The 2010 Pulitzer for Not Being a Monster Anymore

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I think Michael Miner has it about right when he says that Kathleen Parker won a Pulitzer for commentary by going against type, and it's worth remembering that she made some notable waves when she argued that Sarah Palin is a doofus. By that standard Tina Fey should have a MacArthur and I should have been a finalist for tying my shoes every morning, but it made Parker an apostate.

Roy Edroso describes her as an "anodyne, conservative-MoDo," and anodyne is about right, at least as far as her Pulitzer-winning efforts go. I browsed through her 2009 columns yesterday and was surprised how, well, house-trained she seemed, especially compared to a 2008 piece that will live in infamy (h/t @wmharnett for the reminder):

"A full-blooded American."

That's how 24-year-old Josh Fry of West Virginia described his preference for John McCain over Barack Obama. His feelings aren't racist, he explained. He would just be more comfortable with "someone who is a full-blooded American as president."

Whether Fry was referring to McCain's military service or Obama's Kenyan father isn't clear, but he may have hit upon something essential in this presidential race.

Remember: it's not racist.

Who "gets" America? And who doesn't?

Bruce Springsteen? Richard Hofstadter? I have no idea.

We love to boast that we are a nation of immigrants — and we are. But there's a different sense of America among those who trace their bloodlines back through generations of sacrifice.

Yes, yes there is, which explains my home state's celebration of Treason In Defense of Slavery Month.

But so-called "ordinary Americans" aren't so easily manipulated and they don't need interpreters. They can spot a poser a mile off and they have a hound's nose for snootiness.

Or as Eazy-E once put it, "my identity by itself causes violence."

What they know is that their forefathers fought and died for an America that has worked pretty well for more than 200 years. What they sense is that their heritage is being swept under the carpet while multiculturalism becomes the new national narrative.

This is where my own personal bias comes in, but as a Virginian, when someone says "heritage" I hear "still being a dick about the Civil War."

Full-blooded Americans get this.

Speaking as someone whose family has been in America since the Revolutionary War—on both sides—and in the South for not long after that, yeah, I definitely get this. I can hear that dog whistle like a train in the middle of the night.

But Kathleen Parker, defender of whiteitude and penises, has since embraced the middle of the road, along with dead armadillos and most editorial pages, and has been handsomely rewarded for it.

I'd bet the house that David Brooks will win next year. Just be prepared.

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