Like any huckster selling remedies and wisdom she doesn't possess, Sarah Palin is hardly the first or worst (or is it best?) of our venomous media liars. The Palin didn't invent rightwing chicanery, but she's honed her own incendiary opportunism. Death panels, paling around with terrorists, Birtherism worth investigating, and let's now all praise W. for bagging bin Laden. Feh!
The legacy of Palinesque lying, whether congenital, pathological or tactical, carries one obvious, lasting, real-world impact -- more Christine O'Donnell-Sharon Angle kin. True, when competing with master dissemblers Limbaugh and Beck, the Palin is late to the Lying for Dollars Multi-Millionaires' Club. But those true fringe scammers spent decades honing their "black hole" style of entertainment, mastering the art of gobbling up reason and truth like deep space spirals munching solar systems.
Considering how little of political substance she learned in three years, the Palin remains the luckiest, flakiest vaudevillian around, her wacky sneers and smirks the perfect cover up. Yet, she's not lied us into a trillion dollar war -- though "Drill, baby, drill" turns "Kill, baby, Kill" when God identifies enemies "too big for their britches." Nor has Palin enacted a media Black List akin to Joe McCarthy forbears, nor plunged the nation into depression. Who knows what fiascos Alaska avoided because she quit being governor to attain her celebrity destiny, "famous for being famous"?
Her mounting voter negatives aside, the Palin wins one dubious modern competition -- the most successful, self-promoter to make a brand (indeed industry) of misrepresentation and innuendo, profiting handsomely from books, TV shows, endorsements and speeches. A babbling bobblehead. Though less dangerous to the world than discredited liars like W. or Cheney, the Palin train wreck persists, suckering the gullible and the witless media that glamorizes (then feasts on) flakey fakes.
Palin's Spawn: Bachmann, The Donald
Without the Palin refudiations, would we suffer our national epidemic of outlandish mendacity, laughable if not so corrosive? Doesn't the Palin inspire the breathtaking assaults on common sense known as Michelle Bachmann? Would the Donald's notoriety rise above village crazies, mouthing any nonsense passing through his sieve-like head? Nope, thanks, Sarah.
As demented McCarthy long ago seeded the hateful fringe now hijacking the GOP, the spawn of the Palin will eclipse her own historical position in footnotes -- as failed V.P. candidate, failed governor, and failed, unelectable, politician, indeed a national joke. Hey, it's a career, and in politics ripples can expand expectedly, for good and ill. Condemned by a 1954 Senate censure, the ostracized, disgraced McCarthy turned to drink and died at 48 only three years later. Can bad things still happen to bad people?
Before Palin, power-mad schemers lied to pitch otherwise unsellable, indigestible crimes -- hawking Vietnam or Iraq wars with smoke and mirrors. Official falsifications once had real-world context and point, however dastardly; thus, Colin Powell's career was sacrificed to get U.N. okay on Iraq. Before the Palin, important liars fooled all of the people some of the time. The Palin lies with abandon, simply for publicity that week, not whether she impacts a real political decision; careening mindlessly from the mundane to the serious, one wonders if she ever cares whom she hoodwinks.