Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A Kinder, Gentler Campaign?

Obama made an Ann Richards’ joke today but no one told him how to deliver it. It’s the one about “you can put lipstick and rouge on a pig and call her Monique but she’s still a pig”. He forgot the rouge and Monique part so the Republicans were yelling ‘sexism.’ Excuse me, but didn’t Sarah Palin use the same farm like imagery, only she did it with a pit bull. It’s awfully tedious to try to keep track of all the ‘oopses,’. And speaking of name calling, I was really hoping for a kinder gentler campaign. But, oh my God, it is not to be. We have just begun the fight and it’s neither kind nor gentle, nor truthful nor about the issues.

How come everyone in America knows that Democrats are being Swift-boated but the Obama staff? Why in the world would Joe Biden give kudos to Sara Palin’s speech right after they had been decimated in the same speech. He could have said “it was a creative way to present a great deal of misinformation”, “or “Sarah Palin is a pit bull, with or without the lipstick– and is that really what we want? Cheney is a pitbull and we’re not very happy with him.” Or even “Sarah Palin is George Bush in high heals—with lipstick, and do we want more of that kind of dressing up – we’ve seen that none of that matters when it comes to governing the nation.”

And where is Hillary Clinton? Why isn’t she on “The View”, why aren’t they both on “Oprah”? What is going on? Surely she can’t be sitting back and hoping he loses and she arrives as the shining knight in 2012. We could lose the Supreme Court by then. There might be millions of children left behind—all minorities and immigrants of course, and the war will still be raging. What could possibly be her thinking?

I read e-mail after e-mail with the same information. The Democrats are once again talking to themselves. None of it is translating as well as the pit bull line. None of it strikes a chord with middle class over 40 working women. None of it is translating into anger or excitement about the Democratic ticket. But here’s something that might. When Palin was Mayor there was some discussion about taking books off the shelves which included such titles as Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, Maya Angelou and Geoffrey Chaucer, Judy Blume, and Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary by Merriam-Webster. But let’s not stop there, here are some other books (although they were not removed) that were discussed as part of her "maybe they don't belong in the library" list;
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Blubber by Judy Blume
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Christine by Stephen King
Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Cujo by Stephen King
Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Decameron by Boccaccio
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Fallen Angels by Walter Myers
Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) by John Cleland
Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Forever by Judy Blume
Grendel by John Champlin Gardner
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
Have to Go by Robert Munsch
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Impressions edited by Jack Booth
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
It's Okay if You Don't Love Me by Norma Klein
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Love is One of the Choices by Norma Klein
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
More Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
My House by Nikki Giovanni
My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara
Night Chills by Dean Koontz
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women's Health Collective
Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz
Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
Separate Peace by John Knowles
Silas Marner by George Eliot
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The Bastard by John Jakes
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Devil's Alternative by Frederick Forsyth
The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Snyder
The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks
The Living Bible by William C. Bower
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
The New Teenage Body Book by Kathy McCoy and Charles Wibbelsman
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
The Seduction of Peter S. by Lawrence Sanders
The Shining by Stephen King
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Snyder
Then Again, Maybe I Won't by Judy Blume
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary by the Merriam-Webster
Editorial Staff
Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of the Halloween
Symbols by Edna Barth

Thinking censorship is a tool for any elected official to use is incredibly dangerous. There was a time in the 1940’s when books were banned and Jews were cremated. I’m not implying that the good Governor wants to kill Jews, or Catholics, or immigrants or Blacks – that would take some work. But do we really want to revert to a time when ‘choice’ only happened in backstreets and basements. When ‘family’ was defined in such narrow terms that Sarah Palin’s kid would be in a ‘home for unwed mothers’. When people polluted because there was no conversation about global warming or alternative fuel and when there were no lines between church and State, so creationism was considered a science.

I get why the Obama campaign thinks they need to be careful about the Governor. But she is a heartbeat away from the Presidency and by all accounts, a person who careens ahead without thoughtful consideration about consequences or the truth. She is photographed sitting on a grizzly bear and proud of shooting moose. That’s colorful. But most of this makes no sense to me, especially the part where the Obama campaign sits back and let’s McCain define the terms of the election. Surely the one thing they could do is remind people that Jesus was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a Governor. We’re just sayin...Iris


Anonymous said...

James Taranto, writing for the Wall Street Journal debunks the Sara Palin book banning story. A snippet:
As it turns out, not only was the list a fake, but when the Anchorage Daily News investigated the story, it found no evidence that Palin had ever sought to remove books from the library.
I hope you will read the article and comment on it here.

The Calico Quilter said...

I quote the Anchorage Daily News (9-4-08) citation of an interview from the local paper, the Frontiersman:

"In December 1996, Emmons told her hometown newspaper, the Frontiersman, that Palin three times asked her -- starting before she was sworn in -- about possibly removing objectionable books from the library if the need arose.

Emmons told the Frontiersman she flatly refused to consider any kind of censorship. Emmons, now Mary Ellen Baker, is on vacation from her current job in Fairbanks and did not return e-mail or telephone messages left for her Wednesday.

When the matter came up for the second time in October 1996, during a City Council meeting, Anne Kilkenny, a Wasilla housewife who often attends council meetings, was there.

Like many Alaskans, Kilkenny calls the governor by her first name.

"Sarah said to Mary Ellen, 'What would your response be if I asked you to remove some books from the collection?" Kilkenny said.

"I was shocked. Mary Ellen sat up straight and said something along the line of, 'The books in the Wasilla Library collection were selected on the basis of national selection criteria for libraries of this size, and I would absolutely resist all efforts to ban books.'"

Palin didn't mention specific books at that meeting, Kilkenny said.

Palin herself, questioned at the time, called her inquiries rhetorical and simply part of a policy discussion with a department head "about understanding and following administration agendas," according to the Frontiersman article."

The whole article's here: http://www.adn.com/sarah-palin/story/515512.html.

What to make of this? Did she really want to test the waters about banning books or was she, rather, testing the waters on how much the city employees could be pushed around, intimidated, and be forced to kowtow to her wishes? The first is scary, but the second is pretty problematical too. A litmus test for right-leaning ideas? "Following administrative agendas" as in "Will you shut up and do whatever I say?"

Why the hell would anyone even ask that question? There were procedures for challenging book placement that Palin knew about.

Billie said...

I don't care about pit bulls in lipstick. Neither party is addressing our financial institutions going down the drain. We have a big problem and it is more than just tweaking tax policy. In my opinion this is a bigger threat to the USA than anything else we are facing.

Anonymous said...

You can put lipstick on a pig, it's called BOTH Political Parties.

The Republicans are pit bulls (Staffordshire Bull Terrier).

And the Democrats? Clueless.

W from the Westminster Kennel Club

Retired Belles Dad said...

I note that this 'supposed' banned list does not include "So You Think You Can Be President" by the brilliant author and blogger Iris Burnett.

Say what you will Iris (and you usually do), but how's about giving Palin some credit for recognizing a good book when she sees, or maybe even reads, it!

That's your final atta-boy until the election is over!

Iris and David said...

Here are the two most important items Wow, all the commenters are really smart-- especially Belles dad who thinks I'm brilliant. When I heard about the book banning I did check and found that the books (as reported by all of you) were not banned. There were merely questions. Which brings us to the other thought I found pretty important in the comments. Why the hell would anyone even ask that question?