Thursday, May 13, 2010

What's Sarah Palin's beef with Hope?


Not so long ago, Sarah Palin broke out -- in that smirky, high school mean-girl way she has -- what she surely thought was a real knife-twister:  "so how's that hopey, changey stuff workin' for ya?" Never mind that the economy's Thelma-and-Louise moment had been averted and the job hemorrhaging had been stemmed or that Barack Obama was clearly working overtime to bring about the kind of changes that he had campaigned on and had gotten him elected.  No, facts have no weight on Planet Palin, but fizzy bromides do -- especially when you can throw cold water on something lame like Hope.

Wait a minute...huh?

Ok, I get the anti-change thing.  Palin obviously had no problem with the eight years W. was President.  She is clearly comfortable with the status quo (at least what she understands the status quo is or ought to be).  But Hope?  Does she think this word/concept is now trademarked by the Democratic Party just because Bill Clinton was born there (Hope, Arkansas, that is) or that Obama (no doubt knowing this) employed it as part of his slogan?  Is it now Hope™ or Hope©?  After all, if the Republicans can do it with Freedom™, why can't the Democrats do it with Hope?

Or does it have to do with a fundamental lack of understanding on her part about what, exactly, Americans who voted for him were hoping for?  She truly believes that the American electorate was hoodwinked by this Obama fella peddlin' his Hope.  Just yesterday in Rosemont, Illinois, she said that Obama had "buffaloed a whole lot of good people", but predicted that people's eyes were now open and "our recent hookup with hope and change is not a long-term relationship".  [Source:  Politico.]  I daresay, we can all be pretty certain that Palin knows a thing or two about hookups, but we also know that she's capable of accepting and even loving something positive produced by such a brief relationship.

Rest assured, I will not be holding my breath.  Sarah Palin might think it's easy and expedient to harness the fears of a nervous electorate, worried about basics like staying employed or avoiding foreclosure.  She's right; it is.  However, the Hope that Obama tapped into and that motivated voters 18 months ago is much bigger than the basics.  It is that Hope that they will expect Obama to address and engage once the mess he inherited is sufficiently cleaned up.

And hopefully it'll be workin' for us just fine.