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         Go figure. Who would have thought that, to Alaskan Republicans, “the last great race” meant white people? I saw it right there on the Pepsi Center floor.                                                     But at least they're trying to make up for that. Yesterday on the news they said that, between Fannie and Freddie, it was a Black Day on Wall Street. Who says people can't move up in the Bush economy?


"Que Sarah, Sarah."  Isn't that pretty much French for more of the same?

And while we’re at it, wouldn't Sarahpalin be a geat name for a re-uptake inhibitor?  
I think I'm already on Iditarod for the old prostate?

And what's with the Track & Trigg?  Was this woman ovulating a Biathlon for the NRA?

What do you call a politician who goes on and on about moving forward, when she's actually taking you backwards? Palindrone.

      OK, you can see where this is going , cheap shots and distortion being so in vogue and all.  (And the last-minute rush to get what will have to pass for humor in under the Sept. 11 no-snark curfew.)

         Disclosure ("full" disclosure would have to include my hat size): Some of my good friends are Republicans, I sort of still have the hots for Christine Todd Whitman, and I've always kind of liked John McCain.  And btw, I'm here to turn myself in.

          Or at least I like the concept of John McCain. Not that Obama's any kind of a piker at it, but I like the way McCain talks almost as much.  Not what he's actually been saying, God no. It's the slight lilt in the voice quality and also the way he talks. Sometimes the hint of an attempt at persuasion, rather than just laying out what's what. Now the crowd he's been hanging with, well not so much.  And that frozen dessert he just ordered up for the White House, faggetaboudit. But then, as you can see already, what do I know?

          Is it just me, or is everybody who really wants to like the guy getting so exasperated by these off the wall choices and distorted positions that you're also yelling, "John.  A plague on all your houses?"  

          The nomination of Sarah Palin as the Republican candidate for VP last week left as many questions as it answered.  The first, of course, being, “What happened, Ted Stevens was unavailable?  

          Yes we’ll accept it’s her baby, but only on the condition that Palin acknowledges she herself may very well be the spawn of Satan.  And as for that other "messiness,” for God's sake, the Alaska state capital is named after an unwed teenage mother.  

          BabySafetyGate also may present the Democrats with a saturation coverage dilemma now, and if she makes it to the White House. Palin still has to get more voters to "know" her -- but not with TV coverage that in any way might look too closely at actual issues.  That's where all these new babies come in.

          As we saw at the Democratic convention, the Obama brood certainly satisfies that cuteness quotient. That's fine on network, but they're getting a bit long in the tooth for local TV, which we all know -- nationwide -- is incapable of completing a newscast without at least once employing the noun "toddler."  Look it up. May even be a broadcast standard.  Of course, Palin's newborn, and eventually her daughter's, have their own compelling stories.  But what they really provide the local newscasters is the toddler angle -- without the unpleasantness of an abduction, swimming pool accident, or being accidentally left four hours in a daycare van.

         You can never be too wary.  So help me this is the truth, over 20 years ago our kids had their artwork displayed beside the Bush twins' in a "draw you pet" exhibit. They drew Milly's puppies.  How do you go up against a dog with a literary agent?
         Also, on average, McCain and Palin are only 58.

          The lack of substance in the Palin campaign so far isn’t much of a surprise.  Apparently at this point she’s only equipped to handle “controlled substances” the speechwriters are feeding her. In Dayton she pledged to “continue where Hillary left off – leaving 18-million cracks in the highest, hardest ceiling in America” – apparently having tried crack before, but not enjoying it.  Oh wait, we'll have to check that, wouldn't want to distort the actual substance in question just for a cheap applause line.

           In the area of foreign policy expertise, Palin defenders are quick to point out that her state is merely 50 miles from Russia.  (Albeit only if you kayak all the way out to that island at the tippy tippy tip. You know the one.  Hardly any ice left?  Where she shot a bear from Reno, just to

          But why stop with that Russians are Coming syllogism, Whittaker Walt?  What really seals her deal as a Condi Rice-in-mukluks, Stobe Talbot-level Kremlinologist, that the spinners haven't fully exploited yet, is having attended the state university in Moscow, Idaho.  Coincidence? Does it really matter at this point?  [Hey seals, I just got that myself.]

          As for being strong on defense and Republican family values, isn’t it enough that she spent her formative Idaho college years not only 370 miles from Custer’s Last Stand, but 140 miles from Craig’s First Wide Stance?  

          Don’t get me wrong. Idaho is absolutely breathtaking and with great people -- which, as we learned last week, I’m eminently qualified to talk about, never having been there.  I can picture its tolerance for diversity by how well the white supremacists in Coeur d'Alene get along with their complete opposites, the rabid survivalists in their Ted Kaczinsky kabins nextdoor. But even I think it’s pushing things for any Alaskan to claim mastery over diplomacy simply because she was born in Idaho and may have once grown a potato bearing a distinct resemblance to the late Soviet foreign minister Andre Gromyko See photo.  

G.A.  Custer                              Mr. Potatohead                                 L. Craig
    McCain says he “can’t wait to introduce her to Washington.”  Seems credible.  It’s possible.  If you listen to late night talk shows, they might have been contemporaries.  [Get it?  He's old - now there's a writing staff just phoning it in.]

          But they haven't been so much introducing Palin to the party faithful as launching a new product right out of the McCain family business: Coulter-Lite.  As I get it, the choice made was to solidify the evangelical base and then convince the rest of us that she may shoot from the hip and look a little “Elvisy,”  but really isn’t that dangerous.  “Miss Conveniality?”

          And damn whoever it was who let the cat out of the bag that she fluted her way to Miss Alaska-runner-up. My wife, who takes almost everything literally, thought she had a handle on what young Palin's talent might have been when John McCain said, “She’s worked with her hands and nose what it’s like to worry about mortgage payments and health care.”  That’s multitasking right there with two of my favorite organs.

BTW: If you still haven't had your fill of the "pageant analogy," by all means harken back to last Thursday's diary "The difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull: TEETH" which I believe, after about 3 hours work, attracted all of 9 comments (2 of which were mine) during the brief moment in history it had to crawl under the Kos equivalent of a Bloomberg screen.  Or if you don't want to Harkin back, maybe just Grassley over -- it's never too soon to start thinking about Iowa again. And in the process you'll find out the simplest reason JohnBoy is not the Original Maverick.
         We understand the operative code phrase for “Our future Veep will be off limits to the press until she knows State from Shinola” is “She needs to spend time with the voters.” Right, because we wouldn’t want reporters to vote or anything?  

          So, as the race continues, it’s really up to us, the voting public, to question some of those wild distortions and half-truths as Palin embarks on her “Shatter S'more o' That Glass Ceiling Tour.” Because now that the MSM have confirmed she’s so “relatable," much of the country will greet her, at least at first, with open arms. (Or maybe arms raised, depending upon what the lady might be packin’ at any stop).

          Just don’t let her get going again about being the biggest foe of earmarks under the Aurora Borealis -- after hiring a lobbyist and requesting more federal bucks for Alaska per capita than any other state.  Or obfuscating that she didn’t oppose that "bridge" until it became clear even to her that it was going nowhere.  Great little bridge player she.

          What's clearly called for is a little responsive audience participation.  Since "USA, USA" is already taken by the Republicans, and "Drill, baby, drill" also sounds uncomfortably like a porno soundtrack, let's go with "Alaska." (as in "I'll ask her.")                                                                                                                      
Biden: How can Sarah Palin claim to be a tax cutter, when her state ranks number 1 in taxes per resident in the United States?

We the Rabble: I dunno, Alaska!              

Biden: Why should ANWR drilling be any cheaper than Mideast oil, when three-quarters of the cost of every barrel is the tax Alaska slaps on every single one?

We the Rabble: I dunno, Alaska!    

Biden: How can that @#!%X#%%@$ [OK sorry, my  emphasis.  Getting a little carried away here with the mob hysteria.] oppose a windfall profits tax on big oil for the rest  of us, when she's already got one up there?

We the Rabble: I dunno, Alaska!  

Biden: One year in the PTA makes you a "PTA mom?" And isn't that being a community organizer -- just like Jesus?

We the Rabble: Give us Barabbas!!! Wait a minute, we've already got her.                                                                        

Well OK then, how about just these lapel pins?

          And in the name of all that’s holy, will somebody please point out that the real difference between starting out as a community organizer and as a high school point guard is that the former actually does have a “point” to it.            

          The only real question is, until she’s fully gang-wonked by the policy staff, will Palin be kept in isolation longer than McCain was in Hanoi?  That snow-garden strategy could take her all the way into a second term.

          But wait, maybe we’re missing the boat here?  Somebody needs to annoy the straight talker into finally acknowledging that pesky "inexperience" issue.  Then he might actually send her around the lower 48 on one ‘o them real “LISTENING” TOURS.  From what we’ve seen so far, that part of it’ll never... start.

          Whoever thought we'd want the P.U.M.A.S. back? Not the real P.U.M.A.S, who are still around and honestly conflicted. We're just having a hard time keeping up with the fading embers of that explosion of very likely faux-P.U.M.I.S.M. that took the country by storm two weeks ago.  They were here, they were there, and then they disappeared into Denver's mile-high thin air -- like Brigadoon. (Or what the NRA might describe as G.L.O.C.K.-a-morra?)

          Where’d they go?  As some would have you believe, almost all of the P.U.M.I.S.T.A.S. prowled right over from Hillary's lair to JohnBoy -- do not pass GOPAC, do not collect the ten million dollars we claimed to have raised for McCain.  (And that was without anybody even having the temerity to say, “Don’t let the roll call hit you on the way out.”)

          Well now we need 'em.  Again, not all of them mind you; just that one particular disingenuous subspecies.

                                                                                                                                                                        The latest polls all over the news yesterday reported McCain/Palin have picked up a somewhat frightening number of women supporters with what they're calling the Paliin bounce--or is it bump? Hey, whatever works for you
in Miss Alaska or the Vice Presidency, go with it.

          ABC is showing a 20-point swing among white women, averaging what McCain's gained and Obama's lost after the Republican convention.

          One would hazzard that not all of that is P.U.M.A. We're guessing mostly Republicans now beside themselves with glee, who were just too depressed to talk to anybody between the conventions.

          The way Palin breaks down (and one suspects this is not someone who breaks down easily) is she's got a 67% favorability rating among white women in general and a phenomenally unexplainable 80% among white women with children at home -- who, if you ask me, seriously need a time out.

          What with that transgender gun-toting, ice-fishing, moose-dressing (and one suspects) whale-hunting/seal pup-clubbing machismo, Cindy's family business, and a likely overabundance of Anchorage flannel thrown in for good measure -- McCain's probably also nabbed more of the beer-swilling, white lesbian women (with or without children at home or anywhere) demographic than he'd normally be entitled too.

          But I don't have to tell you that.  No, David Broder has to tell you that. And I dare him.   Beause I have absolutely nothing to base this on -- which certainly must be good enough for S.P.

          Excuse me, back to those P.U.M.I.S.T.S.    Granted a goodly number had voiced what can be seen as understandable grievances – at least one each in Michigan and Florida, for example.  But one suspects most of those, generally associated with the broader and more blandly dubbed People United Means Action (aka "official") wing of P.U.M.A. will only be sitting on their hands, if at all, until they vote for Obama in November.  At least that's the hope.

          Forget about that faction's semi-scrutible P.U.M.A. co-founder Darragh Murphy (not pictured above).  I’ll accept she may just be pissed and even take it at Facebook value her $500 to McCain in 2000 was mostly to stop the "hated" Bush.  However we once retired a horse to her hometown of Carlisle, MA, right next to Concord and Lexington.  And nice and refined as the folks out there are, at least a few of those Carlisle irregulars at Bunker Hill were probably shouting, “Don’t fire until you can see if they’re white.” I could take that Will Bower a little more seriously if that didn’t sound like one of Robin Hood’s merry band. (And I wasn't starting to sound a little too Andy Rooney. Scary.)

          It’s the mutation into that Party United My Ass "provisional" wing, and more specifically, their cockamamie Clintons-for-McCain alleged offshoot -- aka P.I.R.A. (Pretending to be Irate Republican Army)-- who continue to offer the real potential for Hillarity, and, dare we say it, exploitation, in addressing this new gender challenge while slouching toward November.  

          Now everything from here on is, again, an uninformed guess -- which also, in certain P.U.M.A.S.P.E.A.K. dialects, is the same as fact.  Still it’s a reasonable bet the aforementioned provisional wing with the racier deconstructed acronym has probably been infiltrated and manipulated at least to a limited extent by a Republican dirty trickster or two. You can easily identify these within the group by the observation that they want you to think they’re wacko and hormonal – that’s their cover.  And it’s why there’s no point in trying to convince them anybody is being irrational.  That’s beside the talking point.

          But those Clintons-for-McCain crash and burn anarchists.  OMG!  If you’re the poor soul who hasn’t yet caught that Christi Adkins (pictured above in a moment of relative repose) P.U.M.M.A.L.I.N.G. Obama’s Muslim leanings outside the Democratic Convention to Chris Matthews, run do not walk to your nearest Youtube. It's a trip and a half on $4 gas.

          Forget about all the contradictions and blatant manipulation that everyone seems to have fully deconstructed within the first five minutes.  I mean did you ever see such a Republican-looking and sounding gang of 12, Muffy?  A more unHillary posse?  If these women don’t smell like swift boats at low tide, I owe them a fifth column to buttress their platform (or at least another mixed metaphor, rules may vary). Might as well have P.U.M.A.'d themselves "Pathetically Unbelieveable McCain Agents."

          The tip off may have been not even considering the empty gesture of a petition for McCain to offer Hillary the second chair, when he had the only vacancy.  Not to mention nothing nice to say about her outside the delgate count. Funny how that works.          

          Do they really believe anybody with a single neuron firing bought them as true Hillarians forced over to McCain's briar patch as a last resort by DNC offenses?  Especially while dissing the Clinton issues so unnimbly in the process? And if you've ever been dissed in the process by a rabid faux-P.U.M.A, well let's just say always keep a cold compress handy.  (Thank you.  Say the secret word and the duck flys down to get shot by either a sitting Vice President or a hopeful successor.)

          Don't know if you can see from where you're sitting, but I'm tapping this out in Dallas, from whence the  legendary Swiftboats of '04 were launched and so expertly navigated.   There's no way this hasn't also been another board-certified Swiftsledding enterprise.

          Unlike what very well may be their less visibly rambunctious Republican-operative counterparts, these Swiftsledding C-f-M stooges can be easily spotted by the fact that they don’t want you to think they’re wacko.  They don't want you to just think they're bimbos unable to project the number of communists in the State Department without removing their shoes.  They want you to think they’re shameless narcissistic egomaniacs.  My guess is that’s their cover in a nutjob -- and apparently not much of a stretch.  That and so blatantly screwing with your head you want to leave a couple of dollars on the bureau.

          In Denver, and on Fox, the discriminating observer was also able to identify this crew by their catchy chant, which Obama seems also to have also picked up on: “Yes, we think you’re stupid.”

          I've never been able to figure out exactly what a "petard" is, but this is where I think they may be ready for a little girl-on-girl hoisting action.  Yesterday's 20% swingers cannot possibly be feeling whatever C-f-M P.U.M.E.S.C.E.N.T. claptrap may be filtering though to them any higher up than the gut. So it's a tough row to hoe pitching policy or arguing contradictions as a way of yanking P.U.M.A.-Dems and independents back.  

          Sure it's great Obama and Biden are starting to question not only the projected image-vs.-actual record thing, as well as the blatant falsehoods. My God, where do you start?  But the easiest approach is to also go for the gut, and not just with the pocketbook issues, layoffs, foreclosures or healthcare  What's even stronger than a wedge issue? It's showing somebody she's being dissed and played for a sucker.

          To paraphrase my friend in Boston, Norm Nathan, would you come a little closer to the monitor, I'm not sure I want everbody to hear this? Who better to employ toward that used=and-abused end than Sarah Palin's  Achilles heel (nee any residual C-f-M's still lurking out there). Throw the character issue back at them full throttle. That right, we need THE PLUMBERS back!

          After having been paralyzed for nearly an entire presidential term under Whitewatergate, then looking the other way on  Swiftwatergate, can the Dems. afford to pass up this  Frozenwatergate opportunity on a platter?  

          If they don't resurface on their own, lure at least one of those C-f-M P.U.M.E.T.T.E.S. out of hiding and expose the obvious Swiftsledding charade -- if ony for the perp walk.

          "What kind of political party or candidates running on 'character' would think you're so stupid as to fall for such an obvious ruse?  Or at least be in bed with a 527 that does?"  That post-Palin Party is certainly taking false umbrage at a lot less.

          There's still a small opportunity. Just when you think your Swiftsled has slid, with no more Hillary campaign to faux-lament, the more militant P.U.M.I.S.T.A.S. are now decrying both the Democrats and especially the media over our shameless disrespect to the wonderful and growing Palin household.  That's right folks, the iron law of oligarchy in the party of oligarchs. They've re-adapted. Morphed.

          Again, these are not to be confused with the actual Hillary supporters now calling attention to what they consider unfair sexist attacks on Palin. We're talking about the ones who are no longer P.U.M.A.S. -- if they ever were.  Now they’re Wasillantes.  And all you've gotta find is one.  But why talk anymore about it, when we can lure them out, like Sirens, in song.  With deepest apologies to the late Jo Stafford, who passed away several months too soon to enjoy all this:                        

♪  The swiftsleds were a-slidin'
To Denver that night.
Up to their mischief  ♫
Don’t let the party unite.

Why don’t-cha hurry, hurry, hurry Rove.
Can’t hide the web that your guys wove.

♫  They’re stooges just passing
For fem-dem-ocrats.
The sled of state’s slipping
They’re fleeing like rats.  ♪ ♫

Hurry, hurry vote for John McCain.
They think you haven’t got a brain.

♪  They want us to think that
They’re hurtin’ so bad.
But in this election
They’re Florida chads.

Now they back that Palin Veep.
A throwback to Nixon’s C.R.E.E.P.

♪ ♪ So, more swiftsleds are a-comin
Their snow is so white.
Faux turncoats think you’re dummies
They’re in for a fight.

So can’t we get your dander up?
Can’t we get your dander up?

♫  Groundswell of alienation
With no roots in the grass.
And if you can’t grasp this  ♫ ♪♫ ♪♪♫
Well just kiss my stimulus package.

                  Oh...and God bless America.

          Now YOU take a shot
          (with your own apologies to Pete Seeger or Tom Lehrer):
                 "Where Have All the P.U.M.A.S. Gone?"
                 "Doin' the Palin Bounce."

          C'mon people, spread the love. I shouldn't have to do this on my own. It takes a             village slightly bigger that Wasilla.

Originally posted to Roger Burke on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 05:51 AM PDT.


Alaska's 3 electoral votes actually do neutralize Delaware's 3.

21%3 votes
0%0 votes
7%1 votes
42%6 votes
28%4 votes

| 14 votes | Vote | Results

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