Alaskan ‘provincial’ stirs up feminists, celebrities
September 14, 2008
Source: AZ Central
Pretty soon the media are going to get over the obsession with Sarah Palin and people will remember that it is John McCain who got nominated by the Republicans.
But, for Barack Obama, will pretty soon be soon enough? California voters will start receiving mail-in ballots in about three weeks. In Arizona, early voting starts in 18 days.
Is that going to be long enough for Obama’s unhelpful “advocates” in the media to get over their snit about Palin?
Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz wrote last week about the media “getting mad” at the McCain campaign. The Republicans have been turning a great many traditionally Democratic themes on their heads – sexism, elitism and feminism, among others – and liberal commentators are not taking kindly to it. There is nothing quite so oppressive as having your own sense of oppression being turned against you.
The problem for Obama is that so many of the columnists, essayists and Hollywood stars and starlets who are logging complaints about Palin aren’t really doing so in defense of the Democratic nominee. They’re writing from a point of view of pure venom-dripping hostility to the woman. As Kurtz said, they are mad. And when people are mad, they can be obnoxious. And irrational.
And I cannot imagine it is helpful to their guy.
I’ve heard it argued that McCain’s selection of Palin constituted a re-engagement of the culture wars because of the threat Palin poses to traditional feminists, who have labored for generations melding female empowerment with a liberal political agenda. All the same, you see. Palin does indeed threaten that, what with the felled moose, the bear rugs on the wall, the five kids, the religious fealty and the political trajectory that would be stunning even if it stopped at Alaskan governor.
In seemingly countless critiques, there is a certain “how dare you” attitude oozing out of the commentary on Palin.
Author Katha Pollitt has it coming out of her pores. A regular at the liberal magazine Nation, Pollitt seems to sense that, at those moments when the U.S. is galvanized on some crucially important issue, it is her job to write something that will make about half of America bite its lip in fury.
She did it less than two weeks after 9/11/2001 when she discovered – to her absolute horror – that her daughter wanted to hang an American flag from her window.
“Definitely not, I say: The flag stands for jingoism and vengeance and war.”
Katha Pollitt’s criticism
It’s good to know that, seven years later, Pollitt has not lost that bracing sense of unity that (as other liberals so love to remind us) enveloped all Americans in those difficult days. She is every bit as supportive of Palin – a member of the sisterhood who just got offered a big job promotion – as she was of flag-waving fellow Yanks back in ’01.
“I don’t want her recipe for caribou hot dogs, either,” wrote Pollitt in a sarcastic op-ed in the Nation. “Life chez Sarah and Todd might make an adorable sitcom (Leave It to Jesus?) or a scathing tell-all a decade or so down the road (Governor Dearest?). Either way, so what?”
Is this woman threatened, or what? If Palin as GOP vice-presidential candidate did not frighten Pollitt to her kneecaps, you could rest assured she would have done what all people of Pollitt’s cultural station do when provincials like Palin arrive on the scene: pretend they don’t exist.
Instead, she raves on for 1,000 words or so about how she refuses to be drawn into the “Palin as New Feminist” debate and then draws up eight or nine snarky and condescending questions for TV interviewers to throw at the Alaskan rube.
That sort of writing helps Obama in Pennsylvania and Ohio exactly . . . how?
Speaking of “provincials . . . ”
Just the use of the word “provincial” in reference to another person is an enlightenment. Few words say “not our kind, dear” quite like calling someone a “provincial.”
That’s what makes a recent op-ed by film reviewer Roger Ebert so deliciously special. Ebert looks down his nose at this “provincial” – yes, he does in fact use the word – from Alaska because . . .
She never went to Europe!
“You don’t need to be a pointy-headed elitist to travel abroad,” wrote Ebert, who, in his defense, has not been well of late.
Roger Ebert’s criticism
“You need curiosity and a hunger to see the world. What kind of a person (who has the money) arrives at the age of 44 and has only been out of the country once, on an official tour to Iraq? Sarah Palin’s travel record is that of a provincial, not someone who is equipped to deal with global issues.”
Where does one go with this? So, does a daddy-paid summer gig in Earl’s Court render one fit for the second-highest public office? Or is it essential that the kids pay their own way on their enlightenment tour of the continent? If so, does Bill Clinton make the grade? He was on scholarship to Oxford, after all.
I know a great many bright people who have never traveled to Europe. And many of them have a good reason for it: They had kids! Sorta like . . . Sarah and Todd Palin, those provincials with a great deal of curiosity about raising them.
Damon and Longoria, too
This is just the tip of an iceberg cut in the shape of a long, patrician nose. Matt Damon has been mocking Palin. Eva Longoria Parker, sex kitten of Desperate Housewives, gave her a good haughty diss on Friday.
I can’t help imagining that those folk desperately clinging to their guns and their God out in western Pennsylvania are going to start putting two and two together on this one.