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Sarah Palin: Re-igniting the culture wars, Part 1
By Aladdin Elaasar — In his recent column in the Huffington Post, Jay Rosen claimed that republicans will try to spin Palin’s shortcoming into strengths, by revving up the culture wars. “As more emerges about how the McCain camp made the decision, the appointment looks more and reckless, the decision rushed, the vetting inadequate. This leads to advanced jeering from the left, intense criticism in the press, damaging leaks from within the Republican party, fueling calls from within and without for Sarah Palin to remove herself” Rosen said.
“Strategy: stick with “she was fully vetted” no matter what comes out. People who don’t believe it are trying to bring down Palin’s historic candidacy; or they don’t accept that a conservative women can be the one to break the glass ceiling. If some establishment Republicans are skeptical or trying to stop her, that’s good for the crisis narrative, and good for two maverick candidates”.
Sarah Palin outdrawing Obama in the ratings and sending a flood of cash to McCain and the GOP.
“Strategy: bingo, that’s your big break. A wave effect is unleashed by a stunning televised performance. It is shock and awe in the theater of the post-modern presidency….double down on defiance by never letting her answer questions, except from friendly media figures who have joined your narrative; like Cheney with Fox. No meet the press at all. No interviews of Palin with the DC media elite — at all. De-legitimate the ask. Break with all “access” expectations. Use surrogates and spokesman, let them get mauled, then whip up resentment at their mistreatment. Answer questions at town halls and call that adequate enough.”
“Meanwhile, the investigation of her performance in Alaska puts more and more pressure on the Palin appointment as things come out that would ordinarily disqualify a candidate from consideration or cast doubt on her truthfulness in a grave way…
Strategy: Comes from Bush, the younger. When realities uncovered are directly in conflict with prior claims, consider the option of keeping the claims and breaking with
reality. Done the right way, it’s a demonstration of strength. It dismays and weakens the press. And it can be great theater”.
While columnis Laura Flanders of AlterNet and host of GRITtv.org and author of
Bush Women: Tales of a Cynical Species, finds that Palin Pick Is GOP Hypocrisy at its Best. Why is that?
“Will the media test her on substance or let her play “Ms. Congeniality?” It is up to the public to see through the fact-free diet we’re being fed. Despite Campaign Spin, McCain Would Be a Disaster on Women’s Rights, Flanders decried.
But Vanessa Valenti sees as a “The Christian Right’s Slick Campaign to Make Abstinence Seem Trendy”.
Kimberly Gadette finds that Palin Pick is “The Bikini Car Wash: One Sexist Tradition”
Gadette says that “in selecting Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain is dusting off an old GOP tool: the estrogen guard. Slap a friendly, female face on a hard core-conservative political platform, and pray that the pundits will only take pot-shots and talk about gender. It worked for George W. Bush and it just may work for Palin”.
“Watching Palin address the RNC, I could have sworn I heard Katherine Harris cheer. Remember Harris, Florida’s Secretary of State in 2001, and co-chair of her state’s Bush/Cheney Committee? No one did more to snag the White House for her man — and no one was laughed and scoffed at more heartily by the media. While the press poo-poo’ed her make-up (“she seems to have applied her makeup with a trowel” wrote the Washington Post) and introduced her to the public as caricature (“Cruella de Ville”), as Florida’s top election-cop, Harris purged enough voter rolls, understaffed enough voting places and ill-equipped the voting system sufficiently to guarantee Election Day chaos. Parodied in the press, she rose to stardom in the GOP. Come Inauguration Day 2001, Florida Republicans threw an enormous bash for the woman they dubbed “our Joan of Arc.” Soon after she was elected to Congress”, Gadette says.
“So it is with Palin. While her record stinks, so does the media coverage. In place of serious discussion of her policies on the environment, on human rights, on taxes, free speech and governance, we’ve had five days of “Veep Pregnant Teen Shock” and there’s more than enough misogyny in the mix to give the McCain camp a stick to beat any truly investigative members of press-corps with”.
“Desperate for female votes (a group the Democrats have taken for granted for years,) John McCain clearly hopes his Palin pick will burnish his appeal among middle-of-the-
road women. It’s a long-shot. Palin believes abortion is a crime even in the case of rape and incest (that was even too draconian for the voters of South Dakota). She supports teaching creationism in schools as strongly as, as Governor, she opposed environmental protections for the Holy planet.”
About the Author
Aladdin Elaasar is a syndicated columnist and lecturer. Some of his writings are: “Iraq, the State and Terrorism”; where he predicted the downfall of former Dictator Saddam Hussein. Elaasar also wrote: Silent Victims: The plight of Arabs and Muslims in Post 9/11 America. And “The Last Pharaoh: Mubarak and the Uncertain Future of Egypt in the Volatile Mid East” and “Barracuda: The Unauthorized Biography of Sarah Palin: What You Do Not Know and Should Know about America’s Potential Vice President”.Elaasar has been a frequent commentator on Middle Eastern affairs on several local American TV and Radio networks and media and cultural consultant since 1992. Email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at TheArabDailyNews.com, TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com
Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com ArabNews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
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