THE GROFF/ELLISON POLITICAL REPORT

The Pig’s Lipstick

Posted in Uncategorized by groffellison on September 11, 2008

The media frenzy over Sarah Palin in the aftermath of the Republican convention was predictable.  First: headlines needed another star to outgun the “celebrity” aura of Barack Obama – some polls did indicate a bit of Obama-fatigue from likely voters, hence one of the reasons behind his week long disappearance into Hawaiian fauna prior to Denver.  But, headlines also need … headlines.  They hunger for drama as a way to attract eyeballs and advertisers and this unknown from the far reaches of the Artic tundra fit that bill with her bits of family and political baggage.

We won’t get into the mechanics of the “Lipstick on a Pig” fiasco – excpet to say that the media and the electorate is just as much to blame as the campaigns for instigating the conversation.  We don’t pay attention to the policy debates, the “white papers” and the agendas; in fact, most of us yawn because it gets too “heady” or it’s not “marketed” right.  Now, we get testy when one of the major campaigns appears to insult our collective electoral intelligence.  Negative campaigning with negative tones and ridiculous slandering is used because, for some absurd reason, we keep on responding to it.  On a recent Hardball segment, Chris Matthews rightly states that our democracy is being “insulted.” But, he can’t resist the temptation to talk about the “weapons of mass distraction” for his entire hour.

On another note, in Groff/Ellison’s recent Washington Times piece, there was mention of the fact that this is being framed into the new cultural war.  Never mind about the infinite amounts of hypocrisy being shed by Republicans – could one ever imagine that modern Republicans (of all partisans) would be whining about the evils of sexism?  The point in that column was that the race is, at the moment, being defined as “Main Street vs. Martin Luther King Blvd.”  That could be true considering the hype surrounding the latest Great White Female Hope now crusading against Obama.  When media reports talk of “women voters” getting excited over Palin, what’s not said is – once again – another round where White women voters are being pitted against the Black man.  The symbolism and messaging is uncanny: Black man and White woman each fighting for a power spot typically controlled and defined by White men.  It will be very interesting to watch how Obama and Palin (each clawing their way to the top of an exclusive White men’s club) will eventually cancel each other out, allowing McCain to ultimately “save” the White House from cultural transformation.

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