Tuesday, July 14, 2009

It doesn't matter that *we* don't like Sarah Palin

David Seaton's News Links
Several commentators, notably David Brooks, have been comparing Sarah Palin to Richard Nixon. Here is Brooks:
No one thought Richard Nixon — a far less personable commodity than Palin — would come back either after his sour-grapes “last press conference” of 1962. But Democratic divisions and failures gave him his opportunity in 1968. With unemployment approaching 10 percent and a seemingly bottomless war in Afghanistan, you never know, as Palin likes to say, what doors might open.
From the point of view of those who sympathize with neither Nixon or Palin, what should worry us about Palin is her natural charisma. Nixon had none. Nixon had to work harder and hustle more than anyone to get where he got, everything about him was forced, sweaty jowled and unnatural. Palin on the contrary irradiates whatever it is that makes (some, a lot of) people like or identify with her.

That we don't like her is nothing for her to worry about. That, despite the Republican establishment's disparagement, Palin's base still supports her gives the GOP a lot to worry about and should probably trouble the rest of us too.

I think that Sarah Palin is frightening many Republican "realist" (read pro-business) commentators because they realize that she is a monster that the party has been creating since Nixon's "Southern Strategy". The fiscal conservatives have been using the social conservatives and the just generally resentful and racist elements as cannon fodder to win elections and now they finally see what Nixon hath wrought.

The Republican rage against her is because they see that they have fallen into a trap of their own construction: the party of the rich, which catered to the yokels is now in danger of being taken over by the yokels... which could be catastrophic for American business interests all over the world.

Certainly continuing high unemployment with no relief on the horizon is the recipe for populism. Since left wing populism is out of the question in America, then it would have to be right-wing populism. Palin would be a perfect poster girl for such a movement.

The rise of socially conservative populism would be a joker in the deck that could derail globalization and interrupt the pantomime of American politics. The idea sounds fun, but the reality could be pretty terrible. DS


Anonymous said...

Sounds plausible. It's kind of taboo, but historically it was the german women who voted Hitler into power. Modern capitalism works by utilising female rivalry in the workplace.

So why shouldn't the American Hitler be a woman, a little caudillo radiating that attractive denial?

Forensic economist said...

On how fascism will happen in America -

It is creeping in already. Bush claimed the power to lock up a "terrorist suspect" without trial, without indictment, without presenting any evidence. Obama campaigned against this and for the right of Habeus Corpus. The DOJ has now announced that in some cases the administration retains that power to indefinitely detain "terrorist suspects" without charge. He was referring to the 100 or so inmates at Guantanamo that will neither be released or charged; but the precedent has been established.

Now we are finding out that the CIA had plans to run its own death squads. It used to be the practice was to farm this out. The Obama administration apparently agrees with Bush that since we are in a "global war on terror" he does not have to notify anybody about specific "anti-terrorist" operations. We know about drone attacks. What else has happened under the excuse of "anti-terrorist"?

So the next president will be given much more power than Bush started with. What do you think Palin would do with it?

The Europhile said...

If you're serious about understanding German history, you would never suggest it was the German woman that voted Hitler into power. They'd had a long, awful history and the Versailles Treaty, etc, didn't help but humiliate them further. There was a chain of events that brought him into power and in case you're really interested, go to some museums in Germany and view the really subliminal propaganda at that time, if you did, Anon, you wouldn't recycle that unnecessary 'taboo'.

David, these are really salient points, the populism, the class issues, etc. I sense a lot of random and real economic distress, not too dissimilar from Germany, in its own build up.

Per esempio, in Germany, after being blamed for the first war, they had to cart a wheelbarrow of dosh across a region to get a loaf of bread, as inflation was rather key in bringing Hitler to power, it was mostly an economic issue.

CA, unlike the Fed, can't print money. The 8th largest economy in the world is issuing IOU's. I was born in CA and I still can't get my mind around that fact, it's makes me very sad.

And yes, certo, Palin is tapping into that anger, that populace anger, the kind that encourages Californians to prefer organ donation to be legal, so they can sell body parts to fend off foreclose. I'm actually reading comments about said fact.

These are insane times and Palin and her randomness and all the items you adroitly highlight, will all participate, very probably...somehow, someway...unfortunately, like I said, my bet's on Professor Higgins, I think he'll turn that flower into a duchess yet....

Anonymous said...

Yeah it's taboo but most women do vote 'conservative' as they are naturally attracted to violence and submissive to societal rules.

It wasn't different with Hitler who got most of his votes from women.

A primitive woman like Palin, playing vague emotions, would make a good puppet dictator, if the kingmakers decide on such a course.

Kurz said...

"most women do vote 'conservative' as they are naturally attracted to violence and submissive to societal rules"

Huh? Could you please base what you say on specific facts so it doesn't sound like your own personal delusion?

There is a big difference between "voting conservative" and voting Hitler. And let me remind you, conservatives were opposed to Hitler when he came into power.

As for women being attracted to violence and societal rules... women are more violent than men? That's a new one.

Anonymous said...

Well there's a big difference between USA "conservative" and Europeans.

In our and most others' coordinate systems, your "democrats" are the conservatives.

In the case of Hitler, the german conservatives all voted for him in the last session of parliament and his party did indeed get most of its votes from women.

Women are sexually attracted to violence, it's a fact of life. They also base their decisions on a more materialist basis nad have always made a great conservative voter contingent.

So if they can get Palin to front another violent military regime, which is already half there, like in 1930s Germany, many more women will be compelled to vote for that if you add in the sisterhood factor.

Kurz said...

"In our and most others' coordinate systems, your "democrats" are the conservatives."

I don't really understand what you mean by that... I'd say the difference between conservative in Europe or the USA is an American conservative (as in Republican) is much to the right of most European conservative parties.

As for women being sexually attracted to violence... I'd ask for some evidence if you're going to say something as bold as that.

Versailles, massive inflation, and a national feeling of humiliation after WWI got Hitler into power. Without these facts, the idea of a failed artist becoming Germany's F├╝hrer would have been ridiculous. Linking Hitler's rise to power exclusively to women's conservative tendencies sounds just as ridiculous. Also, note that Hitler's speeches were very far from being conservative.

Stephanie said...

"Women are sexually attracted to violence, it's a fact of life. They also base their decisions on a more materialist basis nad have always made a great conservative voter contingent."

I'm not sure why I'm bothering to respond to a raving loon (I hope you are, anyway). Single women are very likely to vote Democratic and it's been that way for years. Married women are more likely to vote Republican, but women are hardly a solid conseravative voting bloc - if anything, the opposite.

I don't see Palin going anywhere from here, except perhaps on a book tour. If she foolishly decides to run for President and causes havoc in the GOP, well, fine. She's no Huey Long (and I was initially impressed by her speech at the convention and thought she might go far, but things sure changed).

Anonymous said...

So single women vote conservative and married women vote nazi, ok Steph? Since you don't have a socialdemocratic or green party over there, right.

There is nothing new. Adolf Hitler made himself attractive by being "single" and a "vegetarian" and "animal friend" and all that, he understood that much.

A redefined fascism based on sisterhood and denial like Steph's would be another gift of "America", for sure.