Monday, September 08, 2008

Don't be shy, Heather...

...tell us what you really think.

Heather Mallick, the Canadian writer who almost caused Bill O'Reilly to have an on-air coronary when she responded to his shouted, "ARE YOU A SOCIALIST?" with a pleasant smile and the word "Certainly", turns her withering prose on Sarah Palin in particular and the GOP in general. Some excerpts:

I assume John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential partner in a fit of pique because the Republican money men refused to let him have the stuffed male shirt he really wanted. She added nothing to the ticket that the Republicans didn't already have sewn up, the white trash vote, the demographic that sullies America's name inside and outside its borders yet has such a curious appeal for the right.

So why do it?

It's possible that Republican men, sexual inadequates that they are, really believe that women will vote for a woman just because she's a woman. They're unfamiliar with our true natures. Do they think vaginas call out to each other in the jungle night?
Palin has a toned-down version of the porn actress look favoured by this decade's woman, the overtreated hair, puffy lips and permanently alarmed expression. Bristol has what is known in Britain as the look of the teen mum, the "pramface." Husband Todd looks like a roughneck; Track, heading off to Iraq, appears terrified. They claim to be family obsessed while being studiously terrible at parenting.

before addressing what's really bothering her:

The conventioneers are nothing like the rich men who run the party, and that's the mystery of the hick vote. They'd be much better served by the Democrats. I know Thomas Frank answered this in What's the Matter with Kansas?; I know that red states vote Republican on social issues to give themselves the
only self-esteem available to their broken, economically abused existence.

So why will so many economically disadvantaged Americans loyally vote for the GOP this year?

Is it racism? I'm told that it is, although I find racism so appalling that I have difficulty identifying it. It is more likely the dearly held Republican notion that any American can become violently rich, as rich as those hedge funders in Greenwich, Conn., who buy $40-million mansions unseen and have their topiary shaped in the form of musical notes.

When Palin and Rudy Giuliani sneered at Obama's years of "community organizing" — they said it like "rectal fissure" — the audience ewww-ed with them. Republicans dream of a personal future that involves only household staff, not equals who need to be persuaded to vote.

So I'm trying to imagine the pain of realizing, as they all must at some point, that it is not going to happen for them. It's the green light at the end of the dock. It's the ship that never comes in, gals, as Palin would put it. But she won't because the lie works for her. It helps her scramble, without compassion, above all those other tense no-hoper ladies in the audience.
The entire incredible diatribe.




Blogger Mike said...

Absolutely right on all levels. The Republican appeal is the same as the lottery -- even though the odds are absolutely against it, you sell the notion that the guy you are addressing is about to hit the big time. And they don't want to hear from somebody who says you have to work and punch a timecard and put your time in and then you will have a nice, but not spectacular, life. That's what the teachers told us in high school and we hated high school

9:22 p.m.  
Blogger Carl said...

I despise Palin, yet I find the commentary to be appallingly condescending and arrogant.

12:36 a.m.  
Anonymous Dann said...

I'm not sure I should venture a reply to Ms. Mallick's piece of supposed wit and insight. I like Ronnie too much to sully her site with a proper fsking.

However, this rejoinder seems to do the job nicely.


1:22 p.m.  
Blogger ronnie said...

She pushes buttons, doesn't she? (She certainly pushed that blogger's buttons hard enough to provoke a line-by-line dissection.)

Don't make the error of assuming I agree with everything that she says or how she says it. I agree that the column is condescending. She meant it to be. If you know her writing, that is Mallick at her most deeply frustrated. She meant it to sting, and I guarantee you she meant it to piss people off. That blog post dissecting the column would give her shudders of delight, and I'm pretty certain she'll have already googled it. She is probably sitting by the phone now, praying that O'Reilly calls again.

But in her frustration, I empathize. If anyone, anyone can explain to me how half the American public, for some reason completely inexplicable to me, has suddenly come to the conclusion that somebody with less than two years of even remotely related experience should be elevated to quite likely serve in the most powerful position on earth, I'm all ears. Because otherwise, from here, it looks very much like half of you have taken complete leave of your senses.

10:06 a.m.  
Anonymous Dann said...

Hi Ronnie,

I didn't think you bought into that sort of venom. Sadly, she isn't alone.

James Lileks is a reporter for the Minneapolis Tribune. He also manages a couple of their online projects, is a formerly syndicated columnist and author of a couple of books satirizing the ephemera of America. His personal site, blog inclusive, is sort of a repository for projects and ideas that he can't cram into his paying gigs.

You could attach a wire to a toe on each of his ears and provide all the power requirements for Iles De La Madeleine.

Sort of like the Deacon, except James agrees with my political predilections more than yours. [grin]

As for the inexperienced candidate, beats me. But you can't say that the Democrats didn't have other options...

I understand that the folks in Scotland are a bit confused as well. On the one side they see that we have a lawyer who just beat another lawyer for the nomination. On the other side they see a decorated war veteran with a wife that is not only beautiful, but she also owns a beer distributorship. They aren't sure how this can be much of a race.


10:58 a.m.  
Blogger ronnie said...

"I didn't think you bought into that sort of venom."

Dann, allow me to repeat: "Don't make the error of assuming I agree with everything that she says or how she says it."

I called it an "incredible diatribe", which I assumed people would interpret as me being taken aback by it.

I do feel for the Scots' confusion, however :)

9:25 a.m.  

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