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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cackles from the Balcony: Palin Resignation Watch

Eric is taking bets as to how many days will elapse before some trumped up illness or comparable inanity compels Palin reluctantly to step aside so as to spend more time with her awful interminably growing family.

9 comments:

martin said...

I don't get it, are you calling her Downs' syndrome child awful?

Why would she step down?

Dale Carrico said...

I don't get it, Martin, I mean, you are not personally inspired with awe by Palin's family? Is it all kids who inspire your disdain in this way or is it only the differently enabled you find so hum-drum as to refuse them your awe? Don't you know that children are our future, Martin? I'm shocked, Martin, shocked to hear this about you.

I do have to hand it to you, though, on the second matter. Honestly, what was I thinking in implying that someone so conspicuously qualified, so deeply and widely experienced in the issues of global governance, so knowledgeable in so many areas, so squeaky-clean and reputable after such a long and well-respected career of public service, so deeply considered and so well-vetted by the Republicans might be encouraged to resign by Party figures trying to do some last-ditch damage control in the face of an utter debacle losing them any purchase on any branch of government at any level in the short term while at once confronting demographic trends (geographic, ethnic, party-ID) that might well make that loss permanent unless they retool and redefine their Party in ways that would be indistinguishable ideologically from their point of view from killing it irrevocably?

As it happens, I am actually of two minds on Eric's little quip myself. On the one hand, I think it would be far too "reality-based" a response to imagine Republicans of all people might topple McCain's catastrophic choice for someone qualified at this point. Not to put too fine a point on it, at this point almost certainly anything they do is too little, too late. Time to own their crimes and failures and bad ideas. That's gotta hurt.

But from their own ideological perspective, one has to think few wingnuts even know how to care any more about questions of competence (except where questions of PR spin and buck passing and knocking heads in the manner of a crime boss is concerned) from an all-too-potential President, just a heartbeat (if we are to assume he has a heart) away from a cancer survivor who happens to be the oldest person by far ever to run for the Office with a chance (if we are to assume he has a chance) to win. Why, the very idea of competent governance is somewhere between an anathema and a contradiction in terms to the Nixonian post-Reagan (post Mont-Pelerin, more properly speaking) Movement Conservative ideological viewpoint, right? And, to speak even more candidly, just for shits and giggles, as these things play out on the ground, if one can't "win" with the usual divisive sliming and disenfranchisement reindeer games from a Republican pol's point of view hadn't one best just scoop up all one's ill-gotten loot and fluffed resume and high tail it to Dubai in any case while the gettin's good?

On the other hand, I tend to think if Republican pols truly had a fit of reality-based reaction of a kind that would nudge Palin from her precarious perch it would just as likely yield some more epic-scaled kind of brokered toppling of Shameful McSame himself for much the same reasons, and so open the doors to who knows what crazy unknowables...

So, no, I don't really expect Palin to resign when all is said and done. Eric's point resonated with me precisely because it bespeaks the level of disaster she represents to, well, the "Republican Brand" as the dumb-dumb pundits like to put points of historical import these days.

By way of conclusion, permit me to circle back to your "gotcha" insinuation that I might be denigrating Palin's differently-enabled child in particular when I speak of her "awful family." Well, in case you actually believe this or even care about it beyond finding in it an occasion to throw up a score-pointing distraction because you are a clueless and humorless asshole, I do in fact find Palin's family awful in my obviously inadequate mass-mediated encounter with them. No doubt, this is because, among other things, they remind me so keenly (whether rightly or not) of my own awful extended family of pious right-wing Middle-Amurrcan Scooters and Courtneys and Biffs, no small number of whom would cheerfully send me off to a concentration camp in the name of Baby Jesus because I'm a faggot, an atheist, and a socialist -- in their reckoning -- hell, probably my vegetarianism is enough to justify such sequestration.

Yes, I made a glib comment, one originating in amazement at the circumstances at hand and in the context of a history of obscure pain of the kind which often accompanies exhibitions of humor that are worth a damn. You can be reassured, if that is what you crave here, that the insensitivity that enables the humor, such as it was in this instance, is not, as it happens, an insensitivity that I would permit to lead me to indulge in any kind of injustice or violence against any of the actual people who might be skewered by such glibness -- which is more than I can say for the great majority of people I have known in my life who have lead me to form such attitudes in the first place.

Humor is a tricky thing, enabling some of us to cope with pain and at once directed to audiences with which one expects one will identify in this pain rather than to those who might dis-identify with it and so risk causing pain rather than recuperating from it.

I just want to say that if there were a hell (a notion which I personally utterly disdain, unless by hell one means the blank bleak state of affairs with which we are made to cope here on earth through the short-sighted mean-spirited tribalism and ambition and insensitivity of a brainless bullying minority among us), one of its suffering circles really should be reserved for assholes who try to make liberals defensive about issues that the liberals care about and the assholes don't, all as a way of ensuring that the actual work to address those issues is never actually done.

I apologize to anybody who may have felt that my comment was intended to denigrate the differently enabled. To you, Martin, I don't apologize. To you, Martin, I recommend you read or re-read my writings on the differently enabled, anthologized handily together under the titles The Progressive Politics of Lifeway Diversity and the Reactionary Politics of Eugenics and A Bioconservative Bestiary if you wonder what my attitudes toward these questions might actually be. Also, suck it.

Martin said...

I don't get it, Martin, I mean, you are not personally inspired with awe by Palin's family? Is it all kids who inspire your disdain in this way or is it only the differently enabled you find so hum-drum as to refuse them your awe? Don't you know that children are our future, Martin? I'm shocked, Martin, shocked to hear this about you.

ROFLMAO

So, no, I don't really expect Palin to resign when all is said and done. Eric's point resonated with me precisely because it bespeaks the level of disaster she represents to, well, the "Republican Brand" as the dumb-dumb pundits like to put points of historical import these days.

Right on both points, methinks. Right on the fact that she won't resign and right on the fact that she represents a Hail Mary from the 20 yard line with five seconds on the clock.

By way of conclusion, permit me to circle back to your "gotcha" insinuation that I might be denigrating Palin's differently-enabled child in particular when I speak of her "awful family." Well, in case you actually believe this or even care about it beyond finding in it an occasion to throw up a score-pointing distraction because you are a clueless and humorless asshole

Easy. The fact that I'm only 90% with you doesn't mean that I'm 100% against you. I was genuinely interested why you would call her family "awful." She has one son who volunteered for public service via the military, and another with Downs syndrome. And I don't know enough about the rest of her family, but I've learned nothing about them that would lead me to label them "awful."

No doubt, this is because, among other things, they remind me so keenly (whether rightly or not) of my own awful extended family of pious right-wing Middle-Amurrcan Scooters and Courtneys and Biffs, no small number of whom would cheerfully send me off to a concentration camp in the name of Baby Jesus because I'm a faggot, an atheist, and a socialist -- in their reckoning -- hell, probably my vegetarianism is enough to justify such sequestration.

Certainly her politics is worthy of strong criticism, and it is her politics that strongly aligns with the "Middle-Amurrcan" family that you describe. I'm not sure how her actual family factors into that.

Humor is a tricky thing, enabling some of us to cope with pain and at once directed to audiences with which one expects one will identify in this pain rather than to those who might dis-identify with it and so risk causing pain rather than recuperating from it.

I wonder what you think of Michael Moore's comments on Olbermann's show, recounted here.

To you, Martin, I don't apologize. To you, Martin, I recommend you read or re-read my writings on the differently enabled, anthologized handily together under the titles The Progressive Politics of Lifeway Diversity and the Reactionary Politics of Eugenics and A Bioconservative Bestiary if you wonder what my attitudes toward these questions might actually be. Also, suck it.

I'm quite familiar with your work. What I gather is that by "awful" you were talking about Palin's politics regarding families, not her family itself. You didn't make that clear, and I know you didn't mean what you said, but sometimes you can write a lot and say very little, and other times, like this post, you can say very little but mean a lot. My quip was successful in drawing that out of you. Your reply in the comments should have been your post.

Robin said...

I'm too busy enjoying the soap opera conspiracy that her 5th child was not her own, but her teen daughter's.

It's better than daytime television!

Dale Carrico said...

Moore's comments -- and I've heard other folks make similar ones -- seemed awful to me. I heard them live, actually, and totally screwed my face up in a cringe when he said them. But I do think this is another example of the sort of fraught ground humor grapples with. I don't think Moore would necessarily have to be a cruel person to say what he did -- indeed, he could very well be a person who is actually so concerned about the Hurricane that it keeps him up at night with worry and propels him into rescue mode if a disaster actually strikes. My guess is that Moore and others who have said awful clumsy things in this vein are all probably trying to make a complex point off the cuff, registering the fact that Right wingnuts of the Christianist variety have regularly implied that Katrina was God's revenge on the City's tolerance of gays or that 9/11 was God's verdict on the multiculturalism of NYC and so on and so forth, and so when people who were appalled by such things go on to make complementary points that this hurricane must mean that God hates Republican corporate-militarists and theocrats their point is actually not so much to assume the literally complementary stance but to expose and demolish the initially appalling statement through an ironic taking up of the stance when the shoe is on the other foot. I don't think this is an easy sort of point to make, nor do I think it is a sensible rhetorical gambit for somebody who wants to be any kind of "spokeperson" for a generally intelligible left, but, honestly we don't turn to humor in the first place in moments when we're being all that sensible. I know I don't. I heard a cry of long-endured exasperation rather than cruelty in what Moore said. That isn't to justify or excuse it. Humor isn't a matter of propositional logic, you know what I mean? I still think Moore is something of a hero at his best, even if a bit of a clumsy opportunist other times.

Dale Carrico said...

The fact that I'm only 90% with you doesn't mean that I'm 100% against you.

And in the retrospective space afforded by the passage of another couple of hours, I apologize that I was so hasty in replying to you so stridently -- even if, you have to admit, that it is in my statuesque stridency that I tend to write most enjoyably.

AnneC said...

The thing that bugs me is how some folks (not sure if Palin herself has said this, though) are trying to make it out like one has to be a pro-life fundie in order to decide that a person with Down syndrome could live a worthwhile life. "Pro-choice" does not mean "pro-eugenics", at least not in my interpretation of it.

Dale Carrico said...

Hello, Anne! Indeed, pro-choice and pro-eugenics are, in stricto senso, incompatible attitudes, insofar as the eugenicist, so-called, typically imagines his parochial vision of "enhancement" to solicit an assent that either is -- or should be -- universal, and so to trump the contradictory exhibitions of consensual lifeway diversity that will flow from any robust defense of Choice.

As an aside, Michael Berube's book Life As We Know It makes vividly plain, from a conspicuously secular-left pro-science anti-eugenicist perspective much in line with my own, the incomparable worth and wonder of the life of his own child with Down syndrome. I have taught excerpts from his brilliant and beautiful book in a half-dozen courses by now, and will do so again this term. Highly recommended.

Greg in Portland said...

She will never resign. The McCain demographic firmly believes in "staying the course" no matter how disastrous. These are the people to take with you as you fly bomb laden fighters into American naval vessels at the end of a lost war. They will drink their tea and write their death poems with equanimity. For McCain to fire her would be admit fallibility. Only humans, not gods, are fallible.