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The Hidden Meaning Behind Sarah's "Gobble Gaffe"

By now you've all seen or heard about Sarah Palin's TV interview last Thursday following her gubernatorial pardon of a turkey in Alaska. As she blathered on about nothing, the turkeys who didn’t get pardons were being systematically slaughtered behind her. She was even asked by the reporter if perhaps she might prefer a different backdrop than turkeys getting beheaded and drained of their precious bodily fluids. She said: "No worries."

While most of the nation recoiled at her "turkey-deafness," Governor Palin knew exactly what she was doing. Namely, taking part in a time-honored Republican tradition of "dogwhistle politics," aka "speaking in code."

Republicans love to speak in code. The most famous example was when Ronald Reagan kicked off his 1980 campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi and set white conservatives' hearts atwitter when he said, "I support states' rights." It sounded innocuous, but his audience got the message loud and clear: "[W]hen it comes down to you and the blacks, we’re with you."

When George W. Bush invoked the Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision during a 2004 debate, many viewers were flummoxed. But his followers heard this: "I'll appoint judges who will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade." [wink wink]

And here's one that's ongoing: when Rush Limbaugh says Barack Obama is "elitist," his listeners hear, "Barack Obama is an uppity negro."

There are many others, but you get the idea.

So what about Sarah? She was using a sophisticated unspoken code last Thursday. Her mouth was saying, "Blah blah blah," but the message from the activity going on behind her sent a clear signal to her Republican rivals, which I've translated here:

"I am going to destroy you.

Huckabee, I mean you. Romney, you, too also. Jindal and Pawlenty, you pencil-neck lightweights, get on your knees and beg for mercy. Yeah, Newt, I'm lookin' at you, too, also---if you value your wattle you'll go back into hiding. And Rudy: don’t even think about runnin' again also---just don't. That goes for all 'o ya! Because I can see ya from my house and I know where to find ya.

You see those turkeys behind me? That's you, guys, if you dare to challenge me in 2012. That election is mine, you hear? Mine! You betcha, also."

People laughed at Sarah for staging such a clumsy photo-op. But it was code. Her rivals heard it loud and clear. And I have it on good authority that at least one of them will pass on carving the turkey this year and order Chinese takeout instead.

Cheers and Jeers starts in There's Moreville... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Note: Hey, neighbor, you have a speck in your eye.  Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha I'm laughing at you!!!!


By the Numbers:
Days `til Hanukah/Festivus/Christmas/Kwanzaa: 26/28/30/31
Days left to enjoy the Natchitoches Christmas Festival of Lights in Louisiana: 42
Number of the top 25 wine-consuming states that went for Barack Obama on November 4th: 20
(Source: Wine Spectator via Kossack GOTV)
Percent of the firms Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo that increased their lobbying budget in the third quarter: 100%
(Source: The Wall Street Journal via The Week)
Calories the typical guy consumes in an entire day: 2,679
Calories he'll consume during Thanksgiving dinner alone: 3,000
(Source: Men's Health)
Number of times I'll need to hear "Pa rum pum pum pum" between now and December 25 before I climb a tower and start shooting paintballs at people: 175


Tuesday Words of Wisdom from the Right-wing Blogosphere:

after this big screw up Obama the swing back to the right is going to
knock some loon liberal msm fools off the stage forever
America is still the same, the only ones fooled by this are
Obama and his loons, they are now walking the plank and
nothing but their own Kos Kid Kult sharks down there to eat them

---Commenter "taxfreekiller" at Little Green Footballs

All together now: One...two...three... Classy!!!


Puppy Pic of the Day:  What dogs consider a Thanksgiving wish bone


CHEERS to the power of the Big O.  The President-elect's picks for Treasury Secretary and other key economic positions---plus the early Chri$tmas present for Citigroup---rang the bell on Wall Street yesterday.  Meanwhile, Obama said he plans to spend a gazillion dollars on restoring America to its former glory, with huge projects to shore up our schools, bridges, transportation system and roads.  I call dibs on repairing the pothole under I-295 on Forest Avenue.  I think $30 million oughtta do it.  (Send it to my usual offshore account.)

JEERS to the ever-pungent Bush legacy.  This is just horrible:

Children of displaced families from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have serious health and mental ailments, a new study says. ... One of the most alarming findings: 41% of children younger than 4 were diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia, more than double the rate of children living in New York City homeless shelters, Redlener says.

The report, released Monday by the New York-based Children's Health Fund, reviewed medical records of 261 children who lived in a federally funded Baton Rouge trailer park until early summer.  It is the first in-depth review of children's medical and mental health after the catastrophic storms in 2005 that displaced thousands of families throughout the Gulf Coast. ...

This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it would launch a long-term study of children who resided in federally issued trailers and mobile homes in Louisiana and Mississippi, hundreds of which were found to have high levels of toxins, such as formaldehyde.

And then the CDC should launch a long-term study of Americans who resided under a federally-issued Bush nightmare for the last 8 years, nearly all of which were found to have high levels of disgust over a government that housed people in trailers that had high levels of toxins, such as formaldehyde.  In fact I think we're borderline loopy.

JEERS to Reagan's Monica Lewinsky moment.  On November 25, 1986, the Iran Contra "Affair" busted wide open when #40 appointed the Tower commission to find out what the $#!!#$ was going on.  It later resulted in this public admission from Reagan:

"A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages.  My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.  As the Tower board reported, what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated, in its implementation, into trading arms for hostages.  This runs counter to my own beliefs, to administration policy, and to the original strategy we had in mind.

Eleven people ended up getting nailed, but George H.W. Bush pardoned the lot of 'em when he left office.  Some of the Iran-Contra figures, like Elliott Abrams and John Negroponte, would pop up again in the Bush II administration despite the black stains on their names.  Because truly scurrilous help is so hard to find.

CHEERS to the pricks' end.  Freedom's Watch, Ari Fleischer's "independent" "advocacy" "group" created "to pressure Congress to continue supporting President Bush’s disastrous Iraq strategy," is going "bye-bye."  I'm so disappointed.  I hadn't called them lying bastards nearly enough yet to leave me feeling satisfied.

BON VOYAGE to colmes. He's leaving the set of HANNITY AND colmes for good.  Just one question: how will he know when he's gone?

JEERS to takesy backsies.  Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who last week said he'd sit on $350 billion of the $700 billion bailout money until Obama took over, may change his mind.  But he has a very good reason: "Red 36 is callin' my name---I can feel it!"

CHEERS to the Republic of Fear.  Happy Birthday to the Department of Homeland Security!  President Bush signed legislation creating the bureaucratic behemoth six years ago today.  (Quick!  Name the original nominee to be the second DHS director after Tom Ridge!  Yep...the crook Bernie Kerik.  Vetting's fun!)  Thanks to DHS, the first thing I do before I start my morning is go to their website for news of any fresh terror attacks (not including ones by the U.S. financial sector or auto industry).  Then I check the color-coded terror threat level, just in case I need to pull "Old Bessie," my Civil War-era mortar, out of the garage and load up the old gal with my secret mix of shrapnel and Alpo.  But since we've been stuck at alert level YELLOW for the past 2,457 days, mostly I just duct-tape stuff as needed and sit in my rocker with a warm mug of Maalox with marshmallows waitin' for someone besides the meter reader to spring the booby traps I got set around the house.  So thanks, DHS, for enriching my life by making me fear my violent, excruciating and impending death.  It's the American way.

JEERS to Cheers and Jeers.  In yesterday's column we attributed a quote about the War on Drugs to William F. Buckley.  The words were actually written by Richard C. Cowan.  We apologize for our error.  Mainly because it's so boring.  We promise our next mistake will involve a bus hurtling over a cliff.

CHEERS and JEERS to the equation Sand + Hourglass + Gravity = January 20.  Good news: as of today, only 8 weeks left in the Bush presidency.  Bad news: as of today, still 8 weeks left in the Bush presidency.  However you look at it, the bar is open.


Four Years Ago in C&J: November 25, 2004...

CHEERS to Paul Krugman.  He's on leave from the New York Times op-ed page, so it's a welcome event when he emerges, even if his words aren't:

"If you ask the question do we look like Argentina, the answer is a whole lot more than anyone is quite willing to admit at this point. We've become a banana republic."

Y'know, if you spread your money evenly under your mattress, you can hardly tell it's there.

JEERS to Godsmog.  A new study shows that the air you breathe in church is bad for you.  Yeah, really bad.  We always had a feeling the street-corner preachers were the smart ones.


And just one more...

JEERS to the unholy union of newbie shoes and cement.  Upperclass students at Princeton, emboldened by California's Proposition 8, finally have the confidence they need to take back their sidewalks from activist freshmen hellbent on disrupting the natural order of things:

A group of students at Princeton University would like to eliminate the right of freshmen to walk on campus sidewalks. ...  The students emphasize that they are not "froshophobic" and that some of their best friends are freshmen, but they maintain that freshmen on the sidewalk degrade the sacred institution of sidewalks, and jeopardize the validity of upperclassmen's own perambulation.  It also makes some of them uncomfortable.  They are very excited that California's Proposition 8 has set a clear precedent for a majority to eliminate a minority group's civil rights, and they see it as a perfect opportunity to utilize this development for their own gain.

There will, however, be an exception for any freshman rolling a beer keg to a frat house.  Priorities, y'know.


Oh, and happy 88th birthday to Ricardo Montalban. May you enjoy your day in the luxury of soft Corinthian leather.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Cheers and Jeers' public toilets feature flat-screens, tuxedoed attendants
---USA Today


Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 05:56 AM PST.


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