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The Palin Ascendency


When Sarah Palin was selected as the Vice Presidential candidate in 2008 to run with John McCain, she seemed a nice, relatively simple woman with a family and at least the minimal amount of intelligence necessary to run a small community–not an insignificant thing. She had been mayor of a small community, Wasilla, Alaska. She had been governor of Alaska. For what appeared to be a simple country girl, it would seem to be a fairy tale adventure–small town mayor and small-state governor makes good. She runs; she loses; she goes home to applause and admiration. It didn’t turn out that way.

In fact, it turned out just the opposite.  She is merely one of that new breed of people who, because they look good on television, has become a rich celebrity. So called “Survivors” and “Millionaire Bachelors” and slugs from the dregs of New Jersey, even Mafia wives appear on television making fools of themselves for money and a brief bit of celebrity. Palin has become a valuable tool of the Right Wing in their campaign to destroy the American Middle Class. Of course, Sarah Palin deserves all the money she can earn, just as anyone in this country does.

She has chosen to make her money, apparently something like $12 million in 2009 alone, by attacking the President of the United States on behalf of the ultra-right wing of the Republican Party. And what does she get in return? The kind of income that allows her and her family from the little town of Wasilla, Alaska, with her modest education and her enormous lack of political or cultural sophistication, but her apparently sexually attractive persona to afford a $1.7 million dollar mansion. And this is it.

The Palin Estate The idea that Ms. Palin is some kind of ideologue is ludicrous. There is every indication that she has never read a serious book about history or politics. She certainly did not independently write a book, because if she had, it would be riddled with misspellings, words with mistaken meanings and grammatical errors.

We began to hear, even during the 2008 campaign, that Sarah Palin was much more ambitious than your average Alaskan politician. She wasn’t about to go back to the dark, cold weather of Alaska, after she’d been in the glare of the bright lights of the big city. She had something else in her sights and she learned how to get it the same way as some other not-too-civilized\, not-too-ethical political types. She discovered money. Real money. Money coming not in dollar bills but in thousand-dollar bills. And she was hooked.

She was offered the opportunity to become one of the new Right Wing spokesmen for the billionaire and corporate Fascist class. These people find someone whom the people identify as a popular local hero and on whom they overlay their own personal interpretation. Palin was the outspoken working mom, from the small town. Of course, while that was her history, it was no more her ambition, we discovered, than was it the ambition of Lonesome Rhodes in A FACE IN THE CROWD, to be a local disc jockey.

The fact is that she seems ovewhlemingly to be about fame and fortune.  She likes to be the center of attention while claiming that she dislikes it. She wants to be a political leader but dislikes preparation or solitary study. She seems unwilling to undertake any of the intellectual exercises necessary to becoming a leader. She has a certain appeal to the loony-bin radical Republicans and makes outrageous sums of money by simply speaking lines written for her that attack the President endlessly and often preposterously. She somehow has begun to see herself as a real national political leader. In every poll, however,  even Republicans giver very low marks on anything resembling leadership.

Palin says that the American People are “desperate for positive change” and she can be the one to “get us off this wrong track.” She talks about “taking our country back.” Well, many of us–something like 54%–think that we did our best to “take our country back” in 2008 when we rid ourselves of the war-mongering, economically disastrous Bush-Cheney Administration.

So, somehow, Palin, who supports “drill baby drill” instead of alternative energy, who supports BP oil instead of the citizens of the Gulf Coast, who supports the billionaire Koch Family instead of Social Security recipients, who supports the health care industry instead of Obamacare to reduce the costs of health care for all citizens…is going to take us onto the “right” track?

The modest Palin pool.

Does it make sense that someone who encouraged the Tea Party Republicans to vote for $800 billion in tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, who encourages more tax loopholes for global corporations to locate and hire outside the U.S. and yet wants to gut the entire U.S. government from Social Security to Education to Veterans Affairs is going to lead us into “positive” changes.

And what about the $1.7 million gated and walled estate in Phoenix…far from the icy winds of Alaska? Is it important that she decided to buy a mansion? Why not? After all, in 2009 alone, she made $12 million and in 2010 and 2011 published another book, made more speeches at $100,000 apiece and kept a million dollar contract from Rupert Murdoch to appear on Fox News Channel.

Home Theater. For watching "The Undefeated?"

We all like to make money. The problem is this. If we do it as Willie Sutton did it, we go to jail. If we do it as the turn-of-the-20th Century Robber Barons did it, government eventually comes down on us. And if we do it by telling people that plain water will cure cancer and it does not, then we have taken money under false  and criminal circumstances.

It’s called fraud. The problem with all this is that Palin is making her millions passing on fraudulent information to the Tea Party members. It is one thing to say that they should know better, “voter beware.” But it is quite another to lie to them repeatedly and expect the voters to make the right decisions. Especially when you are being paid a million bucks a year to lie.

It is not merely Sarah Palin who is pushing this propaganda, but she is one ot those doing it and one of those who knows that what she is saying is wrong. Now she has a movie, “The Undefeated” that she commissioned. It is basically a public relations campaign for her for the 2012 elections. Her book, “Going Rogue, ” which could as easily have been entitled, “Acting Stupid,” was designed to both make money for her and help her continue to attack the Democratic Administration.

Sarah Palin will say that the media attacks her because she says foolish things. When talking about a military operation she referred to a “squirmish” instead of a “skirmish.” She spoke of “refudiating” some principle that the Democrats espoused, rather than “repudiating” it, if it was even in context. But it is not her misuse of words that truly bothers us. It is the fact that she has a number of apparently very ignorant and semi-literate people who follow her words, not realizing that she talks in circles. And for a politician that is dangerous. For a possible President, it could be disastrous.

She commented on the President’s discussion of the Libyian revolution and NATO’s delicate balance in supporting the Rebels.  The President pointed out that while not wanting to be involved, we are part of NATO and must, by treaty, be involved with our partners in some things.

While attempting to show that the President was not being clear, Palin went off on a tangent about the North Star and how it is part of the Alaskan flag and how Alaskans use it as a sort of GPS, and then she went off track even further and mixed her metaphors completely, calling it “our plumb line” (which for those of you who do not know, is used to make sure that walls are straight, not locate places from outer space.) I’m not sure how the North Star equates to a plumb line, but then apparently because the North Star was something that she finally did know a little bit about, she began to grow poetic and said that it was the bright light “o’er land and sea” (it really isn’t that bright.)

Finally she said it was a beacon that keeps her focused. She drew herself completely off the point until you could only ask yourself, “what the hell is she talking about?” But she came back to her “critique” of the President’s speech on Libya by saying how disappointed she was that he wandered off the topic (which was only a metaphor) of the North Star in order to point out some of the more perplexing aspects to a difficult military intervention. She is beyond stupid. She is dangerously erratic.




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