Saturday, May 17, 2008

Crass and Tasteless--Kathleen Parker at the Washington Post

There is simply no way--no way--an article like this about John McCain and Joe Lieberman would ever get published anywhere in this country:

Well, at least they didn't kiss.

I was bracing myself for the lip lock Wednesday when John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama.

Don't look at me. David "Mudcat" Saunders, Edwards's former rural adviser, came up with the idea, saying Obama should kiss Edwards on the lips "to kill this 41-point loss," referring to Hillary Clinton's landslide victory in the West Virginia primary.

Instead, the two men exchanged a manly air-hug to commemorate the moment when Edwards threw Clinton under the upholstered sofa on his grandmama's front porch.

As Edwards gave what amounted to a stump speech highlighting his favorite subject -- John Edwards -- Americans were reminded of why the North Carolina son-of-a-millworker won't be their presidential nominee.


Obama and Edwards make an attractive picture -- Ultra Brite cover boys of youth and glamour united against old men (and women) who worship the status quo. Obama -- the man who makes Chris Matthews feel a thrill up his leg -- wants to "do the Lord's work," lately pictured in front of a cross illuminated with vanity lights on a flier aimed at Kentucky voters, while Edwards wants to roll out the catapults and nuke the Coliseum.


While we're waiting to find out, Edwards's tortured Southern shtick is supposed to help Obama with the demographic of white, rural, working-class (non-college) Americans he's been having trouble with. Green room translation: poor, ignorant racists.

Presumably, Edwards knows how to relate to these folks, given his heritage and his years as a trial lawyer representing the little people against corporate America. Notwithstanding his 28,000-square-foot house and $400 haircuts. And ignoring the fact that one reason health insurance rates are so high -- and that so many poor rural folks lack high-quality medical care -- is the success Edwards and other trial lawyers have in convincing jurors that doctors owe the world always-perfect results.

His medical malpractice specialty often focused on OB-GYNs, and his multimillion-dollar awards resulted more from emotion than science. Edwards's underappreciated acting skills, including an uncanny ability to channel the voice of a dead child, helped raise malpractice premiums so high that many OB-GYNs have fled the profession.


Which puts new thoughts in motion as voters project down the road. Obama and Edwards look and talk pretty, but Clinton, unflinching and steely, exudes pure brawn. When the time comes to sit across from the likes of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a chill in the heart may beat a thrill up the leg.

It is impossible to adequately respond to a column which juxtaposes homophobia, bile, and obvious denigration with snark and vitriol. This column has no redeeming quality, nothing that informs and nothing that even hints of originality. It is hate disguised as frivolous fun and it has no place in any newspaper. The only place where such sentiment could come from is within Washington D.C., within a cloistered, shuttered village full of people who do not understand that there are Americans who are hurting, that there are people looking for change and for real discussion of where the country needs to go, and who simply do not care whether or not Kathleen Parker gets any "juice" out of writing such a thinly disguised diatribe against people who really do "get" it and who really are trying to take the country forward.

Kathleen Parker is simply a low rent version of Maureen Dowd, who is as low rent as one can get.

No comments: