“President Palin.” Rupert Murdoch’s masturbatory mantra, and the rest of the country’s nightmare. The polls say it can’t happen. That she’s a joke as a national candidate, with no support outside the Tea Party. But there hasn’t been a major news broadcast in the last two years that hasn’t touched on the question: “Will she or won’t she run for president?” Unfortunately, not one seems to touch on the question: “Is she smart enough to be president?” The simple answer is no. The more subtle answer is: It may not matter.
Republicans have no problem with stupid. The previous “not smart enough to be president” is presently on his revisionist history book tour. For several election cycles in the 70s, most people were in disbelief that “that idiot Ronald Reagan” was running again. In a reality show world, where talent is no longer a prerequisite for fame, intelligence is no longer a prerequisite for elected office. It has been trumped by raw ambition. And Palin is a person whose intelligence is inversely proportional to her ambition. Despite the fact that she’s yet to make a speech that wasn’t a litany of stock phrases and belligerent taunts delivered in a voice so shrill it sounds like a dolphin that got its dick slammed in a car door, she has touched a nerve with the great unwashed. Republican women wish they looked like her. Republican men wished their wives looked like her. It seems a wink is as good as a nod to a blind electorate.
But her limitations haven’t stopped her. Humility has no place in her world. You can see it in her eyes: She wants it. But that’s OK, because Republicans also have no problem with lust for power. Palin was delivered to us by a man who wanted the presidency so bad, he sold his soul more often than Max Bialystock sold shares in Springtime for Hitler. And Palin’s lust for power goes beyond McCain’s mere ambition. Hers touches on megalomania. She thinks her creator is opening doors for her. She thinks she’s the anointed one. Consider her near incomprehensible resignation speech, in which she told the people of Alaska that she could work for them more effectively out of office. To most people it just seemed like a self-serving line of bullshit. But, in her mind, she was telling the truth. In her mind, she needed to free herself from the limitations of state office to set the stage for her run at national office. Once elected, she would be serving the entire country — including Alaska. See? She can better serve them out of the governor’s office.
Elections are responses to the times. It’s likely that the next two years will show some economic growth, though it’s unlikely that we’ll hit outright prosperity. It’s certain, however, that the fault for any economic problems will be laid at the feet of the president and Democrats, and the credit for any economic gains will be usurped by the Republicans. It will be a simple message that the Republicans will hammer over and over. And one thing Republicans know how to do is stay on message. The last two years have been nothing but Republicans lighting bags of dogshit, and Democrats continually trying to stomp them out. And despite the fact that Palin will get carved up for caribou steaks during the primary debates, if she manages to smirk her way to a nomination, the party will fall in line behind her. Because if there’s another thing Republicans know how to do, it’s fall in line. The North Korean army looks at the Republicans and marvels at their ability to march in lockstep.
Now, you can console yourself with the thought that, sure, Christine O’Donnell didn’t win. And Sharron Angle didn’t win. But they were nominated. And as unintelligent as Palin is, she’s not O’Donnell dumb. And she’s not Angle reckless. By the time she makes a run at the presidency, she’ll have accumulated four more years of popularity via her “books,” speeches, reality show, and Fox cheerleaders. She’ll also probably absorb a modicum of fancy book learnin’. She’ll learn the names of a few national newspapers. She’ll cipher a few economic stats, some energy and foreign policy clichÃ©s. And she probably won’t accept another collect call from the President of France.
Sure, most thinking Americans think she’s unelectable. And many Democrats secretly hope she’s the nominee. After all, on the national stage, she’s a sure failure. Then again, so was Springtime for Hitler.