David Letterman, Rev. Wright, and Thoughts on a Creepy Culture
The Demise of David Letterman
I had a number of exchanges on the Palin-Letterman controversy (see below). Where to start on David Letterman's attack on Palin on her visit to New York to do charitable work, accompanied by her 14-year-old daughter Willow?
The hypocrisy of the Left that used to monitor slurs about women's appearances, sick jokes about statuary rape, demonization of women with charges of promiscuity-all this rightly was taboo? But now silence? (But then no one seemed bothered either by the rather shameless instance of plagiarism on the part of Maureen Dowd, the NY Times columnist, who habitually accuses Cheney/Bush/Rumsfeld of lying and other moral lapses.)
The metrosexual, hip David Letterman offered an apology I think that essentially was something along the following lines. Here's my paraphrase: 'Sorry, I confused the 14-year-old Willow Palin with the 18-year-old Bristol Plain, so I was wrong for suggesting the younger Palin girl would be "knocked up" during a baseball game with Alex Rodriguez, or draw in Eliot Spitzer for sex, when I really meant that Bristol certainly would." (Note the silence about calling Governor Palin "slutty" looking. So if some right-wing nut says that Michelle Obama is "slutty" looking, are we to expect no consequences?)
What it is about Sarah Palin that drives the Left insane? Her charisma? Her authentic blue-collar roots? The accent? Todd? The pregnancies? The ability to galvanize crowds. Joe Biden tried to fake his working class origins, but Palin seems to live, not romanticize, the life of the middle strata, so would not the Left appreciate someone from the non-elite?
I suggest two reasons for the fury of the aristocratic Left. One was Palin's stance on abortion. In the elite feminist mind, the perfect storm would be for a 40ish career woman, on the upswing of her cursus honorum, getting pregnant and, then, heaven forbid, delivering the child with full fore-knowledge of chromosomal abnormality. Or having her 17-year old come to full term with a child, unmarried, and without money?
The Shadow of Abortion
For most upscale, educated liberals, a daughter's future career is ruined by pregnancy, and abortion is often the answer. Second, Todd Palin, the Palin accent, the Wasilla connection, the whole notion of Alaska, all this conjured up the elite liberal notion of "trailer trash"-and we all know from Obama's clingers speech, that the white Christian working class is the last group in America that can be caricatured and slurred with impunity. To the liberal urban elite, poor "whites" are those responsible for racism and other sins associated with the dominant culture, and thus by association taint the white aristocracy unfairly.
Race, again, all the time
I received a lot of angry mail about a recent prediction that the Obama administration would acerbate not diminish racial tensions, by its addiction to identity politics and the constant invocation or racial difference. Nothing since his ascension has disabused me of that observation. Obama himself, in unusual fashion, has given a number of speeches abroad emphasizing his African heritage, his middle name Hussein, and his father's Muslim's connection.
We have heard the Attorney General call his countrymen "cowards" for not talking more about racial identity. We have heard our Supreme Court nominee state on repeated occasions that a Latina is intrinsically better at being a judge than a white male counterpart. Now Rev. Wright has reemerged to suggest that Obama will no longer meet with him because "Them Jews ain't going to let him talk to me ...." (a new book about Obama suggests he and Wright met in secret during the campaign after the Wright racist outbursts).
Note as well, that Wright, in his anti-Semitic diatribe, employs the now customary straw men "they", which we've become well accustomed to. (I note here that what was most disturbing about the Letterman Palin jokes and his "apology" was the audience laughing at his crudity-reminiscent of the standing ovations in the Trinity congregation that met Wright's profanity, racist outburst, and damning of the United States. This country has a long way to go.)
This racialism will continue. Why? Because Obama discovered long ago than racial identification brings as many dividends as does the content of one's character or achievement. It is a force multiplier and foolishly left untapped. I fear more, not less, of this, as the tab for Obama's charge-it economy comes due at about the same time dubious players abroad conclude that serial apologies amount to a green light for adventurism. When his popularity dives, I think critics will be seen as biased and prejudicial.
What was ironic about all Wright's accusations of Obama's Jewish hypnosis, was that in just the first six months of his administration Obama has proven to be the most anti-Israeli President since the founding of the Jewish state. Wright should be delighted not disappointed; perhaps his unhappiness is the inability to bask publicly in White House visits, rather than ideological discord.