Sunday, October 19, 2008

“Mayberry Machiavellis

Thank you, Frank Rich, for reminding us of a great epithet. In his New York Times Op/Ed column this morning (“He Just Can’t Quit W”) Frank Rich quotes John Dilulio, chief of the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives who said about the Bush administration in 2003, “There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus. What you’ve got is everything — and I mean everything — being run by the political arm. It’s the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis.” And there you have in a nutshell, the best description of Sarah Palin—a tiny-town, small-time, petty Machiavelli. Palin’s turn on Saturday Night Live last night was a revelation: If she can’t be President, then she’ll audition for a berth on TV. But staying in the spotlight after her current politicking phase has run its course is the important thing. And like the 16th century statesman Nicolo Machiavelli who mapped out a cynical guide to power, Sarah Palin will do her small-beer best to remain on TV—whatever it takes. Rich says that the “rampant cronyism, nonexistent long-term planning and abrupt, partisan policy improvisations that fed the calamities of Iraq, Katrina and the economic meltdown...have not only entangled him (McCain) in a welter of conflicts of interest, but they’ve furthered cynical political stunts like the elevation of Sarah Palin. At least Bush and Rove didn’t try to put an unqualified hack like, say, Alberto Gonzales half a heartbeat away from the presidency.” Tina Fey, who had retired from Saturday Night Live and began a new career as writer/actor on the acclaimed “30 Rock” sit-com, said on David Letterman Friday night that her impersonation of Sarah Palin on SNL would end up like Vaughan Meader's as John F. Kennedy Remember Vaughn Meader? In 1962 he made a career out of his satirization and perfect-pitch impersonation of JFK on an album called “The First Family”. When Kennedy was assassinated, Meader’s livelihood and vocation ended. At least Tina Fey has a life other than mimicking Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is not so lucky. Sarah Palin is stuck with Sarah Palin.

1 comment:

pilgrimchick said...

Sarah Palin--so much to say. Amazing is all I have at the moment.