Belaboring the Obvious

Saturday, July 04, 2009


It did sound as if Scary Sarah were speaking in code yesterday. I suppose that's the most charitable thing one can say about her resignation speech, because on virtually all other levels--personal, political, logical, emotional and practical--it made no sense whatsoever.

This is not a big step down for Palin, however. Most of her extemporaneous comments have made little sense. Whatever she was implying, it had the resentment-filled tone of Nixon saying after his 1962 loss in the California gubernatorial election, "you won't have Dick Nixon to kick around any more." Those who imagined then that Nixon was telling the truth and that the country would finally have some relief from his political visage would today imagine that Palin was also sincere.

However, all that Palin and Nixon really have in common is raw ambition, simmering resentment, a similarly maladroit way of lying and an unhealthy and paranoid view of criticism. Where Nixon was canny, Palin is catty. Where Nixon was calculating, Palin is defensive and prone to reliance on cliquish, high-schoolish politics. Nixon had fourteen years in national politics before he took on Kennedy in 1960. Palin had a few years as city council member and mayor of what by almost anyone's estimation is a small town with more than its fair share of cranks and kooks (of which Palin was one), and at the time of her elevation to national prominence by McCain, had less than two years running one of the least-populated states in the U.S., and had been doing that job rather badly.

There's lots of speculation at the moment that Palin is the main rat leaving the sinking ship of her governorship, and that's a real possibility. Her history as small-time, small-town petty tyrant surrounding herself with her own equivalent of The Heathers, her tendency to play fast and loose with travel and per diem accounts (not to mention the RNC's special clothing account for her), along with her general incompetence and influence-peddling (or, more specifically, meddling) in state affairs all certainly suggest that she would be both capable of the kind of graft and corruption all too common in American small-town experience (and an everyday headline in Alaska's newspapers lately) and too stupid to cover her tracks well.

Because of all this, it's a lot more likely that she's leaving the job to which she was elected because she's being chased, rather than out of any Nixonian, thin-skinned sensitivity to recent unflattering press, or a couple of jokes from Dave Letterman. Most of us were just pleased that we didn't wind up with yet another inarticulate, incurious, badly educated right-wing ideologue in the White House and expected her to go back to Alaska and just go on fucking up things there.

So, for those that think she's now gone for good, like Nixon in 1962, I predict that:

a) there will be indictments, for graft, or embezzling, or whatever Alaska calls stealing public monies these days, or perhaps something equally tawdry that we haven't even heard about yet.

b) Palin will be convicted, along with Todd, and most of the city council of Wasilla. This will mean that Willow gets custody of Trig, which is only fair, since she seems to be the only one taking care of the little tyke since his birth.

c) Palin will run for President in 2012, from prison, and will invoke the spirit of Eugene V. Debs. Since Palin's political philosophy is at extreme odds with that of Debs, and because Debs' imprisonment was entirely political, and Palin's will be for cause, her comparisons will be yet more fodder for bloggers who actually know something of Debs. William Kristol will suffer internal organ damage as he tries to contort himself into a position that somehow portrays Palin's comparison as an example of principled conservatism. When everyone laughs at her, Palin will then compare herself with James Traficant. When that causes Kristol to commit ritual seppuku at high noon in the lobby of the offices of The Weekly Standard, she will compare herself with Jesus.

d) She will get 99.2% of the seriously demented right-wing wingnut vote, and will declare victory, even though this amounts to only 38% of registered Republicans, and 9% of total votes. Karl Rove will demand a national recount, arguing strenuously that the election had been stolen. Lefty bloggers across the country will announce, with great solemnity, that irony is finally and completely dead, and the coroner's issued an official death certificate.

e) She will start a prison ministry with Kenyan Christian exorcism as its raison d'etre. She will write a book about her experiences, and will go through eleven ghostwriters, one hundred-fourteen proofreaders and twelve publishers before it is finally jointly released by Regnery and John Hagee Ministries.

f) Upon her release, she will begin a new cult, centered on Trig as the second coming of Christ, using her email announcements of his birth signed by God as proof of the child's divinity. After four years of conning convicts and most of Alaska's meth addicts, she will realize that having twenty million mentally deranged people believe she is the Mother of God is way better, and more profitable, than being President of the United States.

And then, she'll have an epiphany: that she can still be the Mother of God and President of the United States.

Have no illusions. A few years from now, we'll all be saying, "she's baaaaaaaaaack."


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