Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Paglia and the lot
This woman 'gets it' She is the only true feminist I know:
.... Palin's shock resignation as governor of Alaska on the past Fourth of July weekend. I assume that family priorities -- personal as well as financial -- had become all-consuming. Given her success with finalizing the massive Alaska pipeline project, I think Palin should have stuck it out, but of course she is master of her own fate. What certainly was blameworthy was the chaotic and rushed statement itself. Something so politically consequential needed more careful composition and rehearsal. Why provide more fodder for the vultures and harpies of the Northeastern media?
Unfortunately, it's pretty obvious that Palin still lacks that cadre of trusted pros who are the invisible elves behind every successful national politician -- the assistants who gather and vet material and who filter proposals and plan logistics. In a way, this is part of her virtues -- her complete freedom from routine micromanagement and business as usual. She does her own thing with seat-of-the-pants gusto. It's why she remains hugely popular with the Republican grass-roots base -- as I know from listening to talk radio. Callers coming fresh from her rallies are always heady with infectious enthusiasm.
Of course you'd never know that from reading hit jobs like Todd Purdum's sepulchral piece on Palin in the current Vanity Fair. Scurrying around Alaska with his notepad, Purdum still managed to find comically little to indict her with. Anyone with a gripe is given the floor; fans are shut out. This exercise in faux objectivity is exposed at key points such as Purdum's failure to identify the actual instigator of Palin's extravagant clothing bills (a crazed, credit-card-abusing stylist appointed by the McCain campaign) and his prissy characterization of Palin's performance at the vice-presidential debate as merely "adequate." Hey, wake up -- Palin cleaned Biden's clock! By the end, Biden was sighing and itching to split.
Whether Palin has a national future or not will depend on her willingness to hit the books at some point and absorb more information about international history and politics than she has needed to know in her role as governor. She also needs a shrewder, cooler take on the mainstream media, with its preening bullies, cackling witches, twisted cynics and pompous windbags. The Northeastern media establishment is in decline, and everyone knows it. Palin should not have gotten into a slanging match with David Letterman or anyone else who has been obsessively defaming her or her family. Let surrogates do that stuff.
The vicious double standard is pretty obvious. Only the tabloids, for example, ran the photos of a piss-drunk Chelsea Clinton, panties exposed, falling into her car outside London clubs a few years ago. If Chelsea had been the scion of Republican bigwigs, those tacky scenes would have been trumpeted from pillar to post in the U.S. as signals of parental failures or turmoil in clan Clinton. As a Democrat, I detest the partisan machinations that have become standard in Northeastern news management and that are detectable in editorial decisions at major metropolitan newspapers nationwide. It's why I, like a host of others, have shifted my news gathering to the Web.
Now check this out:
Please know: I am black; I grew up in the segregated South. I did not vote for Barack Obama; I wrote in Ron Paul's name as my choice for president. Most importantly, I am not race conscious. I do not require a black president to know that I am a person of worth, and that life is worth living. I do not require a black president to love the ideal of America.
I cannot join you in your celebration. I feel no elation. There is no smile on my face. I am not jumping with joy. There are no tears of triumph in my eyes. For such emotions and behavior to come from me, I would have to deny all that I know about the requirements of human flourishing and survival - all that I know about the history of the United States of America, all that I know about American race relations, and all that I know about Barack Obama as a politician. I would have to deny the nature of the "change" that Obama asserts has come to America. Most importantly, I would have to abnegate my certain understanding that you have chosen to sprint down the road to serfdom that we have been on for over a century. I would have to pretend that individual liberty has no value for the success of a human life. I would have to evade your rejection of the slender reed of capitalism on which your success and mine depend. I would have to think it somehow rational that 94 percent of the 12 million blacks in this country voted for a man because he looks like them (that blacks are permitted to play the race card), and that they were joined by self-declared "progressive" whites who voted for him because he doesn't look like them. I would have to be wipe my mind clean of all that I know about the kind of people who have advised and taught Barack Obama and will fill posts in his administration - political intellectuals like my former colleagues at the Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.
I would have to believe that "fairness" is equivalent of justice. I would have to believe that man who asks me to "go forward in a new spirit of service, in a new service of sacrifice" is speaking in my interest. I would have to accept the premise of a man that economic prosperity comes from the "bottom up," and who arrogantly believes that he can will it into existence by the use of government force. I would have to admire a man who thinks the standard of living of the masses can be improved by destroying the most productive and the generators of wealth.
Finally, Americans, I would have to erase from my consciousness the scene of 125,000 screaming, crying, cheering people in Grant Park, Chicago irrationally chanting "Yes We Can!" Finally, I would have to wipe all memory of all the times I have heard politicians, pundits, journalists, editorialists, bloggers and intellectuals declare that capitalism is dead - and no one, including especially Alan Greenspan, objected to their assumption that the particular version of the anti-capitalistic mentality that they want to replace with their own version of anti-capitalism is anything remotely equivalent to capitalism.
So you have made history, Americans. You and your children have elected a black man to the office of the president of the United States, the wounded giant of the world. The battle between John Wayne and Jane Fonda is over - and that Fonda won. Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern must be very happy men. Jimmie Carter, too. And the Kennedys have at last gotten their Kennedy look-a-like. The self-righteous welfare statists in the suburbs can feel warm moments of satisfaction for having elected a black person. So, toast yourselves: 60s countercultural radicals, 80s yuppies and 90s bourgeois bohemians. Toast yourselves, Black America. Shout your glee Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Duke, Stanford, and Berkeley. You have elected not an individual who is qualified to be president, but a black man who, like the pragmatist Franklin Roosevelt, promises to - Do Something! You now have someone who has picked up the baton of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. But you have also foolishly traded your freedom and mine - what little there is left - for the chance to feel good. There is nothing in me that can share your happy obliviousness.
November 6, 2008
Dr. Anne Wortham is the author of "The Other Side of Racism: A Philosophical Study of Black Race Consciousness". She is Associate Professor of Sociology at Illinois State University and continuing Visiting Scholar at Stanford University 's Hoover Institution. She is a member of the American Sociological Association and the American Philosophical Association. Pretty strong credentials, don't you think?
In looking into Anne Wortham I also found that she is a follower of Ayn Rand. That's why I haven't heard of her before. A black university professor who is a Rand fan?
Finally, a hilarious take on why the GOP lost from a liberal, or one that at least tries to claim he is a liberal:
I Still Hate You, Sarah Palin
The Republicans bring a knife to a gunfight, and lose again.
By David Kahane
One of the most terrifying moments of my political life came last summer at the Republican convention in St. Paul. No, I don’t mean seeing John McCain careering around the Xcel Energy Center like Eyegore in Young Frankenstein, his face frozen in a Lon Chaney Sr. rictus grin as he reached across the aisle to his erstwhile friends in the media and got his hand bitten off. Rather, I’m referring to the aftermath of Sarah Palin’s outrageous acceptance speech, which whipped up the Rotary Club delegates into a frenzy of white-boy fury that not even heckling by a brave Code Pink embed could deter. Truly a fascist classic and one that sent shivers down our collectivist spines.
Even worse was the glaze of horror on the phizzes of the assembled heroes of the Mainstream Media. Andrea Mitchell — yes, the very same Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Washington, whose employer saw no conflict of interest at all when she married then Fed pooh-bah Alan Greenspan — stood there gaping like a frog while the rest of the assembled Finemans and Matthewses and Olbermanns scurried around like roaches when the light gets turned on: What the hell just hit us? For one horrible moment, it looked as if the carefully crafted plans of David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel, George Soros, and the Second Chief Directorate, first department, of the old KGB were about to gang agley.
Not only were we offended at the sheer effrontery of McCain’s pick: How dare the Republicans proffer this déclassée piece of Wasilla trailer trash whose only claim to fame was that she didn’t exercise her right to choose? Where were her degrees from Smith or Barnard, her internships at PETA, the Brookings Institution, or the Young Pioneers? We were also outraged that the Stupid Party had just nominated a completely unqualified candidate nobody had ever heard of, a first-term governor of Alaska whose previous experience consisted of a small-town mayoralty. As opposed to our guy, Barry Soetoro of Mombasa, Djakarta, and Honolulu, a first-term senator nobody had ever heard of, whose previous experience had been as a state senator (D., Daley Machine) in Illinois. After eight long, illegitimate, lawless years of &*^%BUSH$#@! tyranny, how dare you contest this election?
And so the word went out, from that time and place: Eviscerate Sarah Palin like one of her field-dressed moose. Turn her life upside down. Attack her politics, her background, her educational history. Attack her family. Make fun of her husband, her children. Unleash the noted gynecologist Andrew Sullivan to prove that Palin’s fifth child was really her grandchild. Hit her with everything we have: Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, taking a beer-run break from her quixotic search for Mr. Right to drip venom on Sister Sarah; post-funny comic David Letterman, to joke about her and her daughters on national television; Katie Couric, the anchor nobody watches, to give this Alaskan interloper a taste of life in the big leagues; former New York Times hack Todd “Mr. Dee Dee Myers” Purdum, to act as an instrument of Graydon Carter’s wrath at Vanity Fair. Heck, we even burned her church down. Even after the teleological triumph of The One, the assault had to continue, each blow delivered with our Lefty SneerTM (viz.: Donny Deutsch yesterday on Morning Joe), until Sarah was finished.
You know what? It worked! McCain finally succumbed to his long-standing case of Stockholm Syndrome (“My friends, you have nothing to fear from an Obama presidency”), Tina Fey turned Palin into a see-Russia-from-my-house joke, “conservative” useful idiots like Peggy Noonan and Kathleen Parker hatched her, and finally Sarah cried No más and walked away. If we could, we’d cut off her head and mount it on a wall at Tammany Hall, except there is no more Tammany Hall unless you count Obama’s Tony Rezko–financed home in Chicago. And it took only eight months — heck, Sarah couldn't even have another kid in the time it took us to destroy her. That’s the Chicago way!
Yes, my friends, it’s once again time to quote Sean Connery’s famous speech from The Untouchables, written by David Mamet — the lecture the veteran Chicago cop gives a wet-behind-the-ears Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner, back when he was a movie star) while they sit in a church pew. “You want to get Capone? Here’s how you get him: he pulls a knife, you pull a gun, he sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way!” If you just think of us — liberal Democrats — as Capone you’ll begin to understand what we’re up to. And we just put one of yours in the morgue.
I don’t know why I’m telling you this, but maybe now you’re beginning to understand the high-stakes game we’re playing here. This ain’t John McCain’s logrolling senatorial club any more. This is a deadly serious attempt to realize the vision of the 1960s and to fundamentally transform the United States of America. This is the fusion of Communist dogma, high ideals, gangster tactics, and a stunning amount of self-loathing. For the first time in history, the patrician class is deliberately selling its own country down the river just to prove a point: that, yes, we can! This country stinks and we won’t be happy until we’ve forced you to admit it.
In other words, stop thinking of the Democratic Party as merely a political party, because it’s much more than that. We’re not just the party of slavery, segregation, secularism, and sedition. Not just the party of Aaron Burr, Boss Tweed, Richard J. Croker, Bull Connor, Chris Dodd, Richard Daley, Bill Ayers, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and Emperor Barack Hussein Obama II. Not just the party of Kendall “Agent 202” Myers, the State Department official recruited as a Cuban spy along with his wife during the Carter administration.
If you had any sense, you would start using our tactics against us. After all, you have a few lawyers on your side. Sue us. File frivolous ethics complaints against all our elected officials until, like Sarah, they go broke from defending themselves. (David Paterson would be a good place to start.) Challenge the constitutionality of BO2’s legion of fill-in-the-blank czars — none of whom have to be confirmed, or even pass a security check. (Come to think of it, neither did Barry.) Let slip your own journalistic dogs of war, assuming you have any, to find Barry’s birth certificate, his college transcripts, whether he applied to Occidental as a foreign student, and on which passport he traveled in 1981 to Pakistan with his friend Wahid Hamid, for starters.
You might also want to think about interviewing New York literary agent Jane Dystel, who a) contacted the totally unknown Obama in the wake of an adulatory New York Times piece in 1990 and b) got him a $125,000 advance for a memoir that c) he couldn’t write, even after a long sojourn in Bali, which d) got the contract canceled, whereupon e) Dystel got him $40,000 from another publisher, following which f) the book finally came out to glowing reviews and g) Obama fired her. Wouldn’t she have an interesting story to tell?
Of course, you won’t. You’re too nice, too enamored of history and tradition to realize that the rules have changed. Remember, I live and work in a town where, “Hello, he lied,” isn’t a joke; we men of the Left are perfectly comfortable lying, cheating, and stealing — hello, Senator Franken! — in order to attain and keep political power. Not for nothing is one of our mottos, “By Any Means Necessary.” You see, we’re the good guys, and for us the ends always justify the means. We are, literally, shameless, which is why Bill Clinton is now a multi-millionaire and Eliot Spitzer is already on the comeback trail.
In Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, “the fourth rule is: Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.” This is the book that “Reset” Rodham (what ever happened to her?) and BHO II grew up reading and continue to live by. If you don’t understand that that’s the way we see you — as the enemy — then you’re too dumb to survive. Remember that for us politics is not just an avocation, or even just a job, but our life. We literally stay awake nights thinking up ways to screw you. And one of the ways we do that is by religiously observing Alinsky’s Rule No. 4.
Did Sarah stand for “family values”? Flay her unwed-mother daughter. Did she represent probity in a notoriously corrupt, one-family state? Spread rumors about FBI investigations. Did she speak with an upper-Midwest twang? Mock it relentlessly on Saturday Night Live. Above all, don’t let her motivate the half of the country that doesn’t want His Serene Highness to bankrupt the nation, align with banana-republic Communist dictators, unilaterally dismantle our missile defenses, and set foot in more mosques than churches since he has become president. We’ve got a suicide cult to run here.
And that’s why Sarah had to go. Whether she understood it or not, she threatened us right down to our most fundamental, meretricious, elitist, sneering, snobbish, insecure, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders bones. She was, after all, a “normal” American, the kind of person (or so I’m told) you meet in flyover country. The kind that worries first about home and hearth and believes in things like motherhood and love of country the way it is, not the way she wants to remake it.
What you clowns need, in other words, is a Rules for Radical Conservatives to explain what you’re up against and teach you how to compete before it’s too late. Luckily, since I care about money even more than I care about politics, I have just such a book in the proposal stage, currently making the rounds of various publishers, assuming any of them are wise enough to take me up on it.
And, yes, this time it really is personal.
— David Kahane is pushing for a new national holiday to commemorate the destruction of Sarah Palin, and is hopeful that his senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, will co-sponsor it, along with Henry Waxman in the House. You can second the motion at email@example.com or on Facebook.