Political discourse can get so nasty - and so stupid. Witness the American response in the blogosphere and even on FOX news to Heather Mallick's blistering tear-down of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on her CBC blog.
We've already run my views on Sarah Palin - her high-profile presence on the political terrain is profoundly depressing and if Clinton supporters turn and vote the Republican ticket, there was less substance to Clinton's company than any of us imagined.
Mallick's piece borders on vicious, sure, but it's hardly off the charts as far as what's present on the blogosphere. But what's so interesting about the response to Mallick is what aspects of it have provoked the biggest response. It all proves that some people simply cannot read.
If you've followed this story without reading the original blog, you'd think that Mallick called Palin white trash. She did not do that, actually. What she said was that by naming Palin to the ticket, McCains sewed up the white trash vote. And, let's admit, there exists some white trash in America.
Also high on the anti-Mallick commentators' list is the claim that Mallick compared Palin to a porn star. Not so. She said that Palin had the porn star look down, a reasonable comment on where her appeal lies and how it might work and not at all tantamount to comparing Palin to Jenna Jameson.
One commentator, FOX's Greta Van Susteran got heavily into the trash talk by calling Mallick a "pig" and continuing to defend it, writing, "She worries about being called a pig because, frankly, she was a pig." This, can I say, is not analysis or anything remotely resembling political discourse and the fact that is masquerading as such is ridiculous.
So quick are people to defend Palin's honour that they're giving almost no attention to the most outrageous aspects of the blog, specifically its comments on men. Check out this excerpt that follows her condemnation of the assumption that all women will vote for women:
"Do they think vaginas call out to each other in the jungle night? I mean, I know men have their secret meetings at which they pledge to do manly things, like being irresponsible with their semen and postponing household repairs with glue and used matches. Guys will be guys, obviously."
This is actually pretty funny, but regardless, you'd think the Mallick-haters would be jumping all of over it.
They're not. Why? Two reasons. First they're more interested in Palin's status as a political culture hero, and two, they seem to like painting Palin as a victim.
I thought we feminists were the ones think of women as victims! I'm lovin' the irony.