatives lost because they were sucky conservatives to begin with. Who the “conservatives” who make these up-or-down decisions are, though, is a little unclear. So while these establishment conservatives had conveniently already abandoned rejected the likes of Goldwater, Nixon, and Bush before their downfalls, Lowry awkwardly criticizes the hold that the pro-tax cuts wing of the party exerted on John McCain, the latest faux conservative victim.
At least Sarah Palin has four more years to prepare to be thrown under the bus snowmobile.
Maybe fashion isn’t as frivolous a subject as I assumed.
[Cindy McCain’s and Michelle Obama’s] style choices offer a clear commentary on where their respective husbands and parties stand. To examine the prospective first ladies’ wardrobes is thus not to ignore “the important issues” in America today; it is, on the contrary, to confront the vast differences between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama – differences in values and vision that define this campaign and will determine its winner.
This seems a little tendentious. Analyzing the two candidates’ wives’ style for signs of their husbands worldviews only seems possible when you already know these worldviews. Still, it’s a good, albeit basic, point that, if you take the think-of-this-face approach to voting that George W. Bush Will Ferrell advises, your mind’s eye probably (hopefully) also conjures up what the McCains and the Obamas are wearing. Significantly, of course, analyses of the husbands’ style probably do not generate as much discussion — a fact of which Sarah Palin’s cosmetic entourage was clearly aware.