Archive for May 2011
I was thinking of writing a piece for The Daily Beast about a Palin appearance in New England this week.
But I’m not going to play hide-and-seek. So, Sarah, you can relax–at least until Sept. 20 when THE ROGUE will be published.
Seriously, how far does she think this “Close your eyes and count to twenty, then catch-me-if-you-can” approach will take her?
Actually, knowing her, and knowing MSM, I’m sure she thinks–with some justification–that it can take her all the way to the White House.
Even still, I feel sorry for the reporters assigned to the bus tour beat.
And I have an idea for MSM editors: un-assign them.
There’s a lot of talent out there chasing after ephemera.
And, as with the dog chasing the school bus, it’s only worse if you catch it.
Here’s something else, and uglier: Sarah used Trig as her photo-op prop on her Going Rogue tour in the fall of 2009.
Now, almost two years later, that poor Down Syndrome child is neither so photogenic nor so manageable, so he’s off (or under) the bus.
So it’s Piper who has to fill in. Do you think that poor girl had a choice?
Last summer, Sarah complained long and loud that I’d moved in next door because I wanted to peer at Piper through her bedroom window.
Her hot-to-trot flunkies like Beck and Van Susteren made that slanderous accusation into a right-wing meme.
But the notion was so silly and sick that I couldn’t even get mad about it.
I do, however, have granddaughters who are just about Piper’s age.
Their mothers and fathers have nurtured them since birth, and continue to do so. I can’t wait to see them again in July.
But what about poor Piper, reduced to a photo-op, and with no chance to opt off the bus?
The only time I saw Piper—I never laid eyes on her last summer—was at a Sarah book-signing at The Villages, Florida, just before Thanksgiving, 2009, when I reported on the event as part of my research for THE ROGUE.
I was appalled to see the poor girl ushered up to a FOX News platform for makeup before Sarah brought her on camera during an interview with one of the Fox blondes about what a swell Thanksgiving they were all going to have.
Trig, at least, was too young and too Down to know how he was being used.
Piper was being taught to love it.
And it’s only going to get worse.
In the end, there are three things to remember about Sarah:
1) Everything she says and does is fraudulent.
2) She cares about no one but herself.
3) She believes that God has told her that 1) and 2) are okay and that any harm she does to her children is merely collateral damage.
Here’s one of the great things about kids: they can upstage even the Ultimate Upstager.
End of her first day on the bus, and poor little Piper is pissed. As Michael D. Shear reports for The New York Times:
The youngest Palin daughter looked none to happy to be delayed by the press corps, and repeatedly tugged at her mother’s arm during the questions. At one point, she said, “Mom, let’s go.”
After all this, I wouldn’t be surprised if in ten years Piper Palin joins Al Qaeda.
Sarah and Van Susteren, like the Canadian craniopagus conjoined twins, may actually share one mind.
Difference is that the four-year-olds are both cuter and smarter.
Sarah actually gets it, but continues to pretend she doesn’t: she owes everything to the tickle-hungry, hit-starved minions of MSM.
I often think that Beltway pundits are so close to the screen that they can’t see the picture for the pixels.
And once they reach a collective opinion (i.e. the conventional wisdom from mid-January to April that Sarah’s disastrous plunge into the pool of Narcissus following the Tucson shootings of January 8 had finished her as a force in American politics), they cling to it the way Obama said that embittered poor whites in Appalachia and the Rust Belt “cling to guns or religion.”
Granted, Richard Adams works in The Guardian‘s Washington bureau, which puts him technically inside the Beltway.
Coming from England, however, he’s also a foreign correspondent and thus–unlike the blind men in the Indian fable— able to see the whole elephant.
In today’s Guardian, Adams points out that there are two strong indicators that Palin will run for president: “everything she says and everything she does.”
Including the fact that her bus tour will take her to New Hampshire this week and to Iowa next month.
You can’t hardly get much more definitive than that.
As Adams writes:
Palin would be crazy not to run for the Republican nomination. Just look at the rest of the field.
Nothing subtle about this:
She shows up in black leather with a Harley helmet on her head, and, yes, her talking points written on the palm of her hand, and mainstream media—-as exemplified by this story in The New York Times, (featured at the top of their home page, which is equivalent to above the fold on page one, back when anybody actually read the print edition)—-rolls over giddily and begs her to scratch their collective belly.
For sheer mastery of celebrity theater, Sarah Palin cannot be beat.
Ms. Palin, the former governor of Alaska, let the anticipation build for hours on Sunday in the Pentagon’s North Parking Lot, where thousands of bikers (and their rumbling Harleys) had gathered for the annual Rolling Thunder rally ahead of Memorial Day.
And then, suddenly, there she was: Ms. Palin, with her husband, Todd, and the rest of the family. Wearing matching black Harley-Davidson helmets, they rode motorcycles toward the front of the procession through a crush of cameramen, photographers, reporters and leather-clad bikers, all jostling for just a peek at the woman who might be president.
It’s long past time for those of us who believe that Sarah continues to represent a real threat to the (largely) rational discourse that has been a hallmark of our democracy for 235 years to keep blaming her and recognize that it’s the enabling by mainstream media, desperate for page views as print circulation plummets, that keeps her not only afloat, but aloft.
MSM argue that they have to cover her because everything she says and does is “news.”
But it’s only news because they make it news.
Granted, as a candidate for vice president in 2008, Sarah was news. But since November, 2008–and even more so after she quit as Alaska governor in 2009–it’s been MSM’s presenting her as a serious person, even while deriding her in the snobbish fashion that allows her to call them “lamestream”–that has kept the helium in Sarah’s balloon.
What’s clear from the weekend is that nobody has learned a thing.
She starts a “bus tour”—one for which her organizers refuse to say where she’ll be tomorrow— on the back of a motorcycle, and she’s hailed for her “mastery of celebrity theater,” and praised for outFoxing (pun intended) the MSM journalists who chase after her, tongues hanging out.
Okay, but cover her in the entertainment section. Even as the solemn debate about whether she’ll actually be a candidate next year continues, The New York Times calls her, without apparent irony, “the woman who might be president.”
And Chris Matthews, who stated the obvious last week by saying, “she’s profoundly stupid,” said more recently:
“She is really good . . . she’s fantastic on a stage. When she walks out on that stage there’s something kinetic happening. She looks great, look at her, she’s alive, she’s smiling, she’s doing stuff, she’s moving around. You can’t take your eyes off of what she’s doing.”
God help us, his leg is tingling again.
And both John McCain and Andrew Sullivan said yesterday that given the right set of circumstances she could beat President Obama next year.
Hey, if exchanging nasty comments about Sarah on this or any other blog makes you feel good, by all means keep on doing it.
But don’t kid yourself that it’s having any effect in the real world, where media memes are created, where elections are decided, and where the moral, ethical and political contours of our country are being shaped.
Seeing the gleeful embrace that MSM is giving Sarah as she returns from self-imposed, post-Tucson exile, I don’t quite despair, but I worry.
And in my head, I replay Bob Dylan’s lyrics from “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,” which he wrote and first performed in 1965, in the wake of the John F. Kennedy assassination:
You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last
But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast
Yonder stands your orphan with his gun
Crying like a fire in the sun
Look out the saints are comin’ through
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue…
The empty-handed painter from your streets
Is drawing crazy patterns on your sheets
This sky, too, is folding under you
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue
Sarah hops on a Harley at the Pentagon and MSM falls back in love with her again.
Happy Memorial Day.
THE CHAMPIONS: FC BARCELONA//UPDATE: Read appreciative concessions of defeat by England’s best sports writers
Today’s 3-1 win over Manchester United–and the score barely hints at their superiority throughout–puts the icing on the sweet, sweet cake that Barça have been serving to soccer/futbol/football fans around the world for many years.
To watch Barcelona in action is to witness not only a sporting event, but performance art at the highest level.
Yes, of course, there is the great Lionel Messi, at age 23 already perhaps the greatest player in the history of the sport, so splendidly portrayed by Jere Longman in the New York Times last week.
But today’s triumph, like all of Barça’s finest moments, arose not only from acts of individual brilliance, but from a degree of mental and physical teamwork–and from a level of psychic connection among teammates–seldom, if ever, seen before in any sport.
The motto of FC Barcelona is Més que un club–“More than a club.”
Barça paid for that in blood during the Spanish Civil War, when the city and the club were at the center of Catalonian resistance to Franco’s Madrid-based fascist regime.
But the team’s stunning triumph in the Champions League final makes today a day not for history lessons, but celebration.
If the current FC Barcelona were to adopt a new motto and theme song, nothing would be more fitting than Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”
That’s what their unique brand of artistry and athleticism bring to the world.
Read about it from Paul Hayward in The Guardian here
and see the peerless Henry Winter’s story in The Telegraph here
All I can add is the new prayer I recite daily in thanks for the privilege of being able to watch Lionel Messi perform:
“God Bless The Mess.”
I’m just back from one of those effete, elite Eastern liberal dinner parties where we all sit around over white wine and brie and plot how to keep our black Muslim in the White House for four more years, and the question I was asked most often was, “Where in New England does Sarah think she can go with her bus tour where she won’t be laughed off whatever stage she takes?”
“Beats me,” was all I could say.
The organizer of the “Rolling Thunder” motorcyclist event said more, earlier today:
“She’s not invited…We’re not endorsing her…She’s definitely not speaking on our stage,”
Maybe not the kickoff Sarah was hoping for.
But can it get better in New England? Will she stop In Massachusetts, maybe Plymouth Rock, Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill, or the site of the original Boston Tea Party?
Nobody knows, because the destinations of this first leg remain shrouded in secrecy. Hmm, why would that be? For fear that anti-Palin demonstrators will outnumber her faithful?
All I can tell you is that I’ll be covering one of her New England appearances next week for The Daily Beast.
Not to mention that it will make the perfect closing scene for the last chapter of THE ROGUE.
So Sarah and her gang are coming my way?
Bring ’em on!
I wonder if this time she’ll really ride the bus.
Doesn’t look like there’s much space on the side for an ad for THE ROGUE, but I’ll ask Crown to inquire anyway.
At least this will give us all a chance to get out and say hi to Sarah in person–maybe our last chance.
And it will get Chuck and Sally and Piper out of Alazona for a while, and it also gets Trig out of mothballs.
More seriously, it will be a genuine test of how far Sarah’s star has fallen since the Going Rogue days in the fall of 2009.
And, of course, it may be the quasi-official start of her 2012 presidential campaign.
I’m sure she’s anticipating huge cheering throngs at every stop. Do you think she’ll get them?
Any thoughts as to which of Sarah’s band of Merry Pranksters will be on board? Meg Stapleton? Rebecca Mansour? Franklin Graham? Greta Van Susteren? Mary Glazier? Andrew Breitbart? William Kristol? Shailey Tripp?
Whoever Sarah chooses for the cast, I’m sure they’ll have a rollicking good time on the road.
Although I doubt the new tour will dethrone Ken Kesey and the original Merry Pranksters from number one on the “Best Bus Tours of All Time” list.
A DOCUMENTARY IN FOUR SCENES…WITH FIFTH SCENE TO COME LATER THIS YEAR OR NEXT.
SCENE 1: 1984
The film opens at the finals of the Miss Alaska Pageant, 1984.
LONG SHOT of contestants on stage.
VOICEOVER: “And the winner is……..”
CLOSEUP of expectant SARAH Heath
VOICEOVER: “Maryline Blackburn!”
MARYLINE BLACKBURN IN 2010
CLOSEUP of SARAH whispering to GOD: “I froze my ass off for you in Big Beaver or Little Beaver or one of them Beaver lakes when I got immersed for you in 1976. Don’t you ever let some black bitch beat me again!”
SCENE 2: 1997
Mayor SARAH sits with supporters at Wasilla Assembly of God church, looking at newspaper headlines proclaiming that the Alaska Supreme Court has just permanently prohibited Wasilla’s Valley Medical Center from banning second-trimester abortions.
SARAH: “That’s why we need Christian judges: so no branch of any federal or state government will ever bitch-slap Jesus again.”
OTHERS: “Amen! Amen, Sister Sarah! Amen, Queen Esther!”
Others leave. SARAH returns to her MAYOR’S OFFICE. She places a call.
SARAH: “Hey, Savior-Man, what’s up? You just slammed another door in my face.”
GOD: “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, Sarah. I’m trying to toughen you up for bigger fights ahead.”
SCENE 3: 2002
Election Night at “Palin for Lieutenant Governor” headquarters. Early vote totals make it clear that SARAH will lose.
CLOSEUP of SARAH, now speaking on cellphone:
SARAH: “WTF, Big Guy? How tough do you think I need to be? If you’re going to have some dude make a movie about me nine years from now and call it The Undefeated, it might be nice if you’d let me win something for once.”
GOD: “I only want the best for you, and I only give my best. Remember though: My ways are not your ways, my thoughts are not your thoughts…for as the heavens are higher than the earth, my ways are higher than yours! I wrote that all down for you in the Good Book! Look it up!”
SARAH: “Hey, chill a little. You’re God. You don’t have to use so many exclamation points.”
GOD: “Sorry, daughter, sometimes I get carried away. In any event, don’t sweat it. I’m going to send you a Down Syndrome baby who will make you the Republican nominee for vice president in 2008. And when you write Going Rogue you can quote me. You can even say, ‘I decided to write the letter as though it were from Trig’s Creator, the same Creator in whom I had put my trust more than thirty years before.’ You cool with that?”
SARAH: “Sure, but won’t there be copyright problems?”
GOD: “Not if you credit me properly. What do you think, I’m gonna sue?”
SCENE 4: 2008
LONG SHOT of McCain headquarters in Arizona. Cactuses wilt. Gila monsters curl into fetal positions. Rattlesnakes cry. Slaves escape from the compound. It’s obvious the McCain-Palin ticket has lost.
CLOSEUP of Sarah, talking to MCCAIN.
SARAH: “I wanna make my own speech.”
MCCAIN: “It’s just not customary. I can’t let you do it.”
SARAH: “Fuck you! It wasn’t customary to pick an ignorant, narcissistic backstabber to run with you in the first place. So don’t give me that ‘customary’ shit!
MCCAIN: “Listen, bitch: you dragged me down. You put that black Muslim in the White House. But I’m not going to let you steal my last act tonight.”
SARAH: “Let me tell you something, you wet old fart. If you’d have let me go rogue”—
INTERRUPTION as we hear “Onward Christian Soldiers” playing as a cell phone ring.
SARAH: “Excuse me, I’ve got to take this……Hello? Yes, this is her. Oh, God, good to hear from you. Hey, buddy, you didn’t open that door quite wide enough…..What’s that?……Yeah, yeah, that’s easy for you to say, but I’ve been defeated one more time, pal, and now I have to go back to effing Alaska. What circle of hell is that?!……Yeah, right, but you know what? You sound like the Brooklyn Dodgers, always saying ‘wait till next year.’…….What’s that? You’ve got me a deal on a one-point-seven million dollar house in Scottsdale?……You’ve got me the presidential nomination in 2012?……Okay, okay, but not so fast. What about the 2012 election? I lost to that black bitch Blackburn for Miss Alaska back in the day, and everytime I see Michelle Obama all I can think of is that. So no deal, Bro’, unless this time you’re gonna take me all the way…..What? What’s that?……Sorry, you’re breaking up……
FADE TO BLACK