Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I am obsessed with Sarah Palin and that is probably exactly the wrong reaction to be having because it is exactly what THEY want me to be doing. What they want us all to do, obsess over this woman and forget that there is actually a real election happening.

I can’t write much tonight because I am beat and I need to write something cogent and at least logical. Now is not that time.

I cannot keep myself from listening to the radio news, reading every single thing that appears, and in between hyperventilating about it all.

I had a dream about Sarah Palin on the first night that she was announced by McCain as his running mate. We were all at SNL. Everyone was around the writer’s table: Jim Downey, Christine Zander, Al Franken, Dave Mandell, the whole group I knew so well. We were trying to crack a sketch about Sarah Palin.

The sketch was about Sarah driving a mini-van filled with her children. The child with Down’s Syndrome was in the front seat in a bassinette. The police began to follow her. Sirens roared. She was angry, she tried to elude them. She drove faster and began to curse the police in her rear view mirror. She said, “I’ll get you.” And then she put her finger on a red button right next to her seat. It was the button that started nuclear war. But then one of the police drove his motorcycle right up next to her driver’s window and yelled, “Your dress, it’s caught in your car door!” And she said, “Oh! Oh!” She pulled her finger off the red button. She laughed, how embarrassing, to have your dress caught in the door.

We knew this sketch wasn’t all that funny. It needed something. We couldn’t figure out what.

And that was over a week ago. There have been many sleepless nights and weird dreams since then.

I thought Sarah Palin was a joke at first. Then I thought it was great, McCain had thrown in the towel. He clearly didn’t care if he won or not. Now I’m angry. It’s so cynical. And condescending.

So much has been written about it. But there are some things that I particularly hate. I hated the way McCain said, “I can’t wait to introduce her to Washington” at the convention. It was so… I don’t know, fatherly. Or weirder, like a date would say about a hot chick he found and wanted to show off.

It’s strange to think that tomorrow it will be seven years since 9/11. We had the sympathy of the world. We had our dignity and morality too, pretty much. We could take the high ground. And all that reputation has been blown away. Squandered.

Here’s another thing I hate, I hate how Sarah Palin makes me feel. I hate my knee-jerk reaction to her. I hate that I have to talk myself back into appropriate responses.

For example, my first response to learning about her was that she should not be a Governor because she had five children, mostly young children, and had just had a baby with special needs. I am glad she was able to have that baby with Down’s syndrome if she wanted to and could afford to, emotionally and financially. But why isn’t she taking care of it? How could she be taking care of it?

I am embarrassed for having that reaction. Maybe it’s really about me. I have one child and I can barely work. I don’t know how mothers like her do it, I honestly don’t. Every working mom I know, I become obsessed with how they pull it off. I want to know the details. What about homework, what about school volunteering, what about lessons, what about problems with the lessons, how do you teach them about this or that.

Then it occurred to me that Sarah’s husband may be a stay-at-home husband. I was relieved, and angry at myself for thinking all those kids were just her responsibility. Clearly they had some system worked out. Clearly he was at home all the time.

No, he isn’t.

Then I was even angrier at myself. I had to talk myself down. So what?! So what!!! What if she is a great mom? What if she has a great nanny? And what if she isn’t? What difference does it make? Why don’t I think about that with guys? I admit it, I don’t. I feel terrible about this. I really think that women should work and be parents in whatever way they can manage. But I had to talk myself back into my higher, feminist self. Or… now that I’ve brought up the word feminist – what the hell does that mean anymore?

When her daughter was revealed to be pregnant, I thought – Oh, now she will drop the hockey mom part of her speech because, god, it’s so embarrassing. She’s a hockey mom and her daughter is pregnant by a high school drop out hockey player. You know what the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull is? Pit bull’s daughters do not get knocked up by hockey players. But no, Sarah kept using that line – that lipstick line, that line that is apparently now branded to her so that anyone else referencing lipstick in any way must be referring to HER. A

I just hope I come down off this crazy roller coaster that McCain has sent me on. It was deliberate, diabolical, daring and it has worked, absolutely.

All day today I was thinking, “Ladies, Sarah Palin is not our friend.” I am astonished it has gotten me so deeply. I would never EVER have predicted that. I am aghast at McCain’s cynical, political and yet oblivious choice. I am holding my breath until November 4.


Anonymous said...

You sound like you're channeling Rebecca Traister over at Salon:

bugsoup said...


You seriously need to get onto Countdown, The Rachel Maddow Show, or somewhere, anywhere, to talk to the American people.

I have been glued to my RSS reader and to any political discussion I can find on TV. I keep hearing from the McCain campaign that they are under attack from the MSM, but I've seen nothing but avoidance and talk about strategy instead of proper reporting. So much of what is on right now is talking about what people are talking about, like the news has turned into some metareality. Nobody ever does any investigating anymore, they just ask for opinions. Are you similarly frustrated by the "reporting" by the main stream media during this political season?

Lyvvie said...

As an American abroad I've had to rely heavily on internet to find information on Palin because I'd never heard of her and thought - oh he's just picking a young woman to appeal to the young and to women.

She scares me too. Creationist, pro-life and a Moose hunting NRA member. No no no!

Great post, thanks for helping me feel less alienated by this. Nice to know someone out there thinks along the same line as myself.

RonStrelecki said...

What terrifies me about Palin, and there is so much to choose from, is the Sorority Alpha Female aspects of her "personality". I could just picture her two step process of dealing with say... Ahmadinejad...

Step 1: We'll start a rumor that he masturbated with a frozen hot dog.

If that doesn't work...

Step 2: Nuclear Attack.

RonStrelecki said...

Step 3: And if the nukes don't work err whatever we'll just go up to my Step-Dad's lakehouse and get totally wasted on wine coolers. And we totally won't invite him!

She reminds me of Celia Hoades from Weeds morphed with Rexella Van Impe.

The first thing I thought when they announced her nomination was that the Republicans had just given up and decided to turn the convention into a viral marketing campaign for the next Tina Fey movie about a sassy Hockey Mom from Alaska... etc...

These are people who "believe" that dinosaurs walked the Earth 4,000 years ago.

Patrick said...

You might want to check out "her" blog, at the very least it will give you more skit ideas.

Laura Without Labels said...

Julia, your post here really aptly expressed my feelings and I so appreciate reading your blog. That's all I wanted to say :)

Ennave Institute said...

I know you've been on a blogging break but I checked in anyway specifically to say you would be the best, and don't take offense, casting to spoof Sarah Palin. I don't see her much cause I don't watch TV, but your speaking is similar. PLUS you have invested so much time at exploring what makes such a woman tick. You would be devastating. I think Lorne Michaels should be calling you immediately! Perhaps the only way out of this horror is good comedy

Kaleena said...

So, my mom called me yesterday. We normally share the latest and greatest outrageousness from the election (she leans towards McCain, and I'm trying my darnedest to convince her otherwise) and she "Did you hear what Obama did?" (regarding HIS lipstick comment) I was so angry that I exploded in her face and explained the whole story (which she apparently didn't have other than Obama called Palin a pig) I ended up having to apologize and then got mad at myself.

I guess my point her is that Julia, I feel your pain.

Kazim said...

You're right, Julia, you shouldn't obsess over Sarah Palin just because she is a woman and a mom and all that other stuff. After all, there are so very, very many LEGITIMATE reasons to hate her:

* Abstinence only education
* Anti-choice
* Repeated baldfaced lies about being against the bridge to nowhere
* Library censorship
* Draconian efforts to fire people who oppose her
* Believing that the pledge of allegiance was "good enough for the founding fathers"
* Secessionist
* Creationist
* YOUNG EARTH creationist

I've probably missed a few. With all these perfectly good things to ridicule, there's no point in worrying about her personal life, or that damn annoying accent of hers.

fondfire said...

Kazim is so right!

I loved that dream!

Lanie Painie said...

You know what the REAL difference is between a pitbull and Sara Palin?

Pitbulls command respect, not ridicule. Palin is a joke almost as funny as lipstick.

Jeffrey said...

I'm an ex-Christian who kept to myself on my blog until Palin. But since then, I've been a bulldog (w/o lipstick) trying to undermine the faith that enables people like her. 9/11 and God's war in Iraq each provoked waves of anti-religion activists.

I belong to the Palin wave.

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