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The Right Stuff?

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I’ll never make a wish again.

Many years ago (1980 — ask your great-grandparents kiddies!), caught between shame over the emasculated Jimmie Carter, and terrified of the Hollywood Hero of the World War Training Film, I decided that there had to be another option for the voters to select. It had become clear to me that the two-party system was obviously no longer meeting the national need. Despite having lots of problems with the only available alternative, I held my nose and voted for John Anderson, whose allegiance to the GOP was shattered when they selected a movie star when other attributes and experiences seemed necessary. I felt that it might help to establish a precedent. I wished to make it so.

It was the beginning of a long and frustrating effort.

There is a popular proverb which warns that one should be careful what one wishes for. One might get it. Based on what I’m seeing today, I do see the signs that there just might be a resolution to my wishfulness – and the apocryphal warning immediately comes to mind.

Allow me to establish the scene. Sarah Palin has resigned as of the end of July as Governor of Alaska. Immediately, the minds explode in theories and explanations. For instance, Levi Johnston claims he heard Palin announce that it would be nice to take advantage of the lucrative deals that were being offered. P M Carpenter agrees that Palin may well be pondering such remunerations, but declares Palin a “brazenly flaky pol” and “an unscrupulous harpie” stuffed with self-interest. Carpenter admits he can’t understand how Her Quitterness even has any supporters now that she’s run out on them to pump up her personal portmanteau until plush with pelf.

Some do think they know why Sarah is still in the news. SF Gate Columnist Mark Morford is convinced that Palin’s popularity with the rural portions of the GOP “base” has to do with the fact that “you had so captivated a nation’s imagination” while “no one could quite understand how the hell you made it up on that stage in the first place.” Morford makes Palin sound like a sort-of political reality show – America’s Most Stunted? – where the winner earns 15 minutes of fame and whatever commercial endorsements one’s agent can arrange.

Regardless of the specifics, Palin’s political capital is why she remains in the public eye, leading New York Times columnist Frank Rich to compare Palin to favorite GOP bugaboo Al Sharpton. Rich is convinced that “Palin won’t go gently into the good night, much as some Republicans in Washington might wish.”

One of those Beltway Republicans is Peggy Noonan, who declares that “Palin was bad for the Republicans—and the republic“. Noonan flails away wildly, slicing and dicing Palin’s personal and political attributes finer than a Billy Mays promotional product. Oooooohhhh!

So where does this leave Palin if the Democrats think she’s a moron and the Republicans who can think feel that she has outlived her usefulness?

How about a third-party run? I didn’t tell you all of that above not to use it for something!

The kicker for me was the announcement today that Palin will campaign for conservative Democrats and certain “conservative” issues. In declaring that people are “tired of the partisan stuff”, Palin proclaims that “I will go around the country on behalf of candidates who believe in the right things, regardless of their party label or affiliation.”

As a famous TV character once proclaimed, “Ferrrry Eeenterestink – but Shtupidt!”

It’s difficult, considering Palin’s lack of oratorical erudition, to know exactly what “the right things” are. Palin speaks with innuendo, winks, and suggestions of ideas, but never really gets around to defining what it is she stands for. Maybe her babbling gibberish is her way of quoting the most famous obstructionist of our time — William F. Buckley, Jr. One of Buckley’s more famous quotes is “A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling “Stop!”” Palin’s oratory ends up having the same effect, but only because her audience stops dead in their tracks to ask each other, “What the hell did she just say?” Buckley himself, upon observing such an occurrence, may well have observed, “I won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting that Sarah really believes what she just said.”

Buckley’s son Christopher — among many famous GOP offspring – was a supporter of Barack Obama in this last election. Buckley pere wrote a relatively friendly article in the National Review Online very shortly before he escaped this mortal coil. Could that be why son Christopher thinks that his dad may well have voted for Obama?

In the interests of full disclosure, I did NOT vote for Obama. Early in his senatorial career, Obama took positions and voted in ways I did not approve of. Not just once or twice, but almost all the time. I cannot vote for someone whose only attribute is that he’s less worse than the other guy – and his wolf-shooting running mate.

So I research all of the announced candidates, no matter how obscure their party. Out of the fourteen announced major and minor party candidates, I couldn’t vote for anyone. I ended up writing in Ron Paul – despite all of his baggage — primarily because he’s been right about the then-pending economic collapse. I don’t know what I will do this next time.

I cannot award my vote to Obama, for his most recent statement regarding the stimulus – “It worked exactly as planned” doesn’t jibe with Joe Biden’s late admission that “we didn’t know how bad things were”. That was why Joe had to go face the Ohio voters who are very mad at Obama and defend the program as penance for wandering off the reservation and telling the truth.

But on the other hand, I cannot vote for any Republican — Huckabee or Romney, for instance — who expects to resume where Dumbya left off. Is there not sufficient evidence dropping on our heads daily as to why this is so? (Never mind. There is no one in there anyway, so why do I bother?) Third-party Palin has already shown me that she is not to be trusted with power, so she is out as well.

Thus, despite the House spanking Obama as they should have Bush, I guess I’m doomed to suffer the slings and arrows of my outrageous missed fortunes and continue to wander the political world searching for my electable Diogenes. As I do so, I’ll continue to utter “I wish that I never make a political wish again!”

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  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    So many of you Americans seem to mistake stupid for uneducated. You’ve not seen the last of Sarah Palin. If indeed as the author suggests, she will campaign for those candidates she believes believe in the right stuff, her gut will lead her to pick the right issues. She did not become a mayor for nothing, and she did not become a governor for nothing. And there are things she can campaign for in a morally sick America that need pushing – badly.

    Her own expereience with a daughter who would not listen to her sexual teachings, who spread her legs for a boy she loved and became pregnant, only to see the boy back away, will give Mrs. Palin, the mother, a credibility with thousands upon thousands of parents who have similar problems. The imperfect woman striving to improve is a very potent symbol among a population of spiritually wounded people.

    And as time wears on, Americans will start to see themselves that way.

  • http://www.joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    This is why we need a real alternative. Everyone pooh-poohs the third party concept, but I’m sick to death of the wheeling-dealing that both sides are into. We need a giant shop vac and clean the halls of Congress, start off with new blood (hopefully none of them lawyers… mix some economists in there and people who can READ legislation with a small amount of common sense) and get a new revolution going.

    It worked for the founding fathers.