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Dana Perino: 'Woke' Is A Sense, A Feeling, A Wreath Of Pretty Flowers Which Smell Bad
The search for 'woke' continues!
Last week, conservative author Bethany Mandel publicly humiliated herself when she tried and failed epically to define "woke," the very concept she denounces in her new book that you shouldn't buy, borrow, or otherwise read. Right-wingers have since cried "foul!" Why should they have to "define" the words they use as mindless slurs and lazy acronyms in their reactionary laws? That's so "woke"!
Monday, Fox News host Dana Perino also struggled to define the term Republicans rail against on the daily. "The thing about woke," she said, "is can you explain it to your mom? Think about that."
I'd rather not, but if Perino insists, I'd argue that "woke" doesn't require a "mom-friendly" definition but a legally coherent one so a federal judge doesn't toss out your stupid "anti-woke" law as blatantly unconstitutional.
"I remember when President Trump was running ... in 2016, he used to get standing ovations when he used to say, 'Political correctness is ruining our country,' and everyone that was clapping knew exactly what he meant."
Wait, I thought his supporters flocked to Trump because he had all these fancy plans for JOBS. It's been seven agonizing years but at least Perino admits now that Trump rose to power on a platform of cultural resentment. Trump's applause lines at his hate rallies were almost always (barely) coded racist appeals.
However, political correctness has a fairly simply definition. Since the late 1980s/early 1990s, it was used to "describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of a particular group" — what normal people might call "politeness" or "manners." People who rejected political correctness usually did so while thumping their chests and declaring themselves unapologetic jerks. That was Trump in 2016.
Now, "serious" politicians — even the supposedly "pious" Mike Pence — are decrying "woke-ism" and suggesting its all some anti-American, Marxist plot. They're using it as a catch-all term for everything they don't like about modern society.
But Perino seems fine with this deliberate vagueness. She continued, "It's sort of like the Supreme Court definition of pornography: You know it when you see it."
She's referring to Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, who in 1964 tried to explain "hard-core" pornography, or what is obscene, by saying, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced... [b]ut I know it when I see it ..."
Justice Stewart's hard-core porn experience dated back to at least World War II, when he was a Navy lieutenant. As watch officer for his ship, he'd seen "his men" (not himself, personally, mind you) bring back locally produced porn from Casablanca. Taking his watch officer duties quite seriously, he soon knew the difference between what came to the Court and the absolutely filthy stuff he'd seen during the war. He called it his "Casablanca Test," which was perhaps misleading because the Humphrey Bogart movie contains zero pornographic scenes. Ingrid Berman's ass is strictly academic. I'm not even sure she takes off her hat.
“So, the Democrats want to get you in an argument where you’re having to define woke-ism as if Webster’s dictionary is defining it. And that’s not what it is.”
What is it then, Ms. Perino? It would help to know what the hell Republicans mean when they attack "woke capitalism."
PERINO: It could be a feeling.
PERINO: It could be a sense.
It could be anything! Maybe even both a floor wax and a dessert topping.
Perino lamented, "I wonder if Republicans or conservatives are going to have to define it more." Yes, you guys will, because it's important when combatting your rightwing attacks on modern, inclusive culture, but most of all, it's hilarious to watch you try.
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