By Victor Davis Hanson
How do you ensure that you won’t be ostracized, denounced, or fired if you are a media celebrity, captain of industry, or high public official?
For some, sexist banter is certainly no problem. Stand-up comedian Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a c–t and a tw-t, but suffered no ill consequences. David Letterman joked on air that Sarah Palin’s 14-year-old daughter had had sex with Alex Rodriguez during a New York Yankees game. There was no downside to that either. President Obama tosses around “sweetie” as he wishes. No problem with that. No one believes Barack could be condescending to women.
It is not just that sloppy speech can, with the right ideological insurance, become irrelevant. Inconvenient truths can be insured against too. Barack Obama’s female staffers make far less than do their male counterparts, at least by the quirky sort of standards that the president himself applies to others to win petty victories in his vaunted war against the war against women. Bill Clinton had sexual relations with a young staffer, in what feminists would call a classic exploitative situation of disparate power. Most such bosses would be fired for hitting on their young assistants. If Woody Allen were not insured as a left-wing filmmaker, he would have been ostracized out of Hollywood.
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Racism is not necessarily a job killer either. How could it be, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid claimed during the 2008 campaign that a “light-skinned” Barack Obama spoke with “no Negro dialect.” Joe Biden, himself a candidate in that election, said of Obama that he was the “first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean.” Despite such racist drivel, a fully ideologically insured Biden was rewarded with the nomination for vice president. […]
Sometimes progressive insurance involves far more than just liberal rhetoric. Perceptions, however superficial, matter as well. Had George Zimmerman just insured himself by taking his mother’s maiden name and Latinizing his first name, Jorge Mesa would not quite so easily have incurred liberals’ wrath in the Trayvon Martin case. Even the New York Times would have been stumped in its crude attempts to whip up racial hatred by reinventing Zimmerman with the neologism “white Hispanic.”
A Barry Dunham would not have had the resonance with liberals that the exotically multicultural brand of Barack Obama conveys. Even a preppy-sounding President Barry Obama would have had trouble playing golf so incessantly, in a way Barack does not.
Plagiarism is usually an absolute career killer. But you can take out progressive insurance against that as well. Just ask former plagiarists Joe Biden, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Juan Williams, and Fareed Zakaria.
Read more: National Review
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