{Empty title} | The Nation

Other letter writers have beaten Katha Pollitt sufficiently about the head and ears for elitism, hypocrisy etc., and I have no wish to pile on. Let me add only that Sarah Palin is hardly our "first political female train wreck." Some of Dolley Madison's contemporaries might have said the same of her. Okay, "train wreck" is an anachronism--perhaps "shipwreck" would do. History, however, smiles upon Dolley; she saved the original draft of the Constitution from the flames of 1812 and introduced ice cream to American society--and besides, she lived a long time ago.

Cynthia McKinney is a contemporaneous train wreck who antedates Palin. McKinney (D-GA) sat in the House of Representatives for six terms and, after her defeat in the 2006 Democratic primary, ran for president on the Green Party ticket. She attained national fame for punching a Capitol Police officer at a security checkpoint. McKinney is also a 9/11 "truther" and believes that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina thousands of citizens were murdered by US troops. She never hesitates speaking truth to power and has claimed that "white, rich Democratic boys club wanted [her] to stay in the back of the bus." Of our former VP, lauded as substantive in Pollitt's column, she said, "Al Gore's Negro tolerance level has never been too high." She has also tried twice to break the blockade and enter Gaza by ship, once being diverted to Lebanon and another time being interned and subsequently deported back to the US. Love her or hate her, you have to admit that McKinney raises hell in ways that are at least as interesting as Sarah Palin's. If only McKinney were photographed in short shorts, perhaps she would rate notice by Pollitt.