ARIANA VS. ANGELYNE

The ubiquitous Mark Steyn wonders why Arianna Huffington is taken seriously by the media and yet the well-endowed woman who calls herself Angelyne is not:

Like Angelyne, Arianna doesn’t act, doesn’t sing, doesn’t dance, doesn’t take her clothes off. She simply declared herself a political force: The announcement is the movement. Yet, unlike Angelyne, there she was all over the Sunday talk shows, sharing split-screens with Cruz Bustamante as if she too were a credible politician. Even more bizarre were those usually savvy observers who pondered whether the race would come down to Arnold vs. Arianna, as if the latter were a credible celebrity.

To be fair, unlike Angelyne, whose two most notable features are remarkably unchanged since their first appearance in 1982, Arianna does show a Madonnaesque shrewdness for reinvention. In Hollywood in 2000, she backed Warren Beatty for president, but he wimped out. In Washington in the ’90s, she adored Newt Gingrich, until she figured he was a busted flush. In New York in the ’80s, she hooked up with wealthy Republican Michael Huffington, but he didn’t have the fire in his belly. In London in the ’70s, she was the young paramour of Fleet Street heavyweight Bernard Levin, but he was too old and content. In Hooterville in the ’60s, she had a recurring role on “Green Acres” as Eva Gabor’s ambitious younger sister, forever trying to talk Eddie Albert into running for the Hooterville School Board. “But, dahlink, yoo vood moov Hooterville politics beyond the tired left/right dichotomy.” Alas, her men, like her enviro-friendly cars, never quite go the distance. Even in their allegedly sinister heyday, Michael and Arianna Huffington seemed less suited to play Macbeth and Lady M than “[M]y Big Fat Greek Wedding” in dinner theatre at Coconut Grove. So Arianna Gabor Stassinopoulos Huffington has finally quit trying to jumpstart defective vehicles for her political drive, and do it herself.

I can’t help feeling this is an ill-advised move. She describes herself as a “recovering Republican” who was a “compassionate conservative” before George W. Bush was, but has now “evolved” into a “compassionate progressive.” Label-wise, she’s more of a trickle-down populist, who figures if you network at enough A-list parties,word will eventually leak out to the 29 million Californians who weren’t invited.

As for her policies, she says: “I don’t think about gays in the military. I don’t think about gays at all except when they’re doing my hair or makeup. Seriously, they’re very artistic.”

Whoops, that’s Angelyne again. Arianna, if I understand correctly, believes Mr. Bush is really to blame for California’s problems, Gray Davis is “too conservative,” the people need more government programs and fewer SUVs, and the war in Iraq has meant cuts in education spending. Does that sound “new” to you? America spends more per schoolkid than any other developed nation and has less to show for it. And, whatever the degree of voter anger in the Golden State, it’s not a demand for higher taxation for more government programs while you drive around in a secondhand Honda Civic.

Heh. Go read the rest.

FILED UNDER: US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. John Lemon says:

    This was a hilarious and insightful column. One of his better ones.