Monday, February 15, 2010

Are Women Forgiving John Edwards and Exiling Sarah Palin?



A rule of thumb regarding women's attitudes towards fallen political figures, is that "Big Men" who are hard-left are forgiven any sin, and those living ordinary lives that rebuke the tragically hip (or those who aspire to that status) are viewed with hatred. Ann Althouse links to a an LA Times story by author and personality Ann Lamott, on how she forgives John Edwards, hates Sarah Palin, and trusts Barack Obama.


The question regarding John Edwards would be if women forgave him, and if he could restart his political career. While that question remains open, there are signs that opinion makers in media, particularly women, forgive him. As with Charlie Sheen, still popular with women and promoted endlessly by CBS for "Two and A Half Men," women will forgive "the Alpha male" any transgression, really anything, as long as he remains "Alpha Male." Part of that is of course, pushing hard-left politics that as we see in the original LA Times story, are part of the wealthy "New Class" or "Gentry Liberals" (Joel Kotkin's phrase) that constantly struggle to separate themselves from the mass of ordinary people.

The money quotes:

But after a few days on the subcontinent, I came to the unshakable belief that we will have decent enough healthcare reform, and soon. What's going to help America rebound from Bush/Cheney is what saved and saves India -- love, nonviolence, a lot of help, radical playfulness and perspective. I saw Indians living in spaces the size of my bathtub, giddily colorful amid the squalor and deprivation, making themselves beautiful and focusing on what they do have.

The second decision I made in India is to forgive John Edwards. If no one else is going to, I will. My mother would have. She was an old Adlai Stevenson/Jack Kennedy liberal, and I am too.

...

But she would have railed against Edwards for a few months and then forgiven him. She had a sense of decency that was common in my parents' generation. She would have piled on when Edwards became this season's Old Testament goat, but then at some point she would have let it go and gone on to register voters.

Edwards' fall from grace is the oldest story in America, and probably the world. He was a gorgeous, powerful man willing to torch his family, his career and those who trust him to get laid -- by someone whose name the rest of us can't even pronounce.

But where does Edwards even rank on the scale of loathsomeness when compared with, say, Dick Cheney? Not very high. Twenty names below John Boehner; 27 below Sarah Palin; directly after the TSA security people at the airport; and tied with Susan Collins. He has little children, as innocent as the Haitian and Indian babies we ache and care for through charitable donations. So I am going to forgive Edwards as a way to help them, two of the world's children.

My third decision: I am going to trust this guy Obama. I am going to get my head out of the darkest place on Earth, and I am going to help his election remain a miracle. He was not my original choice, but I think he is a great man, trying to get a crushed nation back on its feet the best he can. And besides, who else are we going to trust? Bart Stupak? Evan "Boom-Boom" Bayh?


Now of course, the woman herself to be fair is not representative of most women. She is far more wealthy, is by all accounts from a wealthy family, and a professional writer. Her books and columns in Salon.com and frequent appearances on PBS make her, however, a formidable taste-maker and driver of women's attitudes towards politics and power. Lamott like almost every female media figure, has a special fury for Sarah Palin.

Note her forgiveness of Edwards and figuring that Palin is far more despicable. This is not any surprise. Women, particularly those like Lamott who embody single motherhood and feminist dreams (of politically correct, expensive consumption such as trips to India), find women like Palin "betrayers." Betrayers of the ideal of landing the "Alpha Male" who is forgiven anything (a John Edwards, a Bill Clinton, a Barack Obama), of not moving upward in class (Palin's accent, large family, failure to abort Trig Palin, and lack of Ivy League credentials make her poison to female opinion-drivers like Lamott), betrayers of the idea of "magical" Third World people and non-Whites, and the horrible "average Whiteness" that is the bane of the existence of the tragically hip.

It is true that few women are as wealthy and tragically hip as Lamott. Most struggle day to day to simply pay bills. But ... and there is always a "but," women consume in media form the opinions, attitudes, and desires expressed by authors and media personalities such as Lamott.

Quick, name a conservative, nuclear family oriented, Palin-loving author of "chick lit." From Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, Love," to Oprah Winfrey, to the View, to Ellen Degeneres, to Elizabeth Wurtzel, to Candace Bushnell ("Sex and the City") all, without exception, are to the left, embrace a broadly anti-traditional values agenda, leftist status-consumption, and "magical" attributes of non-White, non-Westerners.

In my view, women will forgive John Edwards, in the way they never turned against Charlie Sheen in the first place (Two and A Half Men remains beloved by its female audience who dream of taming the bad boy). Women probably have not on balance forgiven Edwards as yet, but critical opinion makers have prepared the way.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin remains in eternal, internal exile in women's appraisals of her. She will never be forgiven for her sins: marrying "down" to a man lacking in status and prestige, having a large family, having a middle American, middle class accent, failing to abort her Down's syndrome baby, and lacking Ivy League credentials and/or approval of elites such as Oprah or Jon Stewart.

Why is Palin hated so, by women? Kay Bailey Hutchinson is at least as conservative, and holds office. Hutchinson is running for the nomination in the Texas GOP Governor's race. Yet Hutchinson, or Scott Brown, or Jeff Sessions, conservative or cross-over threats, remain ciphers in the pantheon of female hatred for political figures. This is because, unlike Brown, Hutchinson, and Sessions, Palin is not a political so much as cultural threat. One that could redefine what it means to be successful in life and politics (i.e. a traditional marriage ... where the HUSBAND is not a big shot "Big Man" but rather a supportive partner). Making the consumptive status lives of female taste-makers like Lamott seem sterile and empty.

It is consistent with the stories about women dreaming about sex with Obama. As noted in the story, it is about class (the SWPL consumption-status Yuppies hating ordinary people and identifying with the tragically hip) as well as sex. With a "hip, Black President" being the sensual dream for anxious, status-struggling, Married female writers.

Collectively, these stories don't find a female audience and readership rejecting them. Rather, they embrace them. Despite the far different, more struggling lives of the audience and readers.

Increasingly, the dichotomy in lives for men and women, make political and cultural attitudes of the two groups (among Whites) almost like separate peoples. Women have borne relatively little of the economic crisis, while men comprise 82% of job losses. Government spending and employment is biased towards White women and non-White men, with little of the defense spending and contracting that favors White men. While women will, eventually, confront the pain of the recession, as job losses eventually filter down to the female-dominated government jobs, for now they face fewer threats, particularly with high divorce, delayed marriage, and chaotic cohabitation rates.

Barack Obama will keep White female support far longer than with men, with profound electoral consequences, not the least of which is the transformation of the Republicans into the White male party and that of Democrats of the White female party, with various groups aligned "on top" of the core. Obama is the Alpha Male, with female NYT writers, married, openly writing of their dreams of sex with the Big Man. He will keep them and thus the women who follow them, longest.

Meanwhile, women seem poised, with the influence of taste-makers and opinion makers, to forgive John Edwards. Edwards career is not dead. For most women, his betrayal of his cancer-ridden wife and fathering a child with a new-Age bimbo pales in comparison with Sarah Palin's "betrayal" of their lifestyle. Because the bottom line is, women will forgive the Big Man anything. Just so long as he remains the Big Man.



20 comments:

randian said...

If White women abandon the Republican party (and their husbands) in favor of going left with the Democrats, it's all over. Becoming a socialist state a-la Europe would be inevitable.

Have you seen the horrible photos of the UK lately, what with girls practically collapsing in the street after a night in the clubs?

The horrible thing is that if women here go for Big Man politics whole-hog, there will no longer be any social or cultural wall against Islam. Polygamy and Big Man politics is the heart of Islam.

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Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Obama is about as alpha as a wet bag.

He's more than a bit tacky, so it's not really a shock that tacky women go ga-ga for him. (introducing his wife as his "baby mama"?)

xandohsa said...

Holy moly -- those dreadlocks on a middle aged white woman?

This Anne person's lending more pathos to the "tragically hip" idea every minute with this.

What is wrong with people that they might give such a obvious moonbat the time of day?

Elusive Wapiti said...

Thus far one of the biggest indicator's of women's voting behavior is their marital status.

This split along marital lines has been fairly enduring.

But marriage rates have been declining for some time, which suggests to me that the male-female divide may become more and more cemented. Thus I think your argument that the dems, the "mommy party", are truly becoming the chick party, while the Repubs, the "daddy party", are the redoubt of men, has merit.

A lot of pundits say that blacks or women are the key constituency. I say that it is men, white men, who are key constituency, the decider of races. It's high white fellows started viewing themselves that way too.

Ian said...

I agree with Foxfier. In no universe is Obama an Alpha. He's got the temperament of a spoiled 5 year old and if he starts getting heckled regularly at public appearances he'll have a spectacular meltdown in front of the cameras.

The weirdly instinctual hatred of Palin displayed by liberal females does manifest against one other person that I've found: Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann. Like Palin she's got a large family, a reliable husband, and she gives a heck of an anti-socialist speech with no teleprompter necessary. So I think the hatred is more based on degree of danger to the welfare state than anything personal. (I'm sure Palin's decision not to abort Trig does factor in though).

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

*nod* These ladies are what they claim can't exist-- successful, (relatively) traditional women.

Same way my high school English teacher couldn't deal with both of my grandmothers being happily married college-educated professionals from the middle to lower middle class.

Reality must conform to the narrative.

Frankly, it works often enough that it's no wonder they keep with it....

Anonymous said...

Looks like the MSM is doing battle-field prep for John Edwards rehabilitation.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2010/02/15/abc-celebrates-adulterous-affair-jfk-torrid-love-story-involving-ame

Notice the timing of the announcement that Edwards was the father. During the run-up to the State of the Union Speech. Gave the MSM the chance to bury it.

Professor Hale said...

I don't understand why the Democratic party feels the need to rehab Edwards. He is a nothing. He has never had the structure, background or history of service to attract the big votes. He had his shot and lost it. There are only a few thousand other democrats in high public office more qualified than he is and without the severe negatives needing forgiveness.

John Smith said...

"giddily colorful amid the squalor and deprivation, making themselves beautiful and focusing on what they do have."....when i read comments like this, my spider-sense which alerts me to wealthy, non laboring workers goes off full bore.

great article, and thorough examination. and yah, the dreadlocks, if that's not a sign of "desperately seeking acceptance by a lower class/ethnicity she will only read about never understand" I don't know what is.....

Gx1080 said...

John Edwards is still supported by Liberals because Liberals are the Big Man party, the 20% men who can keep the 80% of the women.

Whiskey, you list all those reasons of why women hate Sarah Palin, but you are missing the biggest: She did all those things and have FIVE KIDS, meanwhile all the SWPL females didn't and they have barren wombs.

Those women would rather jump off a cliff than admit that their reproductive strategy is a really shitty one.

sparkupthenight said...

Quick, name a conservative, nuclear family oriented, Palin-loving author of "chick lit."

Stephanie Meyer is a practicing Mormon with three children. I'd be willing to bet she voted for McCain.

Anonymous said...

Wapiti: I respectfully but wholeheartedly disagree. White women are the key. White men are going to vote Republican - the Democrats have pretty much set themselves up to be the anti-white-man party. Most of their pundits are basically coming right out and saying it at this point. The question is whether white women will defend white men, or join everyone or join the "revolution". Sad to say, but the trend seems to be toward the latter.

By the way, women hate Palin because they're extremely jealous of her. They followed the postmodern feminist "script" - college, job, promiscuity - and now they're sitting in a shitty apartment drinking boxed wine with no one but their cats after coming home from their dead-end clerical job. Sarah Palin did the obvious thing - marry young, have a family - the things they had to convince themselves not to do - and she ended up with everything they ever really wanted. Palin is a walking reminder of all the mistakes they've made and all of the lies they've bought.

Oh, and there's also a whole just of just plain sneering at "the proles".

With regards to this Lamott woman, I must say that I've never seen such a pathetic case of unreconstructed hippie in my life. What we need is "love, nonviolence, a lot of help, radical playfulness and perspective"? Yeah, that and four quarters will get you a one dollar bill.

quim said...

After reading that drivel she wrote, especially that nauseating liberal condescension about Indians jumping around all giddy in their squalor, I'm embarrassed to be of the same race as her.

For my next life, I've asked God to bring me back as an East Asian. Anything but white. I'm done with these people.It's embarrassing.

Kevin J Jones said...

'Quick, name a conservative, nuclear family oriented, Palin-loving author of "chick lit."'

Beverly LaHaye is "co-author" to a chick lit series, I think. There are probably a few dozen such authors in Evangelical circles.

Kay Bailey Hutchinson supports abortion rights. There's your big difference right there. As noted, Palin's carrying Trig to term reminded many post-abortive women of what they lost. Her pro-life views are the direct threat to the life of a liberated careerist feminist.

Todd Palin is certainly a big man by Alaska terms: "four-time champion of the Tesoro Iron Dog snowmobile race...the world's longest, which traces the path of the Iditarod race with an extra journey of several hundred miles to Fairbanks added."

He surely tends towards the "Christian patriarch" ideal rather than "alpha dog." I don't know why people keep treating him like a submissive husband.

Novaseeker said...

With Palin it's mostly her lack of formal education, her inability to handle herself well in interviews and her staunchly pro-life position that make her snake oil for elite women.

I would bet that Meyer did vote for McCain, but her writings are simply perpetuating the cultural problems we face -- playing up the impossible alpha male, the fantasy of the girl getting the attention and devotion of him and so on, is causing more and more beta males to be overlooked. Her books train teenage girls to think this way and to see it as legitimate. Poor show by her, really.

josh said...

Your view of women is sure "dark'! But that pin headed fool with the dreadlocks is beyond belief! If enough white broads go to the left even as the left is openly destroying the country--again,your view of feamle character is even darker than MINE!!--white men will be sooo outgunned that force(civil disobedience & destruction) and violence (bye-bye) become almost inevitable! My Gos women are idiots!

curiepoint said...

I have never been a fan of Sarah Palin, but forgiving a back-biting do like John Edwards is beyond the pale.

I am not a fan of marriage either, but if you are in one, you don't cheat, plain and simple. Worse, you don't cheat and then turn it all into a media circus.

I can't stand that smarmy bastard.

demosophist said...

Well, my reaction isn't to be trusted, because I'm a white male over 50, but John Edwards sure looks pathetic to me. Hardly what I'd consider an "alpha." Maybe the "new alphas" need that dimension of pathos as part of their appeal? I'm not really very worried, though. He wasn't an alpha even when he was an alpha.

demosophist said...

Women are actually more comfortable in a patriarchal system (at least the women in my global marketing class were) but that's not quite the same as the "alpha male thing." The patriarch is usually an old guy and the bond to him isn't sexual. It's the sense of security that they like, as opposed to the constant challenges of competition, even status competition.