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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

 
Handmaids and Commanders

by digby

Tina Brown's new site seems to be featuring a lot of disaffected feminists who are leaving the Democratic party. Yesterday we had this former editor of Ms magazine extolling the virtues of Sara W. Palin.Today's "goodbye to all that" essay is from someone named Wendy Button who was a speechwriter for John Edwards and as recently as a few months ago was writing speeches for Michelle Obama. Apparently, everything changed for her in August:

It got stronger during the Democratic National Convention when I counted the substantive mentions of poverty on one hand and a whole bunch of bad canned partisan lines against Senator John McCain. Some faith was lifted after Senator Hillary Clinton’s grace during a difficult hour. But that faith was dashed when I saw that someone had raided the Caligula set and planted the old columns at Invesco Field.

The final straw came the other week when Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher (a.k.a Joe the Plumber) asked a question about higher taxes for small businesses. Instead of celebrating his aspirations, they were mocked. He wasn’t “a real plumber,” and “They’re fighting for Joe the Hedge-Fund manager,” and the patronizing, “I’ve got nothing but love for Joe the Plumber.”

Having worked in politics, I know that absolutely none of this is on the level. This back and forth is posturing, a charade, and a political game. These lines are what I refer to as “hooker lines”—a sure thing to get applause and the press to scribble as if they’re reporting meaningful news.


I'm sorry, but none of this scans as truth to me. She was an Edwards staffer who then worked for Michelle, was briefly inspired by Clinton at the convention but was turned off by the anti-McCain rhetoric at the convention? And then, after watching Joe the Plumber call Obama a terrorist and a socialist, what really bothers her is that somebody then mocked him in return? C'mon.

She isn't a PUMA. She comes from the Edwards camp. She's mad because the Democrats aren't talking about poverty. So she's going to vote for the Republicans because she agrees with them on economics:

Joe the Plumber is right. This is the absolutely worst time to raise taxes on anyone: the rich, the middle class, the poor, small businesses and corporations.

Our economy is in the tank for many complicated reasons, especially because people don’t have enough money. So let them keep it. Let businesses keep it so they can create jobs and stay here and weather this storm. And yet, the Democratic ideology remains the same. Our approach to problems—big government solutions paid for by taxing the rich and big and smaller companies—is just as tired and out of date as trickle down economics. How about a novel approach that simply finds a sane way to stop the bleeding?


(How about magic?)

Then we hear a fairly standard rant about how Democrats and the press treated Clinton badly and are doing exactly the same thing to Sarah W. Palin:


Governor Palin and I don’t agree on a lot of things, mostly social issues. But I have grown to appreciate the Governor. I was one of those initial skeptics and would laugh at the pictures. Not anymore. When someone takes on a corrupt political machine and a sitting governor, that is not done by someone with a low I.Q. or a moral core made of tissue paper. When someone fights her way to get scholarships and work her way through college even in a jagged line, that shows determination and humility you can’t learn from reading Reinhold Niebuhr. When a mother brings her son with special needs onto the national stage with love, honesty, and pride, that gives hope to families like mine as my older brother lives with a mental disability


Ok. She's come to like Palin. Whatever.

But what can we conclude about this bit of incoherence?


But thank God for election 2008. We can talk about the wardrobe and make-up even though most people don’t understand the details about Senator Obama’s plan with Iraq. When he says, “all combat troops,” he’s not talking about all troops—it leaves a residual force of as large as 55,000 indefinitely. That’s not ending the war; that’s half a war.

I was dead wrong about the surge and thought it would be a disaster. Senator John McCain led when many of us were ready to quit. Yet we march on as if nothing has changed, wedded to an old plan, and that too is a long way from the Democratic Party.


Is she for the war or against it? I honestly can't tell.

It's not that I don't get that a lot of people are still torqued about the primary and have a lot of bad feelings on the feminist, working class front. These are not illegitimate gripes, even if I don't share them. But it's very weird for a liberal of any stripe, much less a political professional, to make this case on the basis of taxes and the Iraq war, no matter how disgruntled they might be with the Obama campaign. And all this seems to have come to her rather recently, for reasons that aren't clear.

It's nearly impossible for me to see what road takes you from being a John Edwards speechwriter talking about the plight of the poor and ending the war to supporting McCain and Palin who are running around calling Democrats Marxists and talking about victory in Iraq. And there is nothing in this somewhat incoherent essay that explains it.

Well, except maybe this:

Before I cast my vote, I will correct my party affiliation and change it to No Party or Independent. Then, in the spirit of election 2008, I’ll get a manicure, pedicure, and my hair done. Might as well look pretty when I am unemployed in a city swimming with “D’s.”

Whatever inspiration I had in Chapel Hill two years ago is gone. When people say how excited they are about this election, I can now say, “Maybe for you. But I lost my home.”


I suspect there's going to be a very lucrative niche opening up for these Palin Democrats with lots of wingnut welfare to go around.

It's a good career move.


.

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