Thursday, July 8, 2010
Palin's Pink Elephant Moment - Part One
I. Sarah Palin's Pink Elephant political action committee video, released yesterday is a mixed document. At best, it is more slick than anything yet to come from her own people. At middle, it shows many women of all ages, mostly white, who are happy and motivated. At worst, its message of empowerment for women is weak, and doesn't suggest much of an independent agenda for these newly empowered GOP women. It is also poorly cut, showing complex images too briefly to get a message, or to even read a protest sign.
There are two brief clips showing women who are clearly of color. One scene is repeated. I count three women of color in the entire ad. The only black male in it is a police officer doing crowd control. Images of white women with Palin - I stopped counting, just over halfway through (pausing for screenshots), around 180.
A pitbull gets over half as much time in the ad as do people of color.
The enormity of the Anglo-centric nature of this ad for 2010 is profound. I'm not sure who created the product, but it certainly wasn't designed to motivate Hispanic, Asian or African Americans, come November, to vote for any of Palin's unannounced choices among many female candidates for office.
"A whole stampede of pink elephants, crossing the the line, and the ETA, campaigning through, is November 2nd, 2010."
II. Mark Hem is on my short list of Alaskans who struck me as remarkably honest when I first met him (or her), and just kept on impressing me more each time we had the pleasure to meet again. Craig Medred has contributed to Mark's and Craig's carbon footprint karma, going on the same Copper River canyon dipnet trip I once again took this week.
Mark used to be a big Palin fan. In 2009, we talked about Palin a bit. We disagreed.
This year, Mark had changed his mind.
"She quit. That changed everything for me."
Mark takes thousands of people into an almost unbelievably dangerous place. If people show up that shouldn't be in that canyon, he won't take them. But Mark brings them back. Every time.
He was eloquent about how Palin's quitting got him to look back on earlier decisions she had made as governor, and shake his head. He shook it again, describing the revelation to me.
Mark might be the toughest Alaskan I know, he might not. I'm sure Mark knows Alaskans he considers to be tougher than he is. Mark no longer thinks Palin is tough enough, though.
Mark, and hundreds of thousands of Alaskans, never quit. Or at least they try not to.
III. The image of a Brown bear sow Palin offers up in the pink elephant video stinks almost as much as the pit under the outhouse Todd uses at their setnet site on Bristol Bay.
Rather, Palin has turned on Alaskans, using her 2008 national prominence, the controversies she created in early 2009 that kept insinuating her into the national dialogue, and her uncanny ability to take advantage of issue polarization, to make her very wealthy.
She treated the whole state as a threat. Not just a few ethics watchdogs, bloggers and "ankle biters." All of us.
She didn't just quit. She reared up and turned on every Alaskan.
And, boy, were a lot of us glad to see her go.