The Viagra veep?

In the thread, “Palin: the debate continues,” Carol Iannone writes:

It may seem like a cheap shot but Sarah Palin really is a form of Viagra. I just heard a commentator on ABC say, joining with her has energized McCain again, he’s got his mojo back, there’s a smile on his face, a bounce in his walk, and so on! Good grief, it’s practically the scenario of those offensive commercials for male enhancing drugs!

- end of initial entry -

Julius I. writes:

Viagra Veep

I think this is a fitting title.

Another analogy I would make is that the political reaction is like a crazy Pentecostal service, everyone is speaking in tongues, shouting, and rolling on the floor, acting like fools all because someone has whipped them up in an emotional fog. But, when you scrath below the surface to see what all the fuss is about, you come up with absolutely nothing.

This describes both the Holy-roller Veep and the Messiah Obama.

People no longer hold to the old rule of thumb that charisma can be dangerous.

P.S. Thanks for your fine work. Your astute intellectualism adds a valuable service to the public forum. Reading you for years, I never thought to send email until this religion thing came up.

LA replies:

It’s amazing. Both sides are a bit besides themselves. Our side is instantly “bonding” with Palin, saying “She’s our gal, she’s the one,” while the left has an at least equally intense contempt for her.

I liked her and felt there was something special about her the moment I saw her speak, as I’ve explained. But I think some people have gone a bit overboard on this.

And liking someone and thinking she’s very interesting doesn’t mean that that person ought to be vice president or president. I think Bryan was a wonderful man, an outstanding figure in American history; but I would have voted against him for president.

This almost frenzied enthusiasm for a person that we’re seeing now is not what America is supposed to be about. Yes, in the traditional America, people felt strongly about their parties and candidates. But that was based first of all on principle. And second it was within the context of an overall American republican system. It was not this complete personal identification with a politician that we’re now seeing, treating the politician as the personal embodiment of what we are, and taking her side on that basis, and defending her from all criticism on that basis. This is not mature and it’s not healthy.

Perhaps at the moment I sound like Settembrini in The Magic Mountain, the man of humane liberal reason debating against the conservative revolutionary Naphta.

Thanks very much for the kind compliment.

Terry Morris writes:

I think you’re right. A truly traditionalist conservative approach to this selection is slow and steady, well thought out and well reasoned. Palin has a lot going for her, no one is saying otherwise. But to get overly enthusiastic about her selection as many conservatives did at the moment her selection was announced shows a real lack of maturity on their part.

Doug E. writes:

With an election in 60 days, I disagree. You either get on board a train leaving the station taking you to perhaps smaller government town or you don’t. Voting Marxist is the other option.

Hannon writes:

I agree with what you say here about the overly exuberant response to Mrs. Palin. At least publicly, conservatives should ideally be more mature and, well, conservative under such circumstances. But is this unbridled joy not the truest expression of a not-yet-jaded electorate that has not seen a robust conservative in the spotlight like this in over a generation? This must all seem a bit overwhelming to the majority who are not disposed to cool-headed intellectual analysis.

The extraordinary nexus of Mrs. Palin’s motherliness, physical beauty, attractive personality and apparently formidable style is as uplifting as it is remarkable. Altogether I think it is understandable how many Americans on the right, especially men, would fall for her hook, line and sinker. As for myself, I am grateful for this agreeable respite, however long it may last. Besides, what could irritate the liberals more than the opposition actually enjoying politics for a while?

September 1

Carol Iannone writes:

The Viagra analogy also goes by extension for the Republican and conservative establishment who have been saying how this was really needed, they just weren’t getting enough satisfaction with McCain. And it goes for the media as well. Yesterday I heard Cokie Roberts say, it’s brought excitement, if it had been just another white guy, we’d all be bored. Oh brother. So white guys are just boring now. This is what our presidential campaigns have become? (Is it possible some of these journalists have been on the scene a bit too long?) Does this mean every national ticket from now on is going to have to have a diversity surprise? So the next dose of Viagra will have to be an Hispanic, then an Asian, then a homosexual, then what? A transvestite? (Gee, we could have had that with Giuliani.) This is really pathetic and unworthy of a free people. And whatever you think of Palin, this is what her nomination has brought. (Obama earned his way to the ticket; he wasn’t just picked.) The VP spot might be like the black and female spots on the SC, reserved for diversity, if the top of the ticket doesn’t already feature it, or else watch out for the virulent accusations of racism and sexism.

Also, the choice could backfire. She spices up the ticket, I’ll admit, but McCain is as stodgy as ever Everyone will want to see her. It could be like Diana and Charles, where the crowds wanted Diana, and Charles grew angry and disgruntled at being second fiddle. But then McCain would have the last laugh. If he fools enough of the people and the conservative base enough of the time, he will be elected and then he can start insulting and ignoring them again. Then again, the enthusiasts might start reflecting, well she’s wonderful, but after all, she will only be vice president, with no constitutional power whatsoever. We’d really be electing him, wouldn’t we? Then the Viagra will wear off and the bubble will burst and the balloon will deflate and the conservatives will go back to the drabness and frustration of ordinary life, meaning their frustration with what has become of the Republican Party these days (something that they have more or less admitted and shouted from the rooftops in the last 72 hours, thanks to the Palin nomination).

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 31, 2008 07:30 PM | Send

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