(note, this is an extension of a post I did at my blog if you want to check it out.)
It all started when (/cheezy) I saw Palin really just
talking mavericking it up, yall! with the greatest American, Sean Hannity, somewhere in Real America. Also. They move on to talking about the UPCOMING SCARY SOCIALIST REVOLUTION!!!!!, aka the effects of the stimulus package, and Palin says something to the effect of "If you're in a hole, you just don't dig deeper!". I'm thinking "If you're ignorant of the past 70 years in macroeconomics, you just don't talk about macroeconomics!" Still, up to this point it's just conservative old hat. But all of a sudden, after a quick wave to Putin, Palin says "It just goes against everything you and I have learned in college, Sean." "Mmm..."
Cue cachinnation. The dual images of Sarah and Sean sharing their sweatshirt collections of colleges that they almost graduated from and Palin having the attention span to sit through an actual economics class did it for me. That would be a caption contest frenzy if you think about it. "Well, looks like I win, 3 states to one on the colleges. Unless you count that radio job, Sean. But seriously, New York and California? I mean, what side are you on anyway?"
If anybody's unfamiliar with the well-documented history of these two, they're in for quite a ride. We'll start with Hannity, who likes to cruise sans diploma. His dropouts from NYU and Adelphi aren't really the kicker, though. Nine years after his high school graduation, he joined the volunteer radio team at UC Santa Barbara where after less than a year and a sparkling 40 hours of airtime, he was cut for making homophobic remarks and parading an AIDS conspiracy book. He took this amazing new credential by calling himself "the most talked about college radio host in America". Hannity said about his time there, "I was terrible"(what's changed?), but also said it was the left-wing management's fault. It makes you think, does he think he was terrible because he went too far, or becuase he didn't go far enough?
The Barracuda's story, albeit not including a bailout from the ACLU, is still colorful. She chased her childhood dream of becoming a sportscaster by heading off to Honolulu's Hawaii Pacific University...in the business administration program. By spring, she headed off to North Idaho College as a general studies major (a lack of passion is only transcript deep) for two semesters. But things got darker from there when she associated with the dark, anonymous, bored, lying bloggers at her journalism major for a year at the University of Idaho. Disgusted, and apparently nostalgic for nosebleeds, she came to Alaska's Matanuska-Susitna for a semester. Unfortunately, the Republican Party couldn't mail her half a million dollar suitcase in time for the winter, and she went back to UI for graduation and its amazing newspaper and TV stations. Except she didn't really join them. That would be a rub. But hey, I bet she could see the editor from her dorm! After graduation, Palin reportedly attributed her success to saying "thanks but no thanks" to any clubs or associations at any colleges. Of course, we all know that not cutting and running from college, the Oil and Gas commission, your state, and the nation has a pretty liberal bias. So about the economics remark: when she said that the stimulus went against everything she learned in college, what did that mean? Did she pick a particular university, flip a 4-sided coin, mix-and-match, consider each in ideology starting with most conservative? It leaves one to wonder: maybe Palin wasn't lying when she said "Everything I've ever needed to know I learned through sports."
Seriously, this is the problem with the conservative "movement" (more fitting is regression): hypocrisy. They claim that looking back to the college years is elitism, but then say stuff that uses their education to justify their views. Personally, I and probably the majority of the Kos community don't care what ranking Palin's colleges had. I just think that if she's going to use them to her advantage, they would probably look better as an "I've changed since then" moment than as springboards. Otherwise, floodgates are open. Likewise, do any of us really care whether John McCain knows how many houses he has? Not really. Besides, Obama doesn't do too bad himself making a million bucks a year off books. The reason we got so riled up at McCain's comments was his false aura of being with the common folk and casting Obama as an insanely rich elitist, which obviously wasn't true.
From the party that prides itself on being more encouraging of success, there is an awful lot of stuff to the contrary being spewed when push comes to shove. The conservatives told us that if Obama's "valedictocracy" were to come to power, there would be something elitist and disconcerting about that. They told us that people who send their kids to private school were somehow unfit to run a government because of "poshness", but they take offense when we notice that a vice-presidential candidate effectively resigned from all the colleges she went to.
This isn't just a double standard that's being pushed, it's a lie. It is a lie to claim that a middle class tax cut is socialism that will destroy your family, but an even larger tax to the richest corporations is something less than robbery from those very same robberies. It is a lie to say that single payer health care is an elitist government-run solution that trusts government bureaucrats too much if at the same time you are saying that Medicare is a sacred institution of some sort. It is a lie to say that you refuse to accept government stimulus money because it will hurt the American worker and then 6 months later turn around with a goofy smile and a fake check, claiming you just found a godsend under a mattress, with the same money. And in the same way it is a lie to suggest being middle class while owning 4-7 houses AND calling your opponent elitist and in the same way it is a lie to claim that your education should not be counted as fair game during an election period while claiming that your opponent will be compromised because of his own education.
You want to know the new battlefield? This is it. Wrapping themselves around the flag has failed for the Republicans so they're wrapping themselves around a lie. They're trying to make government a fake game: you vs. the imaginary government bureaucrat. The way we win? Fact Check 24/7, every day. They will not stop until they point out that the people who often help them the most are suddenly going to destroy them by trying to save your job, or to save your retirement, or to save your house. Our job is to make sure the severe case of blackwhite does not spread.