But that's a dodge, when you get right down to it, for a variety of reasons. One is that the interminable train wreck that is Palin's political career is never not going to be at least entertaining. Another, perhaps more important rationale, is the intensely symbiotic relationship between Palin and her devotees. It is not unlike that between the recently deceased King of Pill Pop (perhaps you've heard about his demise) and his legion of unemployable weirdos. The wampeter becomes almost messianic in the eyes of the followers, in that their adulation cannot be rationally articulated, and refuting evidence is readily ignored, no matter how abundant that evidence happens to be.
Anyway, La Palin. What's the deal? the kids are asking. Well, the deal seems pretty easy to me -- she's heading for the land of more money and fewer headaches. Buried fairly deep into Todd Purdum's already infamous Vanity Fair takedown is probably the clearest message of who and what Palin really is, operationally:
It's easy to assume at this point that there are many government officials who use parallel communications in order to circumvent those pesky transparency requirements. But for Palin it appears to be SOP, which belies not only her usual populist "nothin' ta hide" pose, but her other usual pose about do-nothing government. Really, if you're not doing anything all that earth-shattering, if it's really that mundane and needlessly overblown, then why the opacity?
And that seems to dovetail all too nicely with her stock patter on last year's campaign trail. Palin seemed to relish her "pit bull with lipstick" schtick a bit too much; no matter how quickly and thoroughly her assertions were debunked and refuted, she obstinately refused even to alter them, much less drop them for the sake of mere accuracy. This is the mark of someone who neither knows nor cares about the integrity of the things they happen to say, and if your instinct is to use language to conceal rather than to reveal, it's bound to be an overriding instinct. Everything you do and say is going to be used for that purpose.
Even worse than the smooth pathological lying is the endless playing of the victim card. It's gotten so old that even moderate conservatives such as Debra Saunders and Bobo Brooks are sick of it, which means that as soon as Goldberg cleans the Cheeto dust from his paws, he'll be on that wagon as well. It's become painfully clear that Palin, just like her perpetually aggrieved fan club, is much better at dishing it out than taking it. She'll lie about her own and her opponents' records on the campaign trail like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, and casually call people terrorists and socialists, but boy howdy, you do a lame PhotoShop of her kid or make fun of her non-abstinent daughter, and she pops a lung blowing the rape whistle.
If the lack of self-awareness these people routinely exhibit could be processed into some form of renewable energy, you'd have an endless supply of bullshit and our oil resource constraints would be over in a fucking heartbeat. But trillions of cubic feet of butt-hurt ain't solar power, and nobody other than the terminally stupid are buying into this Li'l Miss Can't Be Wrong act of hers.
Which is why she has to duck out while the getting's good, before her moron base has moved on to the next batch of fudge-covered nachos that passes for their intellectual lives and replaces their mental stability. Palin's only political options are to either run for a second term as governor, and now that she's gotten a taste of the outside world, that's out; run for Lisa Murkowski's seat next year, which would truly be a match between Dumb & Dumber, but one that Murkowski would almost certainly win; or become the Goopers' nominee in '12, which even Palin has to realize would be a tacit concession by her disarrayed party. Might as well nominate Bob Dole, for what it will get them; even Palin has to realize that her base is as narrow as it is (ahem) deep.
The mark of the true believer is to simply carry their martyr's cross for her, and John Fund is nothing if not absolutely reliable in his sheer intellectual dishonesty. He starts with the usual "baseless ethics investigations" hokum and then jerks the heart-strings.
Really? Which "liberal blogs" "suggested" such things, even polemically? I don't even recall reading any commenters who made such suggestions, much less actual blog postings. Near as I can tell, most simply pointed out the shameless hypocrisy and ignorance of Palin's holier-than-thou stances on reproductive choice, and her insistence on using her infant as a campaign prop. But again, she also initiated her own fair share of baseless, intensely personal attacks, and it's certainly no great challenge to find any number of conservatard blog commenters who regularly truck in thinly- (or not-at-all) veiled racism against Obama. I've seen exactly one (1) nasty PhotoShop of Sarah and Trig Palin, and that was recent; there are months worth of Obama pickaninny caricatures and angry-loner threats out there if you've got the stomach for it.
But Fund is nothing if not resolute in his hackery, committed to helping Miss Thang play her victim card just one more time, whatever and ever, amen:
Oh, boo-fuckin'-hoo, Mary. Sarah Palin is going to where the money is, the Rudy Giuliani route, the traditional home of all good charlatans and hucksters -- the lecture/commentator grift. She can pull some decent bank for probably a year or so on the rubber-chicken circuit, pay down her legal bills and hit the Neiman-Marcus, telling the assholes what they want to hear, without disclosure rules and standards for accuracy and all those inconveniences, impediments to her (and their) peculiar solipsism. Then she can go to Faux News and be a color commentator, if she can live with Hannity and O'Reilly endlessly fwapping outside her dressing room.
I'd like to say that Palin's political career is well and truly over for good, even with a backhanded compliment that her weird celebrity status has transcended the mediocrities of politics. But she's young, and there's always that bloc of Americans that never run out of incoherent anger and volatile stupidity. This country allowed George W. Bush into the White House not once but twice (even if by chicanery); clearly anything's possible.