Sarah Palin has officially out-cliched cliche. You can no longer even use the lazy –if entirely accurate and appropriate– depictions like “jumped the shark” or “stranger than fiction” or “a new low” because her capacity for shamelessness and self-aggrandizement is literally limitless. There is, as she displayed once again this weekend, no bottom to where she will wallow in order to score cheap (and untrue) political points, all while ducking any questions of any kind from anyone besides Fox “News”, and eagerly stoking the ignorant, bigoted sentiments of her knuckle-dragging demographic.
But you have to hand it to her. No, really. Can you, under any circumstances, imagine a time when you’d compare anybody to George W. Bush and catch yourself thinking a thought that began with the words “Well, at least he wasn’t…” Wow. Does it get any better for Palin, who has yet to answer a real question from a real reporter (and no, Katie Couric does not count, and even in front of that lightweight with those softball questions –what fucking newspapers do you read?– she made an ass of herself) continuing to mock Obama for, among other things, using a teleprompter. You mean like the one you used for your own speeches? At least, so far as we know, when Obama doesn’t have his teleprompter handy, he doesn’t have to…um…write answers on his hand like a fifth grader during a math exam. Let me repeat: wow.
As anyone with a sliver of sociopolitical awarness can attest, many of these Tea Party puppets have genuine and understandable gripes. The dilemma, as anyone with a modicum of historical awareness (and proximity to reality) understands, it’s precisely the policies and obsessions of the GOP that took us from boom to bust in unprecedented and appalling haste. Less than a year ago, one of the only redeeming aftershocks of the Great Collapse was that, at long last, the “free market” farce of voodoo economics, which had reached its unfettered and full flowering during the Bush years had crashed and burned so spectacularly and unmistakably, at least, finally, we had black and white cause and effect for those misguided, irresponsible and demonstrably immoral policies. Ah, but how quickly those least-served by these policies forget! As usual, as ever, it was the taxpayers (!!) who got stuck with the tab, and now we are waist-deep in a massive recession and jobs crisis. Suddenly, fiscal restraint is the operative priority, and these same charlatans who borrowed and spent like there was no tomorrow are decrying the same stimulus they initially supported (that same stimulus that may have kept unemployment from growing to 25% and causing a genuine Depression with a capital D). Rome is burning and the right-wing spin-pigs are not just fiddling, they are actively promoting disinformation and stoking the aforementioned fear and loathing. Not that the idiots foaming at the mouth at these tea parties understand the ways 2+2 =4, in part because they can’t count to four. The GOP, led by the Tea Party Queen who, displaying her ceaseless loyalty to the “real” Americans whose pain she is profiting from, only charged $100k to speak this weekend, scoffs at the blue sky and calls for rain. They tear up the old playbook and throw a Hail Mary into the wind, telling these easily-led assholes the policies extending their unemployment benefits are part of a big government takeover by the Socialist president. And it works. Put us in charge again so we can kill some more jobs and bankrupt the rest of your 401-k and after that, get busy privatizing social security. It’s real America, all right. Real dumb America.)
When it comes to the farce that is Sarah Palin, Andrew Sullivan has done virtually all the heavy lifting, since the MSM has predictably reacted in two ways to the Palin phenomenon: dismissed it altogether (which is irresponsible) or else treated it with the both-sides-of-the-story stenography which has increasingly become their most notable M.O.. I’ve long held the opinion that if/when Palin ever, however improbably (though at this point it seems a hell of a lot less improbable than it did one year ago when she uncermoniously quit her post in Alaska, a circumstance that would have absolutely anihilated all further chances for any other politician in the world) she manages to slime her way to the nomination in 2012, the media will finally, at long last, have no choice but to lift the rather large rock that conceals her sordid and embarrassing (even for a politician) personal life. The inconsistencies, the outright lies, and especially the myriad deficiencies that make her a non-starter as presidential material and a natural leader of the Tea Party mob of half-wits and bigots.
If you truly have no clue what I’m referring to, just visit Sully over at The Daily Dish and, if you have an hour or two, catch up on (some of) what you’ve been missing. One almost hopes Palin gets that far just so the rest of us have the opportunity, finally, to see her actually have to answer an unscripted question. Again, it is to the MSM’s eternal shame that they let this inarticulate piece of bacteria fester and mutate into the media monster she has become. It’s all in the name of ratings and (I reckon?) the ostensible aim of being impartial that they have so cynically stood by, not even bothering to pretend being journalists. But while I know enough to not casually brush off the possibility of her rise to real power, I also am relatively confident that, as happened (albeit way too late in the game) with McCain, the supine media finally takes off its blinders and, (gasp) inquires about the unavoidable gaps and distortions in the carefully crafted mythology.
Speaking of McCain, what a contemptible swine. Good grief, despite the fact that his whole maverick shtick was calculated, insincere and frivolous, there was at least some redeeming value in the man (above and beyond the fact that he courageously served his country, which is an inviolable subject that I’ve never heard a respectable person take issue with). Ever since he sold the ragged remnants of what was left of his old, arid soul to win the nomination in 2008, he has been on a warp speed mission to become the quintessential fake politician –and that is saying a lot considering the competition for that odious crown.
There he goes: the handful of things he actually accomplished, for the good, he’s happily disassociated himself from, in the name of (unlikely) political expediency. it will be fun watching him run for his life in the suddenly too-close-for-comfort race in Arizona (and talk about the chickenshits coming home to roost: he is being out-reactionaried by a genuinely revolting troglodyte). Despite the typical, and farcical shenanigans we have practically come to expect from our pols, the one thing no one could take away from McCain was his eloquence on the matter of torture, he having had some considerable experience on that front. It was genuinely pathetic to see the man, for nakedly obvious (and oblivious) political reasons, actually go all Orwell and doublespeak about the exact same methods that were used against him, claiming they were not, actually, torture (Note: he never was honest, if crazy, enough to say he himself was not tortured, but that the same practices, when used by the U.S.A., do not qualify. If that is not the literal definition of cowardice, I’m not sure what is.)
As if that were not lame enough, his attempt (clearly prompted by the aforementioned threat to what he considered was he emeritus status as senator of Arizona, which has obliged him to lean further rightward) to cling to the old party line on gays in the military, hanging by his shriveled, gnarled and splintering old fingernails to the ugly side of soon-to-be-history should be a case study for future politicians on how not to succeed. Here’s the thing: a remotely intelligent person watches this desperate spectacle and thinks “But how can he kid himself? Also, what about what he is doing to his legacy, how will history not expose his shamelessness?” And the answer, regrettably, is that for a man with no soul and interested solely in extending his ever-weakening, sluggish hold on some semblance of power, legacy and history are luxuries he can’t afford. He has no time for reflection because the shadow behind him keeps getting darker and larger, and he knows better than anyone it will be sooner than later that his craven, corrupted ass will be snuffed out.
And, lest we ever forget, McCain may ultimately be (if he is not already) best known for his most ignoble achievement, which was foisting this talking point with boobs on an unsuspecting country.
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