Monday, August 09, 2010

ESSENCE OF PALIN. Sarah Palin, once again defending herself against reporters:
The LSM has now decided to use this brief encounter for another one of their spin operations. They claim I – wait for it – “appear to roll my eyes” when the lady tells me she’s a teacher. Yes, it’s come to this: the media is now trying to turn my eyebrow movements into story lines.
I'm actually sympathetic toward her on this score. But you know what would have really won me over? If she'd compared this attention to her facial expressions with the attention also absurdly paid to the facial expressions of Al Franken by wingnut shit-stirrers.

But that would never happen. Not only because -- to use a phrase traditionally employed by gomers -- it doesn't fit the narrative, but because it would require Palin to show sympathy for someone other than herself.

And I've never seen her do that.

She does defend her kids, but only when she fantasizes that they've been attacked by the media -- which isn't really a sign of interest in their welfare, but of an interest in the exploitive possibilities of one's own family that would have embarrassed Richard "Checkers" Nixon.

In other people's families, she's less interested. When Palin talks about "mama grizzlies," for example, she's clearly not talking about any actual people whose families are under threat -- such as single mothers who, unlike Bristol Palin, find it increasingly difficult to provide for their young. Her videos show lots of women, but we never hear a thing about their lives.

The sort of vulnerable mothers you or I might think of in this context never come up in Palin's mythology. Rather, it's all about winners: Grizzlies observed in their moment of protective rage -- rage being something to which her biggest fans of either gender can relate; mothers who are victorious just because they're angry (assuming that whoever they're mad at isn't holding a big old gun on them).

She doesn't bring up these symbols of motherhood to make her listeners sensitive to motherhood's perils and pains. She does it only to reflect glory upon herself, and her own brave, motherly defense of her clan against David Letterman and The Family Guy.

I still expect Palin to run for President, but her apparently ineducability to her own limitations may be a drawback to her. I think her awful poll numbers have very little to do with her affect as a politician (I actually think she's got a pretty good schtick), or with her politics, though they are perhaps a little more dumbed-down than even ordinary Americans can tolerate, at least so far.

No, the big thing Palin seems not to know or even be capable of noticing, and which ignorance may sink her, is that, except for the densest and most depraved rubes, anyone can tell that she doesn't give a damn about anyone except herself.

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