Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Palin Fatigue

Tina Fey, the most talented producer/writer/actor working in televison, has already had it with Sarah Palin. After winning a bunch of Emmys for her work on the superb 30 Rock, the extremely attractive (OK, maybe it’s just me) Fey, making a personal and slyly political point, said "I want to be done playing this lady Nov. 5. So if anybody can help me be done playing this lady Nov. 5, that would be good for me."

Although I haven’t been asked to play her on SNL or anywhere else, I am also sick of Sarah Palin. After bursting on the national scene in the most cynical use of running-mate selection in U.S. political history, Palin has quickly moved down the road of becoming irrelevant and tedious. The McCain campaign’s strategy of keeping her shielded from media inquiry – culminating in an overdue rebellion in the press corps Tuesday while she posed for holy pictures with Hamid Karzai – will prove self-destructive as soon as next week, when Palin will be clamoring to be heard over the din of financial collapse, McCain's crashing in the polls and the thumping Obama will deliver on McCain’s bald head in the first debate Friday night.

While Palin gallivants around the country in her protective cocoon, speaking to various highly-selected gatherings of right-wing base-heads, reporters continue to do the vetting that McCain should have done on the near-absentee Alaskan governor. Apparently, even when she was near the seat of government in Juneau, she was playing with her Blackberry during meetings and sending her husband out on various retaliatory missions. She was for the bridge before she was against it, she hired a lobbyist while in Wasilla to go to Washington and stir up more earmarks, she and the McCain campaign are in full coverup mode over her vindictive actions in Troopergate, etc. Both in terms of her cluelessness, policy positions and her contempt for the media and the democratic process, she has been widely exposed as Bush in a skirt.

The usual right-wing echo-chamber has been remarkably silent in defense of her loony positions and her single-minded approach to government. Instead, they play their usual game of Defining the Worst as the Norm, finding snippets here and there of fringe personalities saying fringe things, and pretending like that is all the left is saying of Palin. However, like most Obama supporters, I couldn't care less about her family members or personal choices that she would not allow to others. Her public record, such as it is, is bad enough to expose McCain as blowing his first major decision by naming her his running mate.

Yesterday, Palin was trotted around New York City, getting advice from notoriously-wrong war criminal Henry Kissinger and chatting up any foreign leaders that the McCain campaign could dupe into posing with her. Imagine a Democratic campaign using whatever pull it had to get its running mate his or her first meeting with head of state at the UN. You would be able to hear the squealing from here to Afghanistan. Palin's vacant, uncomfortable smile was like a Little Leaguer suddenly thrust in her uncle's big-league clubhouse. Nice to visit? Sure. Belong there? You've got to be kidding.

Palin's selection has provided a gut-check for right-wing commentators, and very few have passed, especially locally. While some right-wing memebers of the commentariat are lending themselves a modicum of credibility by criticizing McCain for his reckless pick, others make excuses for her enourmous short-comings and toe the party line. When this is all over, those seeking legitimate commentary will be able to look at whether the writer played Palin defense or called her out for the cypher she is.

Showing their characteristic fickleness, the American public has popped the Palin bubble. Like a movie with lots of buzz before opening, Palin has suffered from a lack of positive "word of mouth" since then. Good opening weeks may be sufficient for Hollywood's bottom line, but they don't do much for politicians running a marathon. By the time she gets to the debate with Biden next week, Palin will be reeling, back on her high-heels, wondering why she has to answer all these damn questions. It's the democracy, stupid.


Doug said...

your a fucking idiot, you bloviating piece of crap, McCain/Palin win in a walk!!! Guaranteed!!!!!!!

Jim Bouman said...

Lighten up, Doug.

The writer just has a point of view to express. You don't have to reduce him to dogshit on the sidewalk to make your point.

All is well--free speech reigns across the land--and we'll see who wins the presidential election in about 5 weeks. May the best man win.

Don't go too far out on a limb, lest you end up mistaken and bereft...out on that limb.

We all have to live together and accept the results of the next election.


William Tyroler said...

Showing their characteristic fickleness, the American public has popped the Palin bubble.

Speaking of which ... it's a tad early to break out your bubbly. ("notwithstanding the negative press, email slanders, etc., Palin still outpolls Biden 54/42 to 49/41"; favorable/unfavorable)

The odd thing, though, is the extent to which Palin dominates the news and blog discussions. Obama's running against McCain not her, but appearances suggest otherwise. Maybe the Dems' internal polls strongly reinforce the idea noted above.

As for Biden, he's a nonstop gaffe riot, so it's no wonder he's a liability. Pity, though, that the mainstream media are more interested in non-stories about Palin. Speaking of which, when the election is over (and actually I agree that Obama is very likely to win), the real losers will be the MSM, whose credibility is fatally shot.

Mike Plaisted said...

Bill: Yeah, and 75% think her selection was a cynical political ploy. Which it was.

And what exactly is wrong with what the MSM has done with the Palin story? They have sent people to Alaska to explore who she is and how she governs (indifferently, with and iron fist). She became mayor of Wasilla by calling the incumbent a gay-loving maybe-Christian; she "reformed" Alaskan politics when reform was already in the air, taking per diems for sitting at home, being absent from the statehouse most of the time, sending her husband to bully those out of line, extracting familial revenge on her ex-brother-in-law...what is so wrong with the MSM digging this stuff related to the way she governs and publishing it?

I don't get it. Maybe we can talk about it at the conference -- perhaps over lunch at Conijitos?

Anonymous said...

The left never ceases to amaze me. In the past month they have gone from zero to hate in the blink of an eye once Palin was tapped.

Their Palin Derangement Syndrome evidently knows no end. Hate, hate, hate.

Where's the 24/7 coverage of Biden and his never-ending gaffes and questionable background? Did the MSM airdrop a legion of reporters on Delaware to investigate every detail of his background?

Mike enjoys surrounding himself with like-minded people so he rarely lives in reality. He sees ONE poll from ABC which says Obama is ahead by 9 points and all of a sudden it's a thumping of McCain's skull on election day. Evidently Mike didn't read the fine print as to who was polled, but alas, facts mean little...especially when they don't agree with Mike, then they're just echo-chamber lies spread by Rush/Rove/Palin/Hannity/Bush.

Keep it up Mike, it's quite entertaining and makes for a good laugh when I'm feeling down.

William Tyroler said...

Maybe we can talk about it at the conference -- perhaps over lunch at Conijitos?

Anytime, Bro, on me.

In the meantime: I don't think Palin's gotten a fair shake. Subjective impression? Sure. I take Chris Matthews' openly gushing about the tingle O sends up his leg to be a sort of synecdoche of the fawning coverage the media have largely given him. Don't have time to track down the links, but much of the claims against her amount to smears. At a bare minimum, I don't trust the media to ferret out the truth. Take Charlie Gibson's interview. I saw a sneering, condescending, aging, elitist preppie literally peering down his nose at his perceived intellectual and moral inferior. I'm sure many saw it much differently, so there is as conceded a subjective component. But the fact is, Gibson lied through his fricking teeth when he said he was using her exact words and he lied about the meaning of those words. And the interview itself was a larger lie still, in that he edited out of it her answers that made her seem much less bellicose about the Russian invasion of Georgia. OK, one link: contrast that performance with Gibson's earlier interview with Obama, containing this gem: "Why is it so awesome that you're multiracial?" Gibson's in the tank for Obama. So's much of the MSM. I'm a masochist. I subscribe to the New York Times and I see it every single day.

Which leads to a last point. Even if one thought Palin did speak in tongues and was in fact the mother of her grandchild (I'm reminded, maybe out of sleep deprivation, of Stringbean's much underrated lament, "I Am My Own Grandpa"; but that is sort of how the MSM media does see Palin, as an in-breeding hillbilly); even if one thought those things and more, one ought to be very concerned about the media's uncritical promotion of a virtual unknown to be president. Palin wasn't vetted by McCain? Shit, Obama hasn't been vetted by the media. I don't trust the process by which the MSM are deciding the outcome, in a nutshell.

Tangential aside: I do wish people leaving comments would dial down the temperature. I often disagree with Michael's take but I admire his verve and always enjoy his writing.

Mike Plaisted said...

Bill: How has Obama not been vetted by the media. We know all about his church, all about Ayers, all about his poor half-brother living in a hovel in Kenya. All his connections to Rezko and other people in the "Chicago machine" are out ther3e for all to see. What else would you like to know? What are they missing?
As for Palin, was Katie Curic mean and condecending too? Palin was pathetic in that interview on the simpliest, most predcitable questions. You would be comfortable with THAT person in the White House if McCain kicks the bucket?

You don't know about the grandmother-pretending-to-be-mother nonsense because of the MSM -- it's because of the GOP echo-chamber that picked up a fringe comment so they could smear us all by pretending it was typical of mainstream left-wing comments.

The MSM has asked Obama 10,000 times more questions than they will ever have a chance to ask Palin -- do you think they are hiding some epic fail somewhere in their archives? If Palin gets under the lights after three days of intense prep and melts, what are they supposed to do, ignore it?

All the MSM does (commentators aside) is get information out there so people can chew on it. If the information about Obama is good or neutral (studies have shown they are actually harder on him than on the formerly-sainted McCain) and the information about Palin, including her own performances show her to be a manipulative, absentee governor and a national-stage dunce, what are they supposed to do about it. McCain nominating someone so wildly unqualified is called news.

And McCain dodging a debate this week so he can circumvent the VP debate to give her more time or maybe avoid it completely is just pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Palin is an idiot. The more she talks, the more her luster wears off. That's why she is hidden from the press. Watch for McCain to try to scuttle the VP debate next week. The McCain "fix" is in.

apc said...

9:04 Anon,

Pointing out obvious mistakes and raising valid questions about someone who could possibly be president isn't derangement, nor is it hatred. It's called patriotic duty.

If the right wants less criticism of its officeholders and candidates, it should offer up competent officeholders and candidates, instead of calling their critics deranged and full of hatred.

apc said...

Oh, and Mike, it's not just you. Tina Fey is definitely hot.

William Tyroler said...

Thanks for the insightful comments, Michael. This will be pretty disjointed. And link-free for the most part; just don't have the time right now.

First, a recent Rasmussen poll says:

Over half of U.S. voters (51%) think reporters are trying to hurt Sarah Palin with their news coverage, and 24% say those stories make them more likely to vote for Republican presidential candidate John McCain in November.

Doesn't make it so, of course. But there's safety in numbers. By which I mean that a) I'm far from alone in perceiving anti-Palin (and pro-Obama) media bias; and b) it's the MSM that'll take the hit, no matter how the election turns out, because their credibility is shot among a wide swath of the news-consuming public.

Rezko, Wright, Ayers ... interesting stories all. I don't agree that they've gotten anything remotely near the attention they deserve. Maybe by the Sun-Times, but not nationally. (I know, I know, we heard a lot about Wright, but it was Wright's tapes on youtube that forced the coverage, besides which the MSM was really late to the show. Without those fortuitous tapes there would have been little if any coverage; the MSM did no digging at all.) Ayers? Obama's likely hiding something about his connection. Oddly, it probably isn't anything terribly insidious -- a much closer working relationship than Obama wants to let on, most likely. But the larger point is that it's taken an academic (Stanley Kurtz) to try to get to the bottom of it, not the MSM, and it's certainly not getting any coverage. You'd think the possibility of a cover-up would excite MSM interest. Nope, not when it comes to the candidate they favor.

Next: this discussion about Palin obscures an on-going curiosity: why the focus on her? Could be (I'm speculating of course) that she poses a genuine threat to the Obama camp not least because she highlights his lack of experience. See, for example, the Rasmussen poll cited above:

Thirty-nine percent (39%) also believe the GOP vice presidential nominee has better experience to be president of the United States than Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

Not a majority, to be sure, but a significant number nonetheless. I've got to go. Thanks much for a very entertaining discussion.

David M said...

I'm amazed by this Palin thing - she obviously is very controversial and let's be honest, for good reason! She arrives with some very questionable baggage and it's absurd to think the Republican's in charge knew of her issues. Also, it should be noted that after she made her first appearance she was then sheltered for days - this is not becoming of a person of her potential position. As for public being wary of the press and their treatment of her, many of these people (the public, that is) were led to believe in the war, in tax cuts for the wealthy and all the other nonsense of the Bush administration. We are such a divided nation that many of us will rally behind the person we are told to support. So with this noted, I do believe that many of the American public believes Ms. Palin is being treated unfairly but that certainly doesn't mean it's true.

Anonymous said...

If she's being treated so unfairly, why doesn't she speak up for herself? If she has such a thoroughgoing handle on the issues a VP candidate needs, why hasn't she shared that? The headline in the papers yesterday trumpeted how "Palin answers questions from reporters." This is news? She's being sheltered for a reason, and it's becoming apparent that reason is well-founded.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Palin kind of ruin Tina Fey for you?