On the City Pattern Project: Special Sarah-Palin-Is-a-Thug-and-a-Demagogue Edition

14Sep08

In which The Gay Recluse considers a Palin administration and shudders.

One difference between George W. Bush (and McCain) and Sarah Palin is that Palin is genuine to a degree Bush or McCain is/was not.

Watching Bush (as much as we prefer not to) we get the sense that he — a Connecticut blue blood who went to Yale and Harvard, after all — has always been faking the Texas act, in part because he’s not exactly a nimble speaker — lol — and in part because he knew it was politically advantageous to act like a good ol’ boy.

His true constituency has always been the super-rich, i.e., the recipients of his tax cuts. McCain is basically the same.

The social bullshit — gay marriage, most obviously, but the usual range of demeaning policies toward women, ethnic minorities and the poors — was like the nuts and cherry on his conservative sundae. (Which is not to say we don’t hate him for it.)

Palin, however, is completely genuine. We get the sense that she actually believes 100 percent of the white-trash shit that comes out of her mouth! Which of course is why she’s exciting (and polarizing): everyone would like to be a believer on some level, because it represents a return to an easier (albeit more childish) existence. This is also why it’s so easy to mock her.

But this is hardly a quaint picture of small-town life. As the New York Times reported this weekend, Palin is deeply suspicious of outsiders and operates her government like a thug.

We once saw a movie about gay holocaust survivors, and we were struck by what a few of them said about Hitler; how he was considered a joke by many thinking people, who thought it just was kind of funny to imagine such a stupid idiot in power. What we realize now is that Palin is the closest thing to Hitler this country has produced in a long time (at least at this level of power). We are totally complacent as a country.

In this respect, a Palin presidency — and let’s just assume for a second that McCain kicks it about five seconds into his administration — would be revolutionary.

Because there’s no doubt she would in fact happily slit the throats of many Republican insiders, the sort of chess players who are most interested in money and addicted to the power it brings. Let’s call it “Night of the Long Knives II,” shall we?

Palin’s administration would be filled with demagogues and fellow believers. It would obviously have all the trappings of a theocratic state.

The Republican party right now is in crisis: there are many who (with good reason) are frightened of Palin, but there are just as many who will do anything to maintain the level of power to which they have become addicted.

There is some reason to think — e.g., critical articles in The Times, AP, etc — that corporate America understands the danger she represents.

But like so many things impulsively set in motion, this too could gather an improbable, illogical momentum; it’s not just that she energizes the crazies, or even the complacency she inspires on the left (in many cases, because she’s a she) but also because her election would fulfill a certain desire for self-immolation common to political dynasties throughout history.

The point is: if she gets elected, the real losers are going to be George Bushes and John McCains — i.e., corporate America — who are suddenly going to find the access to power quickly walled off.

It’s almost enough to want to see her win, knowing that it would truly be the end of a horrible era, never mind that it would be the start of another that would be even worse.

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5 Responses to “On the City Pattern Project: Special Sarah-Palin-Is-a-Thug-and-a-Demagogue Edition”

  1. Suddenly, and without much warning, TGR pivots from being someone with nice æsthetics, a sense of humor and irony and a pretty darn good poet, to a very serious analyst of politics and history and the relation between them in our upcoming election.

    I had never spun out the full potential of the S. Palin pick — esp. the contrast between Bush the Younger’s mocked-up image and SP’s for realness. I, too, took her for a joke, a “mistake” that seemed (for now) to have gained traction. No longer will I see her that way.

    I hope this day’s entry finds its way into circulation in the larger political discourse!

  2. An excellent analysis, obviously a Palin presidency (practically a foregone conclusion that McCain will either die of old age or under “suspicious circumstances” in his first term) is completely horrifying. Couple more points: unfortunately the trailer-trash genie is out of the bottle and even if somehow, Obama wins, I think we will be seeing more of Palin on the national political stage. The republicans are besides themselves with how well this pandering faux-populist has energized “the base”. She is absolute catnip for the confederate-flag waving, walmart shopping, country music listening set. As some writers have noted, it’s a kind of narcissism – that someone “just like them” can run the country. As we saw with Bush, someone who isn’t just like them but pretended to be can’t even run the country! Amusingly though, the democratic party leadership suffers an inversion of this narcissism: thinking the rest of the country “thinks just like us.” Few have the guts to say it, but, absolutely, if Obama were white and named Ted Anderson, he would be well ahead of McCain in the polls. The democratic party leadership lives in a bubble of their own enlightened world view, and forgot that when grumpy retired voters in Florida see Obama on TV, they see Willie Horton in a suit, and when grumpy retired voters in Vegas see Hillary, they can’t shake their vision of “Bubba” jizzin’ on Monica’s blue dress. Point being that, for most of the white inhabitants of this country over 45, black is still a polarizing skin color, and the Clintons are still polarizing politicians. A terrible truth, in the case of the former, but a truth nonetheless. This was not the time for the democratic party to play identity and/or celebrity politics, it was time to run the safest candidate they could find. (which, as we now know, wasn’t Edwards! although I believed it at the time) As horrible as a McCain win will be, any realist would have to be upset with the democratic party for these continued tactical errors. (Gore and Kerry were also bad choices, for various reasons.) Yes, I know the “primary process” is “selecting” the candidates. Well guess what, they better find another process if it doesn’t work out for them this time.

  3. Thanks for the kind words and comments, JA and Inchoative. I don’t agree with the race/realist point to the extent that I don’t think you can really separate Obama from his ethnicity, but I completely agree with what you say about what Palin means to the Republicans, which is a scary proposition.


  1. 1 On the City Pattern Project: Palin Is a Thug and a Demagogue : Gay News from Gay Agenda - GayAgenda.com

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