I begin this essay keenly aware of the fact that, before the end, I am probably going to strike a nerve with someone. A part of me feels that I ought to keep some of these thoughts to myself out of respect for the recently deceased. In ordinary circumstances, I would. But in today’s news cycle, sandwiched as the story is between a war in Libya and a nuclear disaster in Japan, if I don’t speak my mind now, I’ll likely not get a second chance. So I might as well say my peace.
Tag: Sarah Palin
Mar 27 2011
Feb 27 2011
Feb 01 2011
Jan 19 2011
Jan 13 2011
Oh spare me. A Jewish congresswoman gets shot in Arizona. Various talking heads wonder aloud whether the level of talk of violence in current US politics, particularly on the right, might have contributed to the shooting. And persistent media hog Sarah P inserts herself in the discussions by saying this gem in a video:
“Journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that they purport to condemn.”
Oh the irony. The Jew gets shot; the non-Jew seeks to appropriate the blood libel for her own purposes. But I’m not spending time discussing the significance of the words blood libel to Jews. And I’m not raving about how America’s most visible bigot, Pat Buchanan, thinks this is so very excellent. No. The question this latest kerfuffle raises for me is Sarah P’s persistent pursuit of making everything be about her, and her even more consistent and tiresome efforts to be the primary victim in any story in which her monicker is inserted.
To have a victim you have to have a perpetrator. And if you have a victim (even if the perpetrator isn’t quite visible or identifiable) you almost always have rescuers, those who want to come to the aid and defense of the seeming victim. There are probably more rescuers by far than there are victims, because each victim can have thousands of rescuers, thousands of defenders. So when a politician consistently grabs the victim mantle, she is probably manipulating her audience. You can bet the ranch on this. She wants them to rescue her, to defend her, to give her money, to argue in her behalf, to denounce the perceived perpetrators. But most of all to make donations. Big donations.
Seen in this context, Sarah P’s speechwriters– nobody believes for a second that Sarah P writes this stuff for herself, do they?– sought again to ring their familiar bell. The bell that brings in the checks. This bell has but one note: Sarah P’s victimhood. No matter. They sought to transform a story about the attempted assassination of a Congresswoman into one all about poor Sarah P. And they again attempted to mobilize all of those very gullible AM radio listeners who have been content repeatedly to stand up for a rescue of Sarah P from the unjust, unwarranted attacks on her egotism and grandstanding by the supposedly liberal press and/or the supposedly liberal D party.
Jan 09 2011
Sarah Palin aimed the gun that shot Gabrielle Giffords. Does it really matter who pulled the trigger?
But the New York Times and the rest of the corporate media are busily pretending that the problem is politics in general, and under the Times’ headline…
…paragraph after paragraph unfurls without ever mentioning Sarah Palin or the Tea Party.
Nov 17 2010
The celebrity gossip website TMZ has published an immature tirade/flame war involving two of Sarah Palin’s daughters, Willow and Bristol. In it, both Palin daughters frequently exchange profanities with other posters and Willow, aged 14, uses a homophobic slur. This exchange, carried on over Facebook, was in response to a poster’s criticism of their mother’s new TLC show. The whole story would be little more than the softest of soft news, unless their mother had not set herself up to be the eventual leader of the party which claims sole rights over morality. There is a certain gotcha, gutter journalism quality to this story, in keeping with many Palin revelations, but it also fits well within the canon of what we already know about their mother.
Nov 09 2010
Sarah Palin has been bashing QE2, Ben Bernanke’s latest adventure in quantitative easing, and when the Wall Street Journal covered Sarah’s economic pronouncements like straight news, an angry mob of their relatively well-educated readers objected.
But most of their objections were personal, rather than substantial, and Andrew Polacek’s comment was typical.
Palin should stay out of things she doesn’t understand. Regardless, she is right that the Fed’s QE2 along with all the money printing in the world is not going to help us one bit.
Those Ivy-League bankers don’t want no moose-huntin’ hockey-mom to speak for them!
But most of the Journal’s readership hates Bernanke’s team at the Fed just as much as Sarah hates them, and some of their criticism of Bernanke is well-informed. For example, Thomas Dowling wrote that Bernanke’s main intention is “covering up the fact that he knew in 2006 and 2007 that banks like Citibank – and not just Citibank – were making intentionally bad loans.”
Reader Dowling isn’t really smart enough to figure that out for himself, and his comment is actually an unattributed quote from John Hussman, who has some claim to foresight about the collapsing credit bubble which continues to collapse. In 2003 he wrote…
“So the real question is this: why is anybody willing to hold this low interest rate paper if the borrowers issuing it are so vulnerable to default risk? That’s the secret. The borrowers don’t actually issue it directly. Instead, much of the worst credit risk in the U.S. financial system is actually swapped into instruments that end up being partially backed by the U.S. government.”
Now Bernanke is papering over cracks in the foundations of fundamentally unsound banks, and anybody (including Sarah Palin) who objects that QE2 won’t do much good for the rest of us is probably right, but what’s the Republican alternative, except…
More tax-cuts and deregulation!
For tea-baggers and most of the rest of the Republican Party, tax-cuts and deregulation are the magical twins which guarantee freedom and prosperity always and forever, and the only real problem with Sarah Palin as a spokes-person for Magical Republicanism is…
She’s stupid enough to believe their catechism, and usually recites it unadorned with the usual Republican pseudo-economics.
Karl Rove keeps whining about Palin’s lack of “gravitas,” but now that she’s learning some graver lingo, and chattering brightly about the Fed…
Poor old “Turd-Blossom” feels himself sliding into total irrelevance, along with so many other Bush-era confabulators, and good riddance!
Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck won the last election, and it’s time for the rest of the GOP to sing their tune.
Oct 15 2010
At the top of the stack, Barack Obama is a sociopathic bullshitter and Sarah Palin is even stupider than Dan Quayle, the previous champion of stupidity in national politics.
Get out and vote! It’s your choice! Hurrah for America!
But cultural products like Barack Obama and Sarah Palin don’t just spring into being from the back of your flat-screen TV, and both of those monstrosities evolved out of a long and dismal history of cultural disintegration, desperately opposed on the left and right by…
The Quest for Intelligent Design!
“Architecture is rediscovering its social conscience,” says the New York Times. “That’s the message behind “Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement,” an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.”
The show, which looks at 11 projects around the world that have had major social impacts despite modest budgets and sizes, is a rebuttal to the familiar complaint that the profession is too focused on aesthetic experimentation and not enough on the lives of ordinary people.
Brilliant! Apparently the profession of architecture just noticed that downtown Los Angeles is a desert after 6PM, and except for the Hills above Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard, the rest of it isn’t much more than a wasteland of slums and suburbs.
But what about all that “aesthetic experimentation?” Doesn’t it possess some redeeming value apart from whatever afterthought of a species may run in and out of it?
Sep 23 2010
Christine O’Donnell is fast becoming the face of the Republican Party. Her campaign slogan is — to put it in Marxist language — power to the people. Or, something like that. To quote an oft-used phrase on the internet(s) and one used frequently on this blog, “Teh stoopid! It burns.”
Time permitting, I will try to post Part II of this diary later on this week.
Sep 03 2010
Whether we’re even conscious of it, we need and desire a means of discernment. We seek a measuring stick with which to compare our own individual perspectives with something close to objectivity. We desire something firm and deeply grounded when the world around us is always changing. Increasingly, Americans view science as the final and ultimate say. To qualify my remarks, I don’t caustically dismiss scientific progress out of hand in favor of religious belief. I do know that science is never static, and that it is a field which is constantly evolving as surely as are all living beings. To place complete, unwavering faith in science is to overlook the continual process of human discovery.
Aug 31 2010
Since Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck have obviously transformed 51 Park Place into a target for right-wing extremists, I believe that Cordoba House should be constructed at a different location, but in the meantime President Obama and the rest of the Democratic leadership should make it absolutely clear that right-wing hate-mongers have created the danger of another terrorist attack in lower Manhattan, like the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
Or instead of attacking Beck and Palin, we can humbly remain with the usual paradigm, where right-wing pseudo-populists define the issue…
Sarah Palin: We all know that they have the right to do it, but should they?
Obama blathers uselessly in the middle…
“I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there.”
And progressives are chained to a deeply unpopular dead weight.