Sarah Palin, Riot Grrrl

To paraphrase Mary McCarthy on Lillian Hellman, I don't agree with a word that Sarah Palin says, including "and" and "the." And as a liberal feminist, it drives me absolutely bonkers that Palin is the most visible working mother and female politician in America, that she is the best exemplar of a woman with an equal marriage, that she has put up with less crap from fewer men than those of us who have read The Second Sex and marched in pro-abortion rallies and pretty much been on the right side of all the issues that Palin is wrong about.

So I suppose I should confess: I like Sarah Palin.  I like her because she is such a problem for all these political men, Republicans and Democrats alike, with their polls, and their Walter Dean Burnham theories of transformative elections, and their economy this and their values that--and here comes Palin, and logic just doesn't apply.  She speaks in spoonerisms, she raises wretched children, she's a quitter, she's a refudiater, she shoots moose and beats halibut, she has a dumb accent that doesn't have the charm of Charleston or the Brahmin of Boston--really, she is just a lot of quirks.

But it doesn't matter.  It will never matter and I bet it never has mattered, because Sarah Palin is hot.  She has sex appeal.  That's why people like her.  That's the whole story.  Everyone has to stop trying to deconstruct and decode it, because there is no accounting for chemistry, and Sarah Palin has lots of it going on with her public.  I don't think anyone knows or cares what in particular she stands for, other than some general conservative cache of principles, because they are in love with her.

The Democrats are total morons for not finding their own hot mama before the Republicans did so first, or maybe I should have left off the qualifiers and called it straight: the Democrats are just plain morons, at least where women are concerned.  The right wing, for whatever weird reason, has been much more receptive to outrageous and attractive female commentators who are varying degrees of insane or inane, but in any case are given a platform on Fox News and at their conservative confabs.  Look at how great life has been for Megyn Kelly and Laura Ingraham and the assorted lesser lights.  But there are no Democratic blondes, no riot grrrls on the progressive side of politics, no fun and fabulous women in the liberal scene who could pave the way for a Palin.  Yes, there are women who are successful in the Democratic party, but none of them are successful because of their feminine wiles, none of them have played up their sex appeal the way Palin has.  MSNBC's female host is Rachel Maddow, who is completely good in all manner of ways that good can be good--but still I must ask: Where are the policy babes?

I know, I know: all of you are saying that it's a good thing it's like that, it's a sign that liberals have integrity and blah blah blah. But I think you are kidding yourselves.  It's a sign of another thing: that liberal men are wimps who can't handle the hot potato that is a combination of feminine sexuality and female political brilliance.

Anyone with a sense of humor, a sense of fun, and a sense that women should be taken on their own terms really ought to like Palin. I mean, of course, you should hate her at the same time, but you should hope she is the beginning of revolution, grrrl style.

At least she's herself. Every damn day, if you tune in to any of the 24-hour news outlets, the same pundits retread through the same stuff--they all say the same thing.  I spend a great deal of time trying to figure out how the whole DC opinion apparatus remains employed. If there were any justice, their ranks would swell the unemployment rate beyond 10 percent. And still, some moron known as a news executive who hasn't registered a thought beyond mediocre in my lifetime approves of this, and Americans, educated to believe 2+2=5, will put up with anything.

Into this horror walks Sarah Palin, who is kind of a sexy librarian, kind of a MILF, kind of just crazy, and altogether does what she wants to do. This, actually, is normal behavior.  But we are so used to watching other female politicians compromise in so many ways that there is not enough Vaseline in all of CVS to make the situation comfortable--so Sarah Palin seems completely strange.

Unfortunately, Sarah Palin is not very bright, not very thoughtful and not very qualified to run a country. Or a state. But really, are any of the other idiots who want the job so much better?

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