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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

 
Tribal Dancing With The Stars

by digby


Yes, this, from Amanda Marcotte:

For anyone who has any doubts that the main engine of the vicousness of the American political landscape is a pure culture war, I give to you the case of Bristol Palin hanging in on Dancing With the Stars. Palin is making a career out of conservative America using her to demonstrate that what matters most to them is that you're a member of their tribe. You can break their strict sexual rules, and they'll embrace you. You can have no talent whatsoever, and they'll promote you. Just so long as you're in the tribe. It's how George W. Bush got to be president, so this shouldn't be so shocking. Especially when you consider that cheeseball fare like Dancing With The Stars draws more Republican viewers than Democratic ones.

Tribal/cultural war is the only explanation. If this was actually about politics, it would only be about politics. Who wins on Dancing With the Stars has exactly zero impact on policy decision-making in Washington. It has nothing to do with those things that we keep hearing motivate the Tea Party--tax rates, "fiscal conservatism," the auto bailout. But it has everything to do with scoring points in the ongoing war of sticking it to those latte-drinking liberals, who sneeringly believe the spawn of the martyred Sarah Palin shouldn't win because she's not good enough. The nerve!

Consider that the folks who are organizing to keep Bristol Palin on the show are easy to set off on rants about the evils of affirmative action, and much of what defines the current political landscape will become all too clear.


It's been clear to me for some time that most of American politics is tribal and this is a perfect example of the phenomenon. And frankly, I'm fairly sure that liberals would rally around Sasha or Malia the same way although liberals wouldn't simultaneously rail against affirmative action and take huge amounts of pride in their rugged individualism and ability to make it without any communal support and it's doubtful they would see it as a perfect rebuke to conservative conspiracy that's ruining America (although they probably should.)Liberals would root for the girls because they like them.

The big difference is that the conservatives would be staging a monumental hissy fit saying the voting is rigged and that Dancing With The Stars is a socialist, Soros funded conspiracy to ruin the competitive spirit of American youth. They know how to translate these tribal events into angry politics and liberals don't.

But yeah, it's tribal. What else is new?

.