Saturday, November 13, 2004

Sister Susan Trades Her Habit for Some Spikes

MEDIA OPPORTUNITY - Politics, lifestyles, some travel, regular features. Only hack work. Young, good experience, contacts. Connection to major politcal parties acceptable. 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Attn: MSNBC.

And -- presto!! -- former New York Congresswoman from Staten Island, US Representative Susan Molinari, The Flying Nun of the GOP in absentia, rolls onto the set of Hardball with Tweety and Trippi bashing "irresponsible" bloggers in their ceaseless attempts to influence an Ohio recount. Appearing more like Sister Mary Elephant with wild eyes ablaze than the subtle Sister Bertrille, Trippi must have wanted to ask her were the bloggers out of touch when they took on CBS over the validity of the Texas Air National Guard documents. But the erstwhile Molinari was going to have none of this and the viewer must have been waiting for the inevitable ... "class! ... class! ... CLASS! ... SHADDUP!" ... to rumble the speakers and shake Tweety from his perch.

It seems everytime that the GOP wants to erode abortion rights they drop a dime and call on Molinari to start the speaking engagements. The pattern began in 1996 during the failed Robert Dole campaign, where she was made the RNC keynote speaker to rile the rethug troops on the issue of family values.

Those Molinari Family Values are a strange brew indeed:

Barely twenty years ago, this gum-smacking, chug-a-lugging, carefree young Staten Islander was taking a whirl on the political winds of her father, Guy, a powerful, old-time New York politician, and squeaking into a seat on the New York City Council. Back then she declared her goal in life: to own a bar in the Bahamas. Today, she and her second husband, [former] National Republican Congressional Committee head Representative Bill Paxon, and [their] omnipresent new baby have been transformed into a sort of G.O.P. mod squad ripe for the cover of Time.

She wed her first husband, John Lucchesi -- a high school graduate and quiet tough-guy wannabe five years her junior, who appeared to have little in common with her besides working in an adjacent office -- not long before her father vacated his Congressional seat, paving the way for her to run for it as a married woman in a traditional, blue-collar district. Just days after being elected to her first full Congressional term, she left Lucchesi. She eventually married her fellow Republican Representative from New York, a first marriage for Paxon, who during one Congressional campaign had distributed a brochure showing himself with a woman and a baby in what looked like a family portrait -- but wasn't.

The next public baby was Paxon and Susan's. Molinari, a Catholic, even made a point of telling the press her baby was conceived in Israel, presumably appealing to yet another constituency. When she delivered by Caesarean section on Mother's Day and got on the front pages for it, Molinari-watchers had to be excused for wondering if the timing was coincidental. Molinari inexplicably clutched sleeping Susan Ruby while meeting with reporters after Dole's announcement of her convention speech.

[ ... ]

On another level of hypocrisy, the Paxon-Molinaris -- avid boosters of harsh punishment and swift retribution -- have some history to contend with. Both Susan and her husband bounced checks on the House bank in 1991; Molinari had to take back initial claims of blamelessness she made to The New York Times. And Paxon first maintained he had written no bad checks, then admitted to four, totaling $286, until the Buffalo News reported that the fiscal conservative had bounced a whopping ninety-six, for a total of $18,000, ranking him among the New York delegation's four worst transgressors. Cool couple.

Dressed more like a nun who had been defrocked for shaving contributions from the collection hat, the juxtaposition of Truth versus Slander was never more resplendent. Especially when it comes to Congresswoman - err, Congressnun - Molinari. Once considered a rising star in the GOP, where did all the good will go? It seems to sink into the realm of rumors and bizzare innuendo via The Royal Flush, known as Congregate, from columnist for Lesbian and Gay New York Andy Humm:

... the alleged blackmailing of Rep. Bill Paxon and reporter Sandy Hume by House majority leader Dick Armey, which may have led to Hume's bizarre suicide and Paxon's decision to leave the House of Representatives. Humm has published two pieces in L+GNY about the case. He told the Flush, "Paxon and Hume attended a Republican Party fundraiser together the night before Hume's suicide."

Other Hummings:
1. Hume had "a reputation for coke addiction as a reporter in Warrenton, Va."

2. "Years ago, at a conference of gay SUNY students, an activist bragged about sleeping with Paxon, then a state legislator."

3. That councilman "Sal Albanese went to a reporter with a file of materials on Susan Molinari's alleged relationship with a female aide after her divorce," when Albanese was running against Molinari for Congress.

4. Humm turned us on to an article in the Buffalo Beat (Paxon's district is in Buffalo) which reported that Paxon and Hume had "angry public words" at the fundraiser before Hume killed himself, and that the Hill, Hume's employer, got calls from the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek and Time asking about the connection between Paxon and Hume.

Maybe this is why Sister Susan looks so angry these days - being built up only to be torn down is savage business in the bizarre world of politics. Because the future was once a clean and well-lighted place full of sunbeams and bromides and luxury sedans where almost everybody seemed glowingly happy, except for those who knew in their gut what was missing. So there she was, having being pushed slowly and quietly into that hallway where the terminally crazy shout and scream between medication rounds, on talking heads cable TV, with a final understandiing that the one thing she really wanted is no longer there. Power. Missing. Slipped off to the warehouse. Back ordered stock.

Watching the pig farm of pundits on post-election Hardball recalls what Hunter S. Thompson once reviled: "Most journalists will tell you that they strive, above all else, to be objective, to be responsible, to tell it like it is and some of them actually do that, every once in a while. It is a hard trick, and objective journalism is usually just another word for what Tim Crouse described in his classic, 'The Boys on the Bus,' as 'pack journalism' where even the best and the brightest in our business would rather be safe than sorry."

Then again, MSNBC isn't about journalism or taking risks - it's about opinion, hype and pundit justification. Of course, Sister Susan is spliced in between three or four desperate breaking news bulletins about Fallujah, but it's just more duplicitous Pentagon propaganda, stating the polar opposite of what is really going on: US Armed Forces attacking radical jihadists so that free "elections" can happen in January. Well, Jesus H. Christ! Iraq will be democratic, just like us! Not even a psuedo-Catholic like Molinari or Matthews can keep a straight face. We are no more transferring power back to the Iraqis than we are about to stop killing them.

Say two Our Father's and three Hail Mary's - Christ is Coming, George was elected and your kids pick up the tab.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home