Kathleen Parker has had enough.
For a long time she manifested a superhuman self discipline in the face of a continuous barrage of provocation from the demented screams and visceral howls of rabid demagogues. She has shuddered in distaste as multitudes of America’s unwashed crashed into the salons of the great and the good DEMANDING explanations from their congressional representatives about why they were going to vote for certain measures. Then this same hoi polloi, now calling themselves the Tea Party, flooded out of their urban hovels and rural shacks onto the pristine boulevards surrounding state capitols clutching crude banners upon which were scrawled vicious threats and bloodthirsty slogans.
Finally they trooped to Washington, goggle eyed, initially, at discovering as they watched their betters going in and out of 1150 15th Street that not all women wore micro skirts and cowboy boots or that some men wore suits and ties rather than T shirts and baseball caps. But they soon forgot their place – and their manners. Orchestrated by the devious and sinister figure of Redstate’s Erick Erickson, the Huey Long of Georgia, they began to grunt and drool in anticipation as they waited for the object of their hate and derision – Kathleen Parker herself.
For Parker, in the twisted and psychotic minds of Erickson and his minions, has committed the cardinal sin – she has dared to consistently, albeit mildly, and politely, criticise their Warrior Queen, Sarah Palin, for cultivating a political atmosphere of anger and hatred.
The courage displayed by Parker in following this lonely path is immeasurable. While a timid and compliant media, bullied into subservience by Erickson’s militias, fawns obsequiously before this ignorant and ill educated hick from Alaska, Parker has made it her life’s work to break the hold of the Erickson/Palin mujahideen.
Thusly do hyperpartisans become mainstream.
It’s fine to be angry about bad policies; it’s fine to hold politicians’ (and journalists’) feet to the fire. But it is not fine to demonize dissent and cultivate rage. We should know by now where demagoguery leads.
Neanderthal nitpickers, doubtless clutching Murdoch’s silver in their grubby fingers, asked Parker to provide evidence of Palin’s encouragement of mob rule. This only serves to display their crass ignorance of world of the enlightened. The presence of Parker’s disdain is sufficient in itself. After all the lady won the H.L. Mencken writing award presented by “The Baltimore Sun” in 1993 and she is a regular guest of Chris Matthews – who on earth needs facts with a pedigree like that?
But now Parker has discovered that she is not alone.
Independents as a group outnumber either party, in other words. Yet, given the hyperpartisanship that began under George W. Bush — and has accelerated during President Obama’s first year, thanks in large part to the enabling mechanism of the Internet — one would think that America were divided into hard left and hard right.
We’re not. We’re a vast middle, slightly right-of-center nation. How is it that so many feel so disenfranchised by so few?
Parker has the answer – they need a leader and they are looking for their own Sarah Palin – a beautiful strong willed mother figure with long hair and flashing eyes. But she also needs to be intelligent and articulate and properly educated and, above all, experienced in politics – and that means real politics. Being mayor of a tiny village on the edge of some frozen mountain or governor of what is essentially a huge National Park containing about three hundred people and half a million caribou isn’t real politics – but writing about politics and meeting proper politicians is the real deal.
Parker at first couldn’t think of a candidate who would fit that profile – so she decided to reach out to those everyday, ordinary Americans who were maxed out by hyperpartisanship but cold with fear about challenging the Palin/Erickson reign of terror….and she found them.
I run into the politically homeless everywhere I go. Meet two South Carolina men named Joe with whom I chatted over the Christmas holiday. Neither plumbers nor six-packs, both are successful businessmen and lifelong Republicans now wandering the political desert. Fiscal conservatives alienated by the GOP excesses, they’re equally loath to identify themselves as Democrats.
Just two ordinary, everyday Americans, chatting over martinis in an ordinary, everyday country club….
Fast forward to the University of Pennsylvania, where I spoke to a journalism class a couple of weeks ago. I talked a bit about the wingnuttery that has hijacked politics and how some of us who consider ourselves moderates (otherwise known as apostates) have decided it’s time to denounce the harsh partisans who feed on polarization. It’s time to give independents a voice.
Those ordinary, everyday students of the media who will one day be going into proper, useful jobs (unlike plumbers or builders or flight attendants) were hypnotised by Parker’s message as she quietly deconstructed the ludicrous claims of Fox to be anything more than a propaganda machine.
Exhausted by her forays out of South Carolina and into Pennsylvania she returned, nevertheless, with a happy heart. For when she asked her two businessmen (and six media students) who could be the Sarah Palin of the Independents they cried out, in unison, KATHLEEN – KATHLEEN – KATHLEEN…” you are a beautiful strong willed mother figure with long hair and flashing eyes. But you are also intelligent and articulate and properly educated and, above all, experienced in politics – and that means real politics – and you won the H.L. Mencken writing award presented by “The Baltimore Sun” in 1993 and you are a regular guest of Chris Matthews!”
That’s why, very soon, Kathleen Parker will hold the inaugural meeting of the Arugula Party at the Camden Country Club in South Carolina (no plumbers, builders or flight attendants allowed) and, within weeks, millions of independents will be picketing Tea Party events waving their arugula leaves at the angry, contorted faces of Palin/Erickson sans-culottes in every corner of America. By the end of the year Palin will be driven back into the icy wastes of the north with her whole hillbilly tribe, Fox will have become a mere shopping channel for rednecks and, in a grand ceremony at the White house, Kathleen Parker will throw a collection of captured Tea Party banners at the feet of President Obama and crown him with an Arugula wreath…
“Independents of America unite – you have nothing to lose but your arugula!”
Cross posted at Conservatives4Palin