Conservative Intellectual Hilariously Defends Sarah Palin's Intellect
This post originally appeared on Whiskey Fire. As long as we're on the topic of right-wing intellectualism, hello to you, sir, Tony Lee, please explain to us why Sarah Palin is Ever So Smart.
I hadn't seen Sarah Palin speak in person since the 2008 elections. If one just watched or read mainstream media accounts of her paid speeches and appearances since then, including some accounts that have been featured on this site, one may have come to the conclusion that Palin was just a money-hungry ex-politician devoid of conviction, half-heartedly speaking to various interest groups and causes to line her pockets or raise her national profile to peddle books that she didn't even write herself.Sir! I protest! I firmly believe Sarah Palin is quitevigorously and energetically and sparkily speaking to various interest groups and causes in order to line her pockets. There is nothing half-hearted about it; she fakes sincerity so sincerely, it just might well be, and might as well be, actual sincerity. And I have no doubts whatsoever that she possesses "convictions." She's so full of "convictions," her eyeballs squeak. Though, to be fair, if I were Tony Lee, I'd my own self far prefer to debate her sincerity than her intellect.
Curious about how such memes can develop among supposedly intelligent commentators (most of whom are on the left, but the right has its fair share too), I went to Palin's speech in Washington, D.C. on Friday, where she spoke at a breakfast hosted by The Susan B. Anthony List, an extremely influential pro-life organization."Memes"? What's fantastic here is not that Lee doesn't seem to be bothering with the "is she fit to govern" business, but with the "can she be elected" question; that's banal pundit crap. What's fun is how he doesn't even come close to acknowledging this as an issue.
Nowhere did I see a caricature of a bumbling dolt just going through the motions. What I did hear was substance. Warmth. Humor. Unapologetic feistiness. And an optimistic belief in conservative values and principles. And what I saw was the makings of a potentially transcendent and transformational figure not only for the conservative movement but for American politics.OK. "Substance." Let's look for that.
1. Palin as the "Mama Bear" defending America's children from "generational theft."
As Barack Obama and Democrats spend more money, as the country goes more into debt, as the specter of inflation gets near, it goes without saying that voters will care more about the deficit and fiscal responsibility, and they will demand politicians do something about it. Americans often tell pollsters they worry that their children will be the first generation of children who won't do better than their parents, and they often cite America's crippling debt as one of the primary reasons for their pessimism. If Palin can convince voters - old and young - that she is indeed the proverbial "mama bear" fighting to restore an America where parents leave behind for their children an America that is in better shape than the one they inherited from their parents, it would resonate powerfully.Calling yourself a "bear" is an economic program in the same sense as calling yourself a "giraffe" is a Mars exploration program. "Roaring" like a bear will create a lower unemployment rate precisely as effectively as stretching your neck like a giraffe will enable you to escape Earth's gravity. I also have my doubts that pretending to be a bear makes political sense. The 4-Year-Old told me this afternoon that he is a "space robot," but that hardly qualifies him to run NASA. Until the Palin Administration is in charge, anyhow.
2. Palin as a "frontier feminist." The frontier has always been a powerful symbol in American politics. But Palin personifies this theme in way unlike any other previous politician. As she alluded to in her speech, women on the frontier have always been ahead of the curve; Palin made reference to how frontier women fought for suffrage before it became popular among the more educated classes on the east coast.This is an absolute load of shit. And as an upstate New Yorker, I'm irate. Irate! How much history do you have to not know before you get to say something as appallingly stone dumb as this? And more!
If anyone had any doubts which side of the city/exurbia debate Palin was on, it is worth nothing that in the same week in which Barack Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court may have been a symbol of Obama as the ultimate urban, city dweller, Palin firmly planted her flag in small towns and exurbia when she urged an Illinois high school girl's basketball team to "play ball" in reference to the school's boycott of Arizona over Arizona's recently passed illegal immigration laws.Insofar as providing a devastating rebuttal to the idea that Sarah Palin is not hardly a Woman of Substance, but just a cunning dingaling battening on trivial culture war bullshit, this, uh, sucks ass. Sorry -- that could have been more witty. Here: this sucks totalass. That's better. Also, if you think there exists a "city/exurbia debate," please, start collecting Pokemon cards, or something else less absurd for a grownup to be doing in public. Or at least keep quiet about it, for God's sake.
Yet for conservatives, it's Palin's style that earns her "street cred" and makes her beloved.Floogh! Schlurg! I mean, GAH! As soon as you put quotation marks around "street cred," OY! This isn't even political. May Gustave Flaubert have a ghost, and may he be adept at ectoplasmic spitballs.
1. She can testify.That will come in handy, because sure as shit, she's getting a subpoena.
Just as Obama spoke the language of Black and urban America in churches and on the stump, Palin speaks the language of social conservatives. Her personal experiences, especially the birth of her son Trig, and those of her daughter, Bristol (in a lighthearted moment, Palin told the audience that Bristol advocates abstinence by telling teenagers they should hit "pause before play"), make her testimony about being "pro-life" more powerful and moving.She sure is an excellent authority on how you can keep your teenagers from fucking.
2. She attacks Obama.How innovative!
3. She relishes attacking liberals.It's the shock of the new!
4. And she's optimistic. Most importantly, though, Palin hardly seems like someone who is on the verge of post-partem depression.I'm beginning to think Tony Lee might just be kind of a twit. There is a frightening lack of, well, anything remotely connected with reality, never mind policy, let alone spelling, in any of this shit. Fortunately for Conservative Thought, the Main Stream Media still lurves you. They're the Little Red Headed Girl to your Charlie Brown, except, you know, fuck you. MAS. The only reason this particular idiot has a job at the Atlanticis he is an interpreter of wingnut folkways. Why the Atlanticis paying for shit they could get for the price of a fucking Memeorandum subscription escapes me. THIS EXPLAINS IT.