I wanted to stay above this mud wrestling fight, but dragged down into it I am, right along with the rest of a rather bewildered America. How did we get here? Well, Michele Bachmann, a Republican presidential candidate, brought up the suggestive image of her mud wrestling her would-be competitor.
Michele Bachmann responded to a question totally unrelated to mud wrestling, unless Sarah Palin is now automatically equivocated with such, with the following ode to Republican red light specials:
“They want to see two girls come together and have a mud wrestling fight,” the Minnesota congresswoman said. “And I’m not going to give it to ‘em.”
What you just heard was the sound of Republican politics this year. That was Michele’s return fire for Bristol’s attacks on her and a not too subtle way of asserting her sexuality as on par with Palin’s. Because, you know, the presidency is all about the sexy.
Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin are bringing out the worst in the American public, once again, and dragging women back further into the Hooters’ cave than I could have imagined when Palin first graced us with her beauty pageant demands that we not be sexist by calling out her diminished intellectual capacity. We had to give her special rules at the debate and then pretend she was viable VP material, even though she never responded to the questions asked. Ironically, she was largely successful in doing this because of the overly sexualized way she presented herself, taking refuge in her white knighting GOP daddies whose war on working Americans and general awareness she was all too happy to parrot.
To say that many women were enraged by this double standard, backstabbing insult is to put it mildly. We are, after all, most of us members of the working class and some of us have been ducking the overly presumptuous grabs of male authority figures our entire working lives, and here was Sarah Palin telling us to not only like it, but use it. Cock-tease your way to the top, ladies! It’s the new American way.
Of course, many women don’t have the privilege of being protected by the boss because they haven’t sold their soul to him. And only a certain kind of woman knows how to tease her way to the top, avoiding unpleasant incidents of assault along her journey. But in the end, the fact is that many of us do not want to engage in this. Unlike some people, we value our freedom and dignity and relationships of mutual respect. It brings to mind the slobbering, middle-aged married men at run down strip clubs, about whom I have often wondered, who here is really getting taken for a ride? You can see the analogy: Club owner is to the GOP what stripper is to Republican Barbie President, as the GOP voter is to never-gonna-get-it man paying to be conned into wanting something he can never have. But that is another matter, for another day.
Bristol Palin had earlier accused Michele Bachmann of copying her mother’s “style”. This petty, mean girl snide sent from the cowardly missile of another wanna be’s daughter tugs at our outrage, begging us to join it in the gutter. It’s obvious that whatever “style” Sarah Palin had during the 2008 campaign was the result of stylists who have been doing that style for years now. It’s nothing new (does Sarah really think her hair is original? She knows she stole that from her idol Ivana Trump and earlier, Anita Bryant gave that back-combed puff a place in political history). And actually, Bachmann does it better.
Palin doesn’t own “Dressed for Work Barbie.” In fact, it’s pretty obvious that she has the stylistic sensibilities of a social climber who came into money but sadly, has no grace. Recall, if you will, any number of vulgar exhibitions by Ms Palin, from sitting on stage in a thigh gracing skirt at an official Memorial Day event that invited TMZ type shots of the forbidden land all too visible to those who sat beneath her to the black water bra underneath a white t-shirt, topped off by a garish Jesus themed baseball hat at the upper crust Belmont Stakes. Jesus apparently sold his trademark to the Republicans in the name of capitalism. Sarah Palin, worshiper of consumerism, has never seen a brash logo she didn’t covet. Bachmann, for all of her many intellectual failings, can at least dress herself.
Prior to Palin’s $250,000 Wasilla Hillbilly looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast make-over, Sarah Palin had no style save pushing her sex appeal. She has always been self-regarded “proud Valley Trash”. I can’t see Michele Bachmann running around in a “Proud to be Valley Trash” t-shirt. Nor can I picture Bachmann donning a belt on low riders with a huge cross on it pointing down, down, down to the nether regions of sin. As a result of said belt, Joe McGinniss labeled Sarah Palin the “rhinestone Christian“.
Palin, notorious in high school for her rabid competitiveness with girls more popular than she, is obviously taking pot shots via her daughter because she can’t handle the fact that Bachmann is also attractive and sexy. For Palin, that’s what our Presidential race is all about; it’s a beauty contest and she’s damn determined to get her grubby paws on that elusive crown this time, even if she has to use her daughter to fight her battles in order to get it.
Both Bachmann and Palin are GOP puppets; religious extremists dressed up, puffed up and pushed out, sold to the highest bidder to put a pretty face on ugly ideas. Both women seem nice enough from afar, both are ostensibly good mothers from afar, both are absolutely hypocritical on almost every issue they purport to stand for and too ignorant to know it. Both are wildly over-confident, in the way that can only come from a small mind that cannot conceive of larger issues beyond the self-aggrandizing, unregulated id that drives them.
Both women bring out the worst in our culture. Both appeal to the lurking sexism, hooking it with a wink and bringing all women down into the mud with them if we dare call them out on it. Yes, if we dare say a word, we are then labeled ugly haters or “fat”. It’s as if we are back in Junior High, only I never knew anyone so shameless and tawdry as either of these two women in Junior High. It offends me to even address their vulgar cries for attention via their sexuality.
Americans are so titillated by the idea of Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin mud wrestling that they might give them the honor of running for the highest office of the land, even though Bachmann barely grazes by Palin in the knowledge department and they are neck and neck in McCarthyesque Bircher tactics of division, buttressed by their “faith”. Why doesn’t the GOP spare us, and just run down to Hooters and grab an 18 year old “evangelical” girl who believes her only worth is her body and her willingness to submit to their putrefied patriarchal beliefs and run her for President. It would be no different.
And while the leading men in the GOP are not known for their intellectual prowess, it is just slightly less disturbing when they diminish women, because after all, we expect this from them. And furthermore, they lack the sanctimonious smugness of the Ultimate Sexy Mommy whispering about mud wrestling while verbally castrating the men on the other side of the aisle and calling other women “feminazis” for speaking their minds. From their behavior, you’d think these two were Alpha Dogs in drag and, of course, the notion of an alpha dog is contradictory to the notion of an egalitarian society (aka: feminism). Gosh, yes, nothing says feminism like propping up the patriarchal power structure with a frozen grin and dominatrix boots, stomping on the have-nots on the climb to the top.
It’s come to this: Palin and Bachmann are fighting over Best Mommy Award, previously a tie, but Bachmann just one-upped Palin’s fifth child with a moving story of a miscarriage she suffered. A few weeks ago, Bachmann was careful to get in pre-emptive digs about how her children were all out of high school now, and doing well. You’d have to follow Palin’s personal life to get the full meaning of this knock out punch, but rest assured that you will hear more about it than you ever wanted to if this war continues. Suffice it to say, Bachmann’s children are apparently all out of high school, none of them pregnant or shipped off to various pseudo foster homes for management. It shouldn’t matter, but it does, because these are the politics of puppets playing to the evangelical fundie crowd. So now it’s the war of the Mommies.
Michele Bachmann has a law degree from Oral Roberts. Did they teach mud wrestling there? Michele is never going to beat Sarah Palin unless she breaks out the push up bra that Sarah Palin infamously claimed got her everything she wanted at city council meetings. Maybe in the name of liberty the ladies will give us skin to win. Oh, freedom! Yes, people, get on down in the mud. Lower….lower…..and lower yet.
We are never going to get a female Presidential candidate who represents women unless we stop seeing all women as cheap sexual objects first and only. I do not want to be represented by a woman who relies solely on appeasing the patriarchy by submitting to it as sex kitten tiara holder while smirking at the rest of us over her alleged win. The problem for women like me is we don’t even want to be in that game, let alone respond to it.
Some of us would like to be free. We would like to get ahead without selling out. We would like to be taken seriously. We would like to have authority over our bodies. We would like to have the right to make our own medical decisions. We would like to do be represented by someone who wasn’t slinging the sexist mud that she so desperately needs because it is all she has.
It used to be that stripping and selling our bodies were the options of the financially less privileged, but now we tell our young girls that selling themselves as objects is the height of power. Of course, there is nothing wrong with stripping, but spiritually stripping for the Presidency because you have nothing else to offer is another matter, and it is this problem that these two women embody.
Mud wrestling for the nomination is the culmination of this, the dumbing down of America. We’re so completely devoid of character and integrity that this is what we have come to. If either of these women even gets the nomination, this country deserves what it gets. And the puritans who push these Trojan horses with filthy, cheap sexism meant to appeal to their sexually repressed base will have won the ultimate battle.
Bachmann and Palin are the final solution to the notion that stripping for frat boys in Girls Gone Wild is the ultimate show of female empowerment. It’s obscenely ironic that it is the conservatives pushing women to give it away for free in the name of family values. And by “it”, I don’t mean their virginity – I mean their souls.
The fact that we now have the so-called conservatives using sex to sell hate and war on the middle class speaks volumes about our culture. America may indeed be an adolescent boy, who finds Ayn Rand the height of pseudo intellectual rebellion and Sarah Palin the epitome of their political Oedipus fantasy, revealing their deeply repressed desire to have a sexy mommy spank them while she feeds them home baked bread and pops out the winning number of babies necessary to be considered “pro-life”.
The modern day Republican Party is winnowing down its membership to those easily duped by shiny objects, happy to sing praises for the oxymoronic “conservative feminism” manifested by mud wrestling beauty queens who think the founding fathers fought to end slavery. This is the Republican version of American exceptionalism.
Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are dark deeds inflicted upon a desperate nation. They have given birth to Hooters democracy this week. Michele Bachmann’s dismissal of Sarah Palin was a salacious dog whistle of Republican red light politics and Palin’s cowardly jabs dished out from her untouchable daughter about Bachmann’s style shows us that the focus will be all about exteriors and fan club adoration better suited to teenage girls screaming at a Twilight premiere. Only in the worst of times do dangerous con artists make such hay selling hatred in the name of Jesus and American nationalism.
Some people laugh at them, while others treat them as objects of erotic scorn. Meanwhile, Rome burns.
Image: Lynnrocket’s Blast-off