Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman are pretty women who know how to work a crowd. They wink, they squeal, and say, “Goshdarnit;” and they don’t confuse tea with sympathy. Ole Miss had lots of pretty women on campus in the early 1960s when a major riot broke out over the admission of a black student, James Meredith. At the time, those women were big on both tea and sympathy, until Meredith showed up to enroll. Then, those cute, pretty, demure, Southern sorority girls picked up bricks & rocks, and helped in the effort to kill a few people and shoot more than 20 federal marshals. The next day they put their baby-dresses and hoop skirts back on, and went back to being sweet-natured Ole Miss sorority girls.*
With their looks, Sarah & Michelle make great cheerleaders (as they were in high school) and recruiters for the Far Far Right. Don’t mistake the Far Far Right with the Cow Cow Boogie. They’re different animals. One is loco, the other “was raised on loco weed.” In the olden days, one of the names for reefer smokers was “Teahead.” I don’t think the modern day Tea-Partiers understand that, or they would distance themselves . . . from themselves.
The Tea Party chose its name in a failed attempt to make a “chilling” historical reference to the Boston Tea Party. These modern-day Teapartiers aren’t big on history, or they would have chosen something else. Apparently, their reach at a “chilling” analogy refers to the elements of anger and rebellion. But they don’t understand the difference between “taxation without representation” and “representation without taxation,” which is what they really want.
For over 30 years, Republicans have been trying to sell the concept of government without government. Or government by the people, for the people, without any money to provide education and medical care for the people. Why all this astonishing resentment over the effort to provide health care for people, like all the other civilized countries do? Their belief is that education and healthcare are socialist entitlement programs, and that government money should only be spent on prisons.
The Tea Party has its own critics on the Far Right who argue that the Far Far Right is dishonoring the legacy of Ronald Reagan. Huh? This is the guy who wrote their playbook, manifesto and template. Before Reagan was president, it was considered impolite to say things like, “the Civil Rights Movement has gone too far; it’s time to turn back the clock.” OK, maybe that little ol’ paraphrase is maybe a slight alteration of what Papa Ronnie said when he opened his presidential campaign in Philadelphia , Mississippi , but that was the effect and intent. Reagan brought selfishness and meanness back into vogue – while seducing people with the fallacies of Reaganomics.
Reagan set the stage long ago to make it OK for modern-day Americans to call black congressmen “niggers”, a gay congressman a “faggot,” and to ridicule and abuse disabled people. So don’t try to tell me that these manifestations of hate don’t reflect well on Reagan. They may not reflect well, but they are an accurate reflection on his legacy.
Apparently, socialism is the real enemy of the Teapartiers and universal health care is the comet that supposedly will destroy the world. What’s the source for this wisdom? Guess again . . . Reagan. Yep, Ronnie Reagan declared that Medicare would lead to “socialized medicine” when he was stumping for the AMA in 1962. And when he ran for president, he scared all the doctors and their wives into voting for him by striking fear in their pocketbooks. He told them that his opponent would bring “socialized medicine”, decimate their incomes, and their kids would wind up in public schools.
Public education used to be the favorite target of the Far Far Right, but they killed that and moved on. At first they didn’t want to spend their tax dollars to educate black and brown children from different parts of town. Little did they realize that their draconian destruction of the primary and secondary sectors of education would trickle up to the state university systems. The decimation of formerly great state education systems can be traced back to Reagan’s attack on public education in 1980. They got what they wanted and the results are a huge underclass of undereducated citizens, who join gangs or spend a lot of time in prison. Then we have many state education systems either bankrupt or cutting essential classes and services to stay solvent. This is also the legacy of Reagan and Proposition 13, which spread way beyond California .
Hey wait, this story is getting ugly, and it was supposed to be about pretty women. But these two pretty women bring a message of ugliness, hate, and divisiveness. And for what? Because a colored guy got to elected to the White House, and has hired a lot of other colored guys, along with Jews and gays. Because the new president recognizes that the American health care system has become a gross failure, while enriching insurance companies at the same time, and he is making an effort to change it. And because when insurance companies pay claims on policies that people have invested in, it hurts their interests, along with those of hospital administrators and chambers of commerce across the U.S.
There I go again getting off topic. OK, so I don’t want to see Sarah and Michelle naked. This brings confusion and dissonance to me because I often wonder what pretty women look like naked. Something about their message destroys any interest or fantasy, but that’s just me. These women are doing a great job of recruiting guys who are maybe not as thoughtful. “Substance” doesn’t matter to a lot of guys. They’ll vote for any hot babe with a nice set of ta-ta’s; just like all the Republican babes creamed over Bush Jr. in the flight suit stunt.
Sarah and Michelle are trying to be Eva Peron, but they don’t have the musical and theatre background. THAT’S what’s missing!
Scott Prostermanis a music, film and dance historian in Berkeley. He worked as a disc jockey in Pittsburgh and Memphis, where he grew up and where it all began. He was born in the 50s, grew up in the 60s, thrived in the 70s, barely survived the 80s, and re-grouped in the 90s.
*(You may notice, I’ve used the terms “woman” and “girl” interchangeably. I know some people hate me for that but females at Ole Miss refer to themselves as “girls,” so take it up with them. Sarah & Michelle are girls too, but older.)