Belaboring the Obvious

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tone Poem for an Air-Conditioned Ditchdigger....

Excerpts from Gov. Mark Sanford's emails to his Argentinian paramour have generated facepalms all over the blogosphere for their sheer adolescent ardor, but, it seems to me that his ode to digging dirt in expensive equipment has the same gentleman farmer feel to it that Bush's chainsawing the shit out of salt cedar for the cameras had over these last many years.

It was simply for effect, meant to impress in the absence of any real substance, sort of, "I dig holes in the earth with big honking machinery, so I am of the earth," that sort of thing. He doesn't do this for a living, and as a gentleman farmer who makes a lot more money on investments and his gov's salary than he does on crops, he's not going to go hungry if the crop fails, or if he just fucks up something that would put a real farmer out of business. In South Carolina, I suspect it's a sort of genteel substitute for four-wheel monster truck mudding. More to the point, it's something that I doubt very seriously that the good governor would want to do, day in and day out, for a paycheck--handed out by some hard-hatted and hard-headed moron with a persecution complex--on which his well-scrubbed family would have to depend, and so it seems to be an affectation in same way that Bush's antics appeared.

In Sanford's case, that's particularly troublesome, since there are likely a lot of people in his state who had to do such work, day in, day out, for pinheads like the governor and who no longer are working, through no fault of their own, and whom the governor is determined to teach a hard--and unnecessarily harsh--lesson by denying them federal extended unemployment benefits, strongly suggesting that he actually has no appreciation at all for the work itself and its loss to those in real need of it.

So, his email to his paramour is meant to convey the impression that he's a manly man, capable of dominating a big piece of machinery, while his actual policies show him to be a weaselly, miserly little prick who'll screw the people who have to do the same thing every day for a living so he can score points with his other gentleman farmer friends.

Is there any wonder why the Republicans--especially the ones who make a point of politicizing their Christian faith--reveal themselves as hypocrites and phonies? Should there be any wonder why they eventually show themselves to be much less than they purport to be when they're running for office?

A man who plays at real work as a break from "reality" doesn't have a fucking clue about reality, or real work, and can never respect it. Sanford's departures from marital fidelity, and his willingness to lie about it, right up to the point of public confrontation over his dissembling, is a lesser indication of his character than are his public policies. That South Carolinians are willing to go on voting for politicians who have no respect for them--simply because those politicians shovel a lot of horseshit about their unique moral character and their special relationship to Jesus--should be the bigger lesson in this little morality play.


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