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Overheard in the coffee hutch last week

Posted by Lissa on April 23, 2010

Despite my best intent to avoid politics at work, sometimes it doesn’t avoid me.

I was fetching my salad from the fridge and digging out the salad dressing when CNN began playing a clip on Sarah Palin in Boston.  I kept my head down and my expression bland while my co-worker had the following conversation with the Sarah Palin clips:

SP:  “Hello, Boston!”

Co-Worker: “Oh god, she is such an idiot!”

What I didn’t say: “What makes her an idiot?  Her IQ?  Her grades back in college? Or is it just that you don’t agree with her opinions?”

SP (approximate): “Where you have such great teams as the Red Sox, the Celtics, the Bruins, and the PATRIOTS!”

Co-Worker:  “Yeah THANKS, we don’t know who our own teams are!”

What I didn’t say: “Um, our own politicians often don’t know about our sports teams.  How about Curt Schilling the Famous Yankee Fan and Kerry’s favorite player Manny Ortez?”

Etc., etc.

It baffles me.

I’ve always liked Sarah Palin as a politician, though I can understand why others don’t, and I’d be concerned about how much negative branding she’s absorbed for the next time she runs for office.  But there was palpable contempt and disgust dripping from CW’s voice; she was genuinely angry.

Why?

Palin didn’t ban any books as Governor.
Palin didn’t say anything as stupid as “57 states” or “Cinco de Quatro.”
Palin didn’t say she could see Russia from her house.
Co-worker’s antipathy was strong enough to prompt her to have a conversation with a TV in the coffee hutch with two other people in the room.
I don’t get it.
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7 Responses to “Overheard in the coffee hutch last week”

  1. alan said

    It’s not who she is, it’s what she is.

    An attractive, female, Republican.

    The ultimate unpardonable sin.

  2. wolfwalker said

    I’d be concerned about how much negative branding she’s absorbed for the next time she runs for office.

    I wouldn’t be. I don’t think she’s going to run again. Certainly not any time soon. Quite likely, not ever.

  3. Borepatch said

    Alan’s right, but I think that the killer is that she’s perhaps the country’s most effective politician right now. “Effective” meaning able to shape the discussion on her terms. Think “Death Panels” – the howls of outrage over that remark were the strongest sign that she’d hit a nerve, and all that “curve bending” discussion pretty much ended then.

    That she gets under the skin of all the bien pensants shows that they realize that she’s effective – otherwise why keep bringing her up (like Obama did last week).

    The Internet has destroyed all sorts of business models, and made incredible successes out of nobodies who turned into Google, Amazon, and eBay. What these “nobodies” understood – and what their Old School competitors did NOT – was how to reach into the “Long Tail” of the Internet, to people who were poorly served (or not served at all) by the current players.

    Both political parties govern for themselves and their cronies/clients. Both parties hate her guts because they see her reaching out to the unserved voters, and harnessing their energy (and money). They fear her power, and their old top down command and control structures are not nimble enough to keep up with her, so they keep finding themselves dancing to her tune. They hate that perhaps most of all. As John McCain might say, she’s on their six.

    So the sound you hear is the sound of political business models shattering. People overly comfortable with the old model don’t know how to respond, and are reacting not from their cerebral cortex, but from the ancient reptilian brain stem – shock and fear.

    As I’ve said more than a couple of times before, the Dinosaurs smell change in the air, and roar their defiance.

  4. Borepatch said

    Of course, I had to write 1000 more words on the subject. :-/

  5. smasher said

    She’s a lot of things but, kinda parallel to what BP says above, she’s a shatterer and she’s a driver. She’s living proof that someone can be “normal” and come from a fairly average background and yet be active, involved, and influential. So not only does she make the dinosaurs roar their defiance, she lets the little scurrying mammals know that it’s possible to take up where the Big Ds will leave off, and most of the little scurrying mammals are quite content to live close to the ground in fear and limited contentment. Filling niches is hard work.

    Sorry, BP, for stealing your metaphor.

  6. Brad K. said

    Sarah Palin was introduced to national politics for one reason – to oppose B. Hussein Obama.

    I saw her as a symbol, of the revival of a moribund and ethically corrupt leadership in the Republican party. I rejoiced in that, while also failing to detect any striking, consistent, imperative message or position.

    I think she is a dilletante, nearly as narcissistic as our dear leader. I was impressed with the way she left her term of Alaskan governor early – impressed that she is incompetent and undisciplined (in the sense of will to complete a task).

    Labor unions and the Democratic party leadership, if there is a distinction, exists by villifying opponents and marketing their propaganda to the nation. Their perceived moral outrage against villains (that is, someone impeding their corrupt bullying) spreads to those that hear the sound bites but don’t consider the good of the community, individual, or nation.

    The CW’s disparagement was a direct purchase by ACORN, by SEIU/AFL-CIO, and the Obama administration. An example of your tax dollars at work.

  7. Mulligan said

    the only real problem I have with SP is she still returns calls from McCain….

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