Thursday, June 10, 2010

Except for all that, that was a pretty good posty, Ziganto.

I know I should let this whole Ziganto thing go, but . . .

Lori Ziganto's latest "posty" is a confused mess.

Ziganto discusses Tuesday's primary wins by female candidates, especially those endorsed by Sarah Palin. Ziganto doesn't want to make a big deal out of their sex, however:
They didn’t win because they are women. They won for the people that they are and for the real world experience that they bring. In Whitman’s, Fiorina’s and Haley’s cases, for instance, they have actually, you know, made a payroll as opposed to living off the public sector their whole lives. Having run businesses themselves, they understand how they work, in practice and not just in theory. 
However, I don’t think any woman must like them just because they are women. That plays right into old school identity politics and we need to be done with that.
Ziganto is annoyed that "the traditional media" is ignoring the power of Palin's endorsements and rather focusing on the question whether Palin has breast implants. Consider the photographic evidence provided by Wonkette:

I actually don't know much about the methods women use to achieve greater mammary bulk, but it seems to me that the same effect may be achieved with the right brassiere. It appears that Palin is doing something.  Anyway, I don't really care about Palin's breasts. (But if you like looking at and thinking about Palin's breasts, here's a contrary viewpoint.) What I do care about is the space between Palin's ears and what's going on in there. That's what worries me.

Anyway, here I quote at length Ziganto's complaint about this controversy:
It’s what they always do to conservative women, especially ones who have strong political pull and to whom people listen. They attempt to diminish them and turn them into a caricature of some airhead bimbo. You can spot the leftist bias regarding Sarah Palin usually within a first sentence or two of an article: “former beauty queen” will be used. The AP even referred to her as “a telegenic conservative” when she was first picked as McCain’s running mate. Get it? He picked her because she’s pretty!

Ridiculous implications like that and like this new “story” disguised as mere curiosity are fully intended to not only ridicule, but to demean and diminish Sarah Palin as a person. To turn her into a caricature and a non-entity. It is an attempt to say “Those primary wins? Nothing to see here, move along. See? You can’t take her seriously? She’s just a pretty face and a great rack!”
Now, what's wrong with Ziganto's post?

Ziganto suggests that the real-world experience of the victorious female candidates is correlated with success in elective office. But it's not at all obvious that such real-world experience is relevant to elective office. Governments are not businesses. How would knowing how business works help you in government? Success in the private sector does not guarantee success in the public sector.

But suppose that experience in the corporate world did prepare one for public service. Would we really trust Carly Fiorina with public office? Her record as CEO of Hewlett Packard was hardly stellar.  Back in early 2005 when Fiorina was essentially fired by the board at HP, CNN reported:
Shares of HP jumped 6.9 percent in heavy trading on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday on the news. But at one point, the stock was up as much as 10.5 percent.

"The stock is up a bit on the fact that nobody liked Carly's leadership all that much," said Robert Cihra, an analyst with Fulcrum Global Partners. "The Street had lost all faith in her and the market's hope is that anyone will be better."
And why imply that people in the public sector have no real-world experience?  Are you daft, Ziganto?  If I wanted someone in government with the relevant real-world experience, wouldn't I vote for someone with . . . experience in government? And if "living off of the public sector" is so bad, why would I want to vote for anyone like Haley or Fiorina who obviously wants to live off of the public sector? Shouldn't I vote against them?

Calling someone a "telegenic conservative" is not an insult. Ever since the 1960 presidential campaign, the received wisdom has been that being telegenic is advantageous in politics. Surely Ziganto knows this; she obviously wasn't born yesterday. Ronald Reagan, one of the most telegenic politicians ever, is one of her heroes. One reason Nick Clegg did so well in the British election this year was his unexpectedly good performance in a television debate; Gordon Brown lost in part because, according to many Britions, he has all the charisma of a bowl of oatmeal. Fiorina herself was caught making fun of Barbara Boxer's hair, for Pete's sake. (Fiorina, you act like a catty schoolgirl. Grow up.) By claiming that it is somehow sexist to point out that Palin is telegenic, Ziganto sounds like all those shrieking, hysterical feminists she hates so much.  Get a grip, will ya?

According to Ziganto, "I don’t think any woman must like them [i.e., the aforementioned female politicians] just because they are women. That plays right into old school identity politics and we need to be done with that." Then why do you accuse those on the left of hating conservative female politicians because they are women?  Aren't you playing old-school identity politics, Ziganto?  Is this something only you are allowed to do because you're special?

If a preoccupation with Palin's looks is objectionable, then why isn't a preoccupation with Obama's manliness? It's wrong to talk about Palin's rack, but it's all right to talk about Obama's jeans and the way he throws a baseball? Why are those things relevant but Palin's tits aren't? Don't you have a double standard, Ziganto?  Isn't that what's really going on here?

Unfortunately for Palin, she often confirms the leftist narrative that she is an airheaded bimbo when she opens her mouth. It's not Palin's rack that makes me doubt her intelligence; it's the things she says. She seems to have excessive trouble composing grammatically correct English sentences off the top of her head. That's cause for worry. Conservatives seem to demand that everyone in this country speak the language: can't we expect the same of our leaders? And you can't be a conservative who complains that Obama is stupid and yet ignore all the stupid shit that comes out of Palin's mouth.

And Palin is not a straight-talker, Ziganto. She is a bullshitter of the highest order, and for that, I have virtually no respect for her at all. You credit her for changing political debate with her Facebook notes. One note you are surely referring to created the fiction about death panels. If you really believe that health care reform calls for death panels, you are living in a fantasy land.  And by writing that note, Palin outed herself as either a paranoid kook or an opportunistic liar.

I think that's about it. Except for all that, that was a pretty good posty, Ziganto.

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It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. ---W.K. Clifford

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