Saturday, July 30, 2016

Today In Republican Detachment Disorder: Kathleen Parker

The headline gives it away:
The GOP is becoming the party of exclusion. Who wants to be a part of that?
"is becoming"?

"is becoming"?

No, Ms. Parker, the present continuous tense is neither necessary nor appropriate here.  This is a wake, and the simple present tense -- "The GOP is the party of exclusion" -- is all that is required. Or, better, a past tense reconstruction of the sentence  "Back when I used to get tipsy on communion wine and let boys feel me up, that was around the time the GOP became the party of exclusion."  is probably the most honest of all.

By way of example, please note that in the clip above, Mr. Joe Gillis is not becoming a corpse floating face-down in a swimming pool,  No, he is a corpse floating face-down in a swimming pool, with two bullets in his back and one in his belly.  In fact, he became a corpse floating face-down in a swimming pool several hours prior, but thanks to the magic of fiction and the genius of Billy Wilder, this particular corpse floating face-down in a swimming pool is able to ruefully narrate the story of every craven compromise and mercenary decision that led to his own demise.

And, amazingly, so does Ms. Parker.

Because when she runs down an abridged but accurate list of the craven compromises and mercenary decisions that led to her party's demise--
The party of Lincoln, a sometimes laughable bragging point for diehards whose racial attitudes survived the Civil War intact, is long gone. Its dissolution began at least with Richard Nixon, who embraced a Southern strategy that pandered to racists and set the course for today’s GOP.

The party of angry men and patient women tried to add a little sugar and spice, plunging itself ever lower on the curve when it embraced a cute little winkin’, blinkin’ and noddin’ gal-gov from Alaska as vice-presidential running mate to John McCain — and a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Next came the tea party movement, to which Sarah Palin briefly attached her Winnebago, followed by the government shutdown, and culminating with the glittering, twittering Tower of Trump.
-- she shows that she has clearly known all along that what Liberals have been saying about the GOP all along has fucking well been true all along.

But there has never been any profit in telling that truth has there?

And so Ms. Parker played ball and played ball and played ball right up until the monster that Richard Nixon began raising in a flower box on the Truman Balcony grew big enough to eat the whole party -- Lincoln, Burke, Eisenhower and all.

And now, from the safety of her overpriced column in the Washington Post, she is having a good pout over it.
Trump’s lack of cool and couth reminds me of the old quip, “Who’d want to be a member of a club that would have me as a member?” For many Republicans, the question is: “Who’d want to be a member of a party that would have Donald Trump as its leader?”

Not I, you may have noticed...
But we cannot dwell on the pouting, because it is time for Ms. Kathleen Parker to astonish the rubes with the Big Reveal that will make it all make sense.

Are you ready?


...Ms. Kathleen Parker is not the Dread Pirate Roberts!

She is, in fact, (wait for it...wait for it...) an Independent!

That's right,  An Independent!  Always has been.  Except for that brief time during college when she, y'know, experimented.  Was what I believe the kids used to call a DUG (Democrat Until Graduation).
I suppose it’s time for a confession: I’ve never been a Republican and never said I was. I’ve been an independent since the early ’80s and was a Democrat before that. If you’re disappointed, well, sorry. It’s not I who has changed.
In other words, Ms. Parker has spent the last +20 years buying booze for emotionally unstable children, but Jesus, she never drank with the little fuckers.

She writes now with rising sense horror about Trump out of a deep sense of wanting to get paid duty, but don't expect her to become a Democrat because of it. No sirree! What with all the parties and groups and such:
Although I find Trump reprehensible and have written continuously out of a sense of duty to country, I’m not about to become a Democrat. What for? Parties, clubs and groups hold little interest for a person who delights in her own company...
Well fuck me with a tray of roasted cinnamon pear bruschetta and a festive seasonal floral arrangement, here I am a Democrat for the last 30 years and not one of you assholes ever bothered to tell me about all the god damn parties and the god damn groups I was supposed to be swankin'? 

Holy shit, does this mean my votes over the years for President Obama and John Kerry and Governor Quinn and Senator Obama and Senator Durbin and Congresswoman Schakowsky and on and on and on never even counted? 

Does this mean the vote I cast in 1998 to elect Barbara McGowan to the position of Commissioner of the god damn Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District has been retroactively nullified?

Because that would be very upsetting to me.

Ah well, I suppose that's all water under the dam.

Which I just bet is an expression they toss around at the Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District all the time.

But I don't know that for sure do I?   I mean, how could I since none of you hobos ever told me about all the god damn parties!

Anyway, Ms. Parker, who has been a professional haver-of-political-opinions since 1987 --
A columnist since 1987, she has worked for five newspapers, from Florida to California. She has written for several magazines, including The Weekly Standard, Time, Town & Country, Cosmopolitan, and Fortune Small Business.

She serves on the Board of Contributors for USA Today's Forum Page, part of the newspaper's Opinion section. She is also a contributor to the online magazine The Daily Beast. Parker is the author of Save the Males: Why Men Matter, Why Women Should Care.

Starting in the fall of 2010, Parker co-hosted the cable news program Parker Spitzer on CNN with former New York governor Eliot Spitzer.[6] In 2011 she left the show to focus more on her writing.
 --  then says something hilariously odd for someone whose home and hearth and medical bills and children's educations have all been paid for by being a professional haver-of-political-opinions since 1987.  She says:
Like [Florence] King, I’m a conservative, if this means everyone will leave me alone. Its further appeal, as defined by theorist Russell Kirk, is that conservatism is the negation of ideology. In a world gone barking mad in defense of this or that ideology or religion, I’m fine with the blank page and the wisdom of ages.
If Ms. Parker has decided to absent herself from the crazy world of arguing over things like politics and faith, and if her bliss can only to be found on "the blank page" while being left alone, then this sounds like something the Washington Post Human Resources Department will want to take up with her sooner rather than later.

Because while there may be many fine and fulfilling careers in this big, old world for someone who A) wants to be left alone and, B) does not want to have to opine about stuff, "op-ed columnist for the Washington Post" does not seem to be a particularly great vocational match.


H.K. Anders said...

Um... excuse me?

In 2011 she left the show to focus more on her writing.

Yeah, and in 1997 I left a job to focus more on working somewhere else... after the first job fired me.

Kind of like how Ms. Parker "left the show" Parker Spitzer after CNN cancelled it.

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

"Its further appeal, as defined by theorist Russell Kirk,"

I know I suggested this to you for Edmund Burke, but "Weekend at Kirkie's" is equally appropriate for the idea of clinging to a conservative whose relevance died a long time ago.

I also like how Ms. Parker separates conservatives from Republicans, as if only one side carries the plague.

Be seeing you.

Davis Statton said...

Apparently she doesn't know that it was Groucho who made that famous quip, getting the wording wrong as well.

bowtiejack said...

Wow! So Kathleen Parker turns out to be the Donny Brasco of politics? 30 years deep cover?
Lucky for her those guys at The Weekly Standard didn't catch her. They'll tell you, they're tough.

On the other hand if she had made the big reveal to me, I would've said what I always say to people who tell me they are "an Independent".
"Right. I get you. A Republican with a sense of shame."

RUKidding said...

Shorter Kathleen Parker: I was a Republican until it became uncool. #NeverTrump.

Aside: I don't think Parker is all that bothered by the out loud racism, sexism, etc. It's more that Trump, the short fingered vulgarian, is just too low-life gauche for her. Plus all her fancy snobby friends have distanced themselves, so it's now the new cool thing to do. Guess it's sort of useful to know where Parker's line is drawn, as she certainly loved low-life gauche Trailer Trash Palin a lot until Palin, too, lost her lustre and became uncool:

"Not that long ago, Palin was a breathtakingly attractive politician of a rare sort. A governor who had challenged Big Oil — and won — she could wow a crowd like few others..."
Kathleen Parker, WaPo,2015

Fiddlin Bill said...

I've seen Russell Kirk mentioned twice this morning. Mark my words, there's a trend a-comin' among former Rethug theorists skittering down the ropes of the square-rigged three-master. Burke's out. Kirk's in, like Ezra Pound's winter. I predict a Rich Lowery citation of the old literary critic before August.

D. said...

I notice that she failed to cite the sainted Reagan in her extremely abridged history, but then she has a word limit and a lot of backpedalling-sans-mea culpa to do.

I suspect her "independent" political stance will last only until an "acceptable" conservative (with spear and magic helmet) appears on the horizon.

Neo Tuxedo said...

Guess it's sort of useful to know where Parker's line is drawn, as she certainly loved low-life gauche Trailer Trash Palin a lot until Palin, too, lost her lustre and became uncool:

She learned to stop worrying and love the dumbass in 2008, when the caged rabid animal to which she'd been throwing raw red meat for over a decade savaged her.

"Ms. Parker," as our host pointed out just last month, "has lived by this particular sword a good long time, Helped forge it. Honed it. Made a career wielding it with a fearsome glee.

"Now she cannot fucking fathom why her newspaper is being stabbed with it by the Republican nominee for president of the United States."

@Fiddlin Bill:
Burke's out. Kirk's in, like Ezra Pound's winter.

Lhude sing goddamm.

dinthebeast said...

What D said. Can you say "Neshoba County Fair"? Didn't think so, and more's the pity.
Hate to tell you this Mizz P, but the job of conservatism, that is, the conserving of norms and traditions, has been abandoned by the Republican party for many years now and left as an addendum to the job description of the Democratic party, along with such other pesky details as governing the country, and stopping the slavering horde holding majorities in congress and most statehouses from wrecking said country. So join the chant of "Out damn spot" in the independent minting queue (or maybe try clicking your heels and chirping "There's no place like home"), but nobody's gonna buy it, and that's your real beef with Trump, isn't it? His calling of inconvenient attention to the awful, awful damage your "movement" has been doing to the country for, oh, ever. And for a girl who claims to like her own company, there certainly seems to be someone you don't like the idea of having to face up to...

-Doug in Oakland

Karen Rea said...

No, she wasn't a Republican, she just shilled for them and grifted off them. That's completely different.

If any Democrat had been worth any lauditory remarks, in the last 30 years, why she would have jumped right in there and given them one of her 'valuable' high fives. Or, because she's an Independent, with a mind as open as Donald Trump's mouth, perhaps an endorcement. But, alas. No, I get it, her 'out' is that she's a Conservative, a capital 'C' Conservative which means, what? That she has Principles? It is to laugh.

Chan Kobun said...

The cynical side of me has been wondering just how the Party of Jefferson Davis was going to make an un-person of Drumpf. I just realized that *this* is how. They'll simply deny it, they'll all say it was *other* people who led the GOP to this point, but not them nooooooooooooo sir. Nope, he just popped up one day while all of them were off fighting for the Real True Freedomy Freedoms.

They aren't even waiting for the Allies to make it to Berlin before they burn the uniforms.

Mike Lumish said...

Gather 'round, children, time for Grampa Mike to regale you all once again with his story of the time - twenty five years ago - Kathleen Parker showed up at the Five Colleges area around Northampton, MA. Lovely place, tons of intellectual energy blasting through the mountains, but all she noticed was the lesbians and the tattoos and the people with odd pieces of metal in their faces.

She couldn't scamper fast enough back to her hidey hole in Florida, there to denounce those hideous liberals and their weirdo scary customs in her nationally syndicated column.

So, yeah, sounds just like a recently minted Independent former Democrat to me. She is not a conservative in the same sense that Jill Stein is not a homeopathy pushing anti-vaxxer goon: they both are willing to lie about it in public, but they sing a different song when safely among friends.

John Hall said...

I have an idea for these Tea Partier-when shit went bad with Bush and now Independent-because Trump Is An Embarrassment Republicans: form a party based on the principles of long-gone but not forgotten St. Ronnie and run a candidate against the Donald. Call it the Estranged Republicans Reminiscing Over Reagan party, or E.R.R.O.R. Ok, that might not work...

John Hall said...

Ironic that for decades Republicans and did still try to shame Liberals and Progressives for being who they are and now, 8 years or so later, they in droves have ripped the "R" label off their jackets and replaced it with the Tea Party and Independent logos. Who's ashamed now?

Anonymous said...


Li'l Innocent said...

",,,will last only until an "acceptable" conservative (with spear and magic helmet) appears on the horizon."


The unease and conflict going on between posh Republicans/Conservs like Parker, Romney and a lot of the
"thought leaders" (can't write that phrase without smirking) and Donny is interesting in a creepy way: because according to the bio-profile of him about which its author made an apology a couple weeks ago (not the "Art of the Deal" ghostie, the other guy), one of Trump's primary, deep-seated motives for years has been to force himself into the ranks of the elite.

Deeply aware of his origins as a bridge-&-tunnel boy (Wharton or no Wharton) because his dad's money and his own upbringing were strictly Outer Boroughs, he has always hungered to be accepted by posh people, exemplified by the upper echelons of Manhattan wealth and influence. A hunger that has never been satisfied. (It's kind of amazing that he has never grasped the meaning of "vulgarity", even a little.)

I remember someone commenting back in the Spring about his obvious fury at being roasted for the birther nonsense by Obama at the Correspondents Dinner in '11. The commenter said they thought his main motive in running for Prez was to be taken seriously.

It almost appears that, if that means being seen as a dangerous madman by large segments of the country, he's going with it. OTOH his needy, angry, fragile ego needs praise and admiration too. Not to mention affirmation of his man parts. If I were a betting woman, I'd take 'em on his wiggling out of the debates entirely.

engulfedinflames said... in impossible to believe.

Unsalted Sinner said...

So that faded old get out of jail free card Kathleen has been hiding in her purse all this years finally had to be played. Oh well; she had a good run, and was probably handsomely compensated for it - far better than she would have been if she had been posing as an independent all along.

Jimbo said...

Well, I sure hope the people at the Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District don't say "that's water under the dam" all the time since that's exactly a tell-tale sign of a dam about to collapse. But maybe that was your point?

The Kraken said...

I have always been fascinated by the "conservativism as negation of ideology" from people who then define themselves by what they are against. Ideology is socially constructed, I can say I am a conservative because I eat yellow snow and all those other conservatives who just believe in racism, authoritarianism, and vulgarity are poseurs but it would be pretty lonely. Lots of American "independents" are actually ideological partisans because refusing to join anything is a uniquely bad American habit. Parker, Kirk, and anyone else can claim whatever they like but Reinhold Niebuhr had republicans pegged a long time ago. Republicans, he wrote, embody all of liberalism's vices but none of it's virtues. They do believe that all people are created equal, that's why they make life hard for others. They believe everyone is born free, they just don't like it. Therefore they create as many opportunities to take the freedom of others as possible. Conservativism in America is the dark side of liberalism. Niebuhr even referred to them as the children of darkness who recognize no law beyond their own self interest.