Monday, October 06, 2008

Krazy Kristol and the Dominatrix: The neocon extraordinaire swoons before Sarah Palin

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I'm still feeling unwell today, and my fragile states of mind and body weren't helped when I made the mistake of reading Krazy Kristol's "column" in the Times this morning. I put quotation marks around column because it isn't really a column at all but rather, like so much of his blather, a self-serving, self-aggrandizing tripe. Kristol may or may not be an intelligent man -- I've met him a couple of times and spoken to him briefly on one occasion, and I would say he is, but he has let partisanship and self-advancement get the better of him -- but what he churns out for America's paper of record is embarrassingly bad (which is to say, the Times should be embarrassed to have him on their pages).

Today's "column" -- "The Wright Stuff" -- is about Palin, or rather his own infatuation with Palin, and the "advice" he gives her. What it reveals about him, with respect to her, is that he is both her teacher and her obedient slave. As is the case with other right-wing males, like Sean Hannity and Rich Lowry, the attraction is deeply sexual. He longs for her, or at least places her on a pedestal, acting the lustful sycophant eager to please. As Tom Perrotta wrote in Slate recently, Palin is "the sexy puritan," "a powerful new christian right archetype." She's an ideal, and Kristol, a Jew who supports a party that espouses Christian theocracy, is at her feet.

But of course he also has advice to impart, and his advice fits with where the McCain campaign is right now: Go negative, go nasty, smear Obama, now! Over the weekend, Palin herself accused Obama of "palling around with terrorists," specifically William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn of the Weather Underground. Needless to day, it's a false charge, but it's one she's continuing to make. This isn't enough for Kristol, though, who, in his "hard-hitting" phone conversation with Palin -- yes, this is what passes for the "new" Sarah Palin's engagement with the media -- suggests that she go after Obama over Rev. Jeremiah Wright. (Hence the title of the column. This is what it's all about.) And Palin bites: "To tell you the truth, Bill, I don't know why that association isn't discussed more."

Why? Because it's done, over. Because Hillary exhausted the issue during the primaries. Because Obama gave a brilliant speech back in March distancing himself from and denouncing his former pastor -- and pointing the way forward on race. Because in April McCain himself criticized the North Carolina GOP over an ad linking Obama to Wright.

But times have changed. Obama is well ahead in the polls, the focus is on the economy, McCain's desperate, and Palin's playing the attack dog. What does she know about Wright or Ayers? Nothing. She's being fed smears and eagerly lapping them up and regurgitating them at every possible opportunity.

This is what the McCain campaign wants, to shift the race away from the economy, to turn it into a culture war in microcosm, a character clash, with McCain the war hero and POW (as we are constantly reminded, because he really does exploit his past for personal gain), along with Palin the all-American hockey mom, up against Obama the dangerous, uppity black guy with the imposing black wife and the Muslim middle name who hangs out with terrorists and hates America, along with Biden the consummate Washington insider. And, of course, the likes of Krazy Kristol are all-too-eager to help out.

No matter that Palin has her own problems, not least with the Alaska Independence Party and Thomas Muthee, not to mention with her long record of corruption and cronyism in Wasilla and Juneau. The facts don't count here, just the smears, and, with McCain clearly unable to win the election on the issues (because the people are against him on the issues), there will a concerted effort over the next four weeks to tear down Obama.

Expect much more of the same from Sarah Palin. And from Krazy Kristol.

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