Addison Gardner: Always Right
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado
For those of you with Netflix accounts, now is the time to rent “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” and remember the way small-town Scout Master Jefferson Smith conquered Washington, D.C., and excited Depression-era hearts.
Little has changed in Washington ” or newspaper editorial suites for that matter ” since that film was released 50 years ago, was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, and offered a celluloid indictment of both congressional corruption and its coconspirator, America’s media kingmakers.
Watching Sarah Palin’s speech last Wednesday night, those black-and-white frames flickered, unbidden, on the screen of my memory: The fictional Jefferson Smith fought and filibustered for his “Boy Rangers” amidst a Senate chamber brimming with self-interest and cronyism.
Resonating, most vividly, was director Frank Capra’s depiction of a jaded media that portrayed “Smith” as a naïve, idealist bumpkin from the sticks ” a candidate with a bad suit and worse haircut: A man manifestly unfit to take a seat alongside his patrician betters in the Senate.
Recasting this scene in contemporary terms, we have Sen. Joe Biden, the 35-year icon of congressional “status quo,” squaring off against Palin, the mom from moose land.
Out strode Gov. Palin, with her hair stuffed into an unglamorous bun, her granny glasses askew, and her PTA/hockey mom credentials, and ” despite a broken teleprompter ” she knocked Washington, D.C.’s beltway bobbleheads on their collective backsides.
How can we not cheer the felling of this Philistine? Just one smooth stone from a clear Alaskan stream, and we’re reminded what it means to “speak truth to power.”
In the aftermath of that performance, Palin has Democrats declaiming about family values and moaning about mothers who don’t nurture their children. She’s even got Democratic divas like Maureen Dowd, Sally Quinn and Eleanor Clift worrying about Down Syndrome babies in a context other than how to abort them.
The N.O.W. crowd’s crew-cut Myrmidons proclaimed Palin manlike, reserving for her the harshest of feminist epithets. If Palin is “like a man,” it’s time for me to come out of the closet.
In the experience of this political observer, no man, no woman and no Category 5 hurricane has unhinged the mainstream media more completely than this corruption-fighting conservative mother of five from Alaska. Actually, check that: The media will only concede four children, pending a paternity test on Trig.
Palin is all things inimical to liberal Democrats: She’s a successful working mother and a conservative state governor with an 85 percent approval rating. It’s not just the five-child brood that is so irksome to the left; it’s the fact that it hasn’t been “vetted” via layouts in Essence Magazine, nor appeared in the pages of People, nor done an appearance on “Oprah.”
Palin’s five babies were produced in a tragically un-hip and Hollywood-hostile way: They’re the fruit of a monogamous marriage (between a man and a woman), and ” when viewed through the lens of liberal enlightenment ” that’s both a repudiation of Planned Parenthood and a carbon-footprint catastrophe.
Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi ” herself the mother of five ” can be forgiven her reproductive excesses, because back when she was downloading babies, women didn’t have access to boutique abortions or drive-through boob jobs.
Palin’s most remarkable accomplishment, to date, is her definitive unmasking of the feminist left’s pantsuit poltroons. The Sisterhood was absent when Sarah was sworn in as Alaska’s 11th, youngest-ever, and only female governor; and it’s unwilling to stand by her side, now, as she faces the misogynist maelstrom.
I can’t tell you how revelatory this past week has been, for me, as several of my high-minded, “progressive” Aspen friends have taken to sending me “Photoshopped” images of Palin’s head grafted onto the torsos of women in various pornographic poses, invariably accompanied by the caption, “Only one heartbeat away from a 72-year-old man.”
The most notorious and widely circulated of this e-mail fakery ” the infamous “Palin bikini shot” ” was debunked when the owner of the stunt-torso uploaded and reattached her lonely head.
I am going to go “all in” with my wager that most Americans still like their sports and politics refereed fairly. I think there is an instinctive urge to defend this woman with frumpy clothes and bad hair from an increasingly grotesque media gangbang.
Bad news for her detractors: If last week’s Rasmussen polling is accurate, Palin has a higher approval rating than either McCain or Obama, while most Republicans ” and a stunning 28 percent of Democrats ” believe the media is actively trying to sabotage Palin’s vice presidential bid.
For the first time in a long while, I’m starting to think that we might see a “change” in Washington, after all. It might not be the higher taxes and expansion of government promised by our slick Chicago “community organizer” and his VP pick ” the senator who’s been a fixture in Washington politics for 35 years.
Maybe real change in Washington will be fostered by slap-shots from McCain and a corruption-fighting hockey mom from Alaska.
Rent “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” and keep hope alive.
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