The attempt by the Republican wolf to dress like a sheep for the cameras this week is already running into trouble–the mask is slipping and their teeth are showing in a snarl. Last night, Ahnud brought the whole convention to its feet by converting a satiric phrase into a slur against women.
To those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say: “Don’t be economic girlie men!”
They rose, they roared, they stomped and applauded and whistled and screamed themselves hoarse showing their approval of a phrase intended to embrace what was once a satire of male chauvanism and turn it into a battle cry for male chauvanists everywhere. To be a ‘girlie-man’ is to be a man who shows ‘female’ qualities, a man who is timid, weak, a coward, because that’s what idiot men think women are. The Pubs, I thought, were trying to hide their profound anti-female prejudices, not put them on display and brag about them. But that’s what they did last night.
And Ah-nud didn’t stop there. He labeled Hubert Humphrey’s call for justice and fairness to all Americans ‘socialism’ and went on to explain that he was a Republican because they weren’t like the Soviets. Democrats, apparently, are.
Behind all the flag-waving ‘Don’t look behind that curtain!’ rhetoric, Schwartzenegger betrayed a profound disconnection from the experiences of millions of immigrants who never became movie stars–the ones trapped in LA sweatshops, for instance, or the ones that Wal-Mart paid less than minimum wage to and locked in the stores at night or the migrants who lived in tents and worked dawn-to-dark in California’s fields for less money than I make in an hour–when he used his own eccentric life as a template, naively suggesting that every immigrant could go and do likewise.
I don’t know what impact Ah-nud’s speech will have on the election, but it had a clarifying effect on the convention. It cracked the facade and showed us quite plainly the arrogance, elitism, and chauvanism roiling just beneath the surface, and proved that even the so-called ‘moderates’ in the GOP are pretty damned radical.
I suppose I should thank him but the bad taste in my mouth prevents me. You do it if you want.