A John McCain adviser recently called his running mate Sarah Palin a "diva" after she went off-script at a rally, and suggested she was looking after her own political future over the current campaign. Another adviser ups the ante in a conversation with the Politico's Playbook, labeling Palin a "whack job
"Sarah Oh-Twelve!" bellowed a man in field coat and jeans, one of several thousand at the Leesburg rally, when Palin spoke about her tax policies yesterday.
The diva made sure to spend some time on her "own track record" in Alaska, particularly all the taxes she cut. "Sarah! Sarah!" the crowd chanted.
"So, Virginia, will you hire us?" she asked. "Will you send us to Washington?"
"Yes, we will! Yes, we will!"
In 2012, that is.
As the Right and their failed ideology runs out of steam Palin represents their last best hope. She fits the profile perfectly: camera ready, good at repeating (and making at least some people believe) the same worn out messages and attacks. She's represents a minority in the party leadership (younger, woman, Alaskan) so she's new and different.
But I think the best way to truly understand Palin is to go back and watch the early weeks of any "American Idol" season. The ones in which the over-confident "talent" sings terribly off key and then is shocked that they weren't chosen by Simon and friends. If the leadership of her party were half as critical (and one quarter as smart) as Simon Cowell, Palin would have been laughed off the policial stage way before the first California competition.
The most dreadful thing about the "Palin Phenomenon" is that she isn't in her seventies, and unless she finally manages to stamp out her own fire, we are going to have to hear about her for a long, long time. Unfortunately, there are too many people who view her brand of social conservatism as something we need in this country; the same people who think Obama equals socialism or even communism.
Once this is "history," and Palin can't count on the Rightwing anti-McCain crowd, I believe her only option will be to become the head preacher at one of those huge, evangelical church domes.
Palin would have to divide the Republican Party and break away the extreme right nut jobs who believe that they can, and should, legislate the values and behavior of all Americans. The resulting Party would be entirely too small to carry any serious weight as a third party. The left over Republican conservatives will have to marshall their forces and figure out a way to reinvent themselves and their Party, but it will not happen in 2012.
This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just "people of faith" but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity.
John McCain, you're screwed.