I was part of a movement of "dinosaur moms" when I lived in Maryland (Astrodon Johnstoni is the Maryland state dinosaur.) Which is nothing more than this -- dinosaur moms delight in the half-feral nature of the beasties they parent, even as they whisper Shakespeare and Kierkegaard in their ears at night.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Palin's Wardrobe Malfunction

"All of my descamisados expect me to outshine the enemy, the aristocracy. I won't disappoint them." -- Eva Peron, as imagined by Andrew Lloyd Weber

I believe I've mentioned, I'm a proud Goodwill shopper, myself. So you'd think I'd be the last person to defend Palin's extreme makeover. But it's precisely because I dress like a nun from a liberal order that I defend Palin's astronomical clothing budget.

Because I don't want her job.

And a lot of the reason that I don't want her job -- and most of our nation's best and brightest don't want her job -- is because the scrutiny is way over the line. Especially for women. Especially on appearance.

I have a daughter who is smart and well-spoken and I don't tell her she could grow up to be president because I DON'T WISH THAT ON HER. No more than I would wish her to be a spokesmodel or newscaster or any other job that is contingent on remaining free of zits, panty lines or quadro-boob.

Much though I hate to admit it, I think it speaks to the sincerity of Palin's working class roots, and to the seriousness of the effort to ready her for world leadership, that she needed the Eliza Dolittle treatment. If we believe in meritocracy, if we don't want to be ruled by independently wealthy hobbyists, but by people who know what it is to live off their income, then we have to be willing to accept that the "packaging" of a candidate is a legitimate business expense.

Call her facile. Call her provincial. Call her a race-baiter. Call her a hate-monger. But don't tell me you'd like her better if, like Marge Simpson, she went home every evening and fashioned a new outfit out of the same Chanel suit.