Thursday, September 04, 2008

Into the Mild


How can someone be arrogant and naive at the same time?

One of the Huffington Post's regular contributors just put into words exactly how I felt watching Sarah Palin speak last night -- the anger and unease that I couldn't quite put my finger on. This is probably the most dead-on assessment of her entire tone and attitude that I've read so far:

"Many pundits in reviewing her polished performance claim to see an unflappable and gung-ho winner on stage. My honest-to-goodness visceral reaction was quite otherwise. What I saw on that stage was the personification of small-minded smugness, an utter lack of humility, a kind of self-righteous entitlement based on little more than puffed-up narrowness. She struck me not as plucky but, rather, as stunningly immodest--to the point of arrogance. Some people are arrogant and maybe deserve to be. They know it, and flaunt it, while everyone else thinks they are jerks. But there's another kind of arrogance, perhaps harder to spot at first, an arrogance that apparently doesn't even recognize itself as such, a sanctified, self-satisfied presumptuousness that flows from sheer naïveté about oneself and the world and manifests itself in giddy ambition."

(The Huffington Post: "Sarah Palin: The Face of Ugly Americanism" by John Seery/9.4.08)

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bitch has the beauty queen wave down. Noticed that the first speech she gave last Saturday.

Anonymous said...

Love the "Jesus was a Community Organizer, and Pontias Pilate was a Governor" slogan making the rounds. Maybe we need to expand on that - "Martin Luthor King was a Community Organizer, George W. Bush was a Governor."

jrm78 said...

I think Jim Kunstler has a pretty apt take on the whole thing that meshes well with Seery's assessment.

She quickly proved to be a confident podium performer, but the content and tenor of her remarks conveyed all the petty viciousness and insecurity of the Republican right-wing. As she spoke, the cameras panned around her rapt audience, affording snapshots of the dumbest white people in America, self-congratulatory in their small-town ignorance and brined in a dangerous jingo-patriotism that must make leaders in other nations cringe in amazement at the rhetorical recklessness being served up. Everything about her speech was small-minded, vindictive, smugly sarcastic, and shot through with falsehood (e.g. that the Republicans will "lead America to energy independence").

Anonymous said...

Obama camp raises $10 million overnight. Maybe people are starting to to get it, after all...

Chez said...

Jrm --

That's brilliant stuff. Thanks.

em said...

All I could think during her speech was, "Dance, monkey, dance!!!!!!!!!!!" That's exactly what she did, and people ate that shit up. Oh, and my boyfriend and I were also playing "Count the minorities in the audience, because there have to be at least 2 black people at this thing".

xoch said...

Totally agree.
The question is, will the rest of America be wise to their tactics?

I blame Rove and his friends. And the growing gap between the haves and the have nots. Small town folks didn't use to be so bitter towards "city slickers". Being proudly provincial didn't involve viciously attacking the other side. Words like 'elite' didn't have negative connotations before.

The States didn't lose their hegemony overnight or without reason. I think this is a huge part of the problem.

-xoch @ sodafilms

jrm78 said...

Johnny Mac is asking for the wrath of teh intarwebs by speechifying in front of a chroma-key blue background.

Just sayin.

Moderator said...

I wish everyone would view the horrifying video Defenders of Wildlife is using to show Palin's support of aerial wolf hunting. She approved a $400,000 campaign to promote it, introduced legislation to make it easier to hunt wolves and bears from planes, and proposed a $150 bounty for the left foreleg of each dead wolf! Just when I thought GOP candidates couldn't get any worse or do any more damage....

anne said...

Spot on characterization of Palin's speech and the McCain campaign rhetoric in general.
I find it terrifying that these people could potentially lead my country especially at a time when the country needs a president who can deal with new global realities. As Francis Fukuyama puts it (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/66ca01da-78fa-11dd-9d0c-000077b07658.html)
"... a chief task of US foreign policy in the next administration will be to gracefully manage an adversely shifting global power balance and significantly diminished US influence. This is not a hypothetical issue, but one that stares us in the face today...one of the chief ways that US power has been diminished in this decade is in its moral credibility. After the Russian intervention, US officials asserted that “21st century powers don’t violate the sovereignty of other countries to overturn regimes”. Adding the qualifier “in Europe” reduced the snickering only marginally."
The US is still the most powerful country in the world, but its power is waning and the option to act alone is no longer available. The last thing the country needs is another president who will further diminish our moral credibility and damage our relationships abroad. McCain and Palin's stubborn arrogance and us vs. the world mentality was never right, but in the coming years will no longer be feasible.

hollygirl78 said...

The mystery has been solved. Now we know why McBush picked her. Plug this into an anagram generator:

AK GOVERNOR: SARAH PALIN

and you will get back.....

PLAN: HAS VAGINA. OK.

Oh, and five more letters......ERROR.

em said...

The bf sent me this...

http://www.somethingawful.com/d/feature-articles/levi-johnston-hockey.php

...and I haven't stopped laughing.

Rob said...

Her combination of naivete and arrogance shouldn't come as a surprise. It's Bush all over again. And, generally speaking, think of the people you encounter day to day who think they know everything -- they're always some of the dumbest people you're likely to meet.

In my experience teaching writing and teachers, the most thoughtful, intelligent people have a degree of humility exactly because they're self-aware. And they often suffer from self-doubt because they understand how difficult it is to do what they do. They feel less capable than they actually are because they know the challenges and obstacles inherent in their field. I'm not sure if this translates directly to politics, but it seems to me that Sarah Palin (and people like her) are arrogant precisely because they have absolutely no clue what they're doing. If she better understood the job she wants to take on, perhaps she wouldn't be quite so confident when it's so unwarranted.

brite said...

" But there's another kind of arrogance, perhaps harder to spot at first, an arrogance that apparently doesn't even recognize itself as such, a sanctified, self-satisfied presumptuousness that flows from sheer naïveté about oneself and the world and manifests itself in giddy ambition."
This accurately describes the current squatter in the White House and if the past 8 years are any indication, it seems that the Republicans have tapped into the middle American self image.

Mack said...

And... do you know want to know what it's called: wrong.

Look, you and I disagree and you piss me off on so many levels, BUT, where I think fat Oprah and Horse face are stupid...I lose 25 pounds and tell everyone to go fuck themselves. Thats the difference. Bring it bitches.

I listened to my mother bullshit about Sarah Palin and I could pretty much shoot myself in the face before I earn my place in the Rebulican Convention. But I would rather DIE than let your horse face, Republican, don't even know what the fuck I stand for, fake ass support for McCain, Brigde for nowhere, daughter that lives with mhy daughter, etc etc., speak for me.

I don't have time for this.....

Cookie said...

Have you come across the letter from someone who has known Sarah Palin for 16 years? Fascinating, if not terrifying.

http://my2bucks.wordpress.com/2008/09/02/a-letter-from-someone-who-has-known-sarah-palin-since-1992/

No offence, but damn am I glad I'm not an American.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Chez. Thank you, John Seery. Thank you, people of America who do still have some common sense left. I was in a state of sheer frustration and disbelief that there were people out there, let alone "respected" news media, who championed Palin's speech. But then I read Chez's piece, and the piece from the Huffington Post, and both have managed to capture my feelings and put them into eloquent words. It makes me think there may be hope out there after all.

Another piece I thought hit the nail on the head:
"Palin's Speech to Nowhere"
http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/Sad.html

Mack said...

Drinking and blogging do not mix. I apologize for my nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Did we listen to the same speech? She was brilliant. A better speaker than Barrack, Joe Biden or Michelle Obama ever will be. This woman is being crucified for being a woman. She simply can't win. If she seems sure of herself, it's deemed arrogant. I simply can't disagree with you or this post more. Just a friendly opinion.

Chez said...

Listen man, normally I wouldn't bother arguing this sort of thing on the comment page, but let me make this clear.

I can make sarcastic and insulting remarks here because I'm not running for the second highest office in the land. Pulling that sort of crap -- insinuating that your opponent didn't do any real work as a community organizer and such -- just to rile up the Neanderthal Idiocrats (and I have a feeling that word will creep up more and more as this thing pushes along) and get them all giggling and shouting USA! USA! isn't presidential. Period. There was no sense of gravitas to anything she said. She didn't care that she came off as petty and juvenile, because she didn't have to be anything better for that crowd. But she does have to be better, stronger and wiser -- not just filled with hubristic ambition and cheap jokes -- to be a leader who's worthy of respect by at least half of this country as well as the global contingent she'll be forced to deal with regularly. This nation's been laughed at around the world because its leaders are dumb and driven only by greed and an arrogant sense of entitlement; most Americans believe we've been going in the wrong direction the past few years (at the very least) and I honestly believe that this will be remembered on election day.

Sarah Palin is a fucking joke. Her speech the other night proved it. I'm sick and goddamned tired of idiots like her being put into office by the morons on the right. She shouldn't be allowed to represent a country this great at all, let alone in a position of such power. And we're going to see to it that she doesn't. The right has screwed this country enough over the last eight years. No more.

EthnicRedneck said...

Did anyone else notice her blink rate? I swear that bugged the crap out of me. She was blinking about 2-3 times every five seconds. Now according to all of the poker shows I watch at 3am, that would be considered a tell or a sign of stress. (Or really dry contacts, but since she wears glasses, I don't think that was it). So either she was blinded by the lights or that entire thing was a scripted ball of crap. So, with her history of easy political wins and beauty pageants, what do you think? Was this heartfelt, or just another chance to win something that will make her feel pretty and quiet that nagging little voice in the back of her head that says "You're not good enough, not pretty enough, and not smart enough for Jesus to love you. Now do that dance for mommy again."

Archer said...

I cannot be more proud than of that article at Huffpost and of some of the comments here.

"Sarah Palin is a fucking joke."

She's not the root of the problem, though. She didn't ask to be VP and she didn't even believe it was possible- she was prepared to live out her life in the middle of nowhere with all her backwards friends. She's a puppet of the McCain camp and their bizarre last-grasp strategy to win by throwing some chick with an interesting bio into the spotlight. That being said, nobody told her to be such a fucking bitch all the time.

So I wear my opinion not on my sleeve, but my chest... with a Palin "PUPPET" image I designed and hope, for the country's sake, catches on. Attack the organ grinder AND his monkey.

http://www.PuppetTees.com

James said...

The only difference between Palin's speech and Joe Biden's is that you agree with Biden's. If you were a republican, you would agree with Palin's. See how politics works? The mindlessness of this blog is truly stunning, and is a near perfect example of why the country will never be truly united; no one can see their own faults and the faults of their party. Neither candidate is a perfect choice, but Obama and Biden are a disastrous one.

Chez said...

James --

This blog is "mindless" and yet you're here apparently reading every single word of it.

Contrary to what you may think, I understand that the Democratic Party is riddled with faults -- faults I find hard to reconcile most of the time (which is why I'm a registered Independent). But for eight years this country has had the glaring faults of the GOP rubbed in its face, and yet those who support McCain and Palin pretend as if the disgraceful policies of the last two terms never existed. Who knows what an Obama-Biden presidency would look like? But we already know exactly what we're getting with McCain-Palin.

To be honest though I have no idea why I'm arguing with you. I won't change your mind any more than you'll change mine. Let's agree to disagree and leave it at that. If you don't like what you're reading, it really is a very large internet. Feel free to go somewhere else and indulge in something that simply confirms your biases.

Anonymous said...

yes, could not have said it better myself. articulated perfectly!

Anonymous said...

this is why i loved lieberman's speech. in my opinion, the 2 stars of this political race are lieberman (after his speech) and joe biden. on a more personal note...chez - how can you be so mentally sharp with a little newborn baby? major kudos to you...it's amazing really (kudos to wife jayne, too)