Monday, 1 September 2008

Purloined Politics

If Palin’s religion had had its way, people with vaginas wouldn’t be taken seriously for two minutes, much less become state governors. But now that others have hacked out a path through the brush, she can waltz along it on platform heels. Will any significant numbers of women fall for this pathetic gimmick?

There’s something particularly disgusting about evangelical females who show their faces after a lifetime of complicity with a movement based on undermining women. They side with the oppressor, then happily snatch the spoils of the battles others fought.

There are plenty of parallels from the shifting sands of our racial politics. Back in the 1960s and ‘70s when white supremacists could no longer save segregation and its privileges, they turned their sights on affirmative action. Dixiecrat diehards like Thurmond and Helms cleverly tapped the outrage of their confederates with tales of unfair ‘reverse discrimination.’ It was key to the Nixon-era Republican strategy that turned the South red.

But of course it is exactly the reactionary elements themselves who commit the worst crimes of racial tokenism as when Bush 1 put the sniveling lapdog Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court. Now we have the equally grotesque spectacle of Sara Palin within striking distance of the White House. After millions of women struggle for decades for a modicum of equality, the prize goes to a reactionary babe who dug in her heels all the way.

It’s appropriate that cowards from the back row like Thomas and Palin should scoop up all the goodies because we celebrate and admire theft. After all, we live in a society that rewards Wall Street sharpies and buyout specialist with the fruits of the labor of thousands of blue-collar workers, whose companies they acquire and strip for quick billions. Then they’re lionized in the business press, and their wives become fashion mavens whose charity affairs are the season’s hot tickets.

Palin and Thomas are the philosophical equivalents. They do no work, then exploit the system’s need for a turncoat.

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