Fashion plate

The hypocrisy, it burns: it was reported that the Republican National Committee spent $150,000 in donated funds on clothing, hairstyling, makeup and other “campaign accessories” for Sarah Palin during the month in September.  To clarify, that’s $150,000, six times what the average American earns per year, in one month.  A single shopping trip to Neiman-Marcus cost $75,000, which is more than most of us will spend on clothing in a lifetime.  You know Sarah Palin, right? The crusader for hardworking humble folks, the patron saint of Joe the Plumber, whose sole concern is for smalltown “real Americans,” as opposed to the rest of us fake Americans who are just sitting on our asses reading special editions of The Communist Manifesto that are bound in the skin of Christian babies.  Yeah, that Sarah Palin.  It cost $150,000 to promote her image as a typical middle-class working parent.

Now, before I go on, let me say that $150,000 is a drop in the bucket to the $84 million spent on the McCain/Palin budget during the fall.  Also, it’s within proper guidelines that a certain amount of campaign funds are allotted towards providing candidates with clothing and stylists for public appearances.  After all, you don’t want your candidate giving an interview to Charlie Rose with five o’clock shadow and wearing a FREE MUSTACHE RIDES t-shirt.  This isn’t an issue of questionable spending, if the RNC wanted to spend all their money on giant styrofoam “#1” fingers and thongs with John McCain’s face on them, they could have, as they really only need to answer to their donors.  It’s a matter of simple hypocrisy.  As we get closer to zero hour, and McCain continues to lose his holding in the polls, it’s not just the blatant hypocrisy committed by his campaign that increases but the phony “I don’t know what you’re talking about” obliviousness that goes with it.  They brand Barack Obama as a socialist with ties to known terrorists, then have the audacity to claim that it’s Obama who is running one of the most negative campaigns in American history.  Neither John McCain or Sarah Palin have made even the most minute effort to publicly rein in some of their more vehement supporters, the ones who are vandalizing cars with Obama bumper stickers on them, calling in death threats to campaign offices and harassing people on their way in to vote early with abusive and racist remarks, yet people like Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh gripe about Obama’s “cult of personality,” his supporters who have a bit of hero worship for their candidate.  It’s not Obama supporters who are tearing down campaign posters and replacing them with Confederate flags.  It’s not Obama supporters who are killing animals and leaving them out in the open covered with “vote Obama” placards.  Palin has nothing to say against it, while the best McCain can offer is a wishy-washy “well, you’re going to find people like that wherever you go.”  They talk a lot about real American values, and yet never once have they spoken out definitively about how haranguing, harassing and threatening our peers over their political views is about as un-American as you can get.  Sarah Palin claims that Barack Obama was anti-feminist in not choosing Hillary Clinton as a running mate, despite her own running mate claiming he chose her to “counter the liberal feminist agenda.” This is not the first time Palin and McCain have directly opposed each other, seemingly unbeknownst to either of them, on political issues, as they also haven’t seemed to discuss abortion and gay marriage either.  You’d think that would have been one of the more important qualifications when McCain was in the process of choosing his running mate, that they actually agree with each other on things, now it seems as though it was a hasty decision meant solely to promote a horseshit “edgy Washington outsider” image.  Which, of course, we’ve known all along.

And now there’s this, the news that “America’s hockey mom” Sarah Palin currently has a six-digit clothing budget, with items from such high-end designers as Valentino.  I don’t think I’ve even been in the same room as an article of clothing from Valentino, let alone bought or worn one, I have no doubt the same holds true for most people, particularly Palin’s so-called constituents.  Conservative blowhards like Michelle Malkin and Sean Hannity look for every opportunity to point out how “elitist” Obama and his supporters are, how we think we’re above working class folks like Joe the Plumber, Ed the Electrician, Steve the Bricklayer, Larry the Garbage Man, Bill the Locksmith, et. al.  Yet the reaction from the conservative base to these considerable expenditures is to shrug it off.  A McCain campaign spokesperson had the audacity to comment with “With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it’s remarkable that we’re spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses,” when the New York Post, one of the few newspapers in the Northeast endorsing McCain, printed an article blasting Michelle Obama for ordering lobster and caviar while staying at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan last week, all on taxpayers’ dimes.  That’d be shameful enough on its own, except that there’s no evidence that Michelle Obama ordered lobster and caviar at the Waldorf-Astoria last week.  Or that she stayed at the Waldorf-Astoria.  Or that she was even in New York City.  McCain supporters are blatantly making shit up about the Obama campaign, and his spokesperson feigns “shame on you” surprise and dismay that people are questioning information that they made available?

You know, I don’t care how much Sarah Palin spends on her clothes right now, I really don’t.  If she has the means available to spend $500 on a pair of boots, or $700 on a purse, or $200 on a haircut, lucky her, she’s as of now only accountable to Republican National Committee donors and the state of Alaska.  I don’t really care how much anyone spends on clothes and the other accoutrements necessary to look good for public appearances, as long as it’s not my money they’re spending.  However, much like the complaints over Palin not being airbrushed enough for the cover of Newsweek last week, how much longer can they keep this charade of Palin being “the people’s candidate” going? Who are they kidding? It was insulting weeks ago, now it’s become ludicrous.  Are there still women out there who feel that they can relate to her, that she’s just like them? Can we find these women and drop bowling balls on their heads, just to knock a little sense back into them? How can anyone praise with a straight face her chiding Barack Obama’s tax plan as “taking away from the little people” when the cost of the jacket she wore to the vice-presidential debate was equal to the cost of several months of health insurance for a family of four? If she was so empathetic to the financial issues of working families, wouldn’t it have made more sense to get her wardrobe from Old Navy or JC Penney? Those are perfectly serviceable stores, most of the rest of us have to rely on them for our “nice” clothes.  Even McCain’s own people know there’s no positive spin that can be put on this, so they refuse to answer it straight, turning it around to make it look like poor little Sarah, America’s princess, is being persecuted by meanie liberals again.  Though she claims she speaks for us, she doesn’t have to answer to us.


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