Being a media celebrity, even a best-selling poseur and prayer warrior, provides no great path to winning office. In fact, ex-sports stars far outperform faux populist pundits at the polls. Without achievements in this world, mere opinions, strident or otherwise, don't garner votes. Having peaked before quitting as governor, Sarah Palin's plunge is well underway, magnified by proving herself no Senate kingmaker. Au contraire: what her Tea Party ragtags managed in fringe primaries is mangle the opportunity of a generation, forcing unelectable candidates into key races, thus neutering an even more mammoth Republican advance.
That worked well, didn't it, Tundra Torpedo? Every time since the 1930's, until now, the Senate matched the House when party control was reversed. Way to go, Tea Party, miraculously transforming demoralized Democrats into a surfeit of comeback kids. Palin critics, like Karl Rove, W., and Lindsay Graham, did not leave this curious betrayal unnoticed, yet no one skewers Palin like that devilish eastern elitist, Peggy Noonan.
Cut from merely "unqualified," the Wasilla Whiner drops to "nincompoop" for wearing the Lord Reagan mantle. The nerve! "Ignorant even for Mrs. Palin," hisses Noonan, for Reagan showed "you have to earn your way into politics" with "a string of accomplishments" and "actual talent to bring people in and along. You can't just bully them, you can't just assert and taunt, you have to be able to persuade." Bullying, for sure, but Palin gets truly eviscerated for palin' around with extremist picks, thus committing the worse political sin -- forgetting it's the messenger, not just the message, that counts.
A String of Mama Grisly Losers
All in all, Palin's delusions answer perfectly to Groucho Marx's terrific definition of politics as "the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies"? Game, set, match. Let us tabulate Palin's "back-assward," Tea Party "remedies" just with conspicuous Senate losers -- Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell, John Raese, Joe Miller, Linda McMahon, Carly Fiorina, and Ken Buck. Wow. No GOP winner, except maybe Kelly Ayott (but not Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mark Kirk, or Ron Johnson) wouldn't have won anyway. Palin's revealing, radical picks, like CO's racist Tom Tancredo, also stumbled, though none matched O'Donnell, so appalling an offspring she confirmed mama grizzly as either boob or barefaced montebank. Do I hear the peanut gallery, yelling "why not both"?
In no close Senate race -- not Pennsylvania, Illinois, Washington State, even Alaska -- can Palin's Tea Party claim mastery, except as disruption. Her own Alaskan backyard redounded worst of all: the hated Sen. Murkowski humiliated Palin with a write-in triumph. Only in deep red states did Palin's shriek arguably help fringe House or gubernatorial winners, but many would have won anyway. I can't find one federal contest, beyond early GOP primaries in small states, where Palin elected an otherwise losing Tea Partier?
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 Dissident Voice, with credits (more...)
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