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Day 5 Of The Republican Convention

By Jesse Taylor
Saturday, September 6, 2008 12:16 EDT
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imageAfter a convention wholeheartedly dedicated (by which I mean they gave out signs which none of the dozens in attendance read) to the idea of service to something greater than one’s self, the end result is a clear message to America’s struggling communities: organizing to improve your lot in life is for elitist liberal whores.

You see, Sarah Palin said this immediately after Rudy Giuliani went into a spittle-flecked furor about 9/11 or the Yankees or some shit:

“I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer — except that you have actual responsibilities[.]“

Michelle Malkin, who apparently spent the entirety of her convention-watching experience laughing uncontrollably at the screen, attempts to explain the right’s stand-up festival…explosion…festiplosion of comedy:

Let me clarify something. Nobody is mocking community organizers in church basements and community centers across the country working to improve their neighbors’ lives. What deserves ridicule is the notion that Barack Obama’s brief stint as a South Side rabble-rouser for tax-subsidized, partisan non-profits qualifies as executive experience you can believe in.

Again, what Palin said:

“I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer — except that you have actual responsibilities[.]“

I understand that comedy is usually about the audience understanding the unspoken connection between the commentary onstage and their base of knowledge, but to say that Palin’s comment was restricted to a commentary on Obama given what she said is like saying that me walking on stage and saying “sandwich” into the microphone is actually a killer bit on Abu Ghraib, on-the-go yogurt snacks and professional archery.

In case you don’t believe my gloss, let’s look at how Palin’s audience took her not-at-all-general commentary on community organizing as it relates only to Barack Obama. Jim Treacher remarks that Don Corleone was a community organizer and then offers a space for community organizers “to stop the mockery of, um, whatever the hell it is you do”. Bob Owens calls community organizing the vocation of “Bull Conner” (sic) and Charles Manson. White supremacist Steve Sailer uses Tom Wolfe to portray community organizing as a hotbed of anti-white resentment, making me think Bob and Steve should really talk.

So, somehow, everyone from us apostolic Obama liberals to rabid right wingers took Palin’s statement as an indictment of community organizing as a whole, and Palin’s base even took it a step further, broadening the slur to racists, murderers, gangsters and college kids who annoy increasingly shitty authors.

The message that one gets from this is that the greatest service we can perform for our community is to avoid entirely the prospect of getting involved with it unless you can gain some sort of elected role that allows for rapid ascension and ruthless abuse of the details of your biography. And if you’re wondering why that sounds exactly like what Republicans are accusing Obama of, hockey moms pit bulls POW babies! Elitist.

Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor is an attorney and blogger from the great state of Ohio. He founded Pandagon in July, 2002, and has also served on the campaign and in the administration of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He focuses on politics, race, law and pop culture, as well as the odd personal digression when the mood strikes.
 
 
 
 
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