Saturday, November 1, 2008

Wackaloon from Wasilia

Seriously, she does look nuts as well as talk nuts. And I was watching her on CBC introducing her husband as "the First Dude." Really? First dude? That would make him John McCain's husband, which would shock Cindy McCain, I suspect. Best he could be is Second Dude, or Vice Dude, and where's the fun in that?
And ABC News is reporting the Wackaloon as saying (in an interview with WMAL-AM radio):

Palin told WMAL-AM that her criticism of Obama's associations, like those with 1960s radical Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, should not be considered negative attacks. Rather, for reporters or columnists to suggest that it is going negative may constitute an attack that threatens a candidate's free speech rights under the Constitution, Palin said.

"If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations," Palin told host Chris Plante, "then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media."

This is, of course, exactly the opposite of what the First Amendment is about. The US press is supposed to call you on your bullshit--exactly what has been missing (with the occasional John Stewart exception) for the last eight years. And if your point is legit, then they are expected to say that as well.
But it is typical of the Amerikan Right that criticism is automatically assumed to be an attack on their constitutional rights. Their case seems to be that it is inherently unfair to criticize them. That the Bush II administration has been working as hard as it can to actually make criticism of the Amerikan government illegal seems to be a logical outgrowth of this whiney, pissy attitude among the divorced-from-reality Right.
This denial of reality, the development of what Stephen Colbert calls "truthiness" ("We're not talking about truth, we're talking about something that seems like truth – the truth we want to exist," Colbert explained. "It used to be, everyone was entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. But that's not the case anymore.") on the Right, the attempt to convince the world that up is down, left is right, true is false, is what draws parallels to Goebbels, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda. (But as Chomsky et al. have pointed out, Goebbels got a lot of his ideas on the manufacturing of consent in the public from the American Walter Lippmann).
So when the Wackaloon from Wasalia gets into the act, trying to generate a reality more to her liking than the one she's forced to inhabit (~"I never supported earmarks. Or the Bridge to Nowhere. I don't abuse power."~), she is absolutely in the mainstream of Amerikan thinking. It's as if the ability to reinvent oneself--long an Amerikan tradition and a valuable one--has been extended to reinventing reality to a more congenial version. This kind of magical thinking leads to national obsessions like fascism and empire--as Amerika parallels Nazi Germany in the rise of fascist thought and over-reaching into empire based on the belief in the intrinsic unworthiness of the enemy.

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