Monday, March 6, 2023

Quote of the Day (Lewis Black, on Kellyanne Conway)

“She’s not the person you hire when you need to explain what a crazy man meant. She’s the person you need to get when you want to get rid of your daughter’s cheerleading rival.”—American comedian Lewis Black, on former Trump communications adviser Kellyanne Conway, quoted by Anne Thompson and Kate Erbland, “Trump, Triumph and Speaking Truth to Power: Politics Take a Bow at 2017 Writers Guild Awards,” IndieWire, Feb. 20, 2017

For years, people have mouthed the cliché, “Politics makes strange bedfellows.” This past weekend, with the news that Trump diehard Kellyanne Conway and her tweeting husband George will be divorcing, we can now say, “Politics makes ex-bedfellows.”

The natural tendency in a case like this is not to allow political differences to color how one feels about the breakup of a couple in the public eye. That’s particularly the case for the Conways, who not only have children who will be collateral damage in the breakup of their marriage but who also are traditional conservative Catholics for whom divorce is close to anathema. There are sad, even tragic, aspects to this story.

But…this is Kellyanne Conway we’re talking about, folks. In the cutthroat world of political spin, she has, like the pirate Blackbeard, asked no quarter and will get none.

For the last seven years, nobody was in serious doubt how long Kellyanne would put up with the “crazy man” to whom Black referred above. The real question, we came to see, was how long she could put up with George.

Now we know. The answers to those questions are not to her benefit. 

Some have likened the Kellyanne-George marriage to the James Carville-Mary Matalin union. I don’t think that analogy quite cuts it. 

You have to look further back, to the John and Martha Mitchell marriage and divorce, to see something closer to this—another case where a spouse, originally all in with her husband’s President, cried out in protest when that boss finally cried the line. (Luckily, there is little likelihood that George Conway, an affluent attorney, will be gaslit, the way that poor Martha was by the Nixon administration during Watergate.) 

Kellyanne is the best current embodiment of the George Orwell statement, "In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible." I must say, I had more respect for Reese Witherspoon's Election character Tracy Flick after seeing Conway's tired act.

In her memoir last year, Kellyanne seemed to be preparing the way for her divorce by accusing George of “tweeting by cheating,” of violating their marriage vows to “love, honor, and obey” with his social-media rants against her boss.

But, if she is horrified by “cheating but tweeting,” how can she feel about a Troll-in-Chief addicted to the same thing, as well as cheating by real cheating—on his wives, with those with whom he engaged in business for the last half-century, and on the country?

(The image accompanying this post, of Kellyanne Conway speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, was taken Feb. 23, 2017, by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, Arizona.)

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