Not touching ground at all

6 11 2010

Sarah Palin in 2012?

Oh no, no. No no no.

Some commentators think that a Sarah Palin candidacy would guarantee an Obama win, which, given her current low approval ratings, is not an unreasonable conclusion.

But ohp, there’s that word: unreasonable.

Sarah Palin is not much concerned with reason. Evidence, experience, coherence—no thank you. So how do you fight against someone concerned only with her own creation of the truth?

Did you ever watch the show, NewsRadio? In one episode, Joe and Lisa co-host a news program, and Joe responds to Lisa’s wonky queries with a stream of bullshit. I finally managed to track down the episode (it’s ‘The Fiftieth Episode’, the one in which Bill is sent to a psych ward, thus necessitating the fill-in hosts of Joe and Lisa), and to view the clip, skip ahead to around 9:20 or so:

This exchange has stayed with me ever since I first watched it. How do you counter such cheerful lies?

Hence the half-guv dilemma: How do you counter such chipper mendacity?

As is evident from my previous posts, I’m unsurprised by manipulation and trickery in politics, and in fact am critical of the Dems for their flusterment in the face of such flim-flammery. Fight! Fight! Fight! I say.

But. But the legislative manueverings of the GOP, while accompanied by all variety of obfuscation, was nonetheless grounded in the practical reality of Congressional procedure. Senators could filibuster and hold and delay and deny because the rules allowed them to do so; reps could attach earmarks or poison pills or call for vote after vote because, again, the rules allowed them to do so. They may have used and abused the rules, but they did not question the reality of those rules.

But the reality star who is able to conjure death panels out of thin air? How do you counter someone who ignores the laws of gravity?

You can deal with a reality-manipulator, because the manipulator has to have some sense of that reality before she warps it to her own ends. And even that Bush staffer who sniffed to the NYTimes reporter about those stuck in the ‘reality-based community’ and the ability of the Bush admin to create its own reality nonetheless still gestured to reality. They did, in their own baleful way, seek to create new facts on the ground.

But La Palin? What are facts and who cares about the ground?

The Bushers did not succeed in their quest to reshape reality: there were no roses in Iraq and a heckuva job was done to and not on behalf of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. The Photoshop of the first six years failed, and Rove et. al. lost control of the negatives.

So how does someone avoid the physics of politics, the inevitable grinding down and peeling back and failure associated with all political action? You don’t accept that there are any rules, any downs on the other side of up, any nulls to one’s hypotheses; there is only the rabbit pulled out of the hat and the declaration that this is, indeed, magic. And that magic is real.

Does Sarah Palin really believe all she says? Does it matter? She is constructing her own universe and has little use for those of us (left, right, and otherwise) who, however disgruntled with this one, nonetheless understand that this is where we live. We don’t matter in the Palinverse, have no mass or weight or anything which would identify us as real; we are figments in her imagination.

Given her low approval ratings, I’d like to think that this means most voters share my distrust of Palin. I’d like to think that most of us, when asked, ‘Who you gonna believe (gosh darn it!), me or your lyin’ eyes?’, will respond, Uh, my eyes are just fine, thankyouverymuch.

That may be, in fact, the only way to deal with a serial fantasist—to disengage, to walk away.

But if she is the candidate, Obama can’t simply walk away, he will have to engage her. Maybe it would be enough to play to the refs—us—and point out that 2 + 2 does not equal oranges.

But if there are enough of us who think 2 + 2 should equal oranges?

I’d rather not find out.


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15 responses

6 11 2010
Anonymous

“…a heckuva job was done to and not on behalf of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.”

Kind of like President Obama’s handling of BP, no?

“The Photoshop of the first six years failed, and Rove et. al. lost control of the negatives.”

Substitute the word “Rove” out for “Emanuel” and “two” for “six” and you’ve just, once again, described the Obama Presidency.

6 11 2010
absurdbeats

Eh, I’m not so sure that the oil spill = Katrina, although I don’t think that the Obama admin acquitted itself well in response to the spill.

I also don’t agree that Emanuel=Rove, although, again, I don’t think Rahm lived up to the hype.

I’d guess from your comments that we likely are on different ends of the political spectrum, but this post was less about partisanship than about the someone who may run for president who cares little for the complex, contradictory, and at times infuriating world that most of us, of whatever political belief, live in.

There’s a difference between disagreement over and disregard of the existence of facts.

6 11 2010
dmf

well we have been down this garden path before with reagan,
i really wish that pelosi had bowed out instead of adding fuel to the fire.

6 11 2010
dmf

ha, the 1st rule after never lose yer ID/key in the psych-ward is not to argue with peoples’ delusions or in other words DNF.

6 11 2010
absurdbeats

I’m not sure what you mean by ‘bowing out’? And do you think that if Pelosi had somehow made herself smaller, that the GOP wouldn’t simply have gone in search of another, larger, target?

As for DNF, well, yes, which is why I prefer her on FOX, where I can safely ignore her. But on debate platform. . . ?

6 11 2010
dmf

i was referring to her choice now to be the minority leader,
and my dnf comment was intended as a gentle reminder that when you mention the P@lin it is like leaving garbage out in bear country.

6 11 2010
dmf

oops sorry to be running on but i didn’t address the point of the debate in which i imagine that the prez will try and correct her and make his talking points and she will ignore him ( and the questions asked of her) to make her own points and if the economy is still grim people will vote their tribal affilliations. no?

6 11 2010
absurdbeats

Well, yes, I considered that you might be directing the DNF comment elsewhere—but I thought, What the hell.

Calm talk sometimes also works.

7 11 2010
dmf

indeed, and perhaps you have answered your own initial question that one should speak to others better angels and so win the day in way which raises the level of our public discourse, inshallah

8 11 2010
10 11 2010
geekhiker

Politics has always been politics, but this new era of the constant campaign, to the point of not even really seeming to care about the state of the country, is depressing as hell…

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