Sarah Palin, then and now

Sarah Palin then:

Sarah Palin now:

Palin salutes ‘new media’ at Venetian conference – News –

“Who’s going to tell them the truth?” Palin asked Friday night, speaking to the RightOnline conference in Las Vegas. “We must tell them the truth.” …

Palin, the former governor of Alaska, said reporters were too busy trying to dig up dirt on her in her hometown of Wasilla, after Republican John McCain picked her as his vice presidential running mate in 2008. …

“New media activists can really be the vanguard for the future of our country,” said Palin, a favorite of the tea party movement against taxes. “New media is giving voice to the people because you are of the people. Without you, there wouldn’t be a tea party movement.”

Not that irony is a concept she appreciates. But I thought my readership might.

Politics Technology

Palin, Paladino, Twitter and the Ills of Micro-Celebrity

The population of New York State is about 19.5 million people. If one tenth of one percent of those people followed me on Twitter, I would have nineteen thousand people following me. I think I could be very happy with that many followers.

The population of the United States is around 307m people. Again, if one tenth of one percent of those Americans followed me, I’d have 307k people following me. I’d be out of my gourd if I had that many followers.

While I don’t have a national stage and cannot hope to put in enough work to have that many followers – not now, perhaps not ever – I fully believe its possible. Whereas fame in the past came from convincing a small number of executives you were good enough and potentially popular enough for them to back you with contracts and promotion, these days simply having a voice is enough to gain you exposure on FaceBook and Twitter. Instead of having to appeal to a narrow set of interests shared by a broad swath of the country, now any unique perspective can find kindred spirits somewhere out there in the sprawling mass of social networks.

The trouble is: you can be convinced by your own hype – by the stove-piped collection of followers who appreciate your world view and cheer you on – that you’ve really got the answer. The answer to life’s burning questions; the solution for all that ails your future constituency; the moral rectitude that this world desperately needs. With thousands of adoring fans, you might be able to convince yourself that those fans aren’t just a  statistically-meaningless micro-culture but the heart beat of America.

And perhaps I’m giving too much credit to – politicians? political celebrities? – like Sarah Palin and Carl Paladino, but I have long seen both of them as “victims” of this strange micro-celebrity echo chamber. When your “field of view,” as it were, is filled with adoring fans who insist you’re really hitting all the right notes, I think its easy to delude yourself. Because “no one” ever raised an objection, except the people you and your fans hate. The result is a persona and a trail of public statements that is ever-increasingly divorced from reality, to say nothing of electable mainstream thought.

Because of course, all 500k Sarah Palin followers will not win her the election in 2012. Not even if she adds her 2m FaceBook fans. Carl’s paltry 2000 followers (wow! Even I am about to pass him!) won’t get him into the Governor’s chair. Not even if he adds his 25k FaceBook fans. In the end, they’re just footnotes to the history they thought themselves the catalysts of.

Its not just political types that can get turned sideways, I’m sure. Anybody with just the right amount of exposure can start believing they can do things that maybe just aren’t possible. But when people think they’re in a position to dictate the policy and moral compass of the nation, things can get really ugly:

Palin: Obama Pussy-Footing By Not Releasing Photo Of Dead Bin Laden | TPMDC.


What Am I Missing?

What the hell is going on in the 23rd? Here we have a district which hasn’t been a Democratic district since the Civil War – when the Democratic Party was the Conservative choice – and we’ve got the whole country up in arms over the results? Trust me: any way the primary turns out, it’ll be a Republican in the 23rd. I’m a big fan of game-day statistics.

So, that’s the big disappointment for Dems. What’s the deal with Republicans? Why is it important to Fred Thompson – whose own presidential aspirations seemed to be such a bore to him – or Sarah Palin – whose gubernatorial responsibilities proved equally tiresome? Is the Baby Jesus scheduled to be born in Watertown? Is Sam Waterson making a movie in Massena?

And the media. The 23rd is a staunch member of the “fly-over” community of which the media is rarely aware. But suddenly, the opinions of residents in sleepy little Speculator are of monumental import. They must be so proud.

Or is the business of reforming health care – and in the case of Republicans, losing that battle – what has become so tiresome?


Allow Me to Field This One…

Holy crap.

Senator John McCain is on my television box on Meet the Press, and he actually just said, “oh, I don’t know if it’s a promise,” when asked if Sarah Palin quitting the Alaska Governorship was a breach of the promise she made to Alaska voters.

Yes, it is. If I vote for someone, I don’t expect them to quit unless they’re dying or mired in scandal. It’s also telling of just what a bullshit artist John McCain is that he won’t endorse her.

Late Update: Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake provides the video:


Peggy Noonan Waxes Poetic, Hyberbolic About Palin

Oh, for chrissakes, Peg. Just say you hated the hillbilly bitch and get it over with.

It’s almost entertaining to watch upper-crust, obviously snooty women like Peggy Noonan try to at once reject Palin on the basis of her demonstrable lack of qualifications and simultaneously embrace her folksiness because it’s helpful to her party. Almost, but it’s just pathetic.


I’m a Thinker: Palin Polls

Apparently, seventy percent of Republicans would support Sarah Palin for president, and this number is being touted by people from Red State and other places as a reason that Palin should not be discounted.

Now, I’m no mathematician, but if less than 25% of Americans identify themselves as Republicans right now, seventy percent of twenty five percent doesn’t really seem like a very compelling number. Does it?


Satisfying the Swing Voters

Well, there you have it. The first official “not” Sarah Palin love doll. Does it have three working orifices? You betcha! And just like the real Sarah Palin, if you work her too hard, she’ll deflate and give up half way through.


The Raw Story » Sarah’s getting a gun

Raw Story reported today that the NRA has decided to show Sarah Palin some ballistic love, in appreciation for her support of gun rights, by delivering to her a custom-made M4 assault rifle:

via The Raw Story » Sarah’s getting a gun.

The NRA announced Monday that for her service to gun owners, it will give Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin a white, M4 semi-automatic with a custom, .50 caliber Beowulf chamber.

On the other hand, the Anchorage Daily News reports that, much like Sarah herself:

A military weapons specialist tells the Monitor the semiautomatic rifle is “sweet” but says it’s not suitable for hunting — or anything else, really.


144 Characters of Stoopid

I suppose we should be thankful to have a medium where Sarah Palin can communicate without all the extra babbling. She’s got herself a Twitter account. Like hearing your gradma say, “don’t go there,” this is one of those events that helps us identify the moment when we can officially call trends such as the Twitter thing dead.


Oh, Hum? Interesting Articles on a Sunday

Just because I haven’t been posting to the blog and just because there are an abundance of interesting articles out there for a Sunday morning, I decided to do a quick bit of news link blogging for your reading pleasure.

It seems that the low price of gasoline we have right now is sparking some more discussion about raising the gas tax as much as a dollar or more. As much as it’s fairly proven that higher gas prices did indeed cause Americans to curb their gas consumption and even buy hybrid cars, I think this is bad for an entirely different reason. That reason is that such a high tax on gasoline would inevitably make gas tax policy the fail-safe topic of Republican discourse for years to come, even more so than the Great Society policies which have an immediate positive impact on lower-wage voters that make up their base.

And one can hardly speak of gasoline these days without invoking the familiar of Sarah Palin. On that topic, she’s busy once again keeping herself in the spotlight by attacking journalism and making an ass out of herself. Sily Old Governor Grand-MILF! Everybody knows that you can’t attack the media when they’re attacking you.

But there’s another story that may keep her in the news, this one about her (allegedly) drug-dealing in-laws, the Johnson family. It seems that there are investigators and police union people now starting to grumble about political interference in the investigation of Sherry Johnson – mother of Levi, who begat Li’l Redneck, Bristol Palin’s child. Johnson was eventually caught in possession of a Crystal Meth lab. Given Palin’s history, I think we can all safely say that allegations of political interference are just plain crazy-talk.

Meanwhile, Exile on Erickson St has an interesting post up about the political machinations surrounding one highly-unpopular Governor Patterson and the appointment of a new Senator to hill Hillary Clinton’s seat for New York. It seems rather obvious that CK endorsed Obama specifically to make enough of a name for herself to get some juice in New York politics, one way or the other.

But I’m not sure I agree with Rotten in the comments section that putting her into the Senate seat will almost guarantee a Republican in that seat come the next election. That’s one option. The other option is to trade a junior Senator with lots of power for a junior Senator with really only the appearance of power but lots of money and rich friends that will make her a permanent fixture – to our enduring distress – for years to come. If you think Senator Clinton accomplished jack-shit in the Senate (and let’s face it, she did that and less), just wait for Senator Kennedy of New York.


Hey! Something Sarah Palin Actually Sold on eBay!

What is it? The turkey they slaughtered in the behind her ill-fated Thanksgiving interview, that’s what.

Bad news, though: even if it is a bird, it still doesn’t fly.


Enjoy Your Latte, Sarah

This one’s been making it’s way around the Internet, of course. Sarah Palin doing an interview about how “brutal” the campaign trail is whilst standing in front of a slaughterhouse for turkeys. Those of weak stomachs will want to turn away, but watch as the stainless steel death machine shudders while she discusses the “levity” of the moment. It recalls Whose Line is it Anyways, when they put the comedian in front of a screen showing videos completely incongruous to what they’re talking about.

And of course in this context, I can’t help but notice that it seems unspeakably inappropriate for any politician – Right or Left, Republican or Democrat, Sage or Dipshit – to be found outside of any building without a latte. What the hell is up with that?