Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'd Like a Little Cheese with My Whine, Please

A while back, I decided to take advantage of former Sen. Phil Gramm's portrayal of Americans as "whiners" and gripe about a few things myself. I'm feeling the need to whine again -- trust me, there's plenty of stuff to bitch about. So, here we go, the Redhead whines again.

-- I must whine about the politics of ... lipstick. Yes, lipstick. Or should I say swiftboating by cosmetics? Seriously, does anyone think Sen. Barack Obama's "lipstick on a pig" comment was an indirect way of calling Gov. Sarah Palin a nasty name? Come on. He was talking about the McCain-Palin campaign's cheap peddling of a pale version of change, indeed the entire Republican party's breathtakingly overt and unapologetic co-optation of Obama's change message. Trust me, if I thought it was a sexist comment, I'd say so -- I wouldn't spare the junior senator from Illinois just because he's the Great Democratic Hope. But the comment clearly was not intended in the way some are characterizing it -- and to try to pin that particular tail on this particular donkey is a deliberate and disingenuous misunderstanding of the context.

-- While I'm on the topic of sexism in the media, I agree that a fair amount of the press coverage of Gov. Palin has been imbued with sexist stereotypes, both overt and covert. The very idea that a woman should be excluded from consideration for any job simply because she is a mother is fundamentally problematic and offensive. We don't do that to men, and we shouldn't do it to women. But, I also have to say, the Republicans suddenly getting religion on the topic of sexist media coverage is disingenuous and transparent. Where the hell were they when Hillary was being excoriated? When Hillary nutcrackers were the hottest holiday gift? Yes, the coverage of Palin has been problematic in some ways. But don't conveniently get a conscience about media sexism as a way to self-righteously sidestep the tough and entirely valid questions about experience and qualifications.

-- I need to loudly whine about the disparaging comments being made about community organizers. At the Republican Convention, which I had the misfortune to attend (being a fly on the wall is not all it's cracked up to be, but I digress), one speaker after another denigrated Obama's work as a community organizer. Clearly, these folks have no idea what the hell that is or the good such work can do -- which is especially ironic since so much community organizing takes the place of programs the Republicans have axed, or addresses problems their lousy, short-sighted, care-only-about-the-rich polices have produced. And, as Gov. David Patterson (D-NY) said, it also smacks of "racial coding." Insulting and offensive.

-- I must join the chorus of loud, vociferous whining about Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-CT). Hell, I want to lead it. I'm pissed he kept calling himself a Democrat during his speech at the Republican National Convention. He is not a Democrat. In fact, he is listed as an "Independent Democrat" on Senate rolls -- whatever the hell that is -- at his own behest. Listen, Joe, you don't get to use our party label just when it's politically expedient. You certainly don't get to use the label in the same breath as you endorse the other party's candidate, in a speech that's the rhetorical equivalent of a slap in the face to the Blue Nation that once nominated you for vice president. Never mind that Independent Joe caucuses with the Democrats or that it's our majority which provides him with the committee chairmanship (aka, bully pulpit) that he loves so much. It's about time he stopped attending the weekly Democratic Caucus luncheons -- good riddance. Stick a fork in Joe. He's done.

-- Are the House Democrats really going to cave on the issue of off-shore drilling? Really? Are they going to roll over in the face of that ridiculous Republican convention chant, "drill, baby, drill!"? Are they going to let a rag tag group of House Republicans in plaid Bermuda shorts and golf shirts, loitering on the House floor during the August recess talking to each other about their oil well wish lists, force their hand? Apparently so. Now, I'm the first to admit that energy policy is not my expertise, but even I know that we can't drill our way out of this mess. I know this proposal has more to it than off-shore drilling rights -- I just hope it's worth the trade off.

-- Okay, this is a pre-whine -- about Charlie Gibson getting the first Palin interview. Please, Charlie... don't disappoint. Ask some tough questions. And don't let Palin get away with just repeating zingers from her acceptance speech
-- over and over and over again -- like she's been doing all week at various campaign stops throughout the country. Ask her the hard questions. And don't let her get away with the old bait and switch -- make it clear when she's dodged your questions, and bring Palin and the viewers face to face with her lies.

I tell you what, friends -- whining really can be so cathartic. Please, join me. You'll feel ever so much better.

Copyright 2008. The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

No comments: