Thursday, December 02, 2010

Sarah, Palin & Fall

Like her or not, it's hard to ignore the monstrosity that has become "Sarahpalin". She's transcended being a politician to becoming a symbol open to interpretation.
For my part, I don't hate her. I hate Dick Cheney, because I think he knows he's evil and yet does nothing to better himself. Sarah is just a fucking loon. It's hard to hate an idiot.
Now, I hate her politics and the smarmy condescending way she talks down at her "constituents" as well as her opponents, as if she is some paragon of virtue and justice when in point of fact she is and has always been a loser who skated by on looks and luck. Unintelligible to the Nth degree, what people hear is what they want to hear, and since she doesn't form complete thoughts or even factual thoughts, people have to read an awful lot into them.
Normally, this would immediately disqualify her from any office higher than dogcatcher, but apparently Alaskans and rightwingers like teh stoopid.
There's a double-barrel backlash rising up against her, however. She might want to take a breath, because we have all seen how thin her skin is, and I suspect it's only going to get worse for her.
First, Ed Rollins, rightwinger and former Reagan administration capo di capi:

You're a media star and a great curiosity. You were plucked out of political obscurity because of the whim of presidential contender John McCain, who didn't know you and made you into an overnight sensation. You performed well for three weeks in the campaign, did better than expected against Joe Biden in the debate and then you self-destructed.

You clearly weren't ready for prime time, but neither was your running mate. After the election, you quit your day job as governor of Alaska with 18 months left in the term and went out and made a fortune making speeches and selling a book.

[...] Right now, polls indicate you wouldn't carry your home state of Alaska.

The last Presidential candidate to not even carry his home state was Al Gore.

He goes on to bash her comparisons to Reagan and Rollins is right: she certainly is no Reagan, who at least had accomplishments before her was forty. Even Obama, whom many saw as a cypher, had all those law school honors and community organizer functions on his CV.

Her closest analog would probably be Dan Quayle: a mindless bumbling buffoon who couldn't rub two words together to create a dialectical fire, yet somehow managed on the strength of his charm and his daddy's name (something Palin distinctly does NOT have) to parlay a minor political career.

People probably think that my greatest frustration is the lies that are told in the tabloids and on hateful blogs full of anonymous sources about my family … and there are constant everyday lies that we have to read that are out there in the public. But my family and I…thick skin…we can take it, you know…we can take what the haters say despite the fact that there’s injustice in the situation.

I mean, look at the other day. Willow, finally, my 16 year old, she had had it up to here with somebody saying very, very hateful things about the family and saying mean things about her little brother Trig, and Willow finally responded and she used a bad word when she responded in defense of her family. And her response became national news, even hard news copy it turned into, so that’s ridiculous and I had to explain to her, “Willow, there is no justice here but you have to just zip your lip and let’s move forward.”

The "bad word" in question is "faggot". Not "shit", or "fuck", or "douche", but an ad hominem of the very worst kind, striking at a group that is already on America's shitlist.

One wonders what it would take for Sarah Palin to take umbrage at a word? *koffkoff*retard*koffkoff*

Oh. Right. It would take ANY word directed at her or her family, despite the fact that her "family" is about as dysfunctional as the Gosselins. Odd thing about her comment on Hannity, not once was Trig mentioned!

Her life is a train wreck, to be certain, and her public image is only held together by the spit and duct tape that her moronic mesmerized supporters patch together, forming a wagontrain-like circle around her. Except the wagons lack fabric. Or wood. Or wheels. It really is just the human shields she's cajooled into protecting her, including her children.

Todd seems to be the only sane one, and that's more because he's basically said "Good luck with that!" and gone off snowmobiling until the cameras are turned on.

Of course, the kids might be sane. It's hard to tell since she treats them like props.

And yet, for all that, Palin could be a minor danger on the political scene, and a major threat to the United States if her luck holds out. To-wit:

In her brilliant new book Reality Bites Back, Jennifer Pozner argues that Americans prefer the scripted "reality" of reality TV to the messy complexity of our lives because these shows "both play to and reinforce deeply ingrained societal biases about women and men, love and beauty, race and class, consumption and happiness in America." And Palin is the perfect reality-show star: more ruthless, more eloquent, more audaciously dishonest, more single-mindedly ambitious, more likable and eminently more electable than Hillary Clinton in 2008. She is a pencil skirt–wearing marathoner who operates without a shred of shame or self-doubt. There is something remarkable and frightening about the depth of her belief in her narrative. Every criticism, every defeat, every attack is just evidence of the virtue of her chosen path. Her show replaces the tough tradeoffs of a politically complicated and economically insecure world with a fiery self-assurance born of the hard, bright blindness of righteousness. In uncertain times, this unassailable certainty, set in the compelling aesthetic of the American frontier and packaged with pitch-perfect editing, proves magnetic even for those who disagree with her.

Pozner reminds us that media are "as much a dissemination mechanism for ideological persuasion as...a means of entertainment;" they are "our most common agent of socialization, shaping and informing our collective ideas about people, politics and public policy." Media, especially reality TV, encourage us to think less and buy more. They capture our emotions and silence our inner critic. They send us in search of products to fulfill our deepest desires. Palin may just be the political embodiment of our contemporary cultural moment; a presidential candidate born from TV's easy emotional draw and limited analytic capacity, a candidate who needs only 140 characters to explain policy, a candidate who attracts us even when she repulses us. As with reality TV, to underestimate Palin is to invite her to reach ever deeper into the American consciousness.

Indeed, Sarah Palin may be the embodiment of the American Idiot: someone whose attention span lasts up to the next Tweet.