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May. 15 2010 - 10:30 am | 12,930 views | 16 recommendations | 122 comments

I, Sarah Palin, Goes Redneck

Then, saying she was proud of being labeled a “redneck,” she regaled them with a string of one-liners defining the term:

“You’re a redneck if you’ve ever had dinner on a ping pong table.”

Laughs.

“You’re a redneck if you’ve ever had a custody fight over a hunting dog. Well, Todd and I haven’t, but we’ve got friends who have!”

via Sarah Palin at National Rifle Association lobs laughing crowd with ‘redneck’ jokes.

Can I get a vote here? What’s the consensus on politicians who use internet joke lists as speech material?

I’m actually sort of divided on this issue. Clearly, Sarah Palin doesn’t have time to write new and original speeches for her myriad appearances. If I were as famous and as busy as Palin is, I could definitely see culling a few yukster lines from the net for speeches. But she ripped off like six or seven of these asinine “You know you’re a redneck if!” lines in a row from sites like Aha! Jokes, and that seems like a few too many to me. Sometimes the number matters — just like I think the maximum number of cats a single adult can have is three before it gets weird, I don’t think you can steal more than four or maybe five jokes before some kind of line is crossed, even when the venue is an NRA convention.

Palin by the way seems to have settled in on a new rhetorical strategy, which is basically to run out one or another version of her “pit bull” line over and over again and not say anything else at all. She’s tuned in to the fact that her audiences literally can’t get enough of having their lunatic self-images massaged (“I’m a violent, illiterate pig who eats with her mouth open just like all you outstanding Americans!”) and aren’t really interested in much else beyond that — issues are really secondary.

Sure, she’ll talk about immigration, or health care, or gun rights, but all that boring stuff is really secondary to the more important business of reassuring her audiences that that it’s okay to be a slob who does nothing but shoot cute animals and watch TV. Most of all,  Americans — the same Americans who buy everything TV tells them to buy and vote for the same shysters year after year, swallowing one lie after another whole — love to be told how tough and fearsome and independent they are. She was massaging this spot in a speech to a coalition of women against abortion group in Washington the other day:

Palin, a potential 2012 presidential candidate, delivered calls to action to an audience dominated by women. “The mama grizzlies, they rise up,” she said, to laughter. “You thought pit bulls are tough. You don’t want to mess with the mama grizzlies. And I think there are a whole lot of those in this room.”

The crowd went nuts at this. Palin has figured out that this is really all you have to do to win elections in this country — flatter middle Americans’ moronic fantasies about themselves. The great thing about flattery is a) you can’t overdo it as hard as you try, and b) it doesn’t pin you down to messy political positions, controversies, things you can be harassed about by Chris Matthews and other press weasels.

It’s basically a risk-free strategy. You get up on stage and you say, “I’m just like all you idiots. And you idiots rock!” People will fall for this stuff. The ingenious part in Sarah Palin’s case is that she probably genuinely believes it.

She one-ups even George Bush in this respect. Bush was sincere in his respect for the citizen’s right to craft important opinions about the world while drinking beer and watching baseball, and that came across in his speeches — it was a big reason for his success.

But Bush couldn’t have spent more than ten minutes in a dirty trailer in Arkansas before signaling for the helicopter. The guy was just too used to being around rich people, nice houses, cigarette boats full of sheiks and oil executives, etc. Sarah Palin on the other hand really is the kind of person who you can picture eating egg salad off a ping-pong table. That and her utterly genuine stupidity and meanness can take her a long way — all by themselves, I think these things can win the White House for her — and it seems like she senses this on an animal/reptilian level. Hence the renewed emphasis on jacking off her audiences of late.

It’ll be interesting to see if this works for her. Bear in mind there’s no shortage of hokey-ass internet joke lists for her to mine. Someone should keep a count of how many of these bits she uses…


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  1. collapse expand

    I wonder if she actually will further pursue a political career. Its hard to she into her mind, but I think she is more interested in celebrity and money than political power. A presidential campaign is a huge amount of work. She has what she really wanted now, why go through all that extra effort. I’m not sure she is driven in that direction necessarily. Time will tell.

  2. collapse expand

    Davy Crockett…you know, he had a play on his life on Broadway that ran for years. He might have even starred for a while himself. Much like Plain Palin does, he used all aspects of mass control in his political life. He really parlayed the frontier bit into something. Why not? And look at Harry Truman, he was a failure in business but did damn well at running the country…some people look at her relinquishing the governorship as that type of failure…oh hum, boring.

  3. collapse expand

    Interesting notes about the electability of Palin…and time will tell…not wannabe predictions… But sometimes there is an inevitability the media likes to ignore. For example, the Obama election. Historically, the situation presented during the election was a sure win for him. There was statistically no way he could lose as history showed it. A loss could happen…but it would have been a first in that situation for our country.

  4. collapse expand

    Matt, you’re throwing gasoline on the fire.

    1. We don’t elect presidents on the quality or source of jokes they tell.

    2. If you don’t like Palin, don’t give publicity by calling her names. It makes those with legitimate views on the left have to work overtime to get heard through the noise of those who foam at the mouth. In other words, you’re doing for the left what Rush Limbaugh does for the right.

    3. You decry the woman as a person, but you didn’t say a thing about her political goals or views. Quoting you: “Sure, she’ll talk about immigration, or health care, or gun rights, but all that boring stuff is really secondary to the more important business of reassuring her audiences that that it’s okay to be a slob who does nothing but shoot cute animals and watch TV.”

    You’re as much a demagogue as Rush Limbaugh and you’re apparently just as ignorant. Your words are doing more to inflame hate instead of build bridges.

    I read many views on both the left and the right. But your views are not going to be one of them. You, sir, are as big an idiot as the people you fling poo at.

    • collapse expand

      Jake, at first blush what you say seems reasonable. In a perfect world, we could simply judge the various policy positions of candidates on their merits. But November 2000 showed me that this is not a perfect world. I literally sat down and bawled like a baby when Bush was elected/chosen for president. I knew very well what utter SHIT was in store for middle-class America. I was blindsided that America could elect somebody so scary stupid and immoral. 2004, well, it left me catatonic for a while. When Democrats were presented with a viable candidate for 2008 who was smart and with whom I agreed on most policies, I decided to do everything in my limited power to help get him elected. (And, no, I do not consider him a savior, just the best we could come up with.)

      If I have anything to say about it (and I probably don’t) Sarah Palin will never get off the runway to compete for the next presidency. Did you even watch the interviews of Palin by respectable journalists in 2008? Why should we even dignify such stupidity by talking about her policy positions? A person should have to prove a certain level of competence before they can be taken seriously.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        “When Democrats were presented with a viable candidate for 2008 who was smart and with whom I agreed on most policies, I decided to do everything in my limited power to help get him elected. (And, no, I do not consider him a savior, just the best we could come up with.)”
        ———————————————

        That’s a great summation of why the Democrats are in just as much deep shit as the Republicans.

        He may have been a “viable candidate”. But he damn sure isn’t a viable President.

        And just to make it even worse Joe “dumb as dirt” Biden is just a heartbeat away from being President. The thought of that scares as much as the thought of Palin as President.

        I still refer to their one debate as “Dumb versus Dumber”. Only I’m still not sure which one is dumber.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
        • collapse expand

          “But he damn sure isn’t a viable President.”

          I have to agree that he’s been a disappointment, to some extent. My question is: If not Obama, then who? Who can persuade a crooked congress to pass laws that are in the interest of the vast majority of people? Better yet, who can convince the people themselves to elect senators and congressmen who will look out for them instead of the corporations? Who is that leader? Because it’s not somebody with an “R” after his/her name.

          At least Obama seemed to be coming from the right place during the campaign. He said health care is a right, not a privilege. He talked about spreading the wealth, and look at the field day FoxNews had with that one.

          Joe Biden is not as dumb as Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is scarier because she doesn’t know just how dumb she is. Classic narcissist.

          In response to another comment. See in context »
  5. collapse expand

    Sarah Palin, ugh/adnauseam! I think 2 cats & a dog is perfectly acceptable.

  6. collapse expand

    Wow, the ultimate moralist crying! How, how…well, it’s not Biblical, it’s more modern…say, You Tubish…yea, did you get the camera in the mirror on that? I mean, it is so personal….

  7. collapse expand

    The Throne…that’s it…you sit and the Throne and do the Beotchkky Bit! Sure thing…everything is bad here and we got the worst. How do you reach a point like that? Are you so despondent due to….overweight, fatigue, lupus…drug dependencies…God, what could it be? That’s really Service to America…that and a pig’s oink will get you…corn in Iowa?

  8. collapse expand

    Chop-chop, not even close! Picture-retirement activity-beautiful Search & Rescue service dog in training, walks/runs 4+ miles per day, don’t do overweight, fatigue, etc.., APL & Telephone Pioneer volunteer…..what have you done for your Country lately??!! Sarah Palin is an embarrassment & gets way too much media attention.

  9. collapse expand

    Feudalists, lets call these wannabe Duke, kings, and Baronesses what they are, have been holding back class wars by turning them into culture wars for a long time.

    The redneck is a real thing, and plenty are not even straight white christian men. They breed a LOT and they need to either be shamed back into obscurity or lured into acting like they think they are so they can be shot in the street.

    You don’t discuss things with someone proud to be ignorant any more than with someone proud to die a martyr.

  10. collapse expand

    I say let’s flip the table on her. Let’s start a “you might be Sarah Palin” viral campaign. It’s really easy, just take any redneck joke and replace redneck by Sarah Palin. Example: if you’ve ever hit a deer with your car…deliberately, you might be Sarah Palin. Another: if you think you can see Russia from your Alaskan bedroom window, you might be Sarah Palin.

  11. collapse expand

    We are observing, in real time, grifting on a national level with regard to the Palin family. Mama Sarah cares so little and is so lazy that she googles jokes while in the middle of her paid appearances and now we have her daughter, who will be paid up to 30k per speech, whose only credential is having a craven narcissist for a mother who will be giving speeches about what? Getting knocked up while practicing abstinence? How she and Levi misunderstood when her Mommy said “drill baby drill”? This group if Wasillibilly carpetbaggers would make Huey P. Long and Joe McCarthy jealous with their chutzbah. And yet people will pay and pay to hear the lies they wish to believe.

  12. collapse expand

    What I find most amusing about Matt is that he (like many other people) is obviously obsessed with Sarah Palin.

    Yes she’s a vacuous opportunist who’s only in this for the money. And I agree that she also has a mean streak.

    But anyone who seriously thinks that

    A) She really wants to be President

    or

    B) Is actually a threat to become President

    is obsessed to the point of losing it entirely.

    But the real irony is that the worst thing you can possibly do to Sarah Palin is to ignore her completely. As she is all about the attention that’s directed towards her. And regardless of whether that attention is positive or negative doesn’t really matter to her at all.

    So all you’re really doing, Matt, is giving her just what she wants and craves every time you write something about HER.

  13. collapse expand

    I came up with this bit in response to this post.

    Sarah Palin’s Hierarchy of Mamas
    http://happyvalleynews.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/sarah-palins-hierarchy-of-mamas/

  14. collapse expand

    Dems are busy ridiculing the people not in power
    Maybe they should figure out how to stay in power
    Do you want another Bush presidency? Sarah Palin? MacCain?
    GWB spent his time doing things for his people, not obsessing about the Clintons et al

    • collapse expand

      ali, what difference does it make who is in power? I’m not trying to be funny or shocking or annoying. I mean it.

      The GOP had the House, Senate and WH for six years and worked to help the oligarchy, the power elite, their rich friends, whatever you want to call them.

      The Obama Revolution, so to speak began in 2006, really. People were fed up with the pampering of the oligarchy. By 2008, the sentiment was a steamroller and the Dems were given the House, Senate, and WH. And, once in office, proceeded to help the oligarchy, power elite, and their rich friends…

      I’m not following the politainment bullsh-t any more. They can play without my butt in the stands from here on out. I’ve lost interest. If some GOPer is caught in a sex scandal and puts his seat at risk, the cable news nets will cover it nonstop, but why should I care? I’d rather follow the celebrities at TMZ. At least they are good-looking and can score sex without having to use political power.

      Also, look at Obama’s performance with the Gulf oil leak. What the hell? He “got mad” — as if he ever truly gets mad — after 24 days. Makes Bush look like “Mr. Action” regarding Katrina. And now some of Obama’s earlier stuff, on which I gave him a pass, seems childish and pathetic. Like the “beer summit.” Holy cow. He should have said on the day he was asked about it, “I know none of the facts, let Boston deal with Boston,” instead of opining and causing two weeks of cable news BS.

      And the 15 percent hedge fund manager tax rate is still 15 percent. His health care plan consisted of forcing people to buy insurance — something he mocked during the campaign. President Palin would at least be funny.

      Which is why I like Matt’s articles so much. I don’t think of him as a political reporter (not primarily), but as a crime reporter.

      While I’m ranting, I’ll say I voted for Obama and have not voted for a GOP president since 1988, but the best president in my lifetime was, hands down, Ronald Reagan. I just read up on the firing of the air traffic controllers and that was absolutely the right thing to do. I started to say it took courage, but the truth is, it didn’t require courage, it simply required something resembling a spine. Reagan looked at the situation, saw the strikers were violating their contracts — their word — and said, Yeah, this is going to suck for a while, but it’s not just the right thing to do, it’s the only thing to do. (Tax rates, by the way, were HIGHER under Reagan than under Clinton, Bush and Obama.)

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  15. collapse expand

    Well, well, I took the proceeds from two fallen angels and whipped up a piece with terrible grammar that sets them so apart, as they want to be, what, with their wings clipped and eliciting a strident tenor…and using fictitious names. Now, if anyone actually knew who they were…well, that would just be so interesting to….oh hum, maybe Grandma….

    By bigpat on Why Sarah Palin’s ‘redneck’ jokes work

    ” We are observing, in real time, grifting on a national level with regard to the Palin
    and what I find most amusing about Matt is that he (like many other people) is obviously

    family. Mama Sarah cares so little and is so lazy that she googles jokes while in the middle.

    And I agree that she also has a mean streak. But anyone who seriously thinks that A) She

    is obsessed with Sarah Palin. Yes she’s a vacuous opportunist who’s only in this for the money and really wants to be President or B) Is actually a threat to become President is obsessed to her paid appearances and now we have her daughter, who will be paid up to 30k per speech, whose only credential is having a craven narcissist for a mother who will be giving speeches to the point of losing it entirely. But the real irony is that the worst thing you can possibly do to Sarah Palin is to ignore her completely. As she is all about the attention that’sabout what? Getting knocked up while practicing abstinence? How she and Levi misunderstood that’s directed towards her. And regardless of whether that attention is positive or negative as when her Mommy said “drill baby drill”? This group if Wasillibilly carpetbaggers would make Huey P. Long and Joe McCarthy jealous with their chutzbah really is doing, Matt, is giving her just what she wants and craves every time you write something about HER. . And yet people will pay and pay to hear the lies they wish to believe.

    y larryp on Why Sarah Palin’s ‘redneck’ jokes work so what I find most amusing about Matt is that he (like many other people) is obviously….

  16. collapse expand

    She’s no longer a serious candidate for President. But she’ll make millions off the notion that she “could” be. If she officially runs she’ll hurt her future earnings since there is absolutely no way she could possibly win any kind of national election.

  17. collapse expand

    I know how to define dumber…it is a faceless person squandering his/her time on trying to define the ultimate perfect politician. It ain’t gonna happen. BTW, who created the term “nabobs of negativity”? It kinda fits here….

  18. collapse expand

    Dumber is the squish as the bug is squashed…

  19. collapse expand

    I wonder how much actual field experience Caribou Barbie has with female grizzly bears to be able to talk with such authority about how they rise up? My guess is that Barbie is talking out her anal pore about this just like everything else she spews. Shocking, literally shocking, that so many people see this waste of protoplasm as a potential candidate for the Presidency. Just goes to show how far America has declined from the once great nation that it was.

  20. collapse expand

    Protoplastic experts are both few between and far apart, depending on the angle of inclination. This has lead to a high degree of uncertaincy that must needs be integrated into formal pledges of subtraction anointing the condescendcy…therefore the Crown that Your Highness thinks is displaced, augers a bold farewell for someone…the thing is, it is hard to tell right now as the last time I saw the media they were jacking off…so to speak.

  21. collapse expand

    For mikehunt…Snob tartism runs rampant when snobbees spot their mechanic/housekeeper taking a run at the roost. It sets their cockleshells on end and certainly does roil their breakfast muffin. They explain: How can anyone like that…sniff, sniff…dare to even stand next to my hoity-toity ideas that I have taken just so long to nurture. I must know all the right people…yes, the right people and ideas that I can then allow others to…come up to. Then, and just then will all be right and just in this world of…(I would say ours, but that just takes too much effort.)
    mine.

  22. collapse expand

    Actually, it was Spiro Agnew who first used it back in….69..70? Maybe Safire appropriated it…

  23. collapse expand

    Jesus X. Christ…it was Safire who wrote it for Agnew…nabob…

  24. collapse expand

    Hey Matt, off topic but up your alley, with no media coverage since the spill: Halliburton purchased an oil disaster response company THE WEEKEND BEFORE THE GULF BLOWOUT! Unbelievable. http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/energy/halliburton-buy-boots–coots/ Permalink
    Put Cheney’s pals in stocks, like only you can do!

  25. collapse expand

    Prescient as the Hali buy seems, it maybe already has them in “hot” stocks! Anybody check their movement? Time will tell…

    • collapse expand

      Prescient? How about damning? They had just finished working on the valve – to known sub-par standards – and knew it was going to blow out! So in a quickie weekend deal days before, they bought an oil clean-up/blow-out prevention company to position themselves to profit from the disaster they created – first with the clean-up, and later when the valve standards get raised. What the stock does or doesn’t do isn’t the point…it’s the evil, obvious intent. Matt, don’t let them get away with it without an outcry! No major media has linked these events…

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  26. collapse expand

    Matt, have you seen this defense of the hedge fund/private equity fund managers’ tax break for “carried interest”?

    http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/20/another-view-in-defense-of-carried-interest/

    I’d seriously love to hear Sarah Palin’s take. I think every current congressman (and candidate) should have to give an opinion on this.

  27. collapse expand

    “When the moon is high and yellow, then time will tell stories of tides that were and tides that will be…and everything will be washed away.” From the initial version of A Tempest in a Teapot, Vol. 4, page 926, Paragraph 3, lines 3-5.

  28. collapse expand

    Ms Palin is not a politician, she’s a reality TV personality and career aspiring B-list celebrity with a history of fraudulently taking office in state government.
    And she’s certainly the worst kind of Redneck — a fake one that mistakenly thinks it’s somehow cool to be uncouth.
    To answer the poll, no, public speakers should bring meaning, purpose and content to their public speaking, not recitals of “fwd:” emails that belong in the trash can/rubbish bin/spam bucket.

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