Fallout from Sarah’s cop-out

Even I, who don’t have a very high opinion of Sarah Palin, thought she was motivated by just a wee bit of something beyond greed, even if it was primarily religious fanaticism.

Tonight, despite her Fidel Castro-like ninety-minute harangue to evangelical Christian women in Lynchburg, Virginia, I’m not so sure I didn’t give her too much credit.

Through her political action committee, SarahPAC, Sarah raised more than $1.6 million during the first six months of this year.

We’re not sure what she did with that money, except for paying her mom and dad more than three thousand dollars to go to the post office for her.

The Quitter quit before she even started this week, admitting that she didn’t have the mental or emotional strength to enter a race that’s bereft of appealing candidates.

So devoid is the GOP of electable candidates, in fact, that not only is Herman Cain surging in recent polls, but Ron Paul won a weekend straw poll in Washington.

As USA Today reports, Cain is capturing the allegiance of the non-racists among Sarah’s former Christian-extremist base.

Does any rational person think–no matter how bad the economy might be a year from now–that either Cain or Paul could get more than 25 percent of the vote against an incumbent Obama?

What current polls really indicate is that Sarah Palin, despite lucking into a set of circumstances she couldn’t have paid for, didn’t have the guts to make the run.

She’s always been an opportunist, and has seized moments in the past.

Why  didn’t she seize this one?

Is she truly scared that revelations about her in THE ROGUE are only the tip of a poisoned iceberg that not only would sink her forever politically, but might actually lead to criminal charges against her?

Honestly, I don’t think so.

I think she’s just lazy and disorganized, and too busy making money to care about anything else.

One could speculate about how Sarah might feel privately about having the electoral fight for the presidency of “her” country carried out next year between two black men, but one might more fruitfully wonder why Sarah–seeing how weak the GOP 2012 field really is–would have opted not to join it.

The former “Wasilla Warrior” has become the Wasilla Wuss.

Even that most base of former acolytes, John Ziegler, is embittered.

Sarah, baby, you’ve lost them all.

There’s nobody left–or right–to speak up for you.

What you did in Wasilla, and in Alaska, you’ve now done nationally:    you’ve alienated everyone who ever tried to help you.  They didn’t learn until too late that always you were only about yourself.

In interviews over the past few weeks–and more are coming, on both television and radio–
I’ve been asked whether I have an “agenda.”

I’ve quickly said yes: my agenda is to assure that never again will someone as unqualified, as religiously and politically extreme, as uneducated and unintelligent, and as vicious and venomous as yourself come within a few percentage points of achieving an office that would put its holder only a heartbeat away from the presidency.

At the Time Magazine panel in Chicago next week about “The Future of News,” I’ll be talking about the threat McCain’s selection of you posed to our democracy.

Meanwhile,  you’ve already been reduced to complaining about ESPN’s firing of Hank Williams Jr., for his comparison of President Obama to Hitler.

*** As a personal aside, in 1956,  while growing up in the suburbs of New York City, I first heard Hank Williams, Sr.–the one and only real Hank Williams–on the radio, on a Newark, NJ station that devoted two hours on Sunday afternoons (their lowest-rated time period, no doubt) to country music.

***As he did with musical geniuses such as Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, Hank Williams changed my life. That fall, in ninth grade, I sold all my Elvis Presley and Fats Domino records to get money to buy a three-record vinyl set of Hank Williams’ Greatest Hits. For decades, I was an obsessive Hank Williams fan. I laugh when Todd Palin says I’m obsessed with Sarah. The only person I’ve ever obsessed about was Hank Williams, scouring and devouring every stray 45 rpm and 78 rpm I could find, and reading all I could about his life and death.

***About ten years ago, for my birthday, my wife, Nancy Doherty, gave me the extraordinary ten-CD “Complete Hank Williams” set.   I listened, and I listen, and I listen. And I know why such geniuses as Cash, Dylan and Springsteen are so quick to credit Hank Williams as they do. My life would have been a lesser one had not my spirit been infused with that of Hank Williams, just as I entered adolescence.

***I’m sorry that in the case of Hank, Jr., the apple has rolled so far from the tree. But I’m not surprised that Sarah Palin rushes to the defense of the apple, while not even knowing of the existence of the tree.

The best news of all is–and I say this with full recognition that sales of THE ROGUE will suffer–we won’t have Sarah to kick around any more.

This time, she quit before she was ahead.  She quit before she got started.

She can still pick up bucks for speaking to evangelical Christian women, as she did in Lynchburg, VA tonight, at a religious extremist college founded by Jerry Falwell.

But nobody outside the auditoriums will be listening.

Her bottom line tonight in Lynchburg: “This country was founded on Biblical principles.”

My bottom line to her?   It’s the same as she uttered about me last summer:

“Get a life.”



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