Sunday, February 14, 2010

Frank Rich Is Right and He’s Wrong

Frank Rich was right on January 31 when he said we must never forget (and consequently, we must ever remind) that the Bush administration caused all the problems the United States and the world is battling now and for decades to come. Therefore, I will constantly remind, like right now: DO NOT FORGET, the Repubs caused every problem President Barack Obama is having to deal with. And additionally, the Repubs have no right whatsoever to blame anything on Obama. And they have no right to complain about one single thing...the Republican Party caused ALL of our problems. That done, I must point out that today Frank Rich is ignoring a conspicuous element of the Sarah Palin phenomena in his New York Times op/ed piece--"Palin's Cunning Sleight of Hand". Rich said, “Liberals had a blast mocking Sarah Palin last weekend when she was caught addressing the Tea Party Convention with a cheat sheet scrawled on her hand. Even the president’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, couldn’t resist getting into the act and treated a White House briefing to a Palin hand gag of his own. “Yet the laughter rang hollow. You had to wonder if Palin, who is nothing if not cunning, had sprung a trap. She knows all too well that the more the so-called elites lampoon her, the more she cements her cred with the third of the country that is her base. Her hand hieroglyphics may not have been speaking aids but bait.” That is no doubt true. I’m not persuaded that Palin could have come up with the idea, but she surely is canny enough to have latched onto the ploy once it was presented to her. Rich went on to say, “The Palin shtick has now become the Republican catechism, parroted by every party leader in Washington... Incredibly enough, this message is gaining traction...The GOP populism is all bunk, of course. Republicans in office now, as well as Palin during her furtive public service in Alaska, have feasted on federal pork, catered to special interests, and pursued policies indifferent to recession-battered Americans. And yet they’re getting away with their populist masquerade.” Rich seems to think that Palin, with the backing of the Republican Tea Party, is a force to be reckoned with, even though she and the Tea Party have no substance. Rich quoted David Broder to back up his fear: ”The Dean of the Beltway press corps, the columnist David Broder, cited Palin’s “pitch-perfect populism” in hailing her as “a public figure at the top of her game” in Thursday’s Washington Post.” Calm down guys. Take a deep breath. Rich noted that in her question-and-answer session last weekend, Palin’s “only concrete program for dealing with America’s pressing problems” was to say, “It would be wise of us to start seeking some divine intervention again in this country so that we can be safe and secure and prosperous again.” Oddly, that may be exactly what has happened--a divine intervention. Rich and many other politicians, writers and commentators have apparently forgotten that Sarah Palin--the populist paragon the Republicans are placing stage-center as the embodiment of all things GOP, past and present--is incapable of hewing to any ideology except her own self-interest. If God has picked Sarah Palin to lead the Republican party, as she herself has declared, then God has chosen someone who will inevitably betray her minders, her writers, her party and her supporters because it is her nature to do so. Sarah Palin is this era’s “Face in the Crowd”. She is our Arthur Godfrey. She is Joe McCarthy and OJ Simpson. Sarah Palin is fatally flawed and she is powerless against these flaws. She must break faith and desert, she must foul her nest, she must implode and destroy everything in her path. It's her nature.

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