Wednesday, April 20, 2011

DEFINING DEVIANCY DOWN. I told you people not to underestimate Sarah Palin (though I probably should have said that you shouldn't underestimate her media enablers, particularly as they respond so generously when badgered by her factota). But even I was a little surprised to see how seriously the press took her ridiculous show in Madison last weekend. Her supporters were sufficiently countered (and probably outnumbered) at that event by hordes of unruly protesters that she seemed to strain her voice to be heard above them, yet her disastrous appearance was covered as if it were the triumphal return of a head of state.

In the recent McClatchy-Marist poll Palin finishes in Presidential preference behind Rudy frigging Giuliani. Her numbers have been lousy for months. And still she gets serious treatment; even her new website ("Has Pundits Buzzing") is big news.

Not that she needs more help, but I'm beginning to think that the emergence of Donald Trump as a Republican contender has been a boon to the Palin quasi-campaign, if not in numbers then in press perception. At first I thought Trump's absurd presence would only cannibalize the bottom-feeder constituency on which Palin relies. But now I believe the great attention his birther-blowhard campaign has received may be serving to normalize absurdity in the 2012 GOP race to Palin's benefit. Whatever her many drawbacks -- quitting governor, spectacularly failed vice-presidential candidate, reality TV buffoon, etc -- as long as Trump is out there bellowing, Palin is not the most ludicrous Republican candidate extant. (The nearly invisible Bachmann doesn't count, yet.)

Maybe she thinks so, too:
Palin, who’s been trading kind words with Trump in recent days, said on Fox News that the real estate mogul isn’t pushing the birther issue and would talk about more substantial issues — if only the press would let him. Reporters, she said, are “hammering [Trump] about the one issue that he has brought up and not been shy about — that's the birth certificate. ... He's answering reporters' questions about his view on the birth certificate. And reporters turn that around and say that's all he's got.

“That's not the case,” she added. “Trump is running on the issue, bottom line, that President Obama is in so far over his head.”
Among the alleged high end of Republican candidates, we have Romney, Huckabee, and maybe Daniels -- all uncharismatic ciphers who couldn't raise a piss-on at a glory hole. In the shitstorm that 2012 promises to be, who do you think is most likely to reap the whirlwind? I am put in mind of Deep Throat in All The President's Men: "They were frightened of Muskie, and look who got destroyed. They wanted to run against McGovern, look who they're running against..."


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