20 January 2010

Brown and Palin : Photogenic Pols a Panacea for 'Independent' Anger?

Scott Brown and Sarah Louise Palin: All smiles and skin. Composite graphic by Larry Ray / The Rag Blog. Photos from Cosmopolitan and Vogue Magazine.

Good looks and empty minds:
The new political trend?

By Larry Ray / The Rag Blog / January 20, 2010

Nice looks and shallow platitudes seem to be a winning combination for attracting disaffected voters with short memories and little understanding of complex concepts. That group of so-called "undecided" voters claiming no political party preference seems not to decide because deciding might take too much serious thinking. Easier to stick with what they don't know.

That at least seems to have been the case in the narrow election of an unknown but nice looking Massachusetts state senator to fill the remaining three years of the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the death of Ted Kennedy. Good looks, white teeth, political generalizations, and national magazine spreads showing lots of skin are easier to like than a serious visage and plain old nose to the grindstone ability. Brown and Palin's political convictions certainly seem to be only skin deep .

Brown's Democratic opponent, Massachusetts Attorney General, Martha Coakley is a very private, straight laced legal scholar and public servant. It was lots easier for independents to see her cold, and stand-offish manner as dumb and klutzy than it was to have taken time to review her impressive qualifications and to look beneath her exterior.

She recently brought home $60 million when Goldman Sachs agreed to pay up after she took them to task for promoting unfair home loans in her state. This past December Coakley handily defeated three opponents in the Democratic primary with 47 percent of the vote.

But her lackluster campaign and a couple of foot-in-mouth, seemingly insensitive comments was all the opening it took for Republican spin doctors to pounce and go after independent voters. The Brown campaign reported raising $5 million including a so called "money bomb" of $1.3 Million from some 16,000 donors in the last days leading up to the election. And Brown's campaigning provided the required outrageous Tea Party prattle for the disaffected and deluded. Brown earlier suggested in a TV interview that Obama was born out of wedlock so the birther nuts were already on board.

But the strongest indication I see that Brown's 52% to 47% win over Coakley was mainly from disaffected independents came from an email exchange with my very conservative Republican cousin late last night, literally seconds after the win was confirmed.

He wrote to needle me. His first email:
Oh my Lord, look at the long faces on CNN !!!!!!! Everything but black arm bands on the reporters ! ha ha, its the message Larry, the message, they already have health care in Mass. they still voted her out!
My reply:
Brown didn't win ... the Dem. candidate lost because of personality . . . a real charmer. The Repugs helped shake up lots of $ for Brown. (And Brown didn't even have on an armband when he posed in a nude centerfold cuz.)
Second email:
oh ok, wait, wait, wait, I will take it all back, lets have the election again, my God, they ruined it all on FOX that IDIOT Sara is doing a commentary, pleeease give me a break ... grrrrrrrrrrr we do agree on that one cuz, she has nothing to offer, except on SNL maybe ? Not even sure about that ... they got the gal with the crooked mouth talking to Sara Palin on FOX. Lord help us all !
Before I could reply . . .

Third email:
I just threw up all over the floor, turned the TV Off.
Never thought I would ever hear this from my well-off Fox watching conservative cousin with whom I have parried politically for years. And I wonder if his fed-up reaction could in any way be a signal? Will other intelligent Republicans who dislike Obama more than they really dislike Democrats might finally call a halt to what a handful of hard core Kamikaze Republicans have been doing not only to their party but to this country?

They now have that one spoiling vote in the senate. Never mind that he is a shallow and embarrassing neophyte... there are lots of those on both sides of the aisle, but his election kills the Democratic working majority in the Senate.

Brown in the buff years ago in a Cosmo centerfold is no real embarrassment in these times, unless photos of him walking nude in the Adirondacks surface. But the GOP does have a long list of other real party embarrassments.

Topping the chart is their out of control solo black man whom they put in charge of their Republican National Committee and whom they are afraid to fire because of his self-serving outrages. Their embarrassing former GOP Vice Presidential candidate now is able to make an ass out of herself regularly with her own FOX cable TV appearances as a commentator.

When Mr. Brown comes to Washington he will add to the dismal Republican political gene pool, at least for three more years. And the GOP is stuck with Sarah Louise -- and the difference between her and a Pit Bull is not her lipstick, it is that a pit bull is taken seriously when it attacks.

[Retired journalist Larry Ray is a Texas native and former Austin television news anchor. He also posts at The iHandbill.]

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