About 20 years ago, when George W. Bush’s father was president of the United States, George Carlin, in one of his stand-up routines, observed that there are three groups of dismaying people in this world, the first of which are those who are just “fuckin’ stupid.” Others, not being stupid, may in fact be smart, but are quite evidently “full of shit.” And still others are just flat-out “fuckin’ nuts.”
Carlin then wryly concluded that George Bush Sr.’s vice president, Dan Quayle, was all three: “stupid, full of shit, and fuckin’ nuts.”
And it occurred to me today that Sarah Palin is a contemporary incarnation of these three appellations and that she, like Dan Quayle in 1988, had also been placed as the number two figure on a national presidential ticket (by John McCain).
And that raises a question: what is it about the Republican Party of the past quarter century that it tends to put stupid, full of shit, and fuckin’ nuts people into that second slot? And when it’s not the second slot, the person advances to the first slot (as in George W. Bush).
What does this mean for 2012?
I think it means this: if a smart and sane person is on the verge of winning the Republican nomination (such as Mitt Romney, who, unfortunately, is nevertheless full of shit), then that person, to secure victory, will have to find a Sarah Palin-like figure to seal the deal with the Republican Party’s base.
And if, in this election cycle, the Republican Party base rejects its rational options—and, for now, I don’t see anybody else but Romney inhabiting the adult rational slot in the Republican Party—we’ll basically see, not one part of the ticket, but both parts—the presidential and vice-presidential candidate—who are quite evidently “stupid, full of shit, and fuckin’ nuts.”