What Fresh Hell Is This?

July 12, 2009

Jack Kelly Sunday

Wait for it, Jack Kelly fans, wait for it...

In this week's column, Jack Kelly defends Sarah Palin's decision to quit her job (abandon her gubernatorial post, desert her beloved Alaska...whatever) and he does this with a bit of word-play that stretches and twists her decision to quit into something it almost completely wasn't. Take a look:
What do Janet Napolitano, Kathleen Sebelius and Jon Huntsman have in common? All were governors who resigned this year to pursue other opportunities, and did so without a peep of criticism from journalists or their fellow pols for "quitting" on the peoples of Arizona, Kansas and Utah, respectively. [emphasis added]
He expands a paragraph later:
Ms. Napolitano, Ms. Sebelius and Mr. Huntsman weren't criticized for resigning to pursue other opportunities because the other opportunities they're pursuing are in government -- as secretary of homeland security, secretary of health and human services, and ambassador to China, respectively. [again, emphasis added]
Well, not exactly. Napolitano, Sebelius and Huntsman weren't actually leaving to pursue those "other opportunities," they were offered those "opportunities" - which were, of course, real-life pre-existing positions in the Obama administration. Had they not been offered those positions, they'd still be sitting in their respective Governor's mansions, presumably.

Sarah Palin, on the other hand, quit without having a position to move into. Unless we believe her former future son-in-law, Levi Johnston, who says it was all about money. (For the record, the Palins have denied that allegation.)

That's still a big difference there, don't you think? Jack Kelly doesn't want you to think so. That's why he spun it the way he spun it.

He justifies his argument by relying on a recent National Review Online column by Angelo Codevilla. It's the one that starts with this:
Far be it from me to suggest that Sarah Palin should be or is likely to be our next president. She has not shown the excellence of cognition or of judgment that would recommend her ahead of other possible candidates, nor does her path to the presidency look easy.
One wonders how Jack Kelly got past the first paragraph. In any event, Codevilla sets up a different and rather arbitrary political polarity; A "Court" party vs a "Country" party. And Jack utilizes them to explain to us, his lowly readers, why Sarah Palin's just so yoobetcha excellent. Codevilla defines the members of the "Court" party as:
...made up of the well-connected, the people who feel represented by mainstream politicians who argue over how many trillions should be spent on reforming American society, who see themselves as potters of the great American clay.
The "Country" party are made up, he says, of those tired of being treated as clay.

And describes what the Court party accomplished:
America’s “Best And Brightest” — the media’s haughty personages, the college towns’ privileged residents, affimative action’s beneficiaries, the “mainstream” politicians who supported billions for bailouts and “stimuli,” the upscale folks who look down on the rest of us and upon themselves as saviors of the planet — these are the people who made Palin into a political force by making her a symbol of everything they are not. They did this despite her lack of brilliance when it came to communicating her ideas on the issues.
Isn't it neat how he slips "affirmative action beneficiaries" in to the list of "Best and Brightest"? How "affirmative action beneficiaries" are like the "upscale folks" who look down on the poor poor marginalized group Codevilla is defending? You know - the folks reading the National Review Online. Poor poor marginalized NRO readers unite! Sarah Palin is now free to save you!

By the way, Codevilla got a BA from Rutgers, an MA from Notre Dame, and a PhD from Claremont Graduate University.

Anyway, back to Jack, kind of. An important support of Jack's column can be found in the other conservative column he quotes. This one from Jim Prevor at the Weekly Standard. Here's what Jack writes:
"In that phrase, 'just being a private citizen,' Sen. Grassley encapsulates both why Sarah Palin is so phenomenally appealing to the Republican base and how divorced the national Republican apparatus is from the core values of party members," wrote Jim Prevor in the Weekly Standard. "This massive base thinks that by paying the taxes and doing the work, starting the businesses and rearing the children, caring for the parents and fighting the wars, they are doing the crucial stuff that sustains our country."
So we're heaped, laffably again, into a Republican base feeding on its own. The column is really, in part at least, about the Republican members of the "Court" party who aren't supporting Jack's favorite candidate, Sarah Barracuda.

2 comments:

spork_incident said...

I have a theory: The Blocks publish Jack in order to make the rightwing look ridiculous.

I have a second theory: Jack is a secret Liberal and writes his column to make wingers look bad.


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EdHeath said...

There is probably a hint of a real idea in Jack Kelly’s column. I suspect Palin’s resignation might not hurt her. It seems to fit in the “any publicity is good publicity” notion. And I remember that through the 2000’s both parties, but particularly the Republicans, were in pursuit of the vote of the “NASCAR dad”. That vote was seen as crucial to the success of national candidates not so long ago. I think they are the “country party” Codevilla identified (although a majority of NASCAR dads probably live in at least small cities, some of them with colleges; geographical references are probably more inaccurate these days than cultural ones). Frank Rich had a column on Palin today as well, in which he subtlely compared Palin’s resignation to Nixon’s Checkers speech. Not too long afterwards Nixon was President.