Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I don't want to take this snarky Tom Junod blog post for Esquire too seriously, but I think some readers are going to think it makes a lot of sense, and it doesn't, really:

... right now what's most interesting about Christine O’Donnell -- and the other candidates like her -- is what her candidacy says about the opposition:

The Democratic Party is boring. And its women are either old or unattractive.

This is not a superficial problem in a country that has embraced superficiality. The Republicans, left for dead, are on the verge of taking back power because they of what they learned from Sarah Palin in 2008: that the values Americans care about are not family, but entertainment. Sure, it's the party of no; it's also the party of fun....

Christine O’Donnell, like Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann and Nikki Haley before her, might not be the most beautiful woman in the world, but she has enough sex appeal for a turn on
Dancing with the Stars, or for a contract with the Fox News mothership, or for a few contentious seasons on the Real Housewives of the Republican Party, if such a show ever existed, and if O’Donnell ever married or raised a family....

Wherever populism reared its head, there used to be sweaty men; now -- in country music, at Fox, and in crossover "Islamaphobe" bloggers who get their picture pasted on the Sunday
Times -- there are at least semi-sexy women....

You might be able to guess where this is going: Obama (though not female) used to seem fun but now seems dull and professorial; Bill Clinton (though also not female) really seemed fun back in the day, as did Hillary; Obama should put Hillary on the ticket and ... well, I'll let you read the punchline yourself.

I might find this a bit more plausible if I didn't read it the same day I learned that Barack Obama is 16 points ahead of Sarah Palin for 2012 in a new Bloomberg poll, and also learned that Christine O'Donnell is still getting trounced, but that Sharron Angle took in a whopping $14 million in donations in the last quarter. Does Junod think we regard Angle as gossip-worthy and/or babelicious? More so than O'Donnell or Palin?

Let's examine the sex appeal of the people who helped bring the GOP back. Rick Santelli? I don't think so. Glenn Beck, the human Muppet? Please. Limbaugh? Hannity? All those old people in tricorn hats? Surely you jest.

Among the surprise winners in this year's primaries, are Rick Scott and Joe Miller and Rand Paul sexy? Um, Carl Paladino?

Let's move on. The thing is, Junod isn't completely off base when he writes that the Obama people mistakenly

thought that after the trauma of the Bush years, we would want a no-drama president; ... endless pages of necessary legislation, achieved at a political cost that proves the party’s commitment and courage; and a few more women on the Supreme Court who prove the party's emphasis on excellence and ethnicity over eros. They didn't realize that what we want is drama and nothing but....

We might have wanted all that in good times, but in bad times we do want a distraction. The distraction isn't sex, however -- it's violence. We want pro wrestling. We want heavy metal. We want football hooliganism.

We would have responded to Obama taking on the fat cats and the GOP, rather than trying to finesse his way through encounters with them. The Republicans stepped in and took him on instead.

And now, as a country, we're screaming for blood. Republicans, to be successful, don't have to look pretty -- they just have to hurt someone.

(Via Balloon Juice.)

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