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Posted at 11:27 AM ET, 02/07/2012

Karen Handel resigns: Deconstructionists needed

[So maybe that’s a headline that goes from the obscure to the incomprehensible. But I bet the Google spiders can read it. Welcome to language in the 21st Century: Humans are not the primary audience anymore.]

[Before I forget: Happy birthday, Charles Dickens!]

I just read the Karen Handel resignation letter, and it’s tough slogging, a bit like picking through tornado debris in search of a survivor. She’s basically saying, this wasn’t just my idea to defund Planned Parenthood, this was a group effort, a team effort, a Board effort, and I don’t like being blamed for this situation and thrown under the bus. This seems to be in response to a whisper campaign against her, as in this anonymously sourced HuffPo piece. That article pins the fiasco on Handel, who is reportedly anti-abortion.

The truth will now be clouded by the selective memories of partisans, publicists and lawyers.

What we need here, as we need so often in life, is a French-style literary deconstructionist, or a semiotician, or someone really fabulous who can swoop in — wearing a cape, probably — and tell us what’s true and false, what really happened, what people are really saying. A decoder. A decipherer. I’m kind of picturing myself here. The cape in particular is appealing, and the tights (implicit).

I’m going to try to snag a job as a semiotician to fill out the remainder of my professional career now that newspapers are becoming something that comes inside a Bazooka Joe bubble gum wrapper.

As a deconstructionist I could help Karl Rove rethink the Clint Eastwood Super Bowl ad. I thought it was beautifully done and surprisingly moving. The sentiments were patriotic. The script was

apolitical on its face.

Rove, however, was offended by what he saw as a veiled endorsement of an Obama second term. Rove believes that the auto bailout has used tax dollars to purchase corporate good will toward Obama and now we’re seeing some payback.

Discuss.

I guess I could figure out how to embed the ad, but the transcript is easier. Here, via the Detroit Free Press, is the script for Clint’s ad — which, important fact, ran at the end of halftime. And so I would suggest that “halftime” is not a metaphor for Obama’s tenure in the White House but refers to the fact that it is, you know, halftime in the game. Clint Eastwood is being a straight shooter here.

Maybe I’m underthinking it.

By the way, Clint voted for McCain.

The script:

It’s halftime. Both teams are in their locker room discussing what they can do to win this game in the second half.

It’s halftime in America, too. People are out of work and they’re hurting. And they’re all wondering what they’re going to do to make a comeback. And we’re all scared, because this isn’t a game.

The people of Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together, now Motor City is fighting again.

I’ve seen a lot of tough eras, a lot of downturns in my life. And, times when we didn’t understand each other. It seems like we’ve lost our heart at times. When the fog of division, discord, and blame made it hard to see what lies ahead.

But after those trials, we all rallied around what was right, and acted as one. Because that’s what we do. We find a way through tough times, and if we can’t find a way, then we’ll make one.

All that matters now is what’s ahead. How do we come from behind? How do we come together? And, how do we win?

Detroit’s showing us it can be done. And, what’s true about them is true about all of us.

This country can’t be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines.

Yeah, it’s halftime America. And, our second half is about to begin.

By  |  11:27 AM ET, 02/07/2012

 
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