Sunday, July 5, 2009

In which I destroy the "democratic ideal"

Okay, I guess I'm one of the snobby, hate-filled liberal elite that Ross Douthat slams in his NYT column "Palin and Her Enemies" today. Yep, my belief that this particular woman was wildly incompetent to be vice president (and possibly president) of the United States puts me on the side of the privilege-defending destroyers of the "democratic ideal," the American Dream "about how anyone can grow up to be president." Wow, I am evil. I thought I was critical of Palin in large part because her ideological positions and concrete policies in Alaska were harmful to ordinary families, and in particular to struggling women and children. But, no, it turns out: if I really cared about those people, I would have loved Palin.

So, just to double down on my snarky elitist ways: Palin and whoever helped her write stuff this weekend are providing me with lots of hilarity concerning the use and abuse of the English language. (Is anyone helping her? If so, memo to Palin: fire him/her immediately.) This isn't just a matter of things said aloud, off the cuff -- the written texts are just as mangled and full of weird constructions and outright errors.* The 4th of July Facebook posting contains several gems such as "I’ve never thought I needed a title before one’s name to forge progress in America." Now, okay, I know no one who still loves Sarah Palin at this point is going to turn on her because she can't make her pronouns agree. And I know Facebook is not the most formal writing context in the world. (Didn't she understand, though, that in the absence of any other info coming out of her camp, this post was going to get quoted extensively in every news outlet in the country? And by the way SarahPAC has still not updated its website, and Palin's own twitters are also still reading like they're being written in some alternate reality where the only decision made was "to not run again." ) Nevertheless -- and maybe I'm just hyper-attuned to this sort of thing because I earn my keep by being picky with freshman prose -- this there-is-no-proofreader-on-the-premises sloppiness gives the impression that things are a bit out of control behind the scenes in Palinland. In the absence of any real information, it's hard to resist looking for meaning in details like this.

Also, can she please stop claiming that she's being "candid"?

I really will shut up about this whole Palin brouhaha soon. I promise. Maybe.

* Yes, the single funniest thing so far has been Meg Stapleton telling Anderson Cooper that "the world is literally her oyster." But despite the jaw-dropping awesomeness of the image this conjures up, it's a mistake pretty much anyone could make speaking aloud.


  1. Perhaps I'm still traumatized from presidential election season. But whenever I heard/hear people bemoaning the terrifying possibility of Palin becoming president (one heartbeat away!), I feel the need to point out that John McCain did not inspire an iota more confidence in me than she did. She almost came to serve as a foil, helping us to forget the despicable, nasty, and inept campaign he ran, and to make him look like the qualified one, even if those qualifications never became apparent (apart from war hero status, of course!). I guess I just think it's important that we not only see Sarah Palin as her own entity, but remember that she's just one component--albeit a flashy, amusing, deplorable one--of a much bigger, equally deplorable movement. And that those other colleagues of her are not steping down.

  2. I just think it's important that we not only see Sarah Palin as her own entity

    Increase your brand popularity overnight