Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I admit that I have occasionally lapsed into a bit of pity at watching Sarah Palin f*ck up so stupendously over the last two weeks.
Sharp literary minds have repeatedly woven her trials and tribulations into a metaphorical tableau evoking simpler times when, yes, we too experienced the pains of a book report in seventh grade gone awry or a mean teacher in high school who called us on something we didn't know.
Regardless of the college debate I once flubbed, I am 100% done with the Sarah Palin pity party. After all, we're not talking about a college debate, a book report or a mean teacher. We're talking about someone that could conceivably ascend to the most powerful political office in the world.
Seriously, just think on that the next time you feel the urge to lactate in sympathy to the crying of Sarah Palin's inner child yearning to run free.
When McCain and his campaign came a-calling, she had all the power. She could have done the right thing and politely said NO and spared her family (and the world) the pain she has now foisted upon us.
Here's Salon's Rebecca Traister with sentiments echoing my own:
Like everyone else, I can barely take the waves of embarrassment that come with watching someone do something so badly. Roseanne Barr singing the national anthem, Sophia Coppola acting in "The Godfather: Part III," Sarah Palin talking about Russia -- they all create the same level of eyeball-squinching discomfort...
It was so predictable that we would get to a pity-poor-helpless-Sarah phase. The press was already warming up for it on the day McCain announced her as his running mate, when NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell speculated that McCain's choice was designed to declaw scrappy Joe Biden, whose aggressive style would come off as bullying next to the sweet hockey mom from Alaska. Now, of course, we know about the hockey moms and the pit bulls; the more-powerful-than-expected Palin juggernaut forestalled the pity/victim/mean boy/poor Sarah phase.
So here it is, finally. And as unpleasant as it may be to watch the humiliation of a woman who waltzed into a spotlight too strong to withstand, I flat out refuse to be manipulated into another stage of gendered regress -- back to the pre-Pelosi, pre-Hillary days when girls couldn't stand the heat and so were shooed back to the kitchen.