Okay, ready for comic relief? Time to broadcast to still non-contributing newcomers why our vigorous, three-ringed circus called Smirking Chimp is special, if not unique. Provocative, fearless, invaluable -- a bargain at a few bucks a quarter.
SC doesn't just do informative news, inspired rants, and lucid, well-reasoned, well-seasoned commentary. Never would we pander, like that sleazy, sell-out Huff Post with all those sparsely bikinied ladies -- oh, how undignified for a substantive, progressive forum. Instead, there's light entertainment now and again, satire, verbal fun and games you won't find elsewhere. Well, almost anywhere.
Take this frivolous pleasantry, so clever it may well overcome tiresome Palin-fatigue (pushing two+ years!). I have no illusions, nor do I shilly-shally when looking for jokes: the internet must entertain or die. If this venue were truly morally-uplifting, or improved your jobs skills, Jeff could charge more.
Nader Cracks a Joke?
What seized me today was a laugh-out-loud guffaw when America's perennial, third party, left-wing, crusading dilettante, Ralph Nader, made very small news. He cracked a joke. Well, I laughed, not the same thing. Look, I admire Nader's reports and his refusal to sell out -- qualifying him for most exclusive political club in America. Nader sticks to his pro-American, anti-war, anti-corporate, anti-crime spree crusades. Hear, hear.
What, though, did old Ralphie say that tickled my fancy, bereft for amusement -- that Sarah Palin, America's perennial, crusading rogue dilettante, is "a lot smarter than most people credit her." Talk about your odd couple -- culturally, politically, or intellectually. This juicy praise follows certain faux anti-corporate, anti-establishment blather from the Palin, which Nader awards more gravitas than ordinary sentient beings. Fetching con artists never quite mean what they say, and most outshine the Palin or she wouldn't be found out so often -- or so comically. Like Michele Bachmann, she's become a parody of herself -- death for politicians or bullying hustlers.
Unpacking the shiny gems
1) That Nader wanders into right-wing political weeds at all -- or her charade of politics, as Palin is anything but a real candidate -- is what first strikes me as improbable. Is this some subtle, ironic, weird guilt-by-association put-down -- figuring fringe noodles would rethink their unthinking adoration of the Wasilla Princess because a big time left-winger makes nicey nice? Not likely. Nader is as comically subtle as a badly-dented Corvair getting hauled off to the junk yard.
2) That Nader would somehow believe what Palin says, taking literally what is blatantly fabricated Palin Pabulum, displays a naivete enough to wound his reputation for straight-shooting. This isn't to say Palin doesn't believe her noxious nonsense, but she's never about policy or solutions or clear syntax. Delivery is all -- "never retreat, just reload" smart-ass snappishness, a triumph of make-believe over meaning. She's mastered the art of vacuous, scornful contempt -- and collecting dollars from suckers. Does Nader truly imagine there's any real, underlying content in play? I don't.
3) Note the suspect set-up, "a lot smarter," followed for me by deflation, "than most people credit her." Well, "most adults" consider the Palin the stupidest, least professional pol around -- less qualified, less prepared, and more syntactically-challenged than W., that least qualified, worst-educated mess of a president. So, the miraculous discovery that she's not as dumb as "most people think" may well be damning with faint praise. Being smarter than a rock still stands below a one-celled paramecium.
4) Now we get to the pleasantry of "give credit" to Palin, as if for Nader her mental capacities are up in the air, still in the "credit" and "discredit" phrase. Long gone, buried by utter incredulity, senile McCain picked this yahoo for more than office cleaning. Palin's "credit," or credibility, ended in weeks, halfway between nomination and six speeches. Refusing to learn anything real in two years, Palin isn't about credibility one bit but visceral emotional reactions. Fans love her well-funded right-wing feistiness for its sham confrontation with odious powers-that-be, especially in Washington (really, didn't she want to be the V.P.?).
5) Others (like 80% of us) roll our eyes and guffaw in disgust that such a low-level, amateur, beauty-contest contestant ever got out of Wasilla, let alone governed Alaska as a temp before her national jester debut --to ascend to nouveau rich celebrity. I can't but think this classic narcissist, having been refused national office, now looks with contempt at everyone elected, entrenched and established. She'll never do that, again -- all because the "people" dared deny her highness royalties due. Sour and mashed grapes.
Now I hesitate to challenge Nader in one regard -- Palin's smart enough to leverage what little she's got -- a sing-sound viciousness packed in a sexy body with movie-star moves. And this a multi-millionaire no doubt has more hustles up her stylist sleeves and short skirts, all paid for with other people's money. More books, more speeches at $100K with first-class backup, a SarahPAC to to parlay predictable rhetoric -- with short sentences to fit her increasingly short attention span. Ah, yes, the classic American success story where random talent and moral rectitude are rewarded, way out of proportion. Lord, save us from hayseeds taken in by such farce.
Royalties due Royal Pretense
Merging her delusions of grandeur into right-wing princess status (where above all you just have to BE, not do anything), she's a success -- for one thing, she's not yet crashed and burned. She's smart enough to sidestep playing politics with the big boys, simply a meteoric presence on FOX where her third-rate acting skills capture the snarky rhythms of righteous disgust for secular modernism. Palin's no worse than Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, no doubt a notch above.
But as a future elected official, really Ralph, she's got nothing. Even her anti-corporate, anti-establishment decoys obscure her real agenda -- unrestrained hatred of government business regulation, signaled by her insatiable war cry of extraction -- "drill, baby, drill." Or dump, baby, dump. Pollute, baby, pollute. Whatever. For two years, the Palin has offered zero ideas for fixing big business crimes that predate her own base -- all the while pocketing money, "no questions asked," from reactionaries pushing her distraction, entertainment and fundraising values. Hypocrites must be smart, too, Ralph.