An Illustrated Guide to Mendacity and Folly in the Imperium Americanum

Gwen, Do You Mind If I Pay No Attention To Your Questions, But Answer What I’ve Memorized?

Palin Debate

Have any of you seen Sarah Palin’s “talent” competition? I don’t mean the one last night, I mean the one from her competition for Miss Alaska. Well, in it, she claims to have played the flute for ten years, yet she plays a piece that is so simple, a monkey could’ve learned it in ten weeks. Not to mention off-key, with no intonation and fluffed notes. I seriously doubt our Sarah had been telling the truth about her flautist experience. She’s a quick study, our girl, as long as whatever she’s learning isn’t too involved.

We got the same performance last night. Sarah announced at the outset that she wasn’t going to answer the questions, but she would give the answers she felt were appropriate. In other words, the ones she’d memorized. After her disastrous interviews with Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric (brilliantly parodied by Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live), the bar was set so low for her that Republicans claimed she won simply because she hadn’t been driven into eye-fluttering speechlessness, “I’ll have to get back to ya on that!” She did her usual “gee whiz, gosh, darn it, heckuva” shtick to sound human instead of a Stepford candidate, with multiple eye winkings at the camera which nobody told her doesn’t work on the TV audience as well as it does on the audience that is physically present (Old stage trick, if you wink at one person in the audience, everyone around that person thinks you’ve winked directly at them). Joe Biden was gracious and didn’t call her out on it for the most part, reminding me of a grad level class I was in once where our lone undergrad mistakenly researched the wrong emperor and without any ado, the professor and the rest of us discussed the emperor the undergrad HAD researched without calling any attention to his error.

Sarah couldn’t really answer everything, so when she was stuck, she went into a chorus of change that needs a maverick, and John McCain and she were just the mavericks for that change. Without ever specifying what kind of change she meant or how John McCain, who’d voted with President Disaster 91% of the time, could be called a maverick anymore…

Joe Biden didn’t make any of his own brand of gaffes and if you paid any attention to substance instead of just the packaging, it was obvious who was ready to be Vice President–the one a heartbeat away from the most powerful office in the land.

Republican Stories: In This Issue: SUPER SARAH FIELD DRESSES A MOOSE!

Republican Stories: In This Issue: SUPER SARAH FIELD DRESSES A MOOSE!


What can we say? Sarah Palin’s life would fill two week’s worth of the Jerry Springer Show. This week’s National Enquirer–remember, they knew about John Edwards’ affair eight months before the NYTimes knew–alleges that Sary darlin’ had an affair ten years ago (at least that’s the scuttlebutt in the Wasilla gossip chain), that the reason young Track is in the army was because he’d lost control of his various drug addictions, and to round things off, provides juicy details about what happened in the Palin household when little Miss Bristol announced she got knocked up by the boyfriend she’s constantly fighting and breaking up with. Oughta be a great marriage.

But we finally get Sarah’s first interview with Charlie Gibson. HOOHAH! Let’s go to war with Russia! From what I could see, Charlie Gibson was leaning over backwards in an effort to not let Sarah make a total fool of herself. But there are just some things you can’t get around. Like, she knows nothing about the world outside the US, nothing about foreign policy in general, nothing about the foreign policies of her hero, Dubya. What’s a Bush Doctrine? She’s not completely certain that the war in Iraq is part of God’s plan, but she sure knows that gas pipeline from Alaska is. After all, National Security is equivalent to Energy Policy, isn’t it? I’d say her handlers need to intensify efforts to bring her up to speed before the next interview.

But the interesting thing is looking at the comments to the various clips floating around–on mainstream sites like Yahoo. You’d think Charlie Gibson was a foaming at the mouth radical the way some of these comments castigated him for asking Sarah questions that were TOO HARD. Too Hard? Playing Gotcha? It seems as if there’s a segment of the population that WANTS a “hockey mom” as Vice President, someone just like them, someone with the same problems and the same outlook. It isn’t fair to expect her to have the kind of knowledge a seasoned politician would have. Well, nuts! If this hockey mom is going to be next in line for the presidency, I want her to have the kind of knowledge a seasoned politician would have–because she needs it. It’s not like we get a do-over if we declare war on Russia over a petty border squabble–

Being president is the ultimate occupation you learn “on the job” since no other office prepares you for the decisions you have to make. But let’s have someone who’s at least got the fundamentals, rather than the fundamentalists.

NOTE: Due to some needed downtime to revise part of the site, I’m going to leave this cartoon up until this Friday — and also to give it time to move a bit on the web.