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Don’t cry for me, Alaska

19 January 2011

“No force on Earth can stop Sarah Palin from becoming our very own “lite” version of Eva Perón — a glamorous and tragic legend, minus the tragedy.”

Eugene Robinson’s “Our Evita”, in the Washington Post opinion section (17-January-2010)  garnered over 70 pages of negative comments (when I wrote this), mostly from Palin defenders. While there are a few superficial similarities between the two, the outrage over Robinson’s column should not be coming from from Palinistas, but from Peronistas.

Sarah Palin was a cheerleader before she joined the basketball team, and swung a pom-pom or two, and enjoyed a pampered upbringing.  Eva Duarte was a poor girl from the Pampas who left home at age 15 to make her own way in the world.

Sarah Palin left several colleges while studying for a never successful career in broadcast journalism, ending up in Wasilla, Alaska.  Eva Duarte went through several boyfriends while pursuing a moderately successful career as a radio actress in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires.

Sarah Palin, a little known political figure, caught the attention of an older, nationally known political figure (John McCain) who was desperate to find a gimmick for his electoral campaign.  Eva Duarte, a moderately well-known apolitical figure, caught the attention of the older, nationally known Col. Juan Domingo Perón during a desperate time — at a charity event for victims of the devastating 1944 San Juan earthquake.

Palin’s speeches and rhetoric are largely credited with destroying McCain’s chances of becoming president.  Eva Perón’s speeches and rhetoric are largely credited with saving Juan Perón’s life following the then-Vice President’s arrest during the October 1945 conservative coup.

Palin, as mayor of Wasilla,  demanded the resignation of department heads who she felt were “disloyal.”  During her aborted tenure as Governor of Alaska, she was accused of several ethical violations, but quit before they were investigated.  Eva Peron, as Secretary of Labor, union leader, and President the Partido Peronista Femenino, demanded loyalty to the ideals of a working class movement.

The Fundacíon Eva Peron raised money for social and beneficial services to the poor.  SarahPAC raises money for… Sarah Palin.  And — although thoroughly investigated after her death — the Fundacíon was an extremely well-run charity funded mostly by union donations (in the form of paycheck deductions in return for Labor Secretary Eva Perón’s settlement of wage hikes, true enough…) and popular appeals.  SarahPAC?… meh.

Although, it has to be added, that both Palin and Eva spent other people’s money for clothing, Eva Perón, as first lady, was using approved government funds for her wardrobe.

Eva Peron was the impetus for passage of women’s suffrage in Argentina, and for Argentina becoming the first nation to set aside seats in its legislature for female deputies and Senators.

Eva and Juan Domingo Perón

…represented the aspirations of working.class people and appeared to women to be sincerely determined to improve their lives and working conditions and, most important, to have the real ability to make these improvements.

Sarah Palin claims to be a “hockey mom”… who wants to compare herself to a pit bull while simultaneously whining that she is a victim of the elites because of her gender.

The only real points of comparison is that both are nationalists and populists, whose parties blamed foreigners for much of their nation’s difficulties.  In Argentina, an economic colony of Great Britain, those benefiting from the foreigners, and those opposed to populism were the conservative elites.  In the United States, the conservative elites (who find working class foreigners a national threat) defend Palin.  Eva died young, and — although vilified for a less than perfect personal life — the  “glamorous and tragic” Eva is not easily ridiculed.     Palin’s personal story, like Eva’s has some unexplained gaps too.  But the tacky and pathetic Sarah is … well… well, let’s just say “poles apart”  might refer to more than geography.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. otto permalink
    19 January 2011 7:25 am

    Another difference: Even after all this time, it’s still worth your while crossing a city to visit Eva.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Recoleta_Cemetery

  2. Fatmex permalink
    19 January 2011 8:35 am

    BRAVO!

  3. 19 January 2011 6:38 pm

    Wow, that guy from the Post really hates Evita.

  4. 20 January 2011 6:47 am

    I Also say ” BRAVO!”

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