Sarah Palin Metaphor Watch: John McCain’s Wile E. Coyote Goes Over the Cliff. Jonathan Chait, of the New Republic, Soberly Lays Out Palin’s Seemingly Bottomless Fall

Everybody, apparently, doesn’t love Sarah.

Calling Sarah Palin “Sarah Quaylin,” Jonathan Chait today documents Palin’s rapid descent from her populist summit:

Ever since John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate, I’ve gotten confused about all the reasons I’m supposed to dislike Barack Obama. The previous reasons, in rough chronological order, were his lack of experience, his empty rhetoric, his flip-flopping, and his “celebrity.” But Palin has made each one of those critiques moot.

Chait suggests that Palin has all of these qualities in multiples, and says:

The flip side for Republicans of losing most of their attack lines was supposed to be a series of virtues Palin would bring to the ticket: She’s a reformer, a steadfast opponent of earmarks, a proponent of transparency and clean government. Subsequent reporting has revealed that Palin embodies the precise opposite of every one of these virtues. She appointed unqualified cronies, abused her power to punish personal enemies, and has displayed a Cheney-esque passion for government secrecy. Her boast of having put the state airplane on eBay was undermined by subsequent revelations that she failed to actually sell it on eBay.

 

The swift disintegration of Palin’s anti-pork credentials has been especially amusing. After initially casting Palin as a dedicated foe of earmarks, and then having it revealed that she asked for and received enormous sums of earmarked projects, the McCain campaign has fallen back to the defense that she requested fewer earmarks than other Alaska pols. This is true: Even though Palin took ten times the national per capita average in earmarked spending, in this regard she still rates somewhat below average by the standards of the petro-kleptocracy of the state from which she hails. Yet this defense raises the question of why Ted Kennedy never thought to run for president on the slogan “He Never Took a Drink In His Life,” and then, when challenged, point out that other members of his family are less sober than he.

The Kennedy analogy is one of the best of the political season.

Palin may prove to be the chief factor that undermines McCain’s bid for the presidency.

At a minimum, she’s not going to help.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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