by Joe Sobran
(Originally published in SOBRANS, March 1997, page 1)
|Of all the comments on the Paula Jones [law]suit, the most interesting was made by Richard Cohen of the Washington Post. Observing that the feminists havent rallied to |
Another way to put it is that a lecherous governor could have sized up
But Paula Jones may also stand as a symbol of something larger than the admittedly large class of women who have received Bill Clintons attentions. She belongs to the class of people who fall into a peculiar twilight zone just above the victimhood line, so to speak.
Some people earn just enough money to disqualify them for welfare. They get little attention and less pity. In the same way, some whites are ineligible for the aid and solicitude that go to minority group members at the same income and education level, and some women women of modest means, heavy makeup, and big hair dont qualify for feminist sympathy.
All these folk might be called near-victims. They are typically self-sufficient, job-holding whites without much ambition, which is not to say they lack purpose, industry, or self-respect. They may even have political passions. But they are more likely to spend their weekends building a garage than organizing a movement. They know they are better off without the victim status which they despise and which, in any case, isnt intended for the likes of them.
The establishment of any sort of victim status creates not only a class of victims, but a counter-class of invisible but resentful near-victims. They are audible on whats called right-wing talk radio, as they call Rush or Gordon [Liddy] or Ollie [Oliver North] with their well-grounded gripes and homespun witticisms.
Progressive-minded people scorn them, and vice versa. There is no room for compassion for the near-victim in the liberals bleeding heart; in fact, the near-victims self-respect and self-sufficiency make him (or her) a rebuke and a bête noir to the liberal, as witness the liberals acid dismissal of Paula Jones and the talk-radio audience.
The real controversy over
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