Sunday, September 28, 2008


Republicans don't demand a lot of their Presidential candidates. They're looking for a figurehead, a national daddy or mommy to blow them a kiss. They're even o.k. with a shadowy apparat of operatives running the President, just as long as the animatronics don't show. Toto, get away from that curtain.

In normal times, Sarah Palin would have been perfect - and the reaction of the die-hards shows that she still is for the base. Hits her mark. Looks good. Down to earth in a Stepford kind of way. Not too smart.

The part about not being too smart is part of the Republican job description for President, which is predicated on riding wave after wave of advisers to do the thinking for you. Not being too smart is an advantage. Knowing stuff that "ordinary" people don't know (the ones who can't tell that the Republicans are patronizing them) is as dangerous to popularity as making an A in 7th grade math, especially if that means you know trickonom-- trigamonetry-- angles and stuff. If you know stuff, you may have to explain your thoughts, and the Republicans know that Americans want entertainment, not explanations.

Palin would have been perfect ten years ago. No one would have cared that she's already confirmed the Peter Principle by reaching the level of her incompetence as governor of Alaska. No one would have cared that she has so far proven to be less trainable than Dan Quayle even to give foolishly simplistic answers that succeed at staying on a sound-bite message.

Ten years ago was before Duhbya screwed it up for really dumb people everywhere. Even the political Rip Van Winkles who sleep for four years between elections - even lapdog political journalists - have been enlightened like the slowest Grasshopper thumped in the head in a Zen koan. Electing someone too dumb for the job can have really, really bad consequences. Even Republicans want to hurry home to daddy in the form of Ronald Reagan, because by god he could read a cue card with the best of them.

Why am I being so mean to Palin?

First, I saw the Tina Fey send-up of Palin's latest mind-blowing disinterview with Katie Couric. Hysterical! What a send-up of Palin's irresistible tendency to descend into a gibberish of phrases so disconnected that you might expect to find them if you spilled your Magnetic Poetry kit into the garbage dispose-all.

Then, I watched the actual answer from St. Sarah of 600 miles from Russia.


I already liked Tina Fey, just from the commercial where she ran back and forth putting out fires. Now I find out that she hardly even deserves a writing credit for her skit. She does however deserve kudos for having the judgement to let the unsatirizable Palin absurdities speak for themselves.

It doesn't take a genius to run a good government. FDR was famously dubbed a second-rate intellect by Oliver Wendell Holmes, who nonetheless appreciated his first-rate temperament. But it does take someone with something serious on the ball. Sarah Palin ain't got it, and it looks as though she never will.

Tina Fey on the other hand? She's got brains and judgement. I'd vote for her.

(Thanks, Tom!)


Tom Levenson said...


I especially like the writing credit line, you sly dog.

lovable liberal said...

Thanks for the goad to get it out of conversation and into print.

The one downside of an Obama win would be the loss to humorists of all this material that writes itself. Even for a rank amateur like me, the laugh lines show up like manna from Pentecostal heaven.