Maggie Gallagher is pretty good at riding the Victim meme pretty hard, but nobody blows it out of the water like Carrie Prejean.
Let’s take a look back at her saga.
First, she gets named Miss California. I think beauty pageants are completely bogus celebrations of sexism and I find them disgusting, but some people think these women are important role models, so let’s hold them to that standard. Perez Hilton’s there for some reason, and he wants to know if she’ll be a role model for equality. She says No. She loses.
She gets pissed and jumps on the National Organization for Marriage hate bandwagon. She’s everybody’s new favorite conservative because she’ll stand up for what she believes in, even though she can’t even articulate it properly. The pageant strips her of her title for all the endorsements, and then everybody’s suing each other. Prejean wants her contract honored, the pageant wants her to pay them back for her boobs. Speaking of boobs, there were some topless pics found somewhere along the way too.
And if that weren’t enough, then WHAM! Here comes the sex tape (though it was apparently just her and her hand—cue Pink) and it’s pity parties all over again. It was the “worst mistake of her life.” (Apparently openly condemning what was probably her largest fan base at the time—gay men—or even becoming a beauty queen were not decisions she regretted so much. Great life choices in my opinion.) How much courage she has to go on all these shows and talk about the worst mistake of her life! What woman wants to do that?? Well, only a woman who wants to sell her tell-all book about what a target she became for standing up for her beliefs.
Let’s remind ourselves for a second that there is no way to oppose marriage equality without coming off as ignorant and putting your beliefs before other people’s rights. Even Obama can’t do it, and now we’re holding him and the Democrats accountable for it. Does Prejean think it’s admirable to stand up for inequality? I guess that’s what everybody keeps telling her.
The trick of this all, as Republicans fail at time after time, is that if you are going to stand by an unpopular belief in the name of morality, then you raise the standard for the moral light you are seen in. You can’t go toetapping in the airport bathroom or hiking on the Appalachian Argentinian trail and expect to maintain the same moral authority. In fact, pretty much all your moral claims are compromised.
Carrie Prejean, I think, exemplifies the complete ignorance of moral conservatives in the United States. It’s all about talking points and taking umbrage. It’s almost like they’re robots determined to stick to their programming regardless of how much they malfunction. The more publicity they get for their bad (and hurtful) ideas, the more eager they are to share them until they have absolutely no credibility at all.
I know there are a lot of conservatives still eager to keep Carrie in the spotlight, but I think it only continues to hurt their movement (or constipation, as it were). Her appearance last night on Larry King Live was the epitome of buffoonery:
She is unwilling to answer the questions, and then she just takes off her mic like she’s so crafty. I can think of nothing as unprofessional and damaging to your reputation as indignantly refusing to answer fair questions and walking out of a live interview. She’s going to judge his journalistic integrity when he’s the one who’s been conducting interviews on his own show for well over 20 years? What gall! And over what? Not wanting to admit she dropped the suit because she knew she’d get nowhere because of the sex tape? So much for that courage.
Being conservative isn’t about values or morals. It’s about getting attention and making money. That’s why fiscal conservatives lovingly welcome moral conservatives into their mix and TA-DA! It’s the Republican party.
Unfortunately, I think the Prejean experiment—can we get away with it if she’s young and pretty?—failed miserably. I look forward, now, to every Prejean appearance just to see her crumble more and further degrade the reputation of those who think she’s just great.
Moral conservatives, you have to do better. You could try not being so bigoted and see if you get any more respect. Just a thought.