Thursday, December 07, 2006

Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus

I'll be honest. I've never really forgiven Hillary Clinton for her disparaging remark about Tammy Wynette back in 1992. I know she apologized, but the very act of saying she wasn't "some little woman, standing by my man, like Tammy Wynette" displayed the kind of elitist arrogance that Democrats are often unfairly maligned for (though I think it was a fair interpretation of this incident). And no apology or image makeover can wash that perception away once it has set in with the public. Just as Mel Gibson didn't randomly go on an anti-Semitic rant, Hillary's words revealed something important about the attitudes that define her as a person.

Anyhow, Tammy Wynette was a lifelong Democrat who walked away from four marriages rather than sticking with a failed relationship. You can think what you want of that, but the woman deserved better than to be ridiculed as a pathetic symbol of pre-women's lib victimization. Wynette was a strong woman who came from dirt-poor origins and practically raised herself. And she never forgot where she came from; a former hairdresser, Wynette renewed her cosmetology license every year for the rest of her life (just in case she had to go back a less glamorous line of work). And talk about a classy lady, Wynette later performed at a Clinton fundraiser despite Hillary's hurtful words. She collaborated with artists as diverse as Lou Reed, George Jones, and KLF (whose song "Justified and Ancient" featuring her vocals was a #1 hit in 18 countries). To this day it still gets under my skin that Clinton made such an obnoxious comment about such an accomplished and decent woman.

I guess if Wynette forgave Hillary there is no good reason I shouldn't either. But any Democrat considering supporting her run for the Presidency ought to think long and hard about whether they want someone who is (justifiably) perceived as an elitist snob at the top of their party's ticket. So I'll forgive, but I won't forget.

This is a long way of getting around to George and Tammy's entry into the holiday arena, "Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus" (the couple had been known as "Mr. and Mrs. Country Music"). The song starts with a random Christmas vignette about appliances because it was taken from the out-of-print Christmas Party with Eddie G. compilation.

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