Archive for ‘Kathleen Parker’

June 29, 2009


Mark Sanford sex scandal!

John Edwards sex video!

Everything Kathleen Parker knows about love!

(All via Memeorandum.) If you’re in a hurry, guess which one is the shortest item?

January 23, 2009

Can someone tell me . . .

. . . why continues to publish Kathleen Parker? If a “conservative” site is going to publish Parker, why not also publish Michael Moore, Barbra Streisand and Katrina vanden Heuvel?

December 5, 2008

Dear Kathleen Parker . . .

Tempted as I am to write a short post (“bite me”), your dishonest attempt to walk back your “oogedy-boogedy” slur deserves more. Much more.

In seeking to evade responsibility for your studied insult to millions of Americans, you describe a “broad perception among centrists, moderates, conservative Democrats, renegade Republicans, etc. . . . that the GOP is the party of white Christians to the exclusion of others.”

What you call a “broad perception,” Ms. Parker, would more accurately be called a stereotype, and it is your lazy willingness to solicit favor from liberals by demonizing this stereotype of Republicans that has put you in such odium among conservatives.

It is an unfortunate fact that many conservative activists seem incapable of objectivity about the Republican Pary’s image problems. Your “oogedy boogedy” slur obscures, rather than illuminates, the real sources of Republican brand damage. You are therefore part of the problem, not part of the solution.

The GOP’s image problems are multifaceted. There is, for example, the broad perception of Republicans as the party of inherited wealth and privilege, a perception aggravated by having a scion of the Bush dynasty in the White House for the past eight years. There is also the broad perception of Republicans as the party of warmongering jingos . . . er, ditto.

Furthermore, there is the perception of Republicans as the party of grumpy old fuddy-duddies, a perception aggravated by the recent candidacy of a 72-year-old bald guy with a notoriously bad temper. A party that rejects the magnificently handsome millionaire Mitt Romney in favor of a grouchy geezer like Crazy Cousin John isn’t really serious about trying to win elections in the TV age.

So, Ms. Parker, with all these image problems for Republicans to overcome, why your “oogedy boogedy” fixation on white Christians? Answer: Because it is easy — as easy as reaching a “compromise” with Ted Kennedy on No Child Left Behind, as easy as deciding that the solution to illegal immigration is a “path to citizenship,” as easy as selling out the GOP to Jack Abramoff’s casino clients.

So much for the GOP’s problems. Your biggest problem, Ms. Parker, is that you think you’re so smart that no one who disagrees with you can ever catch on to what you’re doing. Let’s go back to your column of Nov. 19:

To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn’t soon cometh.

I call specific attention to your use of the term “evangelical,” by which you actually mean, conservative Protestants. Do you not see this? And do you not see what is wrong with your analysis? You are not the first to do this, Ms. Parker — you follow a path previously trod by Christopher Caldwell and Ryan Sager, among others.

It is an indisputable fact that conservative Catholics are the solid backbone of the Christian pro-life movement. (If you doubt this, come to Washington, DC, for the annual March for Life next month, and witness the crowds of Catholic students packed into the trains at Union Station.) Conservative Catholics also are staunch opponents of same-sex marriage and embryonic stem-cell research, and are the leading activists on the kind of end-of-life issues dramatized by the Terry Schiavo case. And yet you, Ms. Parker, say not a word about Catholics.

When critics of social conservatism single out “evangelicals” as the source of the GOP’s woes, what they actually have in mind is TV preachers like Pat Robertson and the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, as well as (a demeaning stereotype of) their followers. “Poor, undereducated and easily led,” as a Washington Post reporter once summed it up.

If your concern is about the Republican Party’s stance on abortion and other social issues, Ms. Parker, why do you specify “evangelicals” and not conservative Catholics? Answer: Because smearing Catholics still carries the taint of prejudice, whereas conservative Protestants are a favorite target of ridicule among the enlightened elite whose esteem you covet. And when you narrow it down by specifying that you mean white conservative Protestants, this allows you to disguise your appeal to bigotry as a call for diversity! (Neat trick, that.)

We are not stupid, Ms. Parker. We know what you mean by “oogedy-boogedy.” It’s those hillbilly holy-rollers, the Bible-thumping hicks and their slick-hair preachers you mean to hold up for universal scorn as the source of the GOP’s woe.

Your column today indicates you have not yet realized your error, Ms. Parker. The reason liberals single out “evangelicals” for particular scorn can be summed up in three words: Divide et impera. By identifying social issues with hayseed Baptists and Pentacostals, liberals mean to drive a wedge into the conservative coalition, to try to embarrass Catholics, Orthodox Jews and other non-evangelical conservatives by associating their issues with an unfashionable crowd of (supposed) troglodytes.

You, Ms. Parker, claim that your lazy emulation of this liberal tactic was motivated by sincere concern for the Republican Party. You will excuse the eye-rolling disbelief of conservatives, especially after your contemptuous dismissal of Sarah Palin’s prayer that God would lead her to “an open door.”

A woman earnestly seeking God’s will for her life is what’s wrong with the Republican Party?

I searched your latest column for any evidence of contrition for that remark, and found none. This absence of remorse on your part tempts me to make reference to a supernatural conception of the afterlife, Ms. Parker. But rather than tell you to go to hell, I’ll stick to my Bible-thumping hayseed ways, and turn the other cheek. Or is that too “oogedy-boogedy” for you?

UPDATE: Linked at Conservative Grapevine. Linked at Ace of Spade HQ.

UPDATE II: Shannen Coffin takes a swing at the Parker pinata:
At bottom, the fundamental problem with Kathleen Parker’s argument is that leaves to Kathleen Parker the decision as to what is too “oogedy-boogedy” for the public square. She even quotes the indecipherable legal standard proffered by Justice Potter Stewart for cases involving pornography: “I know it when I see it.” . . .
Parker, like Stewart, has failed in intelligibly defining a standard. But she’s failed even more in defending her characterization of the Religious Right as made up of “oogedy-boogedy” fundamentalists who put off moderates.
The problem with the term “moderate” in politics is that it posits some happy medium between equal extremes. Well, then, what’s “extreme”? Planned Parenthood nurses acting as accomplices to statutory rape — is that “extreme”? If so, then I make the “moderate” proposal that we prohibit federal funding of Planned Parenthood. It’s Humpty Dumpty from Through the Looking Glass:
“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”

You either acknowledge Kathleen Parker’s authority to declare what is disreputable “oogedy-boogedy” extremism or you don’t. And I’d like to know where she derives that authority, other than being published by The Washington Post, by which standard E.J. Dionne and Richard Cohen can likewise boss us around at will.