Sunday, October 03, 2010

Palin, O'Donnell: The Politics of Pure Attitude

Sarah Palin took us halfway there, and now her Delaware clone is the final product--the completely content-free politician.

Disappearing for three weeks after a primary victory, Christine O'Donnell emerges at an invitation-only crowd of 100 supporters and, in a no-cal interview with AP, "vows to control her political message."

Decades ago, when Marshall McLuhan asserted the medium is the message, there was still room for debate of issues. Now, the president of a conservative policy group lauds O'Donnell for her "real gift for personal presentation,” grounded, “in the ease in which she gives her personal testimony.”

This sounds more like revival meeting fare than politics, but it is reality-based in a year when attitude is all in the electoral process.

The usually astute Peggy Noonan gets it totally wrong in claiming, "The Internet changed everything. Everyone has facts now, knows who voted how and why. New thought leaders spring up and lead in new directions. Total transparency leads to party fracturing. Information dings unity. We are in new territory."

The last thing O'Donnell represents is information and transparency. Forget all the sad history of, as Karl Rove put it, "saying nutty things," a fictionalized biography and psychiatrically shaky life as an unemployed 41-year-old woman who, when asked for the Senator she most admires, after a long pause names Jim DeMint.

Her South Carolina hero is a perfect example of the bipartisan weirdness that has infected the electoral process as he enrages fellow Republicans and, in his own campaign, coasts to reelection against a flaky Democrat who makes O'Donnell look like Winston Churchill.

Frank Rich sees in her a "Tea Party everywoman, who just may be the final ingredient needed to camouflage a billionaires’ coup as a populist surge. By the time her fans discover that any post-election cuts in government spending will be billed to them, and not the Tea Party’s shadowy backers, she’ll surely be settling her own debts with fat paychecks from 'Fox & Friends.'”

Perhaps, but in today's climate, she could be sitting in the United States Senate for the next six years, next to such policy savants as Sharron Angle, Rand Paul, Linda McMahon and Joe Miller.

If, as Democrats claim, they are closing "the enthusiasm gap," they had better do it fast.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Ha! I've never found politics so funny before! I wander what impression the story of her spiritual journey has or will have on her kids. It made me want some meatballs! I shared this in a bledit at