Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 12, 2008

COMING TO TERMS WITH DODGING A BULLET.... Yesterday afternoon, Atrios noted, "Sarah Palin is still getting more press attention than Joe the Biden, and he's going to be Vice President and she's not." Soon after, CNN's Jack Cafferty added, "When's the last time a losing vice presidential candidate was still in the news a week after the election? Nobody seems interested in interviewing Joe Biden, or for that matter, John McCain. But we just don't seem to be able to get enough of Sarah Palin."

They're both right, of course. Palin was a ridiculous candidate on a failed ticket. Her candidacy was a national embarrassment, and insult to our political system. And yet, like a car crash, it's hard to turn away.

At first blush, it's hard to put one's finger on why, exactly. Maybe we haven't quite gotten out of "campaign mode." Or perhaps some are thinking ahead, keeping an eye on Palin with an expectation that she'll seek national office again fairly soon.

But I think it's more than that. Kevin noted this afternoon, "We've simply never seen someone so completely unmoored from the normal requirements of national office before." I not only think that's right, I also think we're still coming to terms with just how serious this fiasco really was.

Given this, Andrew Sullivan had a very compelling item explaining why Palin may be history, but "she is history that matters."

Let's be real in a way the national media seems incapable of: this person should never have been placed on a national ticket in a mature democracy. She was incapable of running a town in Alaska competently. The impulsive, unvetted selection of a total unknown, with no knowledge of or interest in the wider world, as a replacement president remains one of the most disturbing events in modern American history. That the press felt required to maintain a facade of normalcy for two months -- and not to declare the whole thing a farce from start to finish -- is a sign of their total loss of nerve. That the Palin absurdity should follow the two-term presidency of another individual utterly out of his depth in national government is particularly troubling. 46 percent of Americans voted for the possibility of this blank slate as president because she somehow echoed their own sense of religious or cultural "identity". Until we figure out how this happened, we will not be able to prevent it from happening again. And we have to find a way to prevent this from recurring. [...]

This deluded and delusional woman still doesn't understand what happened to her; still has no self-awareness; and has never been forced to accept her obvious limitations. She cannot keep even the most trivial story straight; she repeats untruths with a ferocity and calm that is reserved only to the clinically unhinged; she has the educational level of a high school drop-out; and regards ignorance as some kind of achievement. It is excruciating to watch her -- but more excruciating to watch those who feel obliged to defend her.

It's not quite that we "don't seem to be able to get enough of Sarah Palin"; it's that we were the victim of a painful and consequential practical joke. We haven't quite come to terms with what's transpired.

Steve Benen 4:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (80)

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Comments

I call it Palin Porn.

Posted by: Arksnark on November 12, 2008 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

It's the "trash-culturification" of America. There's no longer a standard for dignified conduct in any sphere public life. Like Britney Spears, Sarah Palin is made for feeding the media infotainment (hold the information please!)machine. No amount of lying, cheating, or substance abuse can destroy her brand. The only way to end this is with disfiguring botched plastic surgery. In the meantime, we might as well try to enjoy the trainwreck.

Posted by: anon on November 12, 2008 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

I think the media needs to have their collective noses rubbed in this for a LONG time. They're the ones who let that bullet part our hair.

That said, the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections were also way too close, despite the stupidity of George W Bush. The media seems to think that having an intelligent president isn't as important as selling crap to stupid people who will get offended if anyone asks the candidates a question that a 4th grader would find difficult.

Posted by: Racer X on November 12, 2008 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

FUNduhMENTAList.

Don't matter what ya believe in, if you are insanely ignorant, you're dangerous.

You betcha.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on November 12, 2008 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it screamingly obvious that the folks who were working Bush's strings have gotten themselves a new marionette?

Posted by: dalloway on November 12, 2008 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

I found it patently offensive and frightening that McCain had such little regard for this country that he would nominate a know-nothing like this lady.

The sad thing is that she doesn't scare other ignorant people in this country, because stupid and ignorant people don't know what they don't know. They can't see what a joke she was and that this nation would have been a hair's breath away from disaster if she had gotten into office. They liked her because she was **exactly** like them in lifestyle, ignorance, lack of education and intelligence, and naivety.

Posted by: Taritac on November 12, 2008 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

The MSM pay attention to sarapalin. I didn't and I don't. What is with the MSM fascination with morons anyway? I wish Andy Warhol was alive so he could explain it.

Posted by: Bob M on November 12, 2008 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin covered it well, too:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2008/11/what_just_happened.html

Posted by: Gore/Feingold '16 on November 12, 2008 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Racer X wrote: "The media seems to think that having an intelligent president isn't as important as selling crap to stupid people ..."

Well, from their point of view, since "selling crap to stupid people" is the entire reason for the existence of the corporate media, of course it's more important than having an intelligent president.

Here's an experiment anyone can do: watch any of the cable or broadcast TV "news" programs, with a stopwatch, and measure the amount of time they spend on actual "news" vs. the amount of time they devote to commercials. The results will be educational.

As long as they think Sarah Palin will bring more eyeballs that they can sell to their sponsors, the corporate media will be more than happy to ensure that she continues to be famous for being famous.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 12, 2008 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

@dalloway/4:51

Ya know, that's a good point. I have an awful suspicion that you're right.

Posted by: brainchild on November 12, 2008 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Palin Porn. Like that. My local supermarket is selling, alongside the National Enquirer and Globe, instant "commemorative" magazines on Obama and Palin, but doesn't have one on McCain. He's apparently old news to gossip loving Repubs, but they just can't get enough of Sarah. Wonder what "traditional," that is, marginally sane, Republicans think of this? It must hurt like hell. Maybe they believe they can use her. They'd regret trying. She's Huey Long in a miniskirt.

Posted by: ericfree on November 12, 2008 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin noted this afternoon, "We've simply never seen someone so completely unmoored from the normal requirements of national office before." I not only think that's right, I also think we're still coming to terms with just how serious this fiasco really was.

That is a silly position. Quayle, George W., and Ronald Reagan were all as equally unmoored and horrifying.

Posted by: N.Wells on November 12, 2008 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

I think the media needs to have their collective noses rubbed in this for a LONG time. They're the ones who let that bullet part our hair.

What facts about Palin were not reported by the media? Is the objection that no reporter stood up and said "By God, we must not allow this"? There were plenty of commentators saying that. The problem is that enough voters didn't care. (Not to go all false-equivalence here, but that's also the situation with Ayres/Wright. Wingers complained that they "weren't being covered", when the truth is that the facts were on record and nobody cared.)

Posted by: DonBoy on November 12, 2008 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

let's go to the "What If" machine:

What if:

A) McCain/Palin won

B) McCain falls ill/dies, so

C) Palin assumes power as president, then

D) A national crisis unfolds

E) Palin bungles it in a horrible manner (think Katrina)

Pundits all declare: No one could have known that Pail was not up to the task! It's not our fault!

Posted by: BuzzMon on November 12, 2008 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

One way or another, these programs are about personalities, celebrities, and not about the underlying issues because that's what entertains people - gossip about other people.

People don't give a damn about global warming or energy or economics (unless it affects them directly). They want to see the dirt on all the players.

Sarah Palin is a fascinating person for the moment, and so she's getting all the attention. It's just Paris Hilton or Britney Spears all over again. Then we'll tire of her, and move on to the next fascinating story about the politicians. Maybe the puppy, or the schools the girls will go to, or the drapes, or the infighting between Obama's new staff.

But one way or another, it will always be about people, not the issues, because people like stories about people.

Posted by: hark on November 12, 2008 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

She's a sideshow attraction--like a two-headed calf.

Posted by: BroD on November 12, 2008 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Palin: a car creash that will prolong itself for as long as someone watches.

Posted by: Ish on November 12, 2008 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Palin wouldn't be interesting if she weren't physically attractive. Period. End of story. If Palin had Nancy Pelosi's looks, do you seriously think any cable show would have any interest at all. It's why Kristol and Lowry and all the rest fawned over her and why a huge majority of Republicans still like her, in spite of her english-as-a-second-language persona.

Sex sells.

Posted by: marlow's slippers on November 12, 2008 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

"...It's just Paris Hilton or Britney Spears all over again."
Hark, are you saying that we wil be seeing a Palin sex tape soon?

Posted by: BuzzMon on November 12, 2008 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Well, of course America's still fascinated with Sarah Palin. I mean, c'mon---how often do you get to see the Ringling Bros. clown act without having to buy a ticket first?

"It's WhackJobbo the clown!!!"

Betcha no one ever thought that setting fire to a political party and then trying to extinguish the blaze with $150K worth of Nieman Marcus would be funnny....

Posted by: Steve W. on November 12, 2008 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

She's Huey Long in a miniskirt.

Huey certainly had many drawbacks, and he would have been a dangerous president, but it's an insult to compare him to Palin. At least he accomplished some things for Louisiana -- far more than Palin has done for Alaska.

Posted by: Vincent on November 12, 2008 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

I actually think it's a simple issue of access-- the McCain had severely restricted access to her and now she is Palin unzipped, unrestricted, unfettered and uncensored. Plus there is the giant, sucking void left by the end of the election that has to be filled by something so why not the incoherent ramblings of Sarah Palin? What other fluff is there for the MSM to obsess over? Her 15 minutes will end soon enough. Well, unless she ends up running for Stevens' seat.

Posted by: zoe kentucky on November 12, 2008 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

It ain't because of her wit or intelligence, that's for sure.

If Sarah Palin had the physical appearance of Liddy Dole--or Joe Biden, for that matter--she would not be getting all the post-election media attention that she has.

But she is photogenic to most people, and physically appealing to many, hence the fact she remains the media's darling. She's the cute, well-dressed girl in English class or at the office or in church to whom people are drawn, merely because she is cute and well dressed. That is the nut of the matter.

Posted by: castanea on November 12, 2008 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

She appeals to the American Moron, the 21st C. embodiment of the Snake Handlers and the Know Nothings.

There is an interesting map making the cable rounds, showing the counties that voted Dem vs Rep. All blue, except for a swath from western Pa, down thru the Ozarks, to Oklahoma.

An interesting experiment: Any morning flip back and forth from FOX to CNBC to MSNBC. The latter has actual guests from government and media, discussing important issues. The business folks at CNBC talk, mostly, FACTS, while over at Fox they are all gossip, missing blonds and car chases.

Posted by: DAY on November 12, 2008 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

Shakespeare: "Tis an unweeded garden that grows to seed. Things rank and gross in nature possess it merely."

In a cultural sense, Palin represents a plunderer and not a tenderer of the garden. Weeds grow in her wake while her eyes are attuned to doors opening ahead of her. It could be said that Palin is a weedy invasive herself, despoiling the cultural heritage of the nation. The conservatives, the Republicans and the media are fostering the marauding by shitting the posey patch and stimulating the rank and gross. Shame.

Posted by: lou on November 12, 2008 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

She's a soap opera. 'Mercans need theys stories.

Posted by: doubtful on November 12, 2008 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

If all Wolf Blitzer is going to do is ask her questions and not challenge or at least give context to her answers, why wouldn't she go on and on and recite wholly nonsensical Republican propaganda? For that matter, why doesn't CNN save some money and have an intern do it? I've listened to interns ask tougher questions of their sources.

What bothers me about the continued Palinpalooza is that the interviews are just the same as they were before the election. Wolf Blitzer lets her go on and on about Obama palling around with a terrorist without ever giving the least bit of context. Of COURSE Palin's going to spin things so Obama looks like a terrorist; what's appalling is that (at least in that segment), Blitzer never once pointed out the reality that she was leaving out. Yapping is her job; context is the media's. I give them an F for giving her yet another opportunity to ramble.

Posted by: prettyboywally on November 12, 2008 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Now we know why Lot's wife looked back.

I think Sullivan sums up the full horror of the Palin pick well, and that's why I hope she's in the news for days and weeks and months to come. She sums up why Republicans shouldn't be allowed to sort paper clips, much less make decisions that affect millions of people.

Posted by: tAwO 4 That 1 on November 12, 2008 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

I believe this chick's a contender whether we like it or not. She's clearly speaking to an emerging cult, and they like what they hear. Unorthodox, *earthy*, yeah, but she's got an undeniable moxy which really tweaks those pent-up pentecostal hormones.

Posted by: MissMudd on November 12, 2008 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

For those who aren't sick of me putting in this link purporting to be from the minutes of a Wasilla town council meeting, May 1996 and presided over by Sarah Palin, here it is again:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMocEINn-E8

She sounds dopey, but I am suspicious since I didn't think she used bad grammar like "them Chips Ahoys." Comments?

delver

Posted by: Neil B on November 12, 2008 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

I think its great...give her more rope and exposure. Mark my words, the real f---- up is coming -- the video someone finds, the particularly horrible statement -- a confirmation of something..
She cant help herself and its like waiting for the inevitable catastrophe that is being put in play by her need.
Also, she assumes that there arent long knives out for her. Bad mistake. Just wait...The longer she stays out in front the faster...

Posted by: Elie on November 12, 2008 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

But we just don't seem to be able to get enough of Sarah Palin."

Geez Steve, got a mouse in your pocket? What's this "we"? I'd had more than enough of Palin after she opened her mouth for the first time and this continuing coverage is excruciating. I avoid it at all costs (kinda like Joe the Plumber coverage). Basically, our media is driving this hoping Palin will say something else stupid. It's mindless therefore perfect for our media. Now, more Tina Fey spoofs would be alright but isn't Palin's 15 minutes up yet? She lost ... badly.

Posted by: ckelly on November 12, 2008 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

I agreee with castenea.


Imagine watching paralell universes in which one Sarah Palin weighed 250 pounds and looked very unattractive and the other reflected the Sarah Palin we saw.

That's how it works in this pop culture from hell world we have now eveolved into.

If a woman is a "hottie" that will keep the cameras on her day after day after day after.

It's pathetic to say the least.


george

Posted by: george on November 12, 2008 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

This ongoing fascination with this idiot is somewhere between amazement about her utter stupidity, combined with the fact that she actually came too damn close to being VP (what the hell is wrong with the American people anyway?) Additionally, she attracts the same kind of interest that Britney Spears or any other messed up starlet does. And it's obvious this woman is going to do whatever she can to stay in the limelight. She is one ambitious woman, who is absolutely berefit of any self-reflection or self-awareness. In other words, much like W, except even more extreme.

Posted by: impeachcheneythenbush on November 12, 2008 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

I agreee with castenea.


Imagine watching paralell universes in which one Sarah Palin weighed 250 pounds and looked very unattractive and the other reflected the Sarah Palin we saw.

That's how it works in this pop culture from hell world we have now eveolved into.

If a woman is a "hottie" that will keep the cameras on her day after day after day after.

It's pathetic to say the least.


george

Posted by: george on November 12, 2008 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

Yesterday afternoon, Atrios noted, "Sarah Palin is still getting more press attention than Joe the Biden, and he's going to be Vice President and she's not." -- Steve Benen

Joe Biden gets dressed on his own dime (even if Jill picks his ties for him). Nor are Biden's children prone to losing their underwear, which, according to Palin's father, Palin's children *are* (and I have to believe him, given Willow's supposed "interesting condition"). Biden't eyelid droops, unintentionally; Palin's gets lowered in a "c'me 'ere" wink. Biden is boooooring; Palin's exudes enticing pheromones. You see/hear Palin and you think that, with a bit of luck, you might get her to drop her kickers as well as her aitches and her gees. Would you want the same from Biden?

Palin was -- and still is -- a gift as a "human interest" story. An addition of a dash of horror averted (there, but for the grace of God...) is but icing on the cake.

Posted by: exlibra on November 12, 2008 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Ms Mudd is right. She will have an even bigger cult following by the time 2012 rolls around. I can't believe that after this horrible and embarrassing campaign for her that she still is looking forward to barging through open doors. Nobody blink!

Posted by: Always Hopeful on November 12, 2008 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

She doesnt know what to do with herself. She wants the limelight and will keep doing things and saying things to get it. She never felt or perceived limits for herself so she is unable to adjust her behavior to the reality of the larger much more complex world than she perceives -- except to respond to accusations in a very limited, one dimnensional fashion. She is truly - in every way -- a "set up" for mortification and perversely entertaining because most people sense what is coming.

She may be around in 2012 but I wouldnt bet on it

Posted by: Elie on November 12, 2008 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

Putting on my political conculting hat.

I think Palin knows exactly what happened to her (including her failures) and is doing everything to boost her position while she is still in the spotlight.

And to do the best for herself, she HAS to run for the Senate (after appointing herself to the office). If she did not, she would look like a coward. If she wins, which is likely, she may save the seat for the Republicans and might evolve into a decent representative for Alaska.

If she runs and loses, she gave it her best shot and nobody can blame her for that.

Posted by: Kurt on November 12, 2008 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

i'm not one to blame tv and/or movies for all of society's ills, but I will say this about that. There's been plenty of entertainment produced with stories that center around a decent, small-town salt-of-the-earth type who teaches a bunch of highly-educated highfalutin snobs a thing or three about simple common sense. And it's aded to the mythology of America that promotes anti-intellectualism. We now have wide swaths of people who regard the educated as worthy of suspicion and scorn, and that their own lack of higher education is a virtue, that by lacking book sense, they MUST, by process of elimination, possess common sense by the ass-barrel.

And that brings us to Palin, a politician who has become obsessed with proving that she's smarter than all of her critics by any means necessary...except by actually being smarter than her critics. Stereotypes be damned, she's a former beauty pageant contestant who will cede no time in front of a camera by her own free will, "forced" by the McCain campaign to not even do a fraction of the televison time she would've liked to have done, to prove she's a super-awesome, brilliant-in-her-own-unique-way, reverse-snobberied "just Sarah from Alaska." That she's just like all y'all, but cuter and perkier and using her cute perkiness like a blunt instrument to get what she wants so you may all pledge fealty to Her Royal Aw-Shucksiness. And I'm sure she's a macaca-moment away from complete irrelevance.

Posted by: slappy magoo on November 12, 2008 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

can't read the comments just now, and I feel like I've heard at least part of this before already, but it can't be reiterated enough: She's the caboose of the Straight Talk Train Wreck.

So there.

Posted by: tina on November 12, 2008 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

Andrew Sullivan: "Let's be real in a way the national media seems incapable of: this person should never have been placed on a national ticket in a mature democracy."

When I want to watch a bitter queen trash a self-absorbed diva, I'll rent The Turning Point. Shirley McClain and Anne Bancroft are much more entertaining.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 12, 2008 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

Liberal Democrats are going to wake up from their sadomasochistic, anti-Palin orgy with a very big hangover. The evil genie released during this sorry episode will not so easily go back into its bottle. A shocking level of irrational emotionalism and at times infantile rage was exposed at the heart of current Democratic ideology -- contradicting Democratic core principles of compassion, tolerance and independent thought. One would have to look back to the Eisenhower 1950s for parallels to this grotesque lock-step parade of bourgeois provincialism, shallow groupthink and blind prejudice.

I like Sarah Palin, and I've heartily enjoyed her arrival on the national stage. As a career classroom teacher, I can see how smart she is -- and quite frankly, I think the people who don't see it are the stupid ones, wrapped in the fuzzy mummy-gauze of their own worn-out partisan dogma. So she doesn't speak the King's English -- big whoop! There is a powerful clarity of consciousness in her eyes. She uses language with the jumps, breaks and rippling momentum of a be-bop saxophonist. I stand on what I said (as a staunch pro-choice advocate) in my last two columns -- that Palin as a pro-life wife, mother and ambitious professional represents the next big shift in feminism. Pro-life women will save feminism by expanding it, particularly into the more traditional Third World.

Posted by: Crackhead Camille Paglia on November 12, 2008 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, that Camille Puglia sure went off on the worst psychobabble spewing bender of her career this season, didn't she? Wankette! (And not as funny.)

Posted by: Neil B on November 12, 2008 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

That is a silly position. Quayle, George W., and Ronald Reagan were all as equally unmoored and horrifying.

Quayle was a US Senator representing the state of Indiana for 12 years before he was tapped to be VP.

W. was the governor of Texas, a state with about 10 times the population of Alaska.

Ronald Reagan was the governor of California which, again, is a very large state with a lot of people.

Palin was the mayor of a town of 7,000 and a half-term governor of a state of 600,000. There are probably more people in Quayle's old district than in the entire state of Alaska.

I vote her to the top of your list.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on November 12, 2008 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's alright. The Republicans are really crazed just now and they will be going through some pretty dramatic discussion about how to regain their footing. That stuff makes for great press coverage.

What the Obama team is doing is a lot less flashy and there's precious little to quote or report on until some announcements are made.

There will be a lot to report on later.

Posted by: MarkH on November 12, 2008 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

This post just demonstrates further how out of touch the liberal illuminati really are. The press didn't lack courage where Sarah Palin was concerned: they lacked common sense! Suggesting tabloid trash about her newborn son (that she wasn't the real mother, when there was absolutely no basis for such a high-schoolish rumor), splashing false stories about but not covering their retractions or corrections, and ignoring basic journalistic integrity by citing anonymous sources for stories that others are equally repudiating (and if there are stories from both sides, it's difficult - solely from the evidence available - to charge her guilty of lack of knowledge).

If there is criticism of Barack Obama, it's racist. If there is criticism of Sarah Palin, it just hasn't gone far enough yet. The lack of consistency applied to two candidates with roughly the same amount of experience at a government desk is appalling.

Posted by: Reagankid on November 12, 2008 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

who cares what she does as long as she is not our vice president. she can make money or whatever but don't make my country a laughing stock

Posted by: joe in dallas on November 12, 2008 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

IF she had become VP, and IF McCain bought it, and IF there was a national emergency someone other than President Palin (shudder) would have handled it - and her. If she had been put in that position she would have been handled 25 hours a day, and trained to be the grim and resolved figurehead. Which is the problem - the people "leading" the nation would be unknown, unelected, ideologues.

And, by the way, Crackhead (interesting self-identification) did not give ONE REASON why Palin is qualified for any national office. But a "classroom teacher" who thinks it's fine to have poor language skills is kind of a micro-cosm of the right's view of education.

Posted by: SteveB on November 12, 2008 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

I'm waiting for an interviewer to ask her why she persisted in lying about her support for the Bridge to Nowhere.

Posted by: duBois on November 12, 2008 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

Crackhead:
"PALIN: It was a collaborative effort there in deciding how do we start bringing up some of the associations that perhaps would be impacting on an administration, on the future of America. But again, though, Wolf, knowing that it really -- at this point, I don't want to point fingers backwards and play the blame game, certainly, on anything that took place in terms of strategy or messaging in the campaign"

Yeah -- really profound and meaningful language!
As I said upstring, please oh PLEASE keep her talking (feed out more and more rope).

It makes perfect sense that the Stupid (patent pending) party would want her around, defend her and want her visible and magnificently audible.

I personally hope that she keeps it up -- the longer the better...

So seriously, you teach kids?...

Posted by: Elie on November 12, 2008 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

The most interesting question to me is, Why is all this abuse being heaped on Palin when GWB was equally ignorant, unself-aware and proud to be so?

It has to do with the minds of Kevin Drum and Andrew Sullivan and all the rest of us.

It can't be because of lack of experience. GWB was governor in a state where the gov has little power. Palin has been an actual governor with actual duties.

My theories:
1. Tits!
2. She's not a man.
3. She doesn't have the political pedigree of GWB. To many, she is "trailer trash". She didn't go to Yale.

Posted by: captcrisis on November 12, 2008 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

The reason she gets more attention, captcrisis is because she keeps talking, and talking and talking and needs more and more attention. Dubya just didnt need the affirmation. She NEEDS it --

Your first two points are only mildly relevant since she is generating her own exposure and seeks the attention. But the last part is actually why she is such a thumb in the eye of the east coast Repubs. And why its such a pleasure to watch!

Posted by: Elie on November 12, 2008 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

Elie,
I think you are not far from the reason she's been ridiculed so much. She is not being carefully managed and handled like GWB allowed himself to be. Remember his fake-whimpering in the interview with Tucker Carlson, mimicking Tanya Faye (I forget her name, the death row inmate who became an evangelical): "please don't kill me, please don't kill me". That was the real GWB, the spoiled frat boy, coming out. His handlers must have put a tight lid on after that. And he acquiesced.

Palin isn't so willing to be controlled. That is actually not a mark against her. Whatever else can be said about her, she has NOT (as GWB has) led a pampered life, with everything handed to her. This is probably the only way she knows how to be -- out there and fighting, however ineptly.

Posted by: captcrisis on November 12, 2008 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

I hate to say it, but she makes W look erudite. It's not her gender -- trade her winks for Bush's swagger and it comes up a tie -- it's that her lack of knowledge and intelligible syntax exceeds his by an order of magnitude in its bafflegab quotient. Just compare Bush's TV interviews from 2000 to hers in 2008. There just isn't a straight comparison.

Posted by: idlemind on November 12, 2008 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

If we assume for the moment that you're right, captcrisis, that pretty much assures we won't be seeing her in 2012. Right now the Republicans may be factioning, but as the real power behind the party reasserts itself and the religious right it driven back into its cage, Palin will be there with them. Her only chance to become the Republican standard-bearer is to acquiesce to the oligarchy that runs the party while bringing her part of the party base with her come election time. Just like Bush did.

Posted by: idlemind on November 12, 2008 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

Idlemind: I think you're right about Palin and 2012. It'll be interesting to see if the oligarchy settles on her or on someone else -- and if it's someone else, how hard and well Palin and her base will fight back.

Posted by: captcrisis on November 12, 2008 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

I think, after W, the Oiligarchy Repubs wanted to see if they could lower the bar even further.

Posted by: yaksun on November 12, 2008 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

Britney Spears... nix. Sarah Palin... ?

Posted by: Jay in Oregon on November 12, 2008 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

Please stop the Palindrone.

Posted by: SteinL on November 12, 2008 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

And btw - the real reason Palin is being kept on the target range is to deflect attention from the numbskull in the WH and the GOP leadership.
Dumb the ball in La Palina's lap, and let people conflate her (a newcomer on the national stage) with the wrecking crew that stole Florida in 2000.

Blame shifted, job done.

Posted by: SteinL on November 12, 2008 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

While Sarah is charismatic to a degree -- she is ignorant of how to achieve her goal. She is confusing the popularity of celebrity with the earned power of mastery and capability. She IS Britney Spears and NOT the same type of star Obama represented in '04 after giving the Democratic Convention speech.

She is hungry for fame and celebrity -- NOT political power in my opinion. That is why her means -- the constant blathering and know nothing eruptions are to keep her face in front of us so that she gets attention and fame. She really doesnt know how to build political power that would appeal to a wide base...

Posted by: Elie on November 12, 2008 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

Worse than Bush . . . he could actually fake some interest in world events. Palin can't even hold a conversation about them.

I'd compare her to Caligula nominating his horse as a Roman senator, but the horse was at least a combat veteran.


Posted by: Berken on November 12, 2008 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

"It's the debate, stupid." Gwen Ifill (herself probably walking on eggs because of convenient pre-accusations of bias) let Palin get away with her debate announcement that she wasn't going to answer the questions. The correct response to that should have been, "Oh yes,you ARE, you snotty little twit." Absolutely outrageous that Palin was allowed to get away with this, and nobody who wasn't just-so-adorable would have been. It's been downhilll since, leading up to this embarrassing fawn-fest and probably plenty more to come. I anticipate lots of cynically-timed pr stunts by this woman to draw attention from Obama successes over the next four years.

Posted by: Karen on November 13, 2008 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK

I actually think Sarah Palin was an attempt by the McCain campaign at a form of political satire.

Before Palin was the VP nominee, they were attacking Obama on his lack of experience. This was a valid criticism - if Obama had a serious flaw, it was his lack of years in national politcs.

The only problem was that this approach wasn't working with voters. They didn't want someone with lots of experience, they wanted someone with fresh ideas.

So the McCain campaign picked some one with practically no qualifications for the office. This was a clever ploy - the Obama campaign couldn't attack her on her lack of experience, because it would make "experience" the issue, where McCain had Obama beat. The message was: if you don't value experience, we'll give you inexperience by the truckload.

The only problem with this brilliant plan is that the woman is not only inexperienced, but appallingly ignorant. Obama may have only a few years of experience on the national stage, but he has shown an understanding of issues that Palin only seems dimly aware of.

Posted by: scotchfaster on November 13, 2008 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

I find it sickening that the liberal media and most of you on this blog would do your utmost to denigrate sarah Palin.. was she corrupt like the Clintons? did she have an affair? what did she do that made her an embarassment? Did Bill Clinton have any more experience than she when he ran for office? Does Obama have more experience? I don?t care about the nice speeches and rhetoric of those who are would fool this nation in to believing that they have all the answers. Sarah Palin was herself, she was honest and she has far more integrity than anyone in Washington. If Sarah Palin is an embarassment so is Hillary Clinton who became a senator which no experience and nothing to offer this nation but a reminder of the discretions of her husband a compulsive liar. You liberals are so keen to satirize a governor who by all accounts is one of the most competent governors in the country. She doesnt know much, but at least she didnt lie like Hillary Clinton and claimed to have arrived in Bosnia under fire.Sarah Palin has more intergrity than any democrat and I am proud of her.

Posted by: Tony on November 13, 2008 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

Two things about SP: her popularity in GOP circles shows just how intellectually bankrupt, cynical and irrelevant the GOP has become. Secondly, the more you rail against her in print, the longer she will live. I WANT the GOP to nominate SP for President in 2012. Let them see the wrath of America.

Posted by: Gary W on November 13, 2008 at 2:48 AM | PERMALINK

And one more thing: let the GOP faithful, a mean and calculating sort, love SP and make her their darling, over more accomplished young Republicans such as Bobby Jindal. I don't think anyone should care. Anything that keeps the loony third of the electorate in autoerotic bliss is good. It lets the other two-thirds vote on the real issues. The most SP can do is prevent a Democrat from winning more than 60% of the popular vote.

Posted by: Gary W on November 13, 2008 at 2:55 AM | PERMALINK

@TONY
I'll go through your list point-by-point.

(1) was she corrupt like the Clintons? Apparently she was/is corrupt, whether it comes to clothing or to being treated preferentially by her many corporate contacts.
Like the Clintons? You'll have to state a particular here. The GOP made many accusations, but where's the proof?

(2) did she have an affair? Yes - with Todd's best buddy.

(3) what did she do that made her an embarassment?
God, where to start? The bridge to nowhere she built/didn't build/took the money for? Her foreign policy expertise from her telescope? Her absolute lack of substantial knowledge?

(4) Did Bill Clinton have any more experience than she when he ran for office? Yes - governor for 12 - TWELVE - years. And he can actually think.

(5) Does Obama have more experience? I don?t care about the nice speeches and rhetoric of those who are would fool this nation in to believing that they have all the answers.
Let's see now? Editor of the Harvard Law Review, outstanding and Nr. 1 law student at Harvard, long experience organizing in local, Chicago communities, creating benefits for workers made destitute by the closing of steel plants, experience from the state legislature and subsequent experience from running for and winning the US Senate election. And organizing the best presidential campaign ever.

Sarah Palin was herself, she was honest and she has far more integrity than anyone in Washington.

PLEASE - THIS IS SNARK, RIGHT?

Sarah Palin has more intergrity than any democrat and I am proud of her.

REMAIN PROUD. In pride we trust, I guess?

Posted by: SteinL on November 13, 2008 at 4:16 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know what everyone is in such a huff about. Sarah is hot. And yummy. And that's why we love her.

Posted by: Mark on November 13, 2008 at 6:15 AM | PERMALINK

There's a heart-chilling issue that most of us liberal males are avoiding, trying not to

In 2010, when Palin poses for Playboy, will we buy it? Will we start choking the chicken? Will our dicks suddenly get limp in our hands? And will this be a cause for concern?

Posted by: captcrisis on November 13, 2008 at 8:13 AM | PERMALINK

"In 2010, when Palin poses for Playboy, will we buy it? "

That's the real media conspiracy here. Mock her out of the VP race, nail her on the state trooper corruption and get her kicked out of office forever. How to pay the bills then? Hey, Playboy just offered $10m....

Result!

Posted by: ally on November 13, 2008 at 8:18 AM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin had been concentrating on State & local issues until a month before the debate with Joe Biden. Biden was reputed to be the Democrats' most experienced, knowledgeable Presidential candidate, the guy with "gravitas" (which is why Obama picked him for veep). He'd been debating federal issues for 35 years, and she had just a month to bone up. So Biden should have been able to crush Palin like a bug.

Instead, Palin at least held her own, and she actually made fewer factual errors than Biden did. Conclusion: she is a very quick study, and clearly a lot smarter than Biden.

Maybe that's part of why the Left hates Sarah Palin so much. She combines fresh-faced, plain-spoken integrity and old-fashioned Christian values (which the Left detests) with high-caliber intellect (which the Left fears).

Camille Paglia's reaction to Sarah Palin was:

"We may be seeing the first woman president. As a Democrat, I am reeling. That was the best political speech I have ever seen delivered by an American woman politician. Palin is as tough as nails."

Palin was a perfect choice for the understudy / apprenticeship role which is the vice-presidency. It wasn't enough to save McCain's candidacy, but it was the best choice he could have made.

Dave

Posted by: Dave Burton on November 13, 2008 at 8:20 AM | PERMALINK

How many times do we have to hear 'if it's God's will...and the people want me...for the Senate and the presidency....?"
The real irony was when she talked about her children being independent. As the mother of 2 teenagers, I love dependency in the correct way. My daughter calls from college to say who she is having over for the w/e and where they went. I love to know my younger daughter's friends and be her driver....If she thinks that children are best when left alone, I don't know if she could ever govern a large country like the US and stay informed on issues...
She did not have one policy idea for today's GOP Governor's meeting..."More of God's will etc".
Kudos to Govs. Pawlenty, Jindal, et al. I don't want a one-party state in this country. I hope they prevail with the wider electorate and the GOP makes itself palatable to a diverse electorate.
Another thing: " we did not get the Hispanic vote." Does she not ponder that there are other minorities?

Posted by: Pamela McGregor on November 13, 2008 at 8:21 AM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin is the political version of the pretty teenaged girl who disappears. Or the pretty Hollywood starlet who keeps getting falling down drunk. She's a ratings lightening rod because she's photogenic and crazy.

Posted by: chrenson on November 13, 2008 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

Continuing the Palin-porn theme...

She's a sassy MILF that's captured the imagination of the older white men who haven't yet discovered internet porn. She's the dominatrix that they all wish they had. And the dominatrix all their wives wish they could be.

I'm telling you, dress her in leather and put a riding crop in her hand and she's the Repug's Uma Thurman.

Posted by: BravesWin on November 13, 2008 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

A few thoughts...

* There *is,* quite literally, Palin porn- Hustler made "Who's Nailin' Paylin" w/a model who's a good ringer for Caribou Barbie.

* Why are we paying so much attention to her after a loss when we quickly lost interest in Dan Quayle? I'll give you two reasons, which can each be seen in the movie above.

* As has been alluded to, the 'shot at and missed' factor comes into play. With every inanity that Palin utters, people are ever more grateful that she wasn't elected VP.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on November 13, 2008 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

I think the talking heads are all hoping she'll say something totally wacky on their show (Like the Couric interview) & that's why they want her on.

I can't say I would disagree with their thinking if I was in their shoes (trying to fill time & get people with 190 channels to tune in to their show).

Posted by: Paul in KY on November 13, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Mommy, that mean, crazy lady's on TV again....Make her go away!

Posted by: Cleo on November 13, 2008 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

"46 percent of Americans voted for the possibility of this blank slate as president..."
And another 53% voted for the reality of an only slightly less blank slate as president! I think the lesson here is that, regardless of side, appearance charisma and raw appeal are more important than record (or relative lack thereof) by far.

Posted by: Fel on November 14, 2008 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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