It’s been a while since we’ve engaged in any Sarah Palin-bashing around these parts. See, we took our detractors seriously when they said we should move on. One of the main reasons we were admonished to stop pickin’ on Palin was because she had retreated from the national political stage, and was therefore off limits. This was the brief period after the election but before she abandoned her post as Governor to follow her fortune as a public speaker and author book peddler. So I suppose it was appropriate to lay off during those months when all we had to talk about was whether or not Levi would show us his Johnson.
Thank God those dark days are behind us.
Now that Palin is back on the scene as Chief Red Meat Dispenser for the Tea Party movement (best prefaced with the word “bowel”), she’s once again fair game. Sadly, with the unexplained disappearance of our Political Outrage Correspondent Matthew F. King, I’m left to do the job myself. Well, not entirely — I do have backup from Salon‘s Joan Walsh, who recently penned one of the more exasperated Palin diatribes I’ve yet to encounter.
I know journalists aren’t supposed to use words like mean and dumb, but I can’t help it. Palin is one of the meanest people on the public stage today. She wallows in it. She loves it! Also? Possibly one of the dumbest. But mean works, and so does dumb. And so do lies, and there were many mean, dumb lies in her speech [at the Tea Party Convention].
How rich that she read her talk in a sing-song voice as she ripped Barack Obama for using a teleprompter. Once she left the speech for the Q&A, she really went off-message, as well as nearly off-English. . . “They’re not knowin what are we gonna do if we don’t have Tea Party support” was one of my favorite head-scratchers, a great echo of “when Putin rears his head.”
But it was also in her brief Q&A that she made one comment she might regret, if anyone in the Republican Party ever held her accountable. She told the crowd her husband Todd — according to recently released emails, the non-elected former governor of Alaska — is “much too independent” to be a Republican, because he’s even “more conservative” than she is. What a great way to revisit the controversy over Todd’s membership in the secessionist Alaska Independent Party! Remember how Palin dogged poor McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt, trying to get him to denounce Salon’s reporting on the Palins and AIP? She tried to get Schmidt to lie and say her husband checked the AIP box on voter forms mistakenly, and he refused. Now she’s bragging her husband isn’t a Republican because he’s so “independent.”
She lied about rejecting stimulus money for Alaska (apparently she rejected a small home-weatherization project, which as it is sounds kind of mean for the governor of Alaska.) She lied about Obama’s position on terrorism and the Christmas Day would-be bomber. She mixed up Alaska and America at least once. It was hilarious to hear her denounce political “talk, talk, talk” and also brag about the job she did as governor, when in fact she quit that job to talk, talk, talk, for money, at wine shows and for-profit tea parties and of course for Fox News.
That’s our Sarah. Her supporters champion her as “authentic,” but the only thing genuine about her is an innate ability to mangle facts. It’s incredible to conceive of a public figure more clueless than Dubya about domestic and international affairs, but Palin makes the ex-Prez look like a Rhodes scholar. You get the impression that Bush knew that he was lying as he blithely recited his handlers’ ideological agenda. Palin’s relationship to untruth, on the other hand, seems entirely pathological — the kind that runs counter to all known forms of logic and reason.
Like other psychologically-compromised individuals, she seems incapable of consciously comprehending her own hypocrisy. Or maybe she does, in which case, she’s even more heinous than I give her credit for. For example, Palin loves knocking Obama for using a teleprompter, but pointing out that she herself scrawls talking points on her hands to get through unscripted interviews means you’re part of the librul media conspiracy to undermine her. The New York Times:
Photographs posted to blogs after Ms. Palin’s speech to the National Tea Party Convention on Saturday night captured several words scribbled seventh-grade style on her left palm: “energy,” “tax cuts” (with “budget” crossed out in front of cuts) and “lift American spirits.”
Ms. Palin read from a prepared text for the initial portion of her appearance, so it appeared that the notes scribbled on her hand were in preparation for the subsequent 15-minute question-and-answer session she did with Judson Phillips, the founder of Tea Party Nation, the social networking site that organized the convention. Pictures captured her glancing at her palm while she answered the questions.
Now, no one is going to contest that our Commander in Chief uses a teleprompter, but having watched him go toe-to-toe with House Republicans in a semi-spontaneous, televised event proves that he’s rhetorically and oratorically gifted. I can only hope that when Palin is President (yes, I said when, which indicates my faith in the electorate) she, too, will take open questions from the opposing party while being broadcast live on C-SPAN. Hell, I think NBC Comcast Entertainment should go ahead and get that on the network schedule now — it’s a guaranteed ratings dynamo!
To her credit, Palin does seem to be coming around to the fact that she might need a bit more book learnin’: “Now that my focus has been enlarged, I sure as heck better be more astute on these current events, national issues.”