Friday, November 20, 2009

Who Ya Got?

A couple of humorous dueling quotes as the week of the Sarah Palin media assault hopefully draws to a close. First up, from Christopher Hitchens in his Newsweek cover story:

"The Palin problem, then, might be that she cynically incites a crowd that she has no real intention of pleasing. If she were ever to get herself to the nation's capital, the teabaggers would be just as much on the outside as they are now, and would simply have been the instruments that helped get her elected. In my own not-all-that-humble opinion, duping the hicks is a degree or two worse than condescending to them.

This is not a small matter for the Republican Party. (And again: it was senior Republican operatives, and not jeering liberals, who told my Vanity Fair colleague Todd Purdum about the hectic atmosphere, of hysteria and collapsing scenery, that accompanied their lame attempt to present Sarah Palin as plausible during the last campaign.) The United States has to stand or fall by being the preeminent nation of science, modernity, technology, and higher education. Some of these needful phenomena, for historical reasons, will just happen to concentrate in big cities and in secular institutions and even—yes—on the dreaded East Coast. Modernity can be wrenching, as indeed can capitalism, and there will always be 'out' groups who feel themselves disrespected or left behind. The task and duty of a serious politician, as Edmund Burke emphasized so well, is to reason with such people and not to act as their megaphone or ventriloquist. Sarah Palin appears to have no testable core conviction except the belief (which none of her defenders denies that she holds, or at least has held and not yet repudiated) that the end of days and the Second Coming will occur in her lifetime. This completes the already strong case for allowing her to pass the rest of her natural life span as a private citizen."

And Palin's response to such criticism -- any criticism really, as from what I've read of her book (and no, I didn't pay for it), much of it, not surprisingly, is about settling petty personal vendettas:

"These are probably some lonely people, some shallow people who want to take a shot like that and we need to pray for these people."


ntx said...

Man it pains me to say this: Christopher Hitchens is right.

He must have written this pretty early in the morning.

cousinavi said...

In Palin's view, while perhaps not shallow or lonely, Hitch needs prayer because he's a godless atheist. Of course, that only reinforces Hitchen's point in chief.

Of course, should Palin run, that the godless are against her BECAUSE she believes in the loving lord jesus, meek and mild, will become a rally cry.

/ a hard rain is gonna fall

Chris said...

To coin a phrase that Republicans used for our sitting president last fall, Sarah Palin is an empty power-suit. She lacks credibility, experience, and substance, and her charisma falls away the moment she starts talking. That anyone supports her is proof to me that Mike judge was right and the Idiocracy is upon us.

L. said...

I love the rationale that anyone who doesn't think she's a brilliant politician destined for great things the White House is just jealous.

Look man, I just can't fetishize a brazen dislike of intellectualism. I don't think the East Coast is a den of evil. I don't equate intelligence with elitism. I don't think talking points are going to help the country. I'm just not sure how any of this adds up to my wanting to be the official Republican Naughty Librarian Barbie.

Fred said...

I may have mentioned this before but I cant recall. Maybe the best thing to do with Palin is tie her ass-up to a tree stump with antlers mounted to her head, stand off in a blind and sound a moose call.

Benoît from Ottawa said...

Hmm, a thought: does anyone think that the currently ridiculous state of the Republican Party's mouthpieces, representatives and apologists is going to cause the rise of possible candidates having more credibility?

It's obvious that some Republicans are indeed taken by the shallow, yet undeniable charm of Sarah Palin and of Steele; but how numerous are they?

I suspect the actual teabaggers are fewer; their latest demonstration was seemingly augmented, misTAkenly, of course, by a certain media. But how many are these PLUS all the others, less extreme, who liiiiiike Palin, can't help it you know.

Is Palin*, and are the other ones of similar discourse (a discourse emotional and clichéed, thus not too perceptive, in my view), are these people actually going to manage to retain the reins, the spotlight through the next mid-terms, and from then 'til the presidential elections?

Or are they going to be a spent force quickly replaced by ?????, behind whom the GOP will immediately regroup, not being entirely as stupid as all that?

Responses appreciated. Enquiring minds...

* And I used to associate that name with the ineffable Michael Palin of Monty Python. Sigh...

Jester said...

From Non Sequitur, Sep 10 2002:

A comic so true I've kept it for 7 years.

CNNfan said...

Fox News again accused of airing misleading video

Quoted from:

✂ Fox News host Gregg Jarrett mentioned that a Sarah Palin appearance and book signing in Grand Rapids, Michigan had a massive turnout.


✂ after clips of Jarrett's report hit the Internet, Fox senior vice-president of news Michael Clemente issued an initial statement saying, "This was a production error in which the copy editor changed a script and didn't alert the control room to update the video."


▷ Copy editors, scripts, control room, video updates... Fox News, in its apology, has provided an interesting behind the scenes look. Of course, everybody makes mistakes. So, without criticizing FOX News, I'd be interested in learning more about how something like this happens?

Ref said...

Doesn't her constant carping about East Coast Elites remind you of the late Roman Hruska's insistence that "mediocre people need representation, too."

CNNfan said...

✂ Fox senior vice-president of news Michael Clemente issued an initial statement saying, "This was a production error in which the copy editor changed a script and didn't alert the control room to update the video."

This was an initial statement. Still, fans are left with a friendly question for FOX News ...

      Isn't the purpose of the script
      to alert the control room?