History and America are filled with single minded women in hot pursuit of making a mark in the rites of politics and taking the reins of power in epochal times, the archetypes of the era’s innocent and evil, loopy and guile. Cleopatra whose soft spoken wiles betrayed a laser focus on co-opting an Empire and compromising its leaders; Queen Nzinga of Angola who played European states like Nero’s fiddle to protect enroachment upon her territory as Europe expanded Atlantic slavery; Marie Antoinette who applied free market theory to starving pleasants thinking it would solve her country’s recession, and who in upholding law and order went a step further than “second amendment remedies.” And Mary, Queen of Scots, who didn’t separate church and state; instead, focused on separating heads. (Jan Brewer seems to be channeling her!) All stepped up to the big time at a time when the times were troubled, in a season of rabid discontent.
Milwaukee’s Golda Meir was the first “Mama Grizzly,” and fiercely protected her lair against predators who lay claim against its establishment. The final open air ride of Benair Bhutto, whose death our foreign policy (or her widowed husband) seemed to have learned nothing from. Further examples.
This season brings an extended series of premieres to the national stage. Nikki Haley of South Carolina who wants to balance the state’s budget by taxing the groceries of poor people and the middle class touts her “true conservatism.” A Democrat, the All-America sounding Kesha Rogers, running for Tom DeLay’s old Congressional seat (“Without DeLay” was once her slogan) on a platform that includes impreaching Obama for supporting the goals of Britain’s colonialism (She and the Newt can debate splitting the difference over whose colonialism it really is.) These are candidates deserving of wider recognition, by pundit’s polls (geeks seeking higher ratings). They are entertaining, are fearless about their warts and faux pas, have views that chart new political courses – and have withstood direct challenges by their own parties. They, like the others, won the first round.
Do they deserve to lose? You bet’cha. While admiring that they resisted limiting their passion to facials and gossip, theirs is the politics of mud and pet phrases. Of less is more; of my own proud anti-achievements being the reason I will protect the right to achieve. Of answer the question for me that you just asked of me. Of don’t answer, don’t tell. Of hot anger being the season’s new flavor of political passion. Despite their early success and shifts of blame and repeated loud denials, history clearly shows that the curious enchantment of their charms falls flat in governing in crises or for progress. They are the unembraceable you.