Friday, September 19, 2008

A party of whiners

Republicans have become wusses. Next thing you know, they'll want to cuddle.

I came of political age in the Newt Gingrich era, and the right-wingers I knew were bold and brash. They didn't talk about their feelings or make excuses. They swore on Adam Smith's soul that the world would be a better place with lower taxes, less regulation and a Deringer in every home.

Frankly, they were a lot more fun to hang out with that the liberals who screeched that calling grown women "girls" was a hate crime and believed the notorious Antioch College edict requiring students to ask permission before engaging in each new act of love ("May I bite your navel?") was sound public policy Congress should consider.

So I never thought I'd see that day when the GOP would become the poster child for Affirmative Action and political correctness.

What a letdown.

As Wall Street collapses into free-fall, violence amps up in Afghanistan and gas shoots up north of $4 again, whiny conservatives are carrying on about cosmetics.

If you have a pulse and occasionally click on cable news, you know that Barack Obama used the shopworn political phrase, "lipstick on a pig," last week.

Former acting Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift shrieked Sexism, noting that because GOP veep pick Sarah Palin talks about slathering on lipstick, she must be the porker in question.

"Often times, you're responsible for your words even if they're misconstrued," sniffed Ms. Swift, who ironically was broomed by the GOP establishment to make way for Mitt Romney, whom I understand is male.

It was as if I was transported back in time to my too-serious, abstractly academic women's studies classes and our insufferable debates over whether the word "history" (get it, "history"?) was misogynistic. That was the point at which the resident Republican would sanely chime in with an, "Oh, please!"

But the humorless, hypersensitive train barreled on after "Saturday Night Live" skewered both Palin and Hillary Clinton. Fired Hewlett-Packard CEO and John McCain adviser Carly Fiorina panned Tina Fey's dead-on impression of the Alaska guv ("I can see Russia from my house!") as (what else?) Sexist.

In another ironic twist, the feisty Fiorina got the hook Wednesday after she declared Palin (and McCain, because she is not Sexist) didn't have the gonads to head a major corporation. But she hastily added they could run the good old U.S. of A. (What everyone seems too polite to say is that Carly couldn't run a company either, though she was rewarded with a $21 million golden parachute for trying).

Palin herself hasn't cried Sexism, since she avoids the evil elite media's meanie questions like the plague. Instead, she allows others to wallow in victim feminism for her.

Since when do Republicans, especially those who proudly compare themselves to pitbulls, dodge a fight, especially with weenies in the press?

Meanwhile, every conservative in America, down to uber-reactionary U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg of Tipton (who I believe is still undecided on women's suffrage), is repeating the talking points that Palin is supremely qualified because she has "executive experience."

Folks, let's just take a time-out for a second.

Can you really say that someone who was mayor of a town of 6,700 and governor for 20 months of a state with 670,000 souls (.02 percent of the U.S. population) should be a heart attack away from taking over as leader of the free world? Don't you think the VP should know the Bush Doctrine or have an elementary grasp of the financial markets?

Let's call this what it is: Affirmative Action run amok, shunting expertise or even basic competence in favor a focus-grouped new face who plays well on tee-vee. I know of no other politician who has so breathtakingly blown an interview as Palin did on ABC and survived. Obama would have been laughed off the national stage.

Don't Palinistas feel a wee bit silly attacking Charles Gibson as Sexist for doing his job? Don't they ever tire of defending St. Sarah because McCain chose her and the Maverick is infallible?

Joe Lieberman, McCain's almost veep, gave a rather Freudian answer when initially asked if Palin was qualified to be president.

"Well, let's assume the best," he laughed nervously. "John's in great shape."

The truth is, the GOP is a party in the throes of a full-blown identity crisis, forced to disown its once beloved and now wildly unpopular President Bush and his disastrous economic and foreign policy agendas. Gone is the swagger, the supreme confidence of the Contract with America signatories, replaced by defensive, desperate thought police bleating about the unfairness of it all.

They sound like ... Democrats.

Maybe right-wingers should admit that their merciless (and amusing) ridiculing of Barackstar, who parted the Rocky Mountains for a crowd of 84,000 adoring disciples, was jealousy, plain and simple.

"The presidential election isn't a popularity contest!" they'd dourly declare.

But as soon as superfine, superstar Sarah glided on stage, they suddenly had a reason to turn out in droves and scream, "Drill, baby, drill!"

Not that there would be any double entrendre there. That, my friends, would be Sexist.


Alan In Ann Arbor said...

I'm thinking, with Palin and the witch hunting pastor, la la la, and Tim Walberg's fear of wiccans in the people's republic of Ann Arbor taking over pre-school education, that it makes perfect sense for the two of them to be in total sync on every issue and thought related to politics and religon.

sage said...

Good insight--yesterday in the Grand Rapids Press was an article about Frank Schaeffer, son of Francis, saying "My father would hvae been embarrassed to be in that room [GOP convention]... All of a sudden, this movement he helped unleash is yelling, 'Drill, baby, drill.'"

Pearl said...

Hear, hear.

And frankly, I'm sick of the use of the word "maverick". Really? Who thought that having an untamed/unbridled animal as the leader of anything would be a good idea? I'd rather have someone who knows how to work with people.