I just finished watching Sarah Palin's speech at the Republican Convention, and noticed all those folks waving home-made "HOCKEY MOMS" posters. Palin calls herself one, and got a big cheer when she told a good joke about this demographic (Q: What's the difference between a hockey mom and a bulldog? A: Lipstick).
Palin proudly proclaims herself to be a "hockey mom" - this is a not so subtle attack on the soccer moms who were much in the news in the presidential elections of the 1990s. In the context of Republican rhetoric, soccer is here being contrasted with hockey, and implicitly cast as the wussy sport (played by immigrants, women, and middle-class liberals). It's a cheap shot - plainly an attempt to cast soccer as a game not played by "real" americans. ARGH. ARGH!!!! There were a thousands things to hate about what Palin said in tonight's frighteningly charismatic speech. But this one, indirect swipe at the beautiful game deserves mention here: Ambivalence about soccer, and those who play it, haunts american political discourse - and betrays the true feelings of such politicians about what I've elsewhere referred to in this blog as el resto del mundo.