“I want to be the one to walk in the sun,” Cyndi Lauper explains in “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” a pop cultural artifact that mystically embodies the spirit of Sarah Palin’s fierce determination and authentic American voice that captured the hearts and minds of so many of us burgeoning Tea Partiers way back when. Or so we think.
Like many of her admirers, we first came upon leg-chair lovely Jedediah Bila early one morning in the “take-no-prisoners” parry and thrust of Greg Gutfeld’s “Red Eye” on Fox.
By Sissy Willis of sisu
“I always have thought that elitism — on the left and the right — is what’s eating away at our country,” writes “Hot Conservative American” columnist and commentator Jedediah Bila in her new book, Outnumbered: Chronicles of a Manhattan Conservative, an album of anecdotal moments in the making of a “conservative girl with a twist.”
“I followed my heart — as always — and have held dear the wise words of my former college professor to “sit down, trust it, and write” when I feel lost. It never disappoints me,” Jedediah explains the eureka moment in March of 2009 when “my focus on writing political commentary was born.”
It’s a fun and easy read — sweet and savory — and sticks to the ribs. We downloaded Outnumbered onto our desktop Kindle app yesterday morning and finished before cocktail hour, devouring tasty morsels amongst the usual multitaskings of a busy day. Arranged as a series of vignettes based upon everyday encounters with the politically correct multiculturalists of the upperclass milieu she moved in as a Spanish teacher at a Manhattan private school, Jedediah’s story is full of aphoristic quotable quotes suitable for promulgating on Twitter. A sampling:
Kids are supposed to go to school to learn HOW to think, not WHAT to think.
I learned that what people say about you has a lot more to do with them than with you.
It’s incredible how a mind prone to collectivism will quickly try to impose that same branding on you.
I treasure people who come to this country with big goals, loads of ambition and an inspiring work ethic.
“They felt the need to ‘remind’ me that Obama is a ‘genius,’ Palin is an ‘idiot,’ and anything and everything is George W. Bush’s fault,” Jedediah recalled sitting through lockstep faculty-lounge chatter in the aftermath of President Obama’s election.
Back to that quote in the title to our post:
I always have thought that elitism — on the left and the right — is what’s eating away at our country.
Jedediah’s insight resonates in a series of eureka moments of our own dating back, perhaps, to those early days in early spring of 2009 when we found our voice as an anti-statist Tea Party activist. As we wrote last year in “Gramsci’s long march through the institutions ends at the water’s edge“:
Then came Angelo Codevilla’s palate-cleansing revelation that neither statist democrats nor nominally limited-government republicans gave a darn about the electorate. It was the Ruling Class vs the Country Class. Enter stage right the Tea Party and Barbara Bush’s unmasking when she revealed her contempt for you and me. And now the cascade of outrageous intrusions on our Bill of Rights.
“I thought the academic elite were supposed to represent the pinnacle of sophistication?” notes Jedediah in mock surprise:
Oh, wait. That’s only when they agree with you.
William Staneski observed the phenomenon — a case of “epistemic closure‘ in the trendy parlance of the day — as it applies to another of our cultural institutions, the media — in an American Thinker piece awhile back:
It is said that a fish is not aware of the water in which it swims since it is totally immersed in it. This is the way cultural Marxism is taking over our world in its inexorable Gramscian march. We swim in it. It enters every pore of our existence. It is everywhere. We can’t escape it. Many people accept this world without even realizing it, just as the fish accepts the water in which it swims. They don’t realize it as the left creates new conventional wisdom and new intuitions about truth …
Curiously, whereas the conservative media know they are conservative, much of the liberal media believe themselves to be neutral.
Their constant support for Democratic views has nothing to do with bias, in their minds, but reflects the fact that Democrats just happen to be right about everything. The result is the same: for much of the media, the fact that Republicans keep winning can only be due to the backwardness of much of the country.
“Perhaps Mark Levin said it best when speaking of his dog Sprite in his touching book, Rescuing Sprite: ‘But the truth is, Sprite did more for us than we ever could have done for him.’ I feel exactly the same way about Emma,” Jedediah wrote at her blog a few months back about her precious Maltese Emma, featured in a portfolio of images in the final pages of Outnumbered. “She has taught me more about trust, loyalty, commitment, and honesty than I could ever have dreamt of teaching her.”
“When a man loves a woman . . . Sen. John Warner has no shame, as his absurd marriage to Liz Taylor in 1976 (above) and his pathetic attempt at intimidating Lt. General David Petraeus yesterday attest,” we captioned this image of Liz and her sixth back in January of 2007. (©2005 TopFoto / AP)
By Sissy Willis of sisu
Chelsea, March 23, 2011. In recognition of the splendiferous, eminently quotable — “I have a woman’s body and a child’s emotions” — Elizabeth Taylor’s passing from this vale of tears this day, a republication of our January 2007 post confirming her sensible decision to divorce Husband #6 John Warner when she realized it was all about him:
Many regarded Ms. Taylor’s glamour as a chief reason for the relatively unknown Warner, a former secretary of the Navy, getting a Senate seat in 1978. The supporting role as political spouse did not suit Ms. Taylor, and she returned to a life where she was undoubtedly the main attraction.
Our four-year-old post resonates. Plus ça change:
Chelsea, January 24, 2007. “Addressing the crisis in leadership among American boys and young men” was the topic of pc-lite Esquire author Tom Chiarella’s brave new article last summer, “The Problem with Boys.” The soon-to-be commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq, Lt. General David Petraeus, was one of the earnest author’s expert witnesses. We stumbled upon the thoughtful if somewhat annoyingly naive piece as we were getting up to speed on the man of the hour that Thomas P.M. Barnett in another Esquire article called “the closest thing the Army has to its own Lawrence of Arabia.” Chiarella skirts delicately around the edges of the insidious Marxist feminist anti-boys-will-be-boys movement of the last few decades that has turned Mother Nature’s “snakes and snails and puppy dogs’ tails” into carriers of a “disorder” that must be kept at bay by the administration of Ritalin and other inadequately tested drugs that kill the soul and may precipitate murderous acts [see Columbine]. Speaking of a young, rudderless friend named Gerald, Ciarella — seemingly channeling John “Stuck-in-Iraq” Kerry — writes:
He’s got no way to grab on to the culture of work. Nowhere to go, except Iraq maybe. They keep raising the bonus for enlistment; they keep tempting him to put himself in the mix. I always think he’s a bag of flesh to them, a bullet stopper.
Reading that military-culture-challenged bit of drivel, we gagged and nearly clicked away in disgust, but remembering that Lt. General Petraeus had brought us to the site, we read on and were duly rewarded with Chiarella’s reportage of the General’s take:
I tell him about the boys I know, about how I’m concerned that the Army may be the only option for a kid like Gerald. “That’s the problem,” he says. “It may not be an option for him. We have a profile we’re looking for; we need high school graduates who are physically fit and driven by the desire for self-improvement. We need men who are prepared to be better soldiers.
“I see the same things you do. The numbers are declining among boys,” he says, clearing his throat. “I always call them men.
“What boys need,” says Petraeus, “are role models, parental supervision, encouragement to pursue excellence in all that they do, especially in education, where we must do whatever is necessary to keep them in school.” Old stuff, but tried and true and often lost amidst today’s multiculti pc cacaphony:
They need direction to stay on the straight and narrow, a push to participate in athletics and extracurricular activities, help to pursue a healthy lifestyle, recognition that they must be accountable for their actions, and reinforcement of good performance.
We couldn’t help but think of those aging Peter-Pan boys — and girls — in the Senate who made such fools of themselves yesterday when they bypassed the opportunity to ask General Petraeus to educate them — and us — with his vast store of knowledge about the subject at hand, the “way forward” in Iraq. Instead they used the opportunity of Petraeus’s confirmation hearing to — what else? — grandstand at will. Our favorite exchange came after Sen. Lieberman asked Petraeus whether Senate resolutions condemning White House Iraq policy “would give the enemy some comfort”:
Petraeus agreed they would, saying, “That’s correct, sir.”
We’re not a division here today of patriots who support the troops and those who are making statements and working on resolutions that could be translated as aiding and abetting the enemy. We’re trying to exercise the fundamental responsibilities of our democracy and how this nation has two co-equal branches of the government, each bearing its own responsibilities.
I hope that this colloquy has not entrapped you into some responses that you might later regret. I wonder if you would just give me the assurance that you’ll go back and examine the transcript as to what you replied with respect to certain of these questions and review it, because we want you to succeed.
We expect intimidation from the left and from campaign finance “reform” types like John McCain. How disappointing to see John Warner going wobbly when the going gets tough. As Gen. Petraeus told Esquire author Tom Chiarella, “We have a profile we’re looking for.” Would that our fellow citizens who vote these people into office had such standards.
It’s the language, stupid. Compare Sarah Palin’s full-blooded, All-American word choices with Barack Obama’s bloodless euphemisms. The Ruling Class powers that be — of both parties — recoil at the “gun-and-Bible-clinging” imagery of Palin’s prose. It energizes us Country Class, Tea Party types. Photo of Sarah skeet shooting from “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.”
By Sissy Willis of sisu
“I LOVE what JedediahBila & HeyTammyBruce are saying about THE SARAH NOBODY KNOWS” (on the Laura Ingraham Show, where Tammy is subbing), we just twittered: “Once people get beyond the MSM meme, watch out, fuddy duddies.” Jedediah nails it:
She ruffles a lot of feathers because she plays by her own rules.
As “Saturday Night Live” Executive Producer Lorne Michaels acknowledged in an unguarded moment way back in October of 2008 before the Palin-is-Stupid narrative had fully set in:
It’s taken longer than we expected, but even as her resentful Ruling-Class “betters” flail and try to push her off the stage, the real Sarah Palin has been hiding in plain sight, disintermediating the lamestream media‘s flaccid memes by “shooting to where it’s going, not to where it’s been” — as she coached reluctant daughter Bristol trying to get the hang of shooting clay pigeons in a “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” episode last fall. Jedediah pulled it all altogether in her heroic Human Events column yesterday, “Setting the Palin Record Straight“:
It’s truly astonishing the lengths that some will go to in order to try to discredit Sarah Palin. Sure, the left-wing media loons are a given, but what about the folks on the Right who relentlessly brand her as unelectable, unintelligent, unpresidential, and/or unqualified? What is their basis for those assessments? And if she is so darn unelectable — why the need to consistently, near-obsessively attempt to tear her down?
“I sort of like to shock people. It’s one of my hobbies,” Jedediah told Tammy. Her compilation of Sarah’s considerable accomplishments and intellectually rigorous strategic shots to “where it’s going, not to where it’s been” since that day in August of 2008 when John McCain pushed her center stage — while establishment sages like Charles Krauthhammer were counseling a “safe” pick — will be a shocker for members of the opinionator community who have been listening to their own voices for too long. We agree with Tammy’s assessment:
The Republicans are going to fail. The CONSERVATIVES will prevail.
“I’m interested in the gratuitous disparagement of men whose looks and personal style fail to track the masculine stereotype,” Ann Althouse (above) took Rush Limbaugh to task this morning over his sissy-laced rant about Wikileaker Julian Assange: “I like Rush Limbaugh and have defended him many times, in front of people who tend to hate you if you say anything good about him, so I think my opinion on the subject has special weight … And let me invite Rush to … diavlog with me about the so-called chickification problems that plague our world today.” Video here.
“Loved this that you told the Big Guy,” we wrote in the comments of Althouse’s incandescent, must-experience video-post “Here I am listening — for the first time — to Rush Limbaugh talking about me“:
“To say men are like women when they’re being cowardly and weak. I don’t like it … Also, some chickification is a good thing. Women have a lot to offer. Think about it.”
Exactly. As we wrote a few months back about the so-called feminization of our culture:
It isn’t “feminization” at all, but, rather, postmodern, identity-politics “feminism” — one of a cascade of unfortunate byproducts of the Gramscian march through the institutions — that has given us an increasingly impotent chattering class of credulous Chris Matthewses of both sexes.
Twittering this morning about the latest effluence from that impotent chattering class — MSNBC’s “house conservative” Joe Scarborough’s Journolist/Cabalist temper tantrum about Sarah Palin’s “anti-intellectual”‘ and “dopey dream” of being president, and how come nobody’s paying attention to me!? (h/t Dan Riehl) — we stumbled upon this seductive metaphor from Lisa B:
Now we have a new psychological disorder in addition to Palin Derangement Syndrome. Palin Envy is rampant! Paging Dr. Sigmund Freud! 🙂
As we said in response:
“While most politicians today focused their criticism on Wikileaks for releasing a quarter of a million classified State Department documents, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin instead took aim at the Obama administration for the leak,” reports CBS News. The incident “raises serious questions about the Obama administration’s incompetent handling of this whole fiasco,” she disintermediated the “lamestream media” this afternoon via her Facebook page. (AP photo)
By Sissy Willis of sisu
“Like George W. Bush, Sarah Palin has somehow turned a lack of genuine accomplishment, an absence of curiosity about the world around her and an apparent inability to communicate in complete, declarative sentences into a strong image of a plain spoken, no-nonsense, ‘I’m one of you’ populist,” writes bemused Johns Hopkins Professor of Political Communication Dave Helfert, signaling to his Huffington Post readers that he is a member of the tribe. “Somehow,” indeed. Where’s your own intellectual curiosity, Prof. Helfert? If you’re looking for engagement with “the world around her,” try tuning in to the Discovery Channel Sunday nights for “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.” Instead, the author parrots the Journolist/Cabalist playbook:
The Republican establishment isn’t going to have a lot of luck trying to bring her into the fold. She is not going to be muzzled, controlled or eclipsed. They know she wasn’t trying to promote the Republican agenda with her somewhat bizarre Facebook endorsements. She was promoting Sarah Palin. Their only hope is to find someone who can shine as bright as she does, but with substance.
We guess it depends upon what your definition of “the Republican agenda” is, not to mention “substance.” The HuffPo writer correctly senses the GOP establishment’s Palinophobia but hasn’t a clue as to what motivates Palin herself. It’s the constitutional conservatism, stupid! As for us Country-Class rubes clinging to our guns and religion out here:
When they do focus on politics, they tend to make judgments using the same criteria they do on everything else. Does it make sense? Does it waste money? Is it going to make my life better or worse? Does it agree or conflict with my values? Do those people in Washington understand what’s important to me?
Do YOU understand “what’s important to me” sir? It’s about something larger than ourselves, the Founding Fathers’ exceptionalist vision of Governor Winthrop’s Shining City Upon a Hill. We recommend Jedediah Bilah’s must-read report of her exclusive telephone interview with Governor Palin as a palate cleanser:
She said “To study what has happened since then – especially in the 60s and 70s when a lot of women decided to hijack the term feminism – they hijacked the idea of women’s rights, and I believe that they started making women feel like they were victims, and that is a disempowerment. That makes women, especially our young women, feel that they are not capable, smart enough, or strong enough to take on all that life has to offer, unless somebody helps them out and does it for them. In this case – with liberals – unless government does it for them” … Yeah, women do, I believe, have to work harder to prove themselves … It makes us better people and it makes us stronger and it makes success even more worth it.”
Has Sarah whetted your intellectual curiosity yet, Dave Helfert & Company? Jedediah concludes:
What has left a lasting impression on me from the interview is that Sarah Palin’s words – whether you agree with them or not – carry a realness that’s not common in the political world. Everything seemed entirely unrehearsed, and there was a spontaneity in her responses that reflected a desire to tell me what she actually thinks, not what she thought I wanted to hear. There was something raw about her patriotism, something blunt about her honesty, and something fierce in the seemingly casual way she talked about having taken on “the good old boys.”
The naked truth: The conservative Swiss People’s Party “has produced a provocative anti-immigration campaign in which a photograph of naked young models wading into Lake Zurich is contrasted with an image of headscarf-wearing Muslim women bathing in filthy water.” Arresting imagery meant to warn what will happen to the country if immigration is left unchecked. In our view they could have skipped the secondary image of the covey of covered crones and let the lake-wading lovelies stand alone as an in-your-face message to those who would impose Sharia law on a free society.
By Sissy Willis of sisu
Oh, the irony. Antonio Gramsci turns out to have been right all along, but not in the way he envisioned. The slow statist creep of the Marxist philosopher’s “long march through the institutions” that was to have empowered the great unwashed at the expense of the powers that be seemed to be going so well, as we wrote five years back in “The Tocquevillians strike back“:
While America slept — or rather, while it was going about its business — Gramscian thinking, like sewage leaking out of a cracked drainpipe into the surrounding soil, has seeped into major sectors of our civil society — the law, foundations, universities and corporations among others. Fonte provides horrifying examples of how “major American social policy has come to be based not on Judeo-Christian precepts nor on Kantian-Enlightenment ethics, but on Gramscian and Hegelian-Marxist concepts of group power.
The grievance industry and its handmaiden political correctness, enabled by big-government initiatives from both sides of the aisle, had zombified great swathes of the electorate to enable the forces of darkness to enter the temple:
The theory claims that the ideas of the ruling class come to be seen as the norm; they are seen as universal ideologies, perceived to benefit everyone whilst only really benefiting the ruling class.
Then came Angelo Codevilla’s palate-cleansing revelation that it was neither statist democrats nor nominally limited-government republicans who gave a darn about the electorate. It was the Ruling Class vs the Country Class. Enter stage right the Tea Party and Barbara Bush’s unmasking when she revealed her contempt for you and me. And now the cascade of outrageous intrusions on our Bill of Rights.
By Sissy Willis of sisu
According to Wikipedia, “Women are forbidden to drive in Saudi Arabia per a 1990 fatwā (religious ruling).” So what’s a Sharia-compliant gal to do when she wants to run down to the mall to pick up a few things but there’s no male relative to chauffeur her? Share the joy of the monarchy’s “First Woman Driver (Sharia Approved).” It may not be quite up to speed with Female Formula One, but in its way “Saudi Arabia’s Sharia-Approved Car for Women!” refuels the venerable woman-driver joke with a fresh burst of energy. Enjoy the ride!
“Today we completed one pledge and we began another,” says Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee: “Many months ago House Republicans committed and pledged to listen to Americans all across this country… We kept that pledge, and it allows us to make another. The Pledge to America starts with the preamble that reminds us that every American citizen is endowed with certain rights from their creator. When our government charts a course that endangers those rights, the people have the right to demand a new agenda from their government.”
By Sissy Willis of sisu
“This election is more and more shaping up into a contest between the Exhausted and the Enraged,” writes Northeast Corridor Conservative Peggy Noonan, once again almost grasping the spirit that animates this Army of Davids. As we wrote last summer, “Tea Party to Peggy Noonan: It’s not rage, but disgust!” This time, the former Reagan speechwriter and author of the transcendent “thousand points of light” decided to listen instead of pontificate. Her telephone conversation with Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee is a revelation:
But Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee suggests I have the wrong word for the Republican base. The word, she says, is not enraged but “livid” …
There are two major developments, she says, that are new this year and insufficiently noted, but they’re going to shape election outcomes in 2010 and beyond.
“The question is which is to be master,” as we blogged the other day, and Blackburn is taking no prisoners:
First, Washington is being revealed in a new way.
The American people now know, “with real sophistication,” everything that happens in the capital. “I find a much more knowledgeable electorate, and it is a real-time response,” Ms. Blackburn says. “We hear about it even as the vote is taking place” …
The Internet isn’t just a tool for organiztion and fund-raising. It has given citizens access to information they never had before. “The more they know,” Ms. Blackburn observes, “the less they like Washington.”
It’s that effervescent disintermediation of the powers that be via the internet that we are forever flogging here. Blackburn closes in for the kill:
Second is the rise of women as a force. They “are the drivers in this election cycle,” Ms. Blackburn says. “Something is going on.” At tea party events the past 18 months, she started to notice “60% of the crowd is women.”
She tells of a political rally that drew thousands in Nashville, at the State Capitol plaza. She had brought her year-old grandson. When the mic was handed to her, she was holding him. “I said, ‘How many of you are grandmothers?’ The hands! That was the moment I realized that the majority of the people at the political events now are women. I saw this in town halls in ’09 — it was women showing up at my listening events, it was women talking about health care.”
Blackburn casts the “rise of women as a force” in terms of “the Rage of the Bill-Paying Moms,” and she’s right as far as what Noonan calls “a change in national thinking regarding the role of the individual and the government.” But don’t discount what may be an even more fundamental dynamic at play: “Girls just wanna have fun.”
Update: Instalanche! Thanks for the spelling correction, Professor. 😀
Message To Peggy Noonan: Girls Just Want To Have Fun.
Update II: Michelle Malkin “Buzzworthy” link! They just want to, that’s all!
Leaving Afghanistan: “Zohal Sagar lost her father and two brothers in the war. Her mother hopes they can leave Afghanistan and find a new life in Canada,” TIME captions this bitterweet image of one of the innocent victims of war. But it gets oh so much worse. Their cover image will haunt you forever unless you’re a moral relativist like Editor Peter Stengel, who makes a fine point of assuring us he isn’t taking sides (see below).
By Sissy Willis of sisu
“We do not run this story or show this image either in support of the U.S. war effort or in opposition to it,” protests TIME Managing Editor Peter Stengel, sending the moral relativist’s “secret signal” even as he has decided to go ahead and publish what’s got to be the best argument ever — the image itself — for staying the course in Afghanistan:
Our cover image this week is powerful, shocking and disturbing. It is a portrait of Aisha, a shy 18-year-old Afghan woman who was sentenced by a Taliban commander to have her nose and ears cut off for fleeing her abusive in-laws. Aisha posed for the picture and says she wants the world to see the effect a Taliban resurgence would have on the women of Afghanistan, many of whom have flourished in the past few years. Her picture is accompanied by a powerful story by our own Aryn Baker on how Afghan women have embraced the freedoms that have come from the defeat of the Taliban — and how they fear a Taliban revival.
Asked for comment on the plight of women in Afghanistan — presumably not yet having seen TIME’s cover portrait of Aisha — former National Organization for Women President Ellie Smeal had this to say, according to a Washington Times report:
The future of Afghan women “has just dropped out of all public discourse. What happens with females over and over again is we’re forgotten.”
Caption from our June 2 post “An increasingly impotent chattering class of credulous Chris Matthewses“: “Palin isn’t a feminist — not in the slightest,” huffs card-carrying postmodern feminist Jessica Valenti of the blog Feministing, stumbling inadvertently onto the truth that will soon send her and her sob sisters tumbling into the dustbin of history: “What she calls ‘the emerging conservative feminist identity’ isn’t a structural analysis of patriarchal norms. It’s an empty rallying call to women who are disdainful of or apathetic to women’s rights.”
Try telling that to Sarah Palin and her Army of Mama Grizzlies, Ms. Smeal. Woman as victim? That’s SO yesterday. “She’s playing the “woman card,” notes Tuck. Yet more proof if needed that postmodern feminists are on the wrong side of history.
Our friend Peter Ingemi of Da Tech Guy’s Blog has action steps:
Note. Despite its bad press under the recent ramming down the nation’s throat of ObamaCare, the best medicine in the world is still being practiced in the land of the free and the home of the brave, as TIME Managing Editor Stengel acknowledges, in spite of himself:
To learn more about Aisha, and how an NGO is helping her get reconstructive surgery in the United States, go to Women for Afghan Women.
Update: This just in on Twitter as we were about to publish, from twitterfriend Paul Levitt:
A friend spent several months in Afghanistan last year teaching traditional songs to women and kids … Told me of people crying at being able to sing again — the Taliban killed anyone who sang, played music.
It isn’t just for the women. It’s for our very humanity that we must win the war in Afghanistan.
Update II: Trending on Memeorandum.