Highway to Hell

Like most Americans, we would just prefer to ignore Sarah Palin at this point — unless she says something notably retarded, of course — but as someone more clever than us said over the weekend, she puts the Me in Memorial Day, and here we are.

So, first: About her unexpected debut as a Motorcycle Mama Grizzly. Organizers of the DC Rolling Thunder event said they had no fucking clue she was showing up. Someone in the Palin camp said they warned the publicist, or something. This reminded us of the frequent claims that Palin would be gracing one event or another, only to be scolded that her appearance was not confirmed, and how amateurish it was to say otherwise. Clearly the situation is different when you’re the glamorous gate-crasher.

Or, to draw the all-too-obvious conclusion: The Rules Don’t Apply to Sarah Palin.

Which is why, on the basis of an unannounced aimless bus trip, Palin Prez Chatter is back! She doesn’t have to organize a campaign like lamestream candidates — she’s Sarah Fucking Palin, and she’ll win by spontaneous combustion!

Thing is, she might believe that herself:

According to a source with knowledge of Palin’s operation and thinking, keep a careful eye on how long the tour lasts, because it is intended as a way to test the presidential waters. If the road trip ends abruptly, it’s a sign she didn’t get the enthusiastic responses she believes she needs to launch a campaign. If the tour heads to regions outside of the Northeast like Iowa and South Carolina that, the source says, is a “big indicator” that Palin will pull the trigger.

Note the expectation: enthusiastic responses she believes she needs to launch a campaign. Enthusiastic responses with little advance work, that is: OMG, Talibunny is in town this very moment! Let’s rush down to the square and shower her with totally undemanded love!

In other words, Sarah Palin is using her bus tour to judge whether America is worthy of her. If it works, it’ll be Our Great Nation’s first passive-aggressive presidential campaign.


Couple things: she’s not running; Fox would have cancelled her contract and, are we supposed to believe that she’s actually on that bus?

But more to the point: who is planning/financing this?

Also: have we seen this? The city of Grand Rapids responds to being listed on Newsweek’s Dying Cities list. (I know, Newsweek! WTF?)

It is intended to be upbeat but there is an undercurrent of despair about it that is very moving. It makes me think of all the mining and manufacturing towns that were devastated by Thatcherism. What is intended as celebration becomes an elegy. There is also about it the kind of daft enthusiasm that I still love about this country. Do watch.

@Benedick HRH KFC:

Agree: consider, everything that woman has done since John McCain has been about one thing and one thing only: cold, hard ca$h. Hell, even Bristol scammed the insurance companies to pay for her plastic surgery. Palin won’t run for Pres if there isn’t a Buck to be made.

@Serolf Divad:
I tend to agree, but she is more Narcissistic than Narcissus and she does not believe in “logic.”

From what I’ve read, old Sarah is being driven up the wall by folks making fun of her and wants to prove to the world that she is SMART and she is COMPETENT. So far the “I’m smart and competent and gosh darn it people like me” Tour has only continued to prove the opposite.

Mildly appropriate: I ran across this on my recent trip to Railsconf:

Unfortunate letter cropping

Surely *somebody* around the office should have noticed, “Hey, the letter ‘e’ looks a lot like an ‘o’ when you cut off the bottom…”

@Serolf Divad: Also agree with you and Benedick. Ms. Palin is finding life as a celebrity/budding plutocrat so much more in line with her need for outpourings of love from the little people than actually having a full time job. I expect in thirty or forty years she will be one of those people we think of as famous for being famous, with her aborted political career far, far back in the mists of ancient history.

The next threshold of narcissistic delusion is Talibunny’s founding of a new dominionist church that advocates the overthrow of the US government by Candidates for Christ. Talibunny can get all freaky with the Jesus stuff and use it as a front to funnel money to neofascist candidates for corporate crime families.

@Benedick HRH KFC: I lived in Grand Rapids for three years after college–my parents and grandparents are all from there, and my mom still lives there now. And although Grand Rapids definitely has the typical Suburban Ennui, I feel like it’s steered clear of all-out despair because it was never a blue collar town to begin with. Sure they had manufacturing, but their manufacturing was high-end furniture. And GR is actually doing pretty good now compared with former decades–they’re having a bit of cultural renaissance, with new facilities and events being added downtown all the time. One of their runaway successes has been the annual ArtPrize, which has drawn attention from artists worldwide because the show’s awards involve actual money–top prize is $250,000. I’m sure you can appreciate artists who are legitimately paid for their hard work.

Grand Rapids still had huge problems, of course–it in Michigan, after all. And I’m not suggesting your perception of the video as cute and sad and a bit pathetic and endearing is wrong–that’s exactly the reaction I had to it too. I’m just cautioning you against assuming the town’s whole history or culture (or general hopelessness) based on it.

@flippin eck: I don’t for one moment. I found the emotion and energy behind it very moving. And I’m very glad if my perception of GR is incorrect. The city looks very pretty. Perhaps I’m projecting my own memories of Scotland onto it. That plus the song, which is all about everything going bang, gave it for me a very elegiac feel. Isn’t it well done? My only note would have been not to show the helicopter before going up in it. Would have packed a real wallop at the end as the camera would have seemed to float up into the sky. But did they ask me? No. And I suppose they were a sponsor and wanted to be seen. But bravo all round. Could we see Huddersfield doing this? Or Tunbridge Wells? I do not think so.

Stolen from Sullivan: “What Nixon did – and what Ailes does today in the age of Obama – is unravel and rewire one of the most powerful of human emotions: shame,” says Perlstein, the author of Nixonland. “He takes the shame of people who feel that they are being looked down on, and he mobilizes it for political purposes. Roger Ailes is a direct link between the Nixonian politics of resentment and Sarah Palin’s politics of resentment. He’s the golden thread.”
He got it here: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-roger-ailes-built-the-fox-news-fear-factory-20110525?page=12
Rick Perlstein said it.
(Why can’t I make the link text work?)

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