If you don’t want to read what I have to say about Kellyanne Conway, please don’t. I don’t know why you would, but at least one reader does, and she asked me to write about her. Because I’m an obliging sort, I have done so. But there’s no reason you should necessarily want to know what I have to say about her.
When I was asked to write about her, I asked my interlocutor why she was asking me to do this little writing assignment, what she was looking for. She explained that she really was just curious as to what I might have to say, and invited me to freewrite.
I like freewriting.
So forthwith, an unedited, unexpurgated freewrite on Kellyanne Conway.
So first, let me dispense with the obvious: others have spoken or talked about this woman on her knees, about the meaning and import and symbolism of a woman on her knees in the oval office. I actually think that’s beneath me. It honestly didn’t occur to me when I saw the photo, and the idea of my cock in Kellyanne Conway’s mouth is just a little horrifying. Not least because, when I went hunting for photos of her for this post, in the vast majority of them, her teeth feature with a prominence that’s a little creepy.
When I hear her on the Sunday talk shows, or wherever, my heartbeat races. In a bad way. In, like, a post-traumatic stress kind of way. I hear her, and I know that she’s simply going to exceed whoever her “opponent” or interviewer is. Because she’s that good. Sure, the “alternative facts” thing didn’t go so well for her, but at the end of the day, she has won just about every tousle into which she’s gotten with any interviewer anywhere. She’s quicker, slicker, and just better than everyone else. Sean Spicer’s a doofus. His job may be impossible, but he’s not good at it. Her job is impossible, and she’s great at it. Watch her. Listen to her. She spins words in circles, leaving the impression that, somehow, she’s making sense, that she’s saying things that are true or that, if they’re not, they should be.
Which is terrifying.
Because the words she’s speaking, the person she’s defending, are pretty damned close to pure evil, and the cynicism with which she simply lies is overwhelming, distressing, depressing. She’s smart. She’s interesting. She’s articulate. The fact that her soul is empty, that there’s a chasm where it should be, and into that chasm, she has poured ambition, would be mortifying if she weren’t one of a thousand such people in this administration, which – not to overdo the Nazi analogies – is demonstrating anew Hannah Arendt’s basic point about the banality of evil, about how “most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.” I don’t think I believe what she’d have us believe – that she actually believes she’s doing good. That seems a bridge too far for me. But I do think I believe that she is unconcerned with questions of good or evil, that she must be, in order to do her job.
The woman has children. Four of them. That’s the scariest thing to me. What does it mean if you watch your mother day after day on TV demonstrating… whatever it is she’s demonstrating.
I don’t really buy into the feminist outrage that somehow she’s “anti-feminist.” I mean, sure, the Trump administration is anti-woman, and she’s anti-woman. But I wonder about whether it’s possible to be feminist and anti-woman. She’s a strong woman, a woman who’s led her career on her terms, and accomplished a tremendous amount, even as she’s throwing millions of other women under the bus. Can it be that part of what feminism means is that women can succeed in myriad ways, including odious ones, including ones that are horrifying?
Anyway: she’s horrifying. Hearing her speak is like nails on a blackboard, except where the blackboard is my flesh and the nails are, you know, nails. There’s a certain stigmatic aspect to her speech for me.