Sunday, February 7, 2010

President Palin: Doing a great Tina Fey at convention

WHEN I CHECKED IN to the Tea Party convention Saturday night it appeared that President Sarah Palin was doing her Tina Fey impersonation, which she does so well. There was no letup in her personal amusement from her zingers, her arm gestures, her chirps that sought out high C. The audience loved it and she walked away with $100,000 or more for an hour or so of friendly political advice. She has risen above the presidency, which she said she would be willing to seek, to being a celebrity of biblical proportions. When she was asked during the Q. & A. what she would do to fix America's most serious problems, she conceded nothing about her own ascendancy when she declaredwe would be wise to seek "divine intervention." As she has so often said, she is waiting for God to open another door for her.

Actually, the narrative was fairly mild rhetoric as convention speeches go. She spent a lot of time attacking Obama as a "professor of law" instead of a commander- in-chief leading the war against terrorism. I think that was quite intentional for her to dwell on international terrorism to demonstrate that she is now qualified to deal with the real world - a deficit that plagued her during the last presidential campaign. She is pressing all of the red-meat conservative buttons: patriotism, elitists who don't appreciate the pain of the oppressed, the heavy hand of government, the love of America, Ronald Reagan.

The Reagan gambit reminds me of the time in Sicily when I told my guide that although I understood Italian I didn't understand a word he was saying. "That's because," he explained in English, "I put an r in the middle of my words to make them sound prettier." So it is with those conservatives who never stop breaking up their sentences by inserting the iconic Reagan in the middle of them, as in: "We need to - Reagan - cut taxes and reduce the - Reagan - size of government. Quite conveniently subliminal, don't you think?

I don't have the slightest idea where all of this will go. There are so many moving parts. But it is now quite apparent that the first targets are Republicans who are being challenged in the primaries, thus draining the GOP of some of its resources. I'm sure that the realpolitik of the Tea Party Revolution is frightful for such guys as Mitt Romney and other presidential hopefuls who are reduced to whispering about the arrival of Lady Gaga in their party.

She will have a voice, whether as a falling dwarf star or a supernova. Fox is expediting her claim to national prominence by installing a TV studio in her Alaskan home. Imagine that! A national news network fashioning the candidacy of its own choice.

This much I can say: Palin was garden variety loyal opposition compared to Tom Tancredo, a mess of a person who gave the most outrageous racist speech at a political gathering since the days of George Wallace. Still, since the Tea Party delegates were 99.44 pct. Ivory Soap pure, his words must have resonated with more than a few of them. And therein lies a bigger problem ahead for not only the Tea Party but also for the nation when such forces again become players.

1 comment:

PJJinOregon said...

And consider the suffering John McCain. His legacy is sweet Sarah. Turning her loose on the lower 48 was an act of political terrorism that will stalk him forever. (In case you noticed a note of sympathy in the above, you got it wrong.)