September 20, 2008

The Tattlesnake – Joan of Snark Jumps the Shark Edition

Serial-Liar Mom Palin Tanks Along with the Economy

“The trouble you brew today, you will drink tomorrow.”
– From “Samson and Delilah,” a 1949 film.

There was much early September hand-wringing and angst amongst Obama supporters that, after a strong finish at the Democratic convention in Denver, he was allowing the Palin-McCain ticket — for that’s what it truly is now as the aging Republican’s candidacy is overwhelmed by the media incandescence of Gov. Horse-Hockey Mom — put him on the defensive, dropping his inspirational charisma in favor of dull ‘wonky talk’ on the issues and curling into a timid Kerryesque ball, fighting off scurrilous and specious charges, while fecklessly laughing at or ignoring ludicrous accusations such as that he voted to teach Sex Ed to kindergarten tots. All of this is the standard GOP endgame of the past twenty-some years – wildly slander with Big Lies while the Dem refuses to ‘go negative’ – that results in another humiliating Dem defeat in November.(Bill Clinton, of course, being the notable exception.)

But that was last week. Now Palin is in free-fall, exposed as a pathologically prevaricating, power-abusing, crony-hiring GOP cipher, ignorant on foreign policy and most everything else, and pit bull-tenacious only at regurgitating her prepared Talking Points, kowtowing to the interests of large energy corporations, and using her office to conduct vendettas on those who contradict or are perceived as disloyal to her. In short, she’s Junior in a beehive, albeit more articulate and better at reciting her Bushian bumper-sticker slogans.

Meantime, Sarah’s more boring co-pilot McCain is himself treading sewer water, hauled up in buckets from the same sea of Republican red ink that swallowed do-nothing big business Republicans in 1932; he’s even taken to quoting Herbert Hoover’s peculiar dictum that the economy is fundamentally strong, while banks fail, wages fall, prices rise, and Americans are losing their jobs and homes. Well, what should one expect from a man who thinks shady corporate lobbyist Phil Gramm is the second coming of John Maynard Keynes?

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where the change began, but Palin’s interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson is a good start. (I confess I was wrong about Gibson; his questioning of Palin was much more exacting than I predicted.) The video clips that were replayed on the news shows displayed a woman out of her element, repeating hastily-learned phrases and without an appreciation for the devastation and uncertainty of war to a public tired of Republican-induced fear and conflict. There was also the matter of her supercilious, humbugging demeanor and off-putting snide sense of humor, first exhibited at the Republican National Convention. While snarky potshots at community service may have enthralled the bilious and vindictive GOP hacks in the convention hall, they deeply offended the millions of Americans who volunteer to provide such services or survive through their good graces.

The operative phrase, resounding like a tape loop through the Big Media Punditrocracy for the first two weeks on the month, was that Palin’s speech, drafted by a Bushite, had ‘energized and united’ the Republican base, without ever pointing out that the shrinking GOP base was not enough to get McPalin elected. Various Lords and Ladies of the BM Chattering Class went embarrassingly gooey over Palin’s rote performance, and at the notion that another Republican in the White House would spare their top-10-percent personal incomes from the plague of higher taxes on the loaded promised by Obama. Perhaps the perky Alaska Governor sounded like an extra in “Fargo” and wasn’t real strong on specifics, but, damn, the people loved her spunk!

Or, at least, that was the BM Narrative, which most in the televised Media Elite now accept as having equal validity with such arcane journalistic obsessions as fact and truth. She had a ‘compelling life story’ so the Pundits became soap opera scriptwriters, filling out her thin resume with assurances that her beauty pageant looks, prom queen popularity and gritty tenacity would overcome any lack of knowledge, discernment, intelligence or experience. It was a 1930s Joan Blondell B-movie, “Tillie Goes to Washington” with McCain filling the Lewis Stone role of the Wise Old Judge who always knew, chuckle, chuckle, that she was a tough cookie who could take on the corrupt Boys in the Backroom and beat them at their own game.

Left out of their equation, though, was the perception that many Americans, like irascible TV-sitcom editor Lou Grant, hate spunk and Gov. Mary Tyler Moose-Hunter might not be a viable commodity outside of St. Paul’s Xcel Center and Wasilla, Alaska. The country has been beaten down by eight years of uninformed and inept Republicans, and here the McCain camp’s management cynically presents us with yet another bungler in female form, but in all other respects indistinguishable from the dim-bulb incompetents who have been running things into the ground since 2001.

But by the end of the second week of September, even some of the TV Punditocracy were nudged by print reporters and the bloggers to investigate some of Palin’s extravagant claims and in each case found her to be either outright lying or shading the truth to a degree that defied any distinction. She was neither reformer nor maverick, but more like a standard Alaska Republican, happy to do favors for the oil and natural gas interests that control the state; she apparently used her only two elected positions, as mayor and governor, to settle old scores and family feuds; she fired seasoned professionals and hired high school pals for important jobs; she blatantly lied about telling Congress “Thanks but no thanks” concerning the Bridge to Nowhere, since she had supported the corrupt earmark running for governor and the project was cancelled before she took office; and, while handing out over a $1,000 to each Alaskan from an energy Windfall Profits Tax that could have been larger, she ran the state into debt to fix its infrastructure. All in all, not the picture of someone who should be in any position of responsibility in Washington following on the heels of the Bush Beleaguers.

Then, while even more unappetizing Palin stories oozed out of the political tundra up north – she’s not as popular with Alaskans as advertised; she’s vindictive and haughty; she’s now trying to shut down the Troopergate abuse of power investigation she once welcomed — Wall Street collapsed like Gulliver falling on the Lilliputians, drunk on its own deregulated excess and over-extended credit line, leaving a massive crater for the taxpayers to fill with bail-out money, money that’s actually going to be borrowed from our temporary friends in Asia and left up to generations unborn to figure out how to pay off.

Palin, as it now shakes out, never really charged up Hillary’s Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuit to join her ‘historic’ campaign, as McCainiacs initially hallucinated – a few minutes with the Google or perusing the afternoon email cured them of any notion that this was a true feminist they would want to throw down a glass of Merlot with — but she did excite a fraction of the fundamentalist Christian base, the same crowd the secular conservatives remaining in the GOP are thoroughly sick of pacifying as the party crumbles around them.

Obama and Biden, now on the solid ground of a real issue instead of fighting the typical misleading ephemera shoveled out from the Rove-Republican manure pile, have gained back the poll positions they enjoyed before the Palin detonation, and seem to be climbing as McCain withers into further bouts of self-contradiction and confusion.

To reiterate what Your Tattler wrote after Palin’s nomination, her pick as VP was a GOP blunder of Katrina-like proportions, and that’s being proven daily as the Final Days of this race play out.

For most of us, Palin has devolved into an annoying witless scorn, and the nation doesn’t need a ‘Mom,’ hockey or not; McCain has disintegrated into a shameful shadow, a man of so little self-respect that he willingly allows the worst sort of political dirt to be spread in his name.

McCain tossed the dice on an unknown sylph from Wasilla and a dog-eared Bush playbook of empty rhetoric and Swift Boat bilge to save his presidential ambitions and, like a Wall Street investor, he just went bust.

1 Comment

  1. Looks like SS Arbusto is sailing some stormy seas
    over on Wall street and K Street,
    Luckily Obama gets to rub some noses down in it.
    This clip is Tasty!

    Comment by Rainlander — September 20, 2008 @ 11:09 pm

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