Sarah Palin has stormed onto the national political stage in presumably the same way she captured the spot at the state level in the sparsely populated state of Alaska. Wasilla, the town where Palin was mayor for six years before becoming Alaska’s governor, has a population of under 10,000 and is, according to Wikipedia, the fourth largest population center in Alaska.
In a state where rugged manliness has become the subject of a worldwide sensation through Alaskamen Magazine, “you betcha” the flirtations of a beauty contest near-winner wins attention. Multiply that chance exponentially when she shell-shocks opponents by spewing memorized rhetoric unfettered by the constraints of either logic or context.
The winking, nose-wrinkling and avid punching of air is less effective on the national political level conducted mainly in front of television cameras for mainstream American viewers mostly in the lower 48. When the candidate assigns poor performance in the art of spontaneous expression to her “annoyance” with a sophisticated rival of her own gender, the rationale is either schoolgirl naive or zealously calculated. Judging by the carefully crafted hairdos complete with flirty, immovable bangs, as well as the drama of power suits and designer jackets, the latter alternative seems more likely.
The sophistication juxtaposed with the air-headed flirtatious posturing makes Sarah Palin a deadly Weapon of Mass Destruction in the hands of political strategist Karl Rove, who has been coaching Palin on how to conduct the campaign. But it just may be that Rove’s strategy is backfiring because the American people have moved beyond his reach after eight years of the Republican techniques in which the arch-conservative Palin excels.
On the Monday of the Wall Street meltdown, the House voted down the $700 billion bailout package because of the sheer volume of voter protest. After all, Congressmen are up for election along with a new president and vice-president. A week of storm trooper terror tactics about the collapse of the country, along with an astonishing additional $150 billion in pork, plus who knows what other machinations, led to the Senate passing the package on Wednesday to essentially force the same action in the House representing the American majority of the “little people.”
By then, Palin had completed the bailout of her own campaign after lowering the bar so far she could not have undercut the level of expectation set for her by interviews with Couric. Neither stonewalling nor lies were held against her, nor was the public’s own annoyance with the flirtations.
The following Saturday, Palin told supporters it was time to take the gloves off. That’s when she described the rival presidential candidate Barack Obama as “palling around” with terrorists. Palin’s own counterpart, Joe Biden, did not even merit mention.
Sarah Palin is aiming high with her grating pretense at flirtation to do exactly what George Bush has done, to shrink the American culture and sink its global reputation. With her right-wing agenda and zealotry even stronger than that of Bush, coupled with an Alaskan vision even narrower than that of a conservative Texan, Palin would destroy whatever cultural dignity America has left, both at home and overseas.
On the upside, the stunned American public should be angry enough with the bailout, the stonewalling, the out-and-out lying, the undermining of American institutions and the skirting of the rule law that has been policy for the last eight years that they will revolt on November 4. The groundswell against a power-ploy that presumes American too dumb to see through the sham of a flirt is leading to a landslide so large voter manipulation will make no difference.
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