Sunday, November 21, 2004

How many stereotypes can you fit into one sentence?

I just skimmed ZZ Packer's article in Salon in which she complains that the Dems didn't do enough to, uh, reach out to religious folks.

Ms. Packer says, ". . . if Democrats continue shipping in the Prada and Birkenstock crowd to talk about abortion, gay marriage and Iraq to small-town Main Streeters on their way to Home Depot, they're toast." Damn, did the Dems really DO that? Ship in a bunch of Prada-shod city dwellers to Small Town USA to talk about gay marriage? That would be kind of stupid, wouldn't it? I wonder if it's actually true. I'm guessin' not.

I don't really understand what she means by "the Prada and Birkenstock crowd" either. Did she mean "the Prada-and-Birkenstock crowd?" Because, you know, Prada and Birkenstock just don't mix. You don't wear Birkenstocks with Prada, for the love of Bejus. Maybe what she meant was, "the Prada and Birkenstock crowdS," plural. I doubt the Prada and Birkenstock crowds mingle much. I would imagine that the Prada crowd would rather not spend much time in the same room as the Birkenstock crowd - but then I could be wrong.

However she meant it, and let's assume she herself had some clue what she meant, the term "Prada and Birkenstock crowd" sounds dismissive. Pejorative, even. Why, Ann Coulter herself couldn't have written a better sentence to convey disdain for the out-of-touchness of the Democratic Party with the culture of the Home Depot-shopping heartland. But maybe Ms. Packer has a point. Maybe the Dems should have shipped an SAS and Red Wing crowd to the heartland to collar voters. They'd probably be more in touch with good churchgoing values than a bunch of shallow Prada-wearing sluts or a gaggle of hairy-pitted Birkenstock-wearing granola-eating hippies.

Ms. Packer's mother is a church-goer and her husband is a fisherman and hunter; they're both Democrats. Ms. Packer says, "People like my mother and my husband are in regular contact with the voters we need, and yet they feel like outsiders in their own party. They are the ones who get laughed at when Kerry goes on a last-minute goose hunting expedition or attends four church services in one day." This sentence left me kinda confused. Who's doing the laughing here? Since Ms. Packer says they feel like outsiders in their own party, the inference is the Dems are laughing at them. But that doesn't make sense. Why would a Dem laugh at Mr. ZZ Packer when John Kerry goes goose-hunting? Or at ZZ Packer's mother when John Kerry goes to church? I don't get it.

The media sure get a lot of chuckles whenever a Dem goes to church or goes fishin'. They really yukked it up over Kerry's goose hunting trip (putrid sample of said yukking here). So maybe that's what Ms. Packer meant. But they were laughing at KERRY, not Mr. ZZ Packer. In any case, I'm not sure why ZZ Packer herself would hold the Democratic party responsible for this. Maybe ZZ thinks Dems should go a'shootin' and a'huntin' and a'churchin' more often, so . . . they'll get laughed at more? Or less often, so they won't get laughed at as much?


"I do not think that word means what you think it means"

InconCEIvable! In the course of praising Bush for nominating Condoleeza Rice, who is apparently a woman of color, to be Secretary of State, Andrew Sullivan just can't resist getting in a dig at Bill Clinton:

Bill Clinton was celebrated for his progressiveness, and ease with African-Americans. But it's inconceivable that he would have given that much power and authority to a black female peer.

Inconceivable! But only to Andrew. Because most people who get paid to write about politics probably remember differently.

It's certainly not inconceivable that Clinton would have had a female Secretary of State. Because he did.

Clinton didn't seem to have a problem nominating black females to prominent posts - remember Joycelyn Elders and Lani Guinier? I do. I seem to remember both of them coming under attack. Primarily from the right.

I also remember how Clinton cut them loose with alacrity, in contrast to Bush, who is standing by and even promoting Ms. Rice despite her unbroken record of incompetence, high level failure, and dissembling under oath. Mr. Bush sure rewards loyalty a lot better than Mr. Clinton ever did.


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