Sunday, November 29, 2009

Going Palin

Ti hu gof komprende sa' hafa, lao fihu manuge' yu' put Si Sarah Palin.

Annai ma anunsia na inayek gui' as McCain para Vice President gi i bandan Republican, hu tuge' este na post: "Sarah Palin as VP."

Annai tumunok Si Palin ginnen i ofisina-na, hu tuge' este na post: "So is Palin now a community organizers with no actual responsibilities?"

Annai ilek-na Si Palin na mandisidi na para u dingu i ofisina-na, hu tuge' este na post: "Palin resigns."

Hu tuge' este na post: "An Indigenous View on Palin's Alaska" put i estao i Natibu Amerikanu siha gi i Estados Unidos yan i botasion 2008. Este na post, i mas mabisita na post sa' pega i link gi i blog Crooks and Liars.

Duranten i botasion 2008, fihu manuge' yu' put gender yan race, sa' ayu na botasion i fine'nina na biahi giya i Estados Unidos na malalagu (yan sina mailihi) un atelong na lahi yan un apa'ka na palao'an. Achokka' guaha na biahi gi i media na ma kuentos put race yan gender, ti sesso ma kunetos put i dos achagigu. Umachaigi Si Obama yan Si Hillary Clinton, lao umachaigi race yan gender lokue'.

Estague iyo-ku posts put este:
The Feminine Turn
A Battle Between Race and Gender (Again, But Different)
Change You Can Handle: A White Compromise

Ya ni' ngai'an na bai hu maleffa i binibu-hu gi duranten i 2008 Republican National Convention, annai mamagat Si Palin, ya ilek-na este, ""I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities." Ha kakase' Si Obama gi este na sinangan-na, sa' estaba, antes di humalom gui' gi i Congress, community organizer gui' giya Chicago.

Gof lalalu put este chatklaru yan chatmalate' na sinangan-na, ya pues hu tuge' este na post: "Why Obama Has a Vision While Palin Doesn't...or Why I'm (sort of) a Community Organizer."

Pa'go kalang "rogue" pat "solu na lupes" Si Palin. Pumasesehu gui' gi meggai na lugat. Ma apapasi gui' bula na salape' para i tiempo-na, i kuentos-na. Gi entre i bandan conservative yan gi entre i Republicans, duru mandiskuti siha put "kao pau falagu Si Palin gi 2012?"

Esta meggai hu taitai put i nuebu na lebplo-na Going Rogue: An American Life. Kao para bai hu famahan kopia? Hekkua', ti siguru yu'. Ti gailugat yu' pa'go. Ti apmam makpo' iyo-ku semester yan meggai para bai hu cho'gue put iyo-ku dissertation (ti munhayan tribiha!). Kao malago yu' na bai hu gasta i gof presisu na tiempo-ku gi este na lepblo? Achokka' ti hu taitai gui' esta, siguru yu' esta na puru ha' takin toru.

Sigun i finayin Si Robin Williams:

It's wonderful, I went looking for her book and I found it in the fantasy aisle. With Sarah you get the feeling she was voted least likely to write a book and most likely to burn one. You look at her and wonder 'Where did they find her, Project Running Mate?'

Estague dos na tinige' put Si Sarah Palin, yan kao debi di ta chathinasso put Guiya? Taitai siha yan Hagu la'mon.

******************************

Published on Monday, November 23, 2009 by The Guardian/UK
Those Who Follow Sarah Palin are Sowing the Seeds of Their Own Destruction
The former Alaska governor represents thwarted aspirations and brooding resentment. But she backs policies which would increase them
by Gary Younge

In the film, The American President, the president's speechwriter Lewis Rothschild (played by Michael J Fox) appeals to the commander-in-chief to take a firm, clear stand against the Right. "People want leadership, Mr President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone." he says. "They want leadership. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

The president (played by Michael Douglas) retorts that the American electorate's problem is not a lack of leadership but an undiscerning palate.

"We've had presidents who were beloved, who couldn't find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight," he says. "People don't drink the sand because they're thirsty. They drink the sand because they don't know the difference."

As the faithful wait in line in small towns across the country (some for more than a day) to see Sarah Palin on her book tour, the question of whether the US is deprived of a competent political class or gets the leadership it both deserves and truly desires seems as pertinent as ever.

On the one hand there is roughly between a quarter and a third of America that will clearly believe anything. That is the figure that strongly approved of George Bush's handling of the economy last year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the bailout. That same figure, in the immediate aftermath of hurricane Katrina, believed that Bush's response to the disaster was "about right", and still supports the war in Iraq.

That also happens to be approximately the same proportion of Americans who back Palin for president. Most data suggest the overlap is considerable. Palin's rise to prominence, from little-known governor to one of the most popular and arguably most charismatic Republicans in the country in just a year, has been startling. She had a thin record when she was picked to run as vice-president. Today, having quit the Alaska governorship mid-term and published a bestseller, only her wallet is thicker.

Her resignation speech was so rambling that you would have struggled to find a coherent sentence with an industrial-strength searchlight. "Let me go back to a comfortable analogy for me - sports," she announced. "I use it because you're naive if you don't see the national full-court press picking away right now: A good point guard drives through a full court press, protecting the ball, keeping her eye on the basket ... and she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can win." This was not the answer to a hostile interview from the "liberal media elite" but a prepared speech of her own making.

It would be easy to discount her as just a media phenomenon who would go away if we stopped talking about her. That would be a mistake. It would be even easier to poke fun at her as just a small town hick who has blundered into the limelight with a nod, wink and a "you betcha". That too would be a mistake.

For the very things that liberal commentators ridicule her for - being inarticulate, unworldly, simplistic and hokey - are the very things that make her attractive to her base. Indeed, every time she is taunted she becomes more popular because it reaffirms the (not entirely mistaken) view that the deeply held values of a sizable section of the population are being disparaged.

The same dynamic was true for George Bush, but with one crucial exception. Bush is the scion of a wealthy family who turned his back on the cultural trappings of his class while embracing the social confidence and political and financial entitlement that came with it. Palin had none of those advantages: she grew up far from power and privilege in every sense.

The difference in their comfort levels when put on the spot with simple questions was evident when each was asked about their newspaper reading habits. Bush was cocky: "The best way to get the news is from objective sources. And the most objective sources I have are people on my staff who tell me what's happening in the world." Palin froze: "I've read most of them ... all of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years."

In her world, Ivy League is a slur; cities are not the "real America"; and those who know the price of arugula but cannot handle a rifle are not to be trusted. Palin is the antithesis of an aspirational figure. Her supporters love her not because they want to be like her, but because they already are like her. So for better and for worse, Palin is an entirely self-made - and, if her book is anything to go by, self-invented - personification of the kind of political animal Bush sought to both emulate and nurture. Bush was Palin-lite.

To that extent her performance over the past year has been more tragic than comic. Palin represents the thwarted aspirations and brooding resentment of a large section of white working class Americans. That is not to suggest that her supporters are necessarily racist, but polls show her support is racially exclusive.

Her base has plenty to be resentful about. Their wages are stagnant, their economic security has eroded, and their prospects for social and economic advancement have stalled. In 2004, white Americans were the only racial group for whom the poverty rate actually rose. The fact that it was lower than every other group is of little comfort. Demographically, they are set to become a minority by 2042. Geopolitically, the country for which they display so much patriotic fervour has lost one war, is losing another, and is regularly lectured by others about the urgency of putting its fiscal house in order. America is not what it used to be. The country they keep saying they want to "take back" no longer exists and is not returning.

So when Palin rails against Washington DC, bank bailouts and elitist media she catches their ear. The longer unemployment keeps rising, house prices keep falling and universal healthcare continues to be elusive, the more ears there will be. Motivated, organised and angry, Palin's wing of the Republican party does not have the numbers to make bad things happen; but, as it showed over the summer during the healthcare town hall meetings, its determination to derail good things should not be underestimated.

The trouble is that while many of their grievances are well founded, their affection is certainly misplaced. None of their problems can be remedied by the politics championed by Palin. Indeed, the greater the traction her politics gets, the worse things will be for her base. The America whose passing they mourn was lost precisely because of the freemarket, low-tax, warmongering agenda she advocates.

To crawl through the desert in search of water only to find sand is disappointing; to not know the difference between water and sand is delusional; but to go looking for sand in the belief that it will truly quench your thirst, not once but twice, well that is truly depressing.

© 2009 Guardian News and Media Limited
Gary Younge is a
Guardian columnist and feature writer based in the US

********************************

"The Bull in the China Shop"
Frank Rich
New York Times
November 22, 2009

AT last the American right and left have one issue they unequivocally agree on: You don’t actually have to read Sarah Palin’s book to have an opinion about it. Last Sunday Liz Cheney praised “Going Rogue” as “well-written” on Fox News even though, by her own account, she had sampled only “parts” of it. On Tuesday, Ana Marie Cox, a correspondent for Air America, belittled the book in The Washington Post while confessing that she couldn’t claim to have “completely” read it.

“Going Rogue” will hardly be the first best seller embraced by millions for talismanic rather than literary ends. And I am not recommending that others follow my example and slog through its 400-plus pages, especially since its supposed revelations have been picked through 24/7 for a week. But sometimes I wonder if anyone has read all of what Palin would call the “dang” thing. Some of the book’s most illuminating tics have been mentioned barely — if at all — by either its fans or foes. Palin is far and away the most important brand in American politics after Barack Obama, and attention must be paid. Those who wishfully think her 15 minutes are up are deluding themselves.

The book’s biggest surprise is Palin’s wide-eyed infatuation with show-business celebrities. You get nearly as much face time with Tina Fey and the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in “Going Rogue” as you do with John McCain. We learn how happy Palin was to receive calls from Bono and Warren Beatty “to share ideas and insights.” We wade through star-struck lists of campaign cameos by Robert Duvall, Jon Voight (who “blew us away”), Naomi Judd, Gary Sinise and Kelsey Grammer, among many others. Then there are the acknowledgments at the book’s end, where Palin reveals that her intimacy with media stars is such that she can air-kiss them on a first-name basis, from Greta to Laura to Rush.

Equally revealing is the one boldfaced name conspicuously left unmentioned in the book: Levi Johnston, the father of Palin’s grandchild. Though Palin and McCain milked him for photo ops at the Republican convention, he is persona non grata now that he’s taking off his campaign wardrobe. Is Johnston’s fledgling porn career the problem, or is it his public threats to strip bare Palin family secrets as well? “She knows what I got on her” is how he put it. In Palin’s interview with Oprah last week, it was questioning about Johnston, not Katie Couric, that made her nervous.

The book’s most frequently dropped names, predictably enough, are the Lord and Ronald Reagan (though not necessarily in that order). Easily the most startling passage in “Going Rogue,” running more than two pages, collates extended excerpts from a prayerful letter Palin wrote to mark the birth of Trig, her child with Down syndrome. This missive’s understandable goal was to reassert Palin’s faith and trust in God. But Palin did not write her letter to God; she wrote the letter from God, assuming His role and voice herself and signing it “Trig’s Creator, Your Heavenly Father.” If I may say so — Oy!

Even by the standard of politicians, this is a woman with an outsized ego. Combine that with her performance skills and an insatiable hunger for the limelight, and you can see why she will not stay in Wasilla now that she’s seen 30 Rock. The question journalists repeatedly asked last week — What are Palin’s plans for 2012? — is a red herring. Palin has no obligation to answer it. She is the pit bull in the china shop of American politics, and she can do what she wants, on her own timeline, all the while raking in the big bucks she couldn’t as a sitting governor. No one, least of all her own political party, can control her.

The fact-checking siege of “Going Rogue” — by the media, Democrats and aggrieved McCain campaign operatives alike — is another fruitless sideshow. Palin’s political appeal has never had anything to do with facts — or coherent policy positions. The more she is attacked for not being in possession of pointy-headed erudition, the more powerful she becomes as an avatar of the anti-elite cause. As Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, has correctly observed, “She represents less a philosophical strain on the right than an affect and a demographic.”

That demographic is white and non-urban: Just look at the stops and the faces on her carefully calibrated book tour. The affect is emotional — the angry air of grievance that emerged first at her campaign rallies in 2008, with their shrieked threats to Obama, and that has since resurfaced in the Hitler-fixated “tea party” movement (which she endorses in her book). It’s a politics of victimization and sloganeering with no policy solutions required beyond the conservative mantra of No Taxes. Its standard-bearer can make stuff up with impunity: “Thanks, but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere”; Obama’s “palling around with terrorists”; health care “death panels.”

After the Palin-McCain ticket lost, conservative pundits admonished her to start studying the issues. If “Going Rogue” and its promotional interviews are any indication, she has ignored their entreaties during her months at liberty. Last week, Greta Van Susteren chastised Oprah for not asking Palin “one policy question,” but when Barbara Walters did ask some, Palin either recycled Dick Cheney verbatim (Obama is “dithering”) or ran aground. Her argument for why “Jewish settlements” should be expanded on the West Bank was that “more and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead.” It was unclear what she was talking about — unless it was the “rapture” theology that requires the mass return of Jews to settle the Holy Land as a precondition for the return of Christ.

The discredited neocon hacks who have latched on to Palin as a potential ticket back into power have their work cut out for them. But it’s better for Palin’s purposes to remain as blank a slate as possible anyway. Some of her most ardent supporters realize that she’ll drive still more independent voters away if she fills in too many details. And so Matthew Continetti, the author of the just-published “Persecution of Sarah Palin” and her most persistent cheerleader after William Kristol, wrote in The Wall Street Journal that her role model for 2012 should be Bob McDonnell, the new Republican governor-elect of Virginia, who won on “a bipartisan, center-right approach.”

What Continetti means is that Palin could still somehow fudge her history as McDonnell did; his campaign kept his career-long history as a political acolyte and financial beneficiary of Pat Robertson on the down-low. Even the far right has figured out that homophobia is a turnoff to swing voters, which is why Palin goes out of her way in “Going Rogue” to remind us she has her very own lesbian friend. (What’s left unsaid is that the book’s credited ghost writer, Lynn Vincent, labeled homosexuality as “deviance” in her own writings for World, the evangelical magazine.)

But no matter how much Palin tries to pass for “center-right,” she’s unlikely to fool that vast pool of voters left, right and center who have already written her off as unqualified for the White House. The G.O.P. establishment knows this, and is frightened. The demographic that Palin attracts is in decline; there’s no way the math of her fan base adds up to an Electoral College victory.

Yet among Republicans she still ties Mitt Romney in the latest USA Today/Gallup survey, with 65 percent giving her serious presidential consideration, just behind the 71 for her evangelical rival, Mike Huckabee. The crowds lining up in the cold for her book tour are likely to be the most motivated to line up at the polls in G.O.P. primaries. They don’t speak the same language as Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Michael Steele, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner or, for that matter, McCain. They are more likely to heed Palin salesmen like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh than baffled Bush administration grandees like Peter Wehner, who last week called Palin “a cultural figure much more than a political one” on the Web site of the establishment conservative organ Commentary.

Culture is politics. Palin is at the red-hot center of age-old American resentments that have boiled up both from the ascent of our first black president and from the intractability of the Great Recession for those Americans who haven’t benefited from bailouts. As Palin thrives on the ire of the left, so she does from the disdain of Republican leaders who, with a condescension rivaling the sexism they decry in liberals, belittle her as a lightweight or instruct her to eat think-tank spinach.

The only person who can derail Palin is Palin herself. Should she not self-destruct, she will doom G.O.P. hopes of a 2012 comeback. But the rest of the country cannot rest easy. The rage out there is larger than Palin and defies partisan labeling. Her ever-present booster Continetti, writing in The Weekly Standard, suggested that she recast the century-old populist outrage of William Jennings Bryan by adopting the message “You shall not crucify mankind upon the cross of Goldman Sachs.” If Obama can’t tamp down that rage across the political map, Palin will at the very least pave the way for a demagogue with less baggage to pick up her torch.



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