04 February 2009

Michael Steele as Bizarro

In response to a blog post here which compared new GOP Chairman Michael Steele with John Henry Irons (after making the assertion that President Barack Obama is Superman), I opined that perhaps Michael Steele's selection as GOP chairman fits not so much with John Henry Irons, but rather as Bizarro Superman.

Like most comic book characters, Bizarro has many incarnations and histories spanning decades. In the interests of making a concise comparison, however, I've decided to use the version from the last Superman Animated Series to demonstrate the creation of Bizarro and how it related to Michael Steele's selection as GOP chairman.

The GOP, desperate to find their own "Superman" (especially seeing as how their 'Republican Wonder Woman' project failed miserably) , decides to "emulate" the flavor of the moment once again. And, on the surface, the GOP's Superman will have many of the same powers and abilities. However, this Superman is answerable only to Lex Luthor (admittedly, this version is not as smart).

Michael Steele's main ability, it would seem, would be the ability to leverage the press to attack Obama, the Democrats, and their policies while making the claim that the attacks are not racist in nature. However, the attacks will still be framed around the usual ideological talking points of the GOP, even when the talking points are outrageous, inaccurate, or outright distortions. However, this will be one of the primary methods by which Republicans will attack the Obama Administration in the years to come.

Unfortunately, there is a fatal flaw in the logic, as demonstrated here (in Superman TAS):

The problem with cloning a popular personality is that the results are always unpredictable - and that the results don't follow a predictable pattern. Michael Steele may be an actual bid to take the GOP closer to the "center" and make it more representative of Americans in general, but first, he'll have to overcome the image of the GOP, which is composed of people like Joe (plumber, war correspondent, GOP advisor?), Sarah (who, not too long ago, accused a sitting United States Senator of aiding and abetting an enemy of the United States. This crime was never reported by Governor Palin to the authorities, but instead exploited for political gain), David (noted White Supremacist and current/former Klansman), and that's just on the surface. It's not even including those like Grover Nordquist (he of "Starve the Government so that he could drown it in a bathtub" fame), or Senate Republicans (who scream "Tax Cuts" at the top of their lungs, happily vote for bailouts for rich investment bankers, but yell foul when the money is being directed at average Americans when the word "Union" is somehow involved).

So, is Michael Steele the real deal, or more of the same from a Party whose face hasn't changed in more than 40 years? Only time will tell.

01 February 2009

Ignorance without Consequences

During my reply to Willow's Post, "No Means No" , I started to reply that the people involved were basking in the glow of their ignorance.

But then, it hit me why this is the case - and why, regardless of the approaches used, the obsequiousness of the PoC responding to the drivel, nor the "educational level" of the posters involved, the same outcomes occur in 99% of the time.

It is the Exercise of Ignorance Without Consequences...or Repercussions. I don't know if Power Privilege has ever been defined as such - but when it comes down to it, this is the ultimate action of Privilege: The ability to ignore facts, informed opinion, and/or the reality of the moment without having to suffer immediate consequences and/or long-term retribution because of it. And, by extension, it allows the Privileged group to draw some unrealistic (and terrible) conclusions regarding other people and having the levers of their power act accordingly, whether it is on a personal (group); political; financial; or legal level.

People of Color are never allowed this freedom of ignorance. Especially when it comes to dealing with the World at large. This kind of ignorance often leads to a loss of job...or a loss of freedom...or a loss of love...

...or even a loss of life.

Ignorance is only "bliss" if you have the power avoid the consequences and brush off the repercussions of being willfully oblivious to those around you.

And that is what the exercise privilege is.