Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The problems of ordinary people

Gideon Rachman, Financial Times:

[T]he Republican party and the Tea Party are not synonymous. It is rightwing populists, associated with the Tea Party, such as Sharron Angle in Nevada, Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, Rand Paul in Kentucky and Joe Miller in Alaska, who are making all the headlines. But the Republicans are also fielding traditional pro-business candidates, some of whom are very impressive.
...
The fact is America is now too complicated a place to accommodate the simple verities peddled by the Tea Partiers. You could see it, even at the Angle rally. The candidate drew cheers by railing against illegal immigration and the federal government -- and then cheerfully admitted that she has half-Mexican grandchildren and that her husband had worked for the federal government for many years.

The popular elements of any political movement often prove unpopular with the ruling class. "Many traditional, pro-business Republicans are horrified by the populism of Sarah Palin," Rachman writes: Palin is closer to her constituency in outlook than she is to the business mainstream.

The challenge for the Republican Party is to pacify that portion of its base which takes its anti-government rhetoric seriously. The Republican National Committee certainly doesn't! But the cultural apparatus funded by business is producing people who are sincere about smaller government; now some of them are winning elections.

No corporation wants smaller government; what it wants is more government for its own purposes. After all, a corporation can't go it alone! So the Tea Partiers take a hit in the press, continually, until they get on board. On vacation I watched a Jon Stewart piece where Christine O'Donnell discussed her views on masturbation; now I hear she may have "dabbled in witchcraft." This is big news! -- but only because O'Donnell is out of step with the prevailing institutions, and consequently draws their wrath. Watch closely and you will see!

7 comments:

Rachel said...

It's true. We heard next to nothing about Gingrich (was it Gingrich? Perhaps another "mainstream" famous Republican in the mid-90s) and his novel featuring, among other things, bears raping little girls. Weirder than an evangelical Christian pretending to have "dabbled in witchcraft" any day, but not a whisper in the mainstream press.

Charles F. Oxtrot said...

Many "Traditional, pro-Business Republicans" are shocked by Sarah Palin?

Try again, Rachman!

More like many class-insecure, puritanical AMERICANS are shocked by her. This one crosses partisan lines, and puts Wm F Buckley-ites in bed with Rachel Maddow-ites.

Sarah Palin shocks people who want to believe there is a Stereotypical American archetype that cannot be breached or broken -- totalitarians, essentially. Many of these people who are so shocked are well-educated and consider themselves "sophisticated" (or the like) despite their obvious inability to stomach the idea of a mother who hunts and whose teenage daughter is a typical American Teenage Girl.

Basically, those who are shocked by Sarah Palin are embarrassed that people like Sarah Palin not only exist, but have large numbers of existential analogs in the American populace.

They are dismissed by most snotty elitist "professionals", yuppies, "progressives", liberals, and general Corporate Drone types from both parties, all of whom wish America were just a bunch of plain-jane capitalists who attend a conservative religious service Sunday mornings, play golf on Saturday afternoon, belong to a Country Club or Book Group or have Season Theatre tickets etc, believe in "growth" and "progress" as unquestionable human values -- especially when manifest materially instead of metaphysically.

Personally, I really like the way Sarah Palin pisses off so many people. It really reveals who is a totalitarian thug, and who isn't.

Cüneyt said...

If Palin is opposed by odious people, does this make her somehow less odious? Oh well. Totalitarianism!

Randal Graves said...

What's truly frightening is when someone is found out to have dabbled in corporation.

Brian M said...

Hey, Charles.

You are SO right. There is no legitimate reason for disliking Sara Palin and her crowd. Once the Pure Cultural Revolution comes about,we can purify all the false-thinkers and their hoity toity edumacation and culture. Cultural revolution, Man! Purify and eliminate!

Charles F. Oxtrot said...

Brian, I'm both laughing and feeling empathetic shame right now.

To the extent you're agreeing with me I'm laughing. To the extent you're not, I'm wondering why, and feeling some empathetic shame. The shame part is conjecture as I'm not sure whether you're laughing along with me or snarking at me.

I have a hard time seeing how worrying about Sarah Palin gets anyone anywhere if their aim is to improve the society in which they live. But if there are cogent arguments in support of that worry, I'll entertain them.

To me it's like arguing over whether the Dallas Cowboys were better under Tom Landry or Jimmy Johnson. We're still just talking about entertainment, even if it's serious shit like pro football and America's Team.

Cüneyt said...

Oxtrot, I think I just fail to see the novelty in this character. They always come in with their seeming irreverence and their new catchphrase that is just so charming, but trust me; a full season of her in the regular cast would show that the writers are tired.

Fucking Mary Sues.