Celebrity Sarah Palin To Play Scarlett O’Hara In Remake?

7 09 2008

Okay, this morning I finally got a few quiet minutes to evaluate this talking point about Sarah Palin as the most popular governor in the nation.  (I’m a mom, you know.  It’s rare.)

I started with the hypothesis that Republicans appeal most strongly to people who want both low taxes and high quality of life (for themselves at least.)

If that were true, one would expect the most popular governor in the nation to be in the state with the lowest tax burden AND abundant public resources, the kind all can share without personal cost. If there’s any such place left in America.

Voilà! My hypothesis has predictive value —
Alaska has the lowest tax burden of all 50 states AND abundant natural resources, resources the Republican leadership of that state exploits industrially (oil and gas) as well as encouraging its citizens to freely enjoy The Big Outdoors, for enhanced quality of life. It seems in fact, that the whole culture there is built around simultaneously exploiting and enjoying those abundant resources, with relatively little demand from “actual responsibilities” to interfere. It’s unreal, almost, as we hear the story unfold.

Very like the continent itself, back when we as early Americans thought there was no need for actual responsibilities — there’s plenty more of everything ahead in the new frontier, right? Palin’s news stories quite literally appear in “The Frontiersman.”

No wonder her culture has embedded in her story a smugness toward the rest of us Americans, and our petty economic and urban problems (miseries such as Barack Obama as a young man in Chicago, say, was called to address as “community organizer”) and it’s not just an annoying tone in her voice — it’s that her Alaskan family and friends seem to nurse secessionist fantasies, how much richer and more carefree they’d be, without the dead weight of all of us! That’s not just personal, that’s political power of story too.

All of which reminds me of Gone With the Wind, southern belles as steel magnolias, my American cultural equivalent of hockey mom pitbulls in lipstick.

The beautiful, accomplished Scarlett O’Hara once tossed her pretty head in denial and said “war, war, war, fiddle-dee-dee” in much the same way Palin now tosses her pretty head and says “global warming, community organizer, fiddle-dee-dee” — neither is overtly racist or sexist, in informed intent anyway. Just in effect.

Scarlett O’Hara exemplified tough-as-nails privileged femininity, but was it feminism?  And since her ancestral home looked so much like the White House, is Scarlett qualified to play vice-president as we remake America? Read the rest of this entry »