Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Palin & The Republican Party: In Which Cowardice Is The Better Part Of Virtue

No matter how you slice and dice the numbers, Sarah Palin will not be the next president of the United States and could not even get elected governor of Alaska, a job that she abandoned in mid-stream to get rich while still keeping an eye on Russia from her kitchen window.

Not despite but because of her consume-thin resume, Palin has become one of wealthier woman in the U.S. with an estimated $15 million annual income. This windfall, amassed without breaking a sweat, is from Fox News and reality show appearances, ghost-written books long on padding, obscenely high speaking fees on the rubber chicken circuit, and a potpourri of smarmy and insulting Twitter and FaceBook comments that reveal an overarching ignorance of the very things that presidents need to know.

But while all of this in fact qualifies Palin to become president in the eyes of the relatively small number of even Republicans who are thirsting for her to become their 2012 nominee, it is her chops as a man eater -- specifically the ability to cow what remains of the GOP establishment leadership -- that are greasing the skids for a presidential run.

In the last few days alone, Palin has noshed on Ronald Reagan and both Bush pere and fils, among other party standard bearers, the Gipper for being an actor with suspect conservative credentials and the Bushes for being blue bloods.

It is the latter charge that Palin has honed to surgical precision in her Limbaughian efforts to define anyone who doesn't agree with her points of view as not being "real" Americans.

There are some loopy ironies here.

While the Bushes were born with silver spoons in their mouths, Palin bought hers at Tiffany's.

The Republican Party has gotten to where it is -- which is to say where it isn't as a national party capable of regaining the White House in 2012 barring a miracle -- by using the "real" American fault line as reliable crutch, although with Palin it's more like a harpoon gun.

It also is indescribably sad that aside from some throat clearing, the many Republicans who still have some influence and view a Palin candidacy as a kamikaze mission have decided that cowardice is the better part of virtue.

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