Cupcakes? I think Twinkies is more like it!

From Gene Lyons at  Salon:

To the connoisseur of American political theater, the most entertaining aspect of the 2010 election season has been the rise of the right-wing cuties — political celebrities whose main qualification is looking terrific on television. From where I sit, in a comfortable chair in front of the tube, the GOP Cupcake Factor has enlivened an otherwise dreary campaign season.

To put it another way: If you don’t love Christine O’Donnell, you don’t love America. The Republican Senate nominee from Delaware exemplifies a basic truth about politics in the age of cable television: An attractive woman with a glib demeanor and a telegenic smile almost can’t be too crazy.

I don’t think Sharron the Obtuse Angle qualifies as a cupcake. Maybe a stale slice of pound cake that’s only half-baked.

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Everybody knows some poor fool who married a woman like that. Other women befriend them, because they tell such interesting stories. After the stories turn out to be big lies, people usually tiptoe away.


A man who’d made half the screwball pronouncements O’Donnell’s emitted in her career as a talk show guest — virtually the only job she’s ever had — would be seen as dangerously unhinged (unless his name was Newt Gingrich, an obvious exception). Outside Delaware, O’Donnell appears destined to be seen mainly as a TV performer, like Sarah Palin and the third member of the Republican cute caucus, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Trends always come in threes; it’s one of the rules.


[Aside from holding elected office,] Bachmann also differs from Palin and her Delaware understudy in that her crazy comes in paragraphs instead of sound bites. She was in classic form at the “Values Voter Summit,” totally misconstruing a long-ago remark Obama made about “negative” constitutional rights — which she described as “infantilism,” as if the president wanted to take them away.

Of course, what legal scholars call “negative rights” are those the government can’t take away, such as free speech, religious worship and our precious firearms.


Characteristically, Bachmann’s point is almost as obscure as it is absurd. Even so, as no less an authority than Bill Clinton recently pointed out, “She’s very attractive in saying all these things she says, but (they’re) pretty stupid.”

That’s the essence of the thing. From the Republican point of view, the beauty of the Cupcake Factor is that it confounds liberal pieties, imagined and real. Sure it was dumb of the McCain campaign to think women voters angered by the naked misogyny directed at Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Democratic primaries (MSNBC pundit Mike Barnicle compared her to “everyone’s first wife standing outside of probate court”) would flock to Sarah Palin.

But they did make her a TV star. The former Alaska governor’s whole act is a calculated affront to Democratic “feminist” sensibilities.


[…] Time’s political pundit Mark Halperin, who recently rhapsodized about Palin’s commercial “genius.” “Palin,” he explained, “is operating on a different plane, hovering higher than a mere celebrity, more buoyant than an average politician.” Yes, but a political celebrity in the age of Fox News doesn’t need a majority, only an enraptured minority.


Now comes Christine O’Donnell: Younger, warmer, likewise a charter member of the Junior Anti-Sex League (Roman Catholic Division). Alaska probably wouldn’t be big enough for both of them. But Delaware’s a long way off. Palin knows an ally when she sees one. She’s advised O’Donnell to stick with Fox News, ignoring the “lamestream” media — in effect conceding the election but building her personal brand.

For all the nuttiness of O’Donnell’s pronouncements — campaigns against masturbation, warnings against genetically engineered mice with human brains, teenage dabbling in witchcraft — she’s clearly not stupid, capable of reading a speech off a teleprompter, and entirely at ease in front of a TV camera.

Stardom beckons. Why O’Donnell would want to waste her time on something as pedestrian as the U.S. Senate I cannot imagine.


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24 responses to “Cupcakes? I think Twinkies is more like it!

  1. It’s nice to see Lindsey OUT and about. You know Sharron Obtuse Angle is the one who falls asleep first and the one whose hand ends up in cold water so she pees herself.

  2. You missed the obvious cake joke. They’re all fruitcakes, which are usually also full of nuts!

  3. “she’s clearly not stupid, capable of reading a speech off a teleprompter, and entirely at ease in front of a TV camera”

    For the record, George Bush can do those things too.

    Maybe we should call the”The funda-mentalities”?

    Hey! How ’bout the GOP putting out a picture book….more than half the pages in the Pledge to America are pictures!

    Too Funny!

  4. Most of those cupcakes are way past the sell-by date. Angle should be something a little bit more leathery. Someone should warn Pristine about the foot queers, she’s liking that rub way to much on the sin scale. When will the Princess understand that her qualifications in life are best suited for selling cheap bracelets on QVC. One thing for sure, if the U.S. Department of Cake became a cabinet position, Governor Christie would be the choice to run it!

  5. Joanaroo

    And don’t forget those other Hostess classics: Ho-Ho’s, Ring Dings and Devil Dogs! Love that poster, Nonnie! By the way, did you see Jon Stewart talk about the *new* GOP platform for November? For those who didn’t, he took 2006 and 2008 footage that was cut in with today’s, with the same people, and guess what?! It’s all the same old shit! Or as Jon said, *The same fucking crap!* I had told a hometown blogger that I hadn’t seen this highly anticipated piece of fiction, but what I heard from the Values Summit was the same old fearmongering, racism, homophobia and have and have mores crap as we’ve heard for the last 4 elections, and dog my cats, if that isn’t just what they’re delivering again!

  6. Joanaroo

    By the way, I hope when Pristine Christine *Can we ban that Divinyls song from the airwaves?* O’Donnell goes to the store she covers her eyes when going by the cookies and cakes section. I mean, Twinkies and Devil Dogs can be said to resemble fingers or little penises. And God forbid she hear the term *ladyfingers*!

  7. jeb

    Christine’s fingers are pristine. We know where they’ve never been.