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Palin Redux: Still Crazy Dumb After All These Years

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SNL Satire Downplayed Her Fraudulence

Awash with grim, hard times, and pained by Robin Williams' tragic departure, those of us whose survival depends on comic interludes have not yet abandoned hope. Did not Williams show the way, mining laughter from misery? There are goofy rightwing stalwarts, like Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, and Louis Gohmert, still parading as lords of misrule. But who matches Sarah Palin as clueless dunce -- blundering on, immutably dense, feet firmly cemented in mouth? Her latest, get-rich-quick stunt likely to fail -- subscription-only TV channel about all things Palin. What a deal, ten bucks a month? Are bikini-laden, gun-toting NRA ads on tap?

Who guessed, in the meantime, Palin would overtly sabotage the core mantra of her party's free-market capitalism? In her latest book she bizarrely skewers the notion that compensation, sanctified by that invisible market hand, isn't the recipient's sacred, untouchable property (thus, even taxation is "theft"). The still seething, unintentionally funny Palin taunts Tiny Fey of Saturday Night Life with faux outrage, urging her to share "all the money that you made off of pretending that you're me."

Of course, Palin doesn't really mean "all" for that smacks of socialistic Comrade Obama. Palin never means exactly what she says, even when printed. What's fetching (to her fans) and maddening (to rationalists) is how little "there there" occupies her non-stop word-salad. Perhaps such public incoherence, though, answers to a perverse American freedom to foster any crazed train of thought, however lacking "engine" or destination.

Hypocrisy is thine: will Caribou Barbie share the huge treasure she pocketed by "pretending" to be an adult leader? Does Palin not reveal, by now unilaterally dragging up her greatest mortification, she's even dumber than the figure skewered in '08 by SNL: "I know that they portrayed me as an idiot, and I hated that"? But not fed up in six years enough to offset her shortcomings (say, with education), nor reverse her indelible image of goofiness in our national memory bank. Do not the dumbest clowns reinforce stupidity by never learning from disastrous experiences?

Pretense of a Fake Fake

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Still riding willful ignorance, Palin misses what Fey most dramatized about this wannabe V.P. -- not mere ignorance about governance but that insipid, sneering smirk that valued NOT knowing. Smug, rightwing righteousness, in command of so much truth no more need be sought, was the satiric target -- ridiculing the delusion better educated, more intelligent folks must be nervy, elitist intellectuals. What "true American" doesn't intuit that hunting moose, while shunning "book learnin'," better trains you for international tussles with the Putins?

In retrospect, I challenge Palin's distortion that Fey "pretended" to be her, as if mimicking a real person. Fey targeted not the actual Palin but her phony campaign persona, thus exposing the era's most outrageous poseur. Was Fey "pretending" to mimic the real, know-nothing, or the phony Palin? Oddly, Fey's political cartoon became Palin's all-too-real personality for millions? Still Palin is the one who forever pretends what she isn't, nor won't ever be: an informed, trustworthy adult. She can't escape playing the misleading, mudslinging, outraged agent provocateur. Fey hit comic pay dirt by pretending to be a fake fake, exposing the mean-spirited complacency that transcends mere ignorance.

Is anyone thus surprised that years of humiliation have improved neither Palin's judgment, nor linguistic skills? More Palin delusion: "I think SNL is egotistical if they believe that [Fey's impression] was truly an effect on maybe the public debate about who should lead the country in the next four years." Does her word-salad mean "had an effect," and who cares what SNL "believes"? What's that "maybe" doing, and how does "egotistical" fit TV jokesters who fret not over longterm impacts? Palin is, as usual, dead wrong: the sensational tumult of this TV satire impacted the presidential race, plus instilling an irremovable taint on John McCain's legacy.

Palin's schtick is unchanged, proving this hustler only expert at PR that extorts money from willing suckers. She's the same illiterate clown six years later, proving the biggest distortion by SNL was toning down the ineducability of the zealot fundamentalist. On the positive side, Palin redefined the bottom threshold (we pray) for the grossly inadequate candidate for national office.

And . . . the latest whopper

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Finally, she still doesn't know when to shut up: "If I ran into Tina Fey again today, I would say: 'You need to at least pay for my kids' braces or something from all the money that you made off of pretending that you're me!'" Palin says. "'My goodness, you capitalized on that! Can't you contribute a little bit? Jeez!'" "At least pay for braces"? Or an even a bigger chunk? "All the money"?

Palin thinks she's joshing, but clearly she never got the original joke, nor what drove the satire. Where's any acknowledgment how she "pretended" (winks included) to run for the world's second most powerful position? And what dimwit invokes the corporate word "capitalized" when shaming another performer to share what never was hers? The mind reels when recalling the multi-millions of loot Palin carved out from her "performance," true only in its falsehood. What's next, that she's practically "dead broke" if Fey won't spread the wealth? To reprise that scientific quip, "Palin may not only be dimmer than we imagine, but dimmer than we can imagine."

Is another Palin meteor likely -- the true hayseed from a weird, small state, absent political or intellectual wits, yet in the end playing her visibility to become a 1%'er? The slowness of her decline only testifies to her endlessly novel ways of making a lying, smirking fool of herself. Here is a true marvel on our public stage, a living, breathing con artist who keeps "writing books," chattering away and opining that Obama (whom she elevated) deserves impeachment because his policies offend her.

Nor does she win kudos for loyalty towards hapless, smitten John McCain, who lifted her from obscurity to riches. Her '08 campaign misbehavior revealed a petty, grasping authoritarian allergic to compromise. Today, she clearly favors Ted Cruz over McCain, whose contempt surfaced when mocking Cruz as a "wacko bird." In fact, Cruz is a smarter, better-educated, more power-savvy version of Palin, thus far more dangerous. He will get much closer to the GOP nomination, thus our top job. Palin the pioneer Tea Partier paid in disgrace for a range of stupidity Cruz won't repeat. Outside of Texas Cruz is a "wacko bird," but he's a mental giant compared to Palin. Ah, the Palin finale, the Tea Party birdbrain who makes the next generation of wacko birds look good.

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Northern California, region. For a decade, Robert S. Becker's rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, messaging and frameworks, now featured author at OpEdNews, Nation of Change and RSN. He appears regularly at (more...)

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A little wit in the shadows, perhaps comic relief ... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 12:55:21 PM
Robert: The Republicans came up with the dynamic ... by michael payne on Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 9:42:16 PM
I know you're joshing as you not only put Bachmann... by Robert S. Becker on Monday, Aug 25, 2014 at 9:16:42 AM
What does it mean when the politics of a country h... by Dan Baron on Monday, Aug 25, 2014 at 12:16:21 AM
Of course there are bad sitcoms, and worse, even i... by Robert S. Becker on Monday, Aug 25, 2014 at 9:18:54 AM