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Friday, September 5, 2008

I Am a Bad, Bad Man

posted by on September 5 at 9:10 AM

In this morning’s mail…

Mr. Savage,

As a Canadian woman with no horse in the race, I am quite excited to watch either a black man or a woman enter your White House. I was also a fan of your writing.

I say “was,” as I was very saddened to read on the CNN website that you called Ms. Palin “the clown car of [a] vice presidential nominee. You never know what’s going to pop out of Palin next.” I am not entirely sure where you find the humor in this? Are you referring to her many children? Are you denigrating her comments? It is fine to disagree, but with the vitriol that you exhibited? I thought you were above that, but am disappointed to find that you are not.

I cannot support someone’s writings who would attempt to marginalize someone else after fighting against being marginalized himself. Yes, I realize that Ms. Palin is a Republican and the viewpoints that it entails, but that doesn’t exclude her from basic respect, just as I would be upset if someone were to attempt to marginalize Mr. Obama. As a gay man who has fought against prejudice I find it odd that you would be quick to give it to another.

You had an opportunity to speak provocatively and enlighten and instead you went for cheap shots and flippery.

Kim Roy

If this is how you react to a crack about a totally reprehensible politician like Palin, Kim, I’m pleased to lose you as a reader.

But the clown car comment was not a reference to Palin’s many children. It was a reference to the cascade of embarrassing revelations—some appalling, some scandalous—that ensued after McCain announced her as his VP pick. Troopergate, the Alaska Independence Party, the pregnant kid, her lies about opposing the bridge to nowhere, etc.

And someone that would write discrimination against gays and lesbians into the U.S. constitution, someone that would’ve prevented me from adopting my son, someone that believes that young women should have to bear children of their rapists, well, that someone deserves a lot of things. My respect, however, ain’t one of ‘em.

RSS icon Comments


Why wuv woo, Dan Savage!!!

And Kim's a girl's name, dude -- you should switch your first and last appellations.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | September 5, 2008 9:14 AM

the "clown car" comment did not rise to the level of "vitriol" by any standard, kim. get a dictionary. use it.

Posted by ellarosa | September 5, 2008 9:19 AM

Dan Savage, bringin' in the LULZ!

Posted by Non | September 5, 2008 9:19 AM

Oh come on! Live up to it. Clearly a reference to her ever-growing brood. I read that sentence, burst out laughing, then immediately sent it to my fiancée so she could share in your subtle awesomeness. I'm disappointed if it was unintentional.

Posted by Jason Petersen | September 5, 2008 9:20 AM

Canada: America's Attic.

Posted by DOUG. | September 5, 2008 9:20 AM

eh, it's probably because you said "pop out of her"

Posted by just guessin' | September 5, 2008 9:21 AM

I thought "clown car" was a funny analogy, and the idea that it referred to her many children did not even cross my mind. Until I read your letter, Kim.

Now, I think "clown car" is an even better analogy.

Posted by Mahtli69 | September 5, 2008 9:24 AM

In Jesus name, amen!

Posted by Lenny | September 5, 2008 9:27 AM

Whenever someone takes the time to write a columnist about how they just lost them as a reader, the columnist always wins. There are a number of different reasons for this, but none of them matter. Chances are, and you know this is true, they'll still read your column.

Posted by Mr. Poe | September 5, 2008 9:29 AM

When I read that quote last night, I couldnt stop laughing... how can you NOT find the humor in that?

Canadians are soooooo sensitive.

Posted by catnextdoor | September 5, 2008 9:30 AM

I gotta say, Dan, I was pretty disappointed in your flippancy, too. I mean, after Sarah Palin took pains to elevate our political discussion and to recognize that ALL Americans are worthy of basic respect, even those on the elite coasts, you call her a clown car? The audacity takes my breath away! Shame on you! Shame!

Posted by Balt-O-Matt | September 5, 2008 9:32 AM

did she not read about what you did to santorum?

Posted by sepiolida | September 5, 2008 9:33 AM

I appreciated the funny analogy too - maybe the best I've seen! I actually never thought of the kids, but that's an interesting twist. I can't credit it appropriately - but I thought I saw someone use "Sarah 'The Gift That Keeps On Giving' Palin." That was obviously the same idea. . .

Posted by mssmith | September 5, 2008 9:38 AM

It's like she's never read anything of your's before, Dan. Her claim that you're losing a reader doesn't make sense. There's some degree of bullshit to her correspondence... but I'm not exactly sure where.

Posted by Gomez | September 5, 2008 9:38 AM

The writer has a point though.

Dismissiveness is not an argument, and contains no ideas. It's just vapid and empty. Might be good fodder for the like minded, but it never persuades the undecided.

Liberals in general seem to be losing the ability to persuade in their maniacal rush to dismiss.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | September 5, 2008 9:39 AM

As another Canadian woman, I'm pretty embarrassed.

Posted by Gloria | September 5, 2008 9:40 AM

I thought it was hilarious. Kim is humourously impared.

Posted by Kal in Canada | September 5, 2008 9:41 AM

That's not a letter from a Canadian woman, it's a letter from a rapid McCain/Palin apologist. Just like the "letters from a reader" on Andrew Sullivan's blog -- my feeling is these "letters" are just another arm of the right wing media plan, or whatever you'd call it.

As if: "I was going to vote for Obama, but after that feisty speech Palin gave & the uncalled for beating she's taking in the press, I'm switching my vote. Be nicer!"

Bullshit, all of it.

Posted by Harvey | September 5, 2008 9:42 AM

If I call Kim Roy a dumb bitch, I'm sure she will think I am marginalizing her for being a woman, when in fact she's just plain stupid. The fact that her mind went straight to vaginas after a "clown car" comment is utterly bizarre, Michelle Duggar aside. Two words, Kim: reading comprehension.

Posted by Ugh | September 5, 2008 9:44 AM

I thought you were above that

Really? You thought Dan was above that? The same guy that licked Gary Bour's (door) knob?

Not a fan. Not a real fan anyway.

Also, that Ms. Palin is a Republican... doesn’t exclude her from basic respect

Yes, it totally does. Dan RULES!

Posted by Mike in MO | September 5, 2008 9:46 AM

Well, I have to admit the first thing I thought of was this classic meme.

Posted by kid icarus | September 5, 2008 9:46 AM

Schmader's influence?

Posted by Trevor | September 5, 2008 9:48 AM

@5 I much prefer United States: Canada's Pants.

(Mostly because that makes the Bible Belt America's sweaty taint.)

Posted by UNPAID BLOGGER | September 5, 2008 9:49 AM

I'm always so amused by letters like this that Dan posts. You've enjoyed reading his stuff for how many years? You've loved everything he's written before? And now you are (pathetically) offended by this *one* thing and you're going to stop reading him forever. That's the maturity level of a six-year-old getting in a fight with her best friend: "I hate you! We're not friends anymore!"

Posted by Amy | September 5, 2008 10:04 AM

People in general who use the phrase "liberals in general" don't know any liberals, nor represent the views of liberals.

Conservatives in general would prefer smaller government and a more level playing field in the marketplace. However, Republicans in general are not conservatives in general, in general. Generally speaking.

It's easy to dismiss Palin using only the words of Republicans and conservatives: she's a lightweight politician chosen for a checklist. If they'd wanted a real powerhouse who was also a woman (checking one box) they could have chosen, I don't know, Elizabeth Dole, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, or a host of other folks whose opinions I may not agree with, but whom could never be easily dismissed. (They could have been insanely cynical and chosen Katharine Harris! Why didn't McCain do that!?)

Posted by Glenn Fleishman | September 5, 2008 10:06 AM

even Canada has pissy feminists, sorry bout that Dan

Posted by Wurm | September 5, 2008 10:24 AM

The children was the only thing i thought of when you said "clown car".

This is a not uncommon meme. Were you seriously unaware of this?

Posted by daniel | September 5, 2008 10:33 AM

As a gay man who has fought against prejudice I find it odd that you would be quick to give it to another.

This word, "prejudice," I do not think it means what you think it means.

Posted by Darcy | September 5, 2008 10:36 AM

I thought Palin was Katharine Harris.

Posted by Sad Comment | September 5, 2008 11:00 AM

hear, here. NICE retort. WHY anyone would suggest we be to nice bullies, especially one like Palin who wants our precious vote so she can have a new job, seems a little milquetoast to me

Posted by Phenics | September 5, 2008 12:07 PM

What is with this Kim?

She acts like she lives in a country where the abortion debate ended decades ago, everyone's had nationalized single-payer health care for decades, and women and gays actually have rights some of which are in their constitution ...

I mean, what's up with that?

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 5, 2008 12:20 PM

Right on Dan!!

Posted by Robin | September 5, 2008 12:31 PM

@ 28: Nice Princess Bride reference!

Also, how great would it have been if McBush had selected Katherine "Crazy as a Shithouse Rat" Harris?

Posted by Mike in MO | September 5, 2008 12:40 PM

Right on Dan!

Posted by Robin | September 5, 2008 12:42 PM

Attaboy, Dan. :)

Don't you just love the uninformed blasting you?

Posted by Joy | September 5, 2008 12:50 PM

@ 28: Nice Princess Bride reference!

Also, how great would it have been if McBush had selected Katherine "Crazy as a Shithouse Rat" Harris?

Posted by Mike in MO | September 5, 2008 12:55 PM

Get ready for more of this.

I was asked what I thought about Palin by a woman the other day, and when I said I hated her response was "Why do you hate women?".


I hate her as a "politician", and everything she stands for, and I'd feel the same way if she were an alien just off the spaceship.

Unfortunately, the woman hater argument will be used frequently by the right to put people on the defensive.

As I said, get used to it.

Posted by paul in kirkland | September 5, 2008 1:08 PM

@ 28: Nice Princess Bride reference!

Also, how great would it have been if McBush had selected Katherine "Crazy as a Shithouse Rat" Harris?

Posted by Mike in MO | September 5, 2008 1:14 PM

But she is an alien, @37 - at least if she gets her way and Alaska secedes from the Union.

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 5, 2008 1:36 PM

@5 and @23 - I've always preferred Rick Mercer's take on the Canada/US relationship. We're bigger than you, and we're on top. If we were in prison, you'd be our bitch!

And speaking as a Canadian woman, I'm offended by this Canadian woman. And while we may not have a horse in the race, we'd be fools to deny that the results of this election will have an impact on other nations, especially your friendly neighbours to the north (who thanks to Dub now require a passport to visit).

Posted by Charm | September 5, 2008 1:43 PM

GODDAMNIT!!!!! Sorry for the triple fucking posts. Posting comments has been kinda hit or miss for me today.

Posted by Mike in MO | September 5, 2008 1:57 PM

@Mike in MO: I'll forgive the triple post if I can keep all three gold stars.

Posted by Darcy | September 5, 2008 2:07 PM

You got it Darcy!

Posted by Mike in MO | September 5, 2008 3:25 PM

@37 What I'm afraid of is that as soon as the Right plays this card, the Democrats will be suitably chastened, knuckle under, back off, and go easier on her.

Posted by Tracy | September 5, 2008 3:41 PM

@23 - Awesome. That makes Washington State the right pocket, always filled with Shiny Thingz!

Posted by uncle baggy | September 5, 2008 3:55 PM

"Clown car" is brilliant.

Posted by Sean | September 5, 2008 5:07 PM

Some people just feel this need to be offended, or #18 is right about it being faked.

The "clown car" comment was a true example of humor, Dan, because it had a unapologetic truth to it (and I don't see how anyone who pays attention to the recent news cycle would view it as a reference to her reproductive activity.)

Keep doing what you do, please! I don't think I can survive the American political climate without you.

Posted by opehliasawake | September 5, 2008 7:49 PM

Palin's record on gay rights is actually IN your favor. She vetoed an Alaskan bill that would have denied govt. workers benefits for same sex partners. She says she has friends that are gay and she feels it's not her place to judge gays.

Posted by GS | September 6, 2008 11:56 AM

you KILLED on Bill Maher Friday 9/5!
I loved seeing you mop the floor with Michael Steele;I don't even want to start on how I feel about HIM!
I couldn't have happened to a nicer person! :-)
The blogsphere chatter is that the Obama campaign could use YOU,Dan,because you certainly know how to land a punch!!

Posted by classysbf | September 7, 2008 7:06 PM

Apparently there are a few more creepy clowns crammed in the back seat yet to come out... this is appalling.

Ya know, when you don't have to worry about YOUR rights hanging in the balance... because you live in CANADA, it's amazing how open and accepting you can be of intolerance, ignorance and scary, SCARY abuse of power.

Posted by ScatteredSpirit | September 8, 2008 7:03 PM

@12 Or Gary Bauer?

Posted by Wintersmith | September 8, 2008 8:54 PM

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